Kaibab National Forest

Whether you’re approaching the North Rim or the South Rim, you’ll have to get through the national forests that sew in the Canyon. As you do so, it might seem you’re driving through a landscape more common to Idaho or Montana than northern Arizona. The ponderosa, aspen, spruce and white fir skirting open meadows are reminiscent of lower montane forest communities than desert, but so goes the Colorado Plateau. By following a rim trail on the relatively more forested North Rim, for example, the Canyon itself sneaks up on you to tease you with a view framed by branch and needle until the forest recaptures you, allowing another glimpse here and there between massive ponderosa that dwarf members of the same species in other regions. For an experience like this, I recommend the easy Widforss Trail.