Point Sublime Trail
Discover one of the best overlooks on the North Rim on one of the only off-road trails within Grand Canyon National Park. Easily extend your day by exploring the numerous other viewpoints and forest roads in the area.
Where to go:
From Jacob Lake, head south on Highway 67 towards Grand Canyon National Park. Near the end of the highway (after 41 miles) you will enter the park and turn right onto a dirt road signed for “Widforss Trail” (labeled on maps as Point Sublime Trail, but we didn’t see this on any signs). This turn is easy to miss. If you miss it, head to the North Rim Lodge and turnaround. Once on the unpaved road, head west through a wide meadow past the Widforss Trailhead, which is off to the left. You will have to pay the National Park entrance fee to enter the park to do this trail. The pass is good for a week and allows you to explore the numerous other paved lookouts along the North Rim
From Highway 67, head west through a wide green meadow. The trail passes a Widforss Trailhead off to the left after 0.6 miles. Signs to the right point the way towards Point Sublime. Stay to the left at 0.9 miles to head northwest. The trail remains fairly narrow as it climbs in and out of several sections of tight forest. The views briefly improve around 4.0 miles as you pass through a wide meadow. Stay on main road as trail returns to dense trees.
For the next several miles, the trail twists and turns through the forest and closer to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Because of the tight trees, the views remain fairly consistent until the end of the trail. Conditions vary on the time of year, but expect a few narrow, rocky sections, with occasional minor washouts. At 11.3 miles you’ll arrive at a major intersection. Straight ahead is the alternate route back to Highway 67. You’ll want to turn left and head south on the spur trail out to Point Sublime.
The trail remains easy to moderate as it twists downhill. Eventually, the trees begin to thin out and you can begin to make out some impressive views of the Grand Canyon, especially during the last few miles. After one last tight turn, the trail runs out as you arrive at Point Sublime at 17.3. Enjoy the incredible views from this isolated overlooks, arguably one of the best in the park. The overlook also has picnic tables and a vaulted toilet. Return 6.0 miles back to the intersection when you are done. Continue to the right to return the way you came in back to Highway 67. Or, continue to the left on the alternate route back to Highway 67 and additional overlooks.
Alt. route out: [RESET odometer] Continue north from the intersection near Point Sublime. This way out is longer and rougher, but provides access to countless other forest roads and overlooks in the area. The road immediately climbs through thick forest. Make an important left turn at 2.5 miles as the road zigzags uphill. The trail remains fairly uneventful. At 8.6 miles, you’ll leave the National Park and enter the Kaibab National Forest. Remember – camping within the National Park requires an overnight permit. Once you’re in the National Forest, the camping rules are more lenient. Stay right at the intersection onto F.R. 268 at 9.7 miles. At 10.1 miles (33.8 miles from start back on Highway 67) the trail ends at the junction with F.R. 223. From here you have the option of continuing west on Fire Point Loop Trail to further explore the area. Turning right will take you back to Highway 67 and let you out near the North Rim Country Store (about 10 miles of easy dirt road).
Notes & Trail Ratings:
To Point Sublime and back is about 34 miles round trip. Allow for about 3-4 hours to complete this, adding more time if you stop a lot. Taking the alternate route out (or in) will make the entire loop about 44 miles and will add more time. As far as difficulty goes, this trail is mostly easy, with sections of narrow, twisty, and rocky forest roads. We’ve rated it a “4” out of “10”. The rating is subject to change season-to-season depending how often it is maintained. Most stock vehicles with high clearance will be sufficient. Longer wheel-base vehicles not recommended. Because this is a National Park, unlicensed vehicles (OHV’s, ATV’s, etc) are not allowed unfortunately.