After riding the free Grand Canyon National Park shuttle to the Trailview Overlook, we decided to hike along the Canyon Rim Trail to the next several scenic overlooks along Hermit Road and I am so glad we did! On our way to the next Grand Canyon vista point, Maricopa Point, the trail afforded us some absolutely incredible views of the canyon without any crowds or noise. In fact, most of the time we were walk or hiking along the Canyon Rim Trail, we were the only people on the trail!
At Maricopa Point, the edge of the canyon sticks out about 100 feet to form a narrow promontory that offers breathtaking, 180 degree, panoramic views of Grand Canyon and the remains of the Orphan Lode Mine.
Maricopa Point is the second overlook for the Hermit’s Rest Route Shuttle and Canyon Rim Trail but the first scenic point. The views from Maricopa Point reach far to the east and west with no significant obstructions between here and the Colorado River below. You can also see the majestic Battleship formation, a portion of the Tonto Trail snaking around Horn Creek and Dana Butte, and parts of the Bright Angel Trail at Garden Creek.
West of Maricopa Point, tucked behind fencing, is the former Orphan Lode Mine, which operated from 1891 to 1967. It originally began as a copper mine, but later switched to mining uranium and for a short time was the richest source in the whole United States. Grand Canyon National Park acquired the property in 1987 but closed the site due to concerns over safety and radiation. While the Canyon Rim Trail skirts a half mile around the mine site, you can see the winch engine and several abandoned buildings sitting on the edge of the canyon from the viewpoint.
Elk At Maricopa Point
Yes, the views of Grand Canyon from Maricopa Point are breathtaking, but the coolest part of our visit to this vista point wasn’t the view, it was the elk! As were walking along the trail from Trail View Overlook to Maricopa Point, a group of four huge Elk stepped out of the trees and bushes and casually, one-by-one, made their way through the brush, across the trail, and out to the edge of the canyon on another point paralleling Maricopa Point.
We were standing just a few feet from these incredible animals and the experience was unforgettable.
Know Before You Go
- Maricopa Point is located on Hermit Road west of Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023 in Grand Canyon National Park, Coconino County.
- Hermit Road follows the South Rim for 7.0 miles from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest. The Canyon Rim Trail also travels from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest, but over 7.8 miles because it hugs the edge of the canyon rim and runs between Hermit Road and Grand Canyon.
- Don’t want to hike the entire Canyon Rim Trail? No problem? You can walk/hike between scenic overlooks or take the shuttle and mix it up, so you could walk the shorter distances and ride the shuttle for the longer distances.
- In the winter, you can drive your own vehicle from scenic viewpoint to scenic viewpoint, but the rest of the year, you need to ride the free shuttle bus.
- Traveling from Grand Canyon Village, the Hermit Road (Red) Shuttle Route stops at nine overlooks — Trailview Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, and Hermit’s Rest. Traveling from Hermit’s Rest to Grand Canyon Village, the shuttle stops at only four overlooks — Hermits Rest, Pima, Mohave, and Powell Points.
- You can also travel to Hermit’s Rest by bike. If you didn’t bring a bike, you can rent a bike at Bright Angel Bicycles near the South Rim Visitor Center.
- The nearest restrooms are at Hopi Point or back in Grand Canyon Village at the Bright Angel Trail Trailhead.