Grand Canyon North Rim

Photographing the North Rim of Grand Canyon and other national parks around.

Bay Area to Grand Canyon by the Road

I did this long roadtrip between Bay Rea and the North Rim of Grand Canyon during the middle of October. I split the journey in six days and camped every night in between. It was a great trip. The landscape along the way is incredibly diverse. The camping on this route was also a great experience. I camped at the Red Rock Canyon Campground outside Las Vegas, Demotte Campground near the North Rim, Watchman Campground in Zion, and Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley. The Demotte campground was probably the best. Here are a couple photos from the trip. All nights were around a new moon. So I got a chance to get some milky way shots too.

Map of northern California and southern Oregon.

Map of southwestern United States showing the points of interest visited during this trip.

On the Way to North Rim

I drove through Las Vegas on the way to Grand Canyon and spent the night at Red Rock Canyon Campground. On the next day, I took a detour to the Kanarra Falls in Kanarraville, UT. It's a great short hike through a slot canyon and it was especially pretty this time of the year because of Fall colors. If you are driving through these parts, I would recommend Better Bowls in Bakersfield for lunch, Vesta Coffee Roasters for a coffee in Vegas, and JamonJamon.com Tapas in Vegas for dinner.

Photo of the hills in Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area near Las Vegas at Sunrise. Fall.

A view of the hills in Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area near Las Vegas at Sunrise. Fall.

Photo of Kanarra Falls. Fall.

A view of the Kanarra Falls. Fall.

Photo of fall colors on the hike to Kanarra Falls. Fall.

Fall colors on the hike to Kanarra Falls. Fall.

Photo of fall colors on the hike to Kanarra Falls. Fall.

Fall colors on the hike to Kanarra Falls. Fall.

Photo of the slot canyon on the way to Kanarra Falls.

The slot canyon on the way to Kanarra Falls.

Photo of the slot canyon on the way to Kanarra Falls.

The slot canyon on the way to Kanarra Falls.

Photo of the Grand Staircase as seen from Le Fevre Overlook.

The Grand Staircase as seen from Le Fevre Overlook.

The North Rim

The North Rim is more remote, is at a higher elevation, and has more distant viewpoints compared to the South Rim. Since the North Rim Campground was closed, Demotte Campground was the next closest camping option. It's a great campground and there is a nice coffee shop/truck outside the campground for a good espresso. The views from the rim are spectacular for sure, but there were fall colors along the road and Bisons in the meadows along the road. All of this together, made for a memorable trip.

Photo of Grand Canyon. North Rim. Point Royal. Fall.

A view of Grand Canyon. From Point Royal on North Rim. Fall.

Photo of Milky Way over Grand Canyon. From Bright Angel Point on the North Rim. Fall.

Milky Way over Grand Canyon. From Bright Angel Point on the North Rim. Fall.

Photo of Grand Canyon. North Rim. Bright Angel Point. Fall.

A view of Grand Canyon. From Bright Angel Point on North Rim. Fall.

Photo of Milky Way over Grand Canyon. Bright Angel Point. North Rim. Fall.

Milky Way over Grand Canyon from Bright Angel Point on the North Rim. Fall.

Photo of bison in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Bison in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo of bison in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Bison in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo of a colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

A colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo of a colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

A colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo of a colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

A colorful landscape in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo showing detail of Angel's Window in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Detail of Angel's Window in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Photo showing a detail of canyon walls in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Detail of a canyon wall in Grand Canyon. Fall.

Zion and Bryce

Zion and Bryce were two stops on the way back from Grand Canyon. I spent just a few hours in Bryce. Watchman Campground in Zion was the camping spot for the night. It's a very conveniently located campground with foot access to the town of Springdale. There is great cell phone reception too. I had a hunch that Milky Way will be visible over the Virgin River this time of the year. That turned out to be true. Some planning using PhotoPills helped too.

Photo of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. Fall.

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. Fall.

Photo showing the amphitheater in Bryce Canyon. Fall.

The amphitheater in Bryce Canyon. Fall.

Photo of Milky Way over Virgin River and Watchman in Zion National Park. Fall.

Milky Way over Virgin River and Watchman in Zion National Park. Fall.

Photo showing detail of the cliffs in Zion National Park. Fall.

A detail of the cliffs in Zion National Park. Fall.

Photo of cascades in Virgin River with a towering cliff behind it. Fall.

Cascades in the Virgin River with a towering cliff behind it. Fall.

Photo of Virgin River and Watchman in Zion National Park. Sunset. Fall.

Virgin River and Watchman in Zion National Park at sunset. Fall.

On the Way back to California

This year has been pretty bad in terms of wildfires in California. Initially I had planned to spend the last night on the way back in the vicinity of Mono Lake in California. But because of the fires, I stayed in Death Valley and drove through Yosemite with the car windows up. Death valley was an experience in itself. It was 90 F a couple hours after sunset in mid-October. I got a final milky way shot over the pristine Mesquite Flat sand dunes. On the way back, I stopped a couple times to experience the smokey landscape in California, but apart from that, it was a long drive back to San Jose.

Photo of a landscape at sunrise in Death Valley National Park. Fall.

A landscape at sunrise in Death Valley National Park. Fall.

Photo of a landscape showing a long road with hills in the background. Death Valley National Park. Fall morning.

A long road with hills in the background. Death Valley National Park. Fall morning.

Photo of sand dunes, bushes, and dried mud with mountains in the background. Death Valley National Park. Fall morning.

Sand dunes, bushes, and dried mud with mountains in the background. Death Valley National Park. Fall morning.

Photo of sand dunes in Death Valley National Park at sunset. Fall.

Sand dunes in Death Valley National Park at sunset. Fall.

Photo of milky way over the sand dunes in Death Valley National Park. Fall.

Milky Way over Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park. Fall.

Photo of sand dunes in Death Valley National Park at sunset. Fall.

Sand dunes in Death Valley National Park at sunset. Fall.

Photo of a smokey landscape in California. Fall.

A smokey landscape in California. Fall.

Photo of a smokey landscape in California. Fall.

A smokey landscape in California. Fall.

Photo of a smokey landscape in California. Fall.

A smokey landscape in California. Fall.

Photo of a smokey landscape in California. Fall.

A smokey landscape in California. Fall.

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