Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim

The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite National Parks, if not the favorite. In the 5 years we’d lived in Tucson, we’d been to Grand Canyon 3 times, including an overnight at the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the Canyon. However, all 3 trips were to the popular South Rim. After a 10-year hiatus, we finally decided to check out the less visited North Rim.

Hiking down South Kaibab into the depths of the canyon back in 2009

The North Rim is about 1000ft higher in elevation compared to the South Rim, which means it’s cooler during the summer months. There is one in-park lodge, the Grand Canyon Lodge, which generally opens for the season around mid-May. Rooms are quickly snatched up months in advance, but we were lucky to get one of the “leftover” cabins for June back in April.

Quaint little log cabins in the forest – ours was #25.
Beats camping
Private bath, can’t ask for more than that

The reason why few visit the North Rim is that it is much more inconvenient to access. The South Rim is a few hours away from major Arizona cities and towns like Phoenix, Sedona, and Flagstaff. Whereas, the North Rim is close to no major cities. The only way to get to it is to cut through tiny towns like Kanab and Hurricane in Southern Utah. However, it could be a great add on to Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks (I.e., Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef), which are all located in Southern Utah.

The North Rim of Grand Canyon has its own healthy population of bisons.

Once you’re in the park, you’ll get a different view of the canyon. Both Joe and I agree that the views on the North Rim are indeed better than those on the South Rim, likely because the rocky outcrops are closer in distance.

View of the South Rim from Bright Angel Point. For those who are familiar with the South Rim, you can make out the South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails.

Unlike rains in other parts of the country, Arizona’s heavy downpour will appear out of the blue, and disappear just as quickly.

Downpour that lasted 15 minutes while we were sitting at the Grand Canyon Lodge dining room completely obscured the views.
After the rain cleared, we took the Bridle Path down to the General store located next to the campgrounds to get some lunch.
The general store has everything you could possibly need for camping, including wine and chocolate ice cream sandwiches.
After lunch at the campground (we temporarily “borrowed” someone’s reserved park bench) we went back to the Grand Canyon Lodge to check in. Instead of going back the same way we came, we took the Transept trail along the rim that offers peek-a-boo views of the canyon

After checking in, we took a scenic drive in the park that brought us to various vista points.

Point Imperial
Walhalla overlook
Look closely, and you’ll see the Colorado River (green ribbon)
Angel’s Window, almost looks like a mirror image of the state of Nevada. You can see the Colorado River through the window
We ended up at Cape Royal for sunset. With a view like this, how can one not visit the North Rim?

4 thoughts on “Grand Canyon North Rim

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