Updated: Jun 23
Angels Window offers a great view of not only a unique rock formation but an amazing view of the Grand Canyon. The hike is only half a mile long to Angels Window, and the Viewpoint for Angels Window is only 100 feet off the road. It is like Arches National Park but with a much better background. This arch is the southernmost tip of the Grand Canyon.
In this blog, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about Angels Window, including its history, directions, where to walk, and what to pack for this fun adventure.
How Was Angels Window Formed?
Angels Window, Grand Canyon National Park is made up of a layer of rock called the Supai Group. It was formed over 300 million years ago. For comparison, the top layer of the Grand Canyon (the Kaibab Formation) was formed 270 million years ago, and the bottom layer where the Colorado River flows through (the Vishnu Basement Rocks) was formed 1.8 billion years ago. The Grand Canyon was carved over the past 6 million years. Lake Powell feeds the Colorado River and the erosion, and you can see the lake from Wahweap Overlook. Back to the Supai Group, it is made out of a soft sandstone layer called the Redwall Limestone and a harder layer known as the Supai Formation.
Over hundreds of millions of years, the Redwall Limestone layer was eroded by wind and water. Only the Supai Formation is left because it will take many more years for it to erode. Eventually, it will collapse. Wahweap Window and Ear of the Wind, both arches, formed in the same way.
Angel’s Window was possibly named when the first explorers of the Grand Canyon saw the arch and were in awe of its shape and the breathtaking views of the canyon.
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How to Get to Angels Window
There is only one road that you can drive on to get to Angel’s Window. The road starts at Jacob Lake and requires a 53-mile drive south. To get to Jacob Lake, there is one road coming in from Marble Canyon, which comes in from the east. Here, you can walk or drive across Navajo Bridge, and it gives you a close-up glimpse of what the Grand Canyon will be like. The other road to Jacob Lake comes in from the northwest from Fredonia, a small town near the Utah and Arizona border. Only a dozen miles away from Jacob Lake is House Rock Valley Overlook, which gives you a view of numerous plateaus.
From Jacob Lake, drive south on Grand Canyon Highway 67 for about 41 miles. This is a nice drive through some forests, so take some time to enjoy it. You will need to turn left 3 miles away from the Visitor Services Center. The picture below is what the turn looks like.
The sign on the left says “Narrow winding road. Vehicles or combined vehicle length over 22 feet are prohibited,” and the sign on the right says “Visitor Services, 3 miles, Jacob Lake, 41 miles.” Continue on Cape Royal Road, and turn right at the first intersection. This road is an additional 20 miles before you reach the parking lot; you will pass Point Imperial Trail, Roosevelt Point, Cape Final Trail, Walhalla Overlook, and Cliff Spring Trail on the way. There is also the Vista Encantada Picnic Area which provides wonderful scenic views of the canyon. All of these locations are on the Walhalla Plateau.
Viewpoint for Angels Window
Before we start, this article is about Angels Window and not Angel Windows Red River Gorge or Angel Windows Trailhead - Red River Gorge in Pine Ridge, Kentucky (although it does look pretty cool). You will reach a little spot to pull over half a mile before the main parking lot. This is the Viewpoint for Angels Window. Unfortunately, there is only room for 6 cars to park. This is the only place where you will get a good view of Angels Window, so make sure to spend some time here and get good pictures. You can see some pictures of Angels Window below.
You can see in the picture above that you’ll have to walk on some rocks with a steep drop at the edge. Make sure to keep some distance so you don’t end up on the news of someone falling off of the Grand Canyon while taking a selfie. You can catch an amazing sunset, and even see a little bit of the canyon through the arch. We’ll now move on to the very short hike where you can get a closer view of Angel’s Window and even get on top of the arch itself.
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Hiking to Angels Window
Half a mile down the road from the Viewpoint for Angels Window, there is a large parking lot for dozens of vehicles. There are some bathrooms located in the back right corner of the parking lot.
The hike to Angels Window is only 0.3 miles there and 0.3 miles back, for a total of 0.6 miles; you’ll likely spend more time enjoying the view than walking the trail. Start walking down the asphalt trail (this is known as the Cape Royal Trail), and you’ll see many interpretive signs identifying some of the common plants. This trail is also wheelchair accessible.
Once you reach the first fork in the trail, about 1,000 feet in, turn left; there should be an “Angels Window” sign pointing you in the correct direction. After about 300 feet, the asphalt trail will turn to rock. You’re now on the Angels Window arch! There is also a small guard rail and fence so you don’t fall off. Here, you are in between Clear Creek and Bright Angel Creek. You can see deep into the Grand Canyon at this plateau. The elevation of this rock feature is 7,900 feet. You can see Freya Castle, Vishnu Temple, and Wotans Throne from both Angels Window and Cape Royal Point. If you’re ever in Idaho and want another great view of the mountains, I recommend hiking to Goldbug Hot Springs.
If you’re not satisfied with just the hike to Angels Arch, Grand Canyon, then you can continue down the trail to Cape Royal Point. Here, you will see all that the Grand Canyon has to offer; it even offers 360-degree views. In my opinion, Cape Royal offers the best views of the Grand Canyon due to it being the southernmost tip of the North Rim, Grand Canyon. It is the perfect place for both pros and amateurs to take photos because there is so much detail. You can see Freya Castle, Vishnu Temple, and Wotans Throne from both Angels Window and Cape Royal Point. The video below is from Shoshone Point on the South Rim.
At night, stargazing is easy due to so little light pollution. If you want a completely unobstructed view of the Grand Canyon on the South Rim, I would highly recommend Moran Point! We wrote an entire blog about this viewpoint. And right next door is Navajo Point.
Across the road from the Viewpoint for Angels Window is Cliff Spring Trail, a 1.6-mile hike with 300 feet of elevation gain. It offers nice views, but nothing compared to Cape Royal Point. There are plenty of hikes and scenic spots in Coconino County, Arizona, but these are just a small portion. If you’re ever in Montana, I would highly recommend hiking to Morrell Falls, which we talk about in this blog.
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When Is Angels Window Open?
Cape Royal Road and Angels Window is only open from mid-May to mid-October. These dates can vary because Highway 67 to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon will close after the first snowfall (it can be very dangerous driving on these roads in the winter, especially for people who are not used to doing so).
Packing List for Visiting Angels Window
Sturdy shoes. Since you will be walking on rocks, you will need traction. I recommend wearing hiking boots if you want to get closer to the edge of the Viewpoint for Angel’s Window. It can also be slippery if the rocks are wet.
Sunscreen. You will be outside long enough to get a sunburn, so make sure to put on some sunscreen. There will be some shade from the trees, though. The hike to and from Angels Window will take about an hour if you stop and enjoy the views.
Food. There will be no food nearby (and we’re talking about dozens of miles), so bring more food than you need. This includes a good lunch and snacks.
Water. It can be hot in the summer, and it’s not fun being dehydrated. Bring more than enough water for the entire day just in case things go wrong.
Chapstick. It will likely be warm, dry, and windy. Chapstick can prevent the weather from damaging your lips.
Flashlight. Because you’re at the Grand Canyon (that place with a bunch of cliffs), bring a flashlight just in case you’re still out and about at night. You need to see where you are walking so you don’t sprain your ankle.
Camera. Last but not least, bring a camera; if you have a good camera, I would recommend bringing that. You will want pictures of the majestic landscape, and the group you are traveling with. And, of course, you will need to take a selfie.
Angels Window (and Cape Royal Point) is one of the best places that you can visit in Grand Canyon National Park. Not only do you get an incredible view of the canyon, but you also get to see a large arch. You don’t have to drive hundreds of miles to get to Arches National Park. The hike is very easy and doable for everyone, and it is a gorgeous drive. Stargazing here is absolutely phenomenol. I hope you enjoy your time in the Grand Canyon and all of these pictures; you won’t forget this trip anytime soon!