Posted by: kerryl29 | November 29, 2012

Arizona Day 5: Cape Royal and Point Imperial

Our only full day at the Grand Canyon began very early–in the pitch dark, in fact, as is always the case when you want to shoot pre-sunrise.  In this case, there was roughly a 40-minute drive to Cape Royal that would pre-date that pre-sunrise setup, so it meant an extra-early morning.  This was the only overlook we’d be visiting where a glimpse of the Colorado River would be possible, well off to the east, and, shortly after arriving, I decided to take some shots both with and without the river with what appeared likely to be a nice, colorful sky.

As was the case with every sunrise shoot on this trip, the skies didn’t disappoint.

Sunrise, Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Sunrise, Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

One of the nice things about Cape Royal was the ability to peer deeply into the canyon looking both directions, so once the sun cleared the eastern horizon, there was plenty to see looking toward the west.

Glowing Rock, Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

On the 1/3-mile or so walk back to the parking area from the point, I stopped to do some close-up work with flowers I spotted and on a particularly interesting weathered log.

Wildflowers, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Weathered Wood, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

I should have kept my macro lens mounted to my camera.  As we headed back toward Bright Angel Point we stumbled across a bucolic meadow overflowing with wildflowers and stopped to do some additional close-up work.

Wildflowers, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Indian Paintbrush, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

During some down time later that day, I headed out on my own in search of some stands of aspen I’d spotted on the drive in the previous day.

Aspen, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

For the evening shoot, we headed to Point Imperial, a majestic overlook with a prominent rocky feature.  While the light was never quite what we had hoped for, we did have a few very nice moments which produced some more than suitable shooting conditions.

Point Imperial, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Sunset fizzled at the Grand Canyon, but I decided to shoot the moonrise, through the partly cloudy skies to the east, from Bright Angel Point.

Moonrise Silhouette, Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

There was one more shooting session left for the workshop and it was determined that it would take place back at Point Imperial the following morning.  The hope was that the light would be better and more consistent than it had been on the evening of Day 5.  The sunrises thus far had been impeccable.  Would we get one more?  I certainly hoped so as it would make for a seemingly shorter 450-odd mile drive back to the Phoenix area.

As I’ll demonstrate in the final installment, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Next:  Arizona Day 6 – Point Imperial Sunrise Finale


  1. Outstanding!

  2. Great documentation of your day at the GC.

  3. Fantastiche!!!

  4. I’ve been missing all your lovely work, and wondering where you’ve been. All over the desert Southwest apparently! I think I made a mistake putting you into my reader… putting you back into my email delivery now. ~ Lynda

    • Thanks, Lynda. Glad to see you again.

  5. Amazing, Beautiful, Breathtaking Photos – thanks for sharing!!!

  6. You are definitely not afraid to go out after your photos and cover a lot of ground for those special moments that capture the light , colour and atmosphere.Just great!

    • Thanks, Jane.

  7. There aren’t words! Just so beautiful, these shots, right down to the last one.

    • Thanks very much, Jo!

  8. Some absolutely cracking photos there.

  9. Inspiring photography, Kerry…beautiful images.

    • Thanks very much, Scott.

      • Most welcome, Kerry….

  10. Very nice take on the area… i love your intimate shots and the writing as always.

    • Thanks very much, Mike.

  11. […] and second mornings had been spent at Monument Valley; the third morning saw as at Lake Powell; the fourth had been at Cape Royal on the North Rim.  Could we really hope to have five top notch sunrises in […]

  12. […] northern Arizona–specifically, Monument Valley, Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I came in a day before the start of the tour and drove to Flagstaff for the evening, with the […]

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