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Point Sublime Overview

If you have already visited the easier to visit Cape Royal and Point Imperial, it may be time to spread your wings and make the journey out to Point Sublime. Its name says it all; this panoramic viewpoint at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe. For those who have never visited the Grand Canyon before, coming to this viewpoint will literally leave you speechless; I have witness dropped jaws before. One of the least frequented destinations along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon due to accessibility (discussed more below), Point Sublime is worth the adventure to visit in person – pictures don’t do it justice. Be sure to bring your camera and hammock – you will enjoy using both here!


The drive to Point Sublime begins about two miles north of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Turn west off of State Route 67 (signs indicate “Widforss Trail”) on to the dirt road. After you have made the turn onto the dirt road, the signage will point you in the correct direction of Point Sublime for the duration of your adventure! In total, the drive from State Route 67 to Point Sublime is 14 miles. The first 3 miles is an easy and well maintained dirt road. Miles 4-10 are much rougher, in some places getting quite tight (i.e., plan on your vehicle getting scratched up a bit, though if you are careful it be something a good buff job at your local car wash will be able to take care of!). High clearance vehicles are definitely required to make it to Point Sublime, though four wheel drive is not required if current and recent past weather conditions have been good (i.e., no mud or snow).

There are a couple of viewpoints of the Grand Canyon along the road to Point Sublime, but you will mostly be enveloped in the beautiful Kaibab Forest. Once at Point Sublime, chances are you will have the point all to yourself. There are some picnic benches out there, but chances are you will take the short hike from the end of the road down to the point for unobstructed views. This trail is not worthy of being call a hike (short stroll), but do be careful walking down because it is a rocky path and there are plenty of points where you can slip along the way.

Other elements to be aware of when driving to Point Sublime:

  • Keep mental note of locations along the road where you could back up in order to let someone traveling the opposite direction pass. Many sections of the road are only wide enough for one vehicle and either the thick forest or steep drop offs will not allow you to pull over (see photo below).
  • There are many blind corners. Go slow around corners!
  • Some people hike and mountain bike on this road – another reason to take it slow around corners!
  • There is a variety of wildlife in this region, including bison (see photo below).
  • If you had a high performance, high clearance vehicle, no one else was on this road, and you were familiar with the road, you could probably make the drive in 45 minutes one way. Most people taking a leisurely drive with stops along the way will take 1.5-2 hours to make the journey to Point Sublime.
Bison Along Point Sublime Road Grand Canyon

A small herd of bison along the road to Point Sublime

Point Sublime Road Grand Canyon Arizona

An example of the narrow section of road to Point Sublime

Gear & Gadgets

Make sure you make this drive in a high clearance vehicle (four wheel drive best). Bring your camera along to capture the panoramic views along with plenty of water and snacks. You might find some of the items in this Day Trip Gear Guide useful as well.

Further Reading

Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid

Leave No Trace Principles