North Rim, Arizona 86052Official Website
History unfolds as you explore Walhalla Overlook on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, with views of the Unkar Delta, farmland of the ancient people who once lived here.
Walhalla Overlook is on the Walhalla Plateau on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is close to the end of Cape Royal Road, about one mile before Angel’s Window. Take AZ-67 into Grand Canyon National Park at the North Entrance, but instead of continuing south to the Visitor Center, turn left towards Point Imperial, following the highway to the junction of Cape Royal Road. Turn right onto Cape Royal Road and follow it to the signs for Walhalla Overlook.
See all hotspots at Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon is considered one of the finest examples of arid-land erosion in the world. Incised by the Colorado River, the canyon is immense, averaging 4,000 feet deep for its entire 277 miles. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 18 miles at its widest. However, the significance of Grand Canyon is not limited to its geology.
The Park contains several major ecosystems. Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America.
The five life zones represented are the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada.
The Park also serves as an ecological refuge, with relatively undisturbed remnants of dwindling ecosystems (such as boreal forest and desert riparian communities). It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and specially protected (threatened or endangered) plant and animal species.
Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species are found in the park.
There is a short trail to Walhalla Ruins opposite the Overlook.
Ancestors of some of the 11 tribes traditionally associated with the Grand Canyon, the Ancestral Puebloan people, lived both below and above the canyon rim about 1000 years ago. Archeological sites like this one are sacred to the tribes today and require respect and care when visiting them.
Limestone in this area is fairly soft (for rock) and may have been one reason people decided to settle here. Wood, plentiful on the canyon ridges overlooking the canyon, is another.
Kettle holes and ponds in the bedrock and nearby landscape may have been a source of water. Seeps and springs, like those found along Cliff Spring Trail (further south on Cape Royal Road), would have been another.
Excavated by Douglas W. Schwartz, this archaeological site is a sample of what used to be at least nine rooms, occupied from 1,100 to 1,150 CE.