VISITING THE NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON
As a place that is not visited as often as the South Rim, many tourists are unaware that the
North Rim even exists as a tourist location. The vast differences between the 2 rims of the National Park are in stark contrast with each other and visitors are often awed at the beauty of the North Rim.
Extremely different in vegetation, wildlife and temperatures, the North Rim offers tourists a completely unique and pristine experience of the Grand Canyon.
- The North Rim Visitor Center is accessible and open from mid-May to November.
- The beauty and solitude of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is usually in stark contrast to what most tourists expect to see.
With a large amount of precipitation yearly, the North Rim has evergreen forests, alpine meadows, aspen trees, maple trees and many species of wild animals. For example: Deer, bison and turkey range freely on the North Rim.
While there are farmed animals, a majority of the animals at the North Rim are wild.
Wild animals should never be approached, nor should you allow them to approach you, regardless of how tame they may appear. Many tourists have been injured thinking it was ok to feed a wild animal, please use caution around areas where wild animals are seen.
VIEWPOINTS AND VISTAS
There are many beautiful viewpoints and vistas at the North Rim. Spectacular colors, deeply etched rock caused by the heavy rains and superb plant life are all for your viewing pleasure.
- The North Rim is famous for unimpeded views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River, incredible hiking trails and excellent guided tours.
- A winding paved road takes visitors to the highest viewpoint available on either rim, at over 8,800 feet; the view from Point Imperial is impressive.
After stopping at Point Imperial – tourists who continue on the road to the end can take a 6/10ths of a mile walk on a paved path which allows for a phenomenal panorama of the Grand Canyon.
TOURS OF THE NORTH RIM
Many Ranger guided tours and activities are available – which can change on a daily basis. Check with the Visitor Center at North Rim or check with the guide you are given upon entry to North Rim for up to date scheduled activities in the area.
- Mule trips are an enjoyable tour to take while visiting the North Rim – and many other types of guided tours are available.
HIKING AND TRAILS
There are many hiking trails that are easily accessible during the open season. Be sure to wear the proper layered clothing for the variations of temperature or climate that you will find on the North Rim – as it tends to be lower in temperatures and has more rainfall than other parts of the Grand Canyon.
- Permits are required for overnight hikes and overnight camping outside of designated camping areas
Lodging at the North Rim is available inside the Park itself, at the Grand Canyon Lodge – which offers a beautiful view from the patio during good weather – and a sun room to view during inclement weather.
- Astounding thunder and lightning shows are sometimes viewable during the rainy season.
- Visitors are encouraged to use common sense as lightning and storms can cause injuries or fatalities.
While the North Rim is literally only about 10 miles directly across from the Grand Canyon South Rim, the drive to the North Rim is much longer; approximately 215 miles – and the differences between both places are awe inspiring.
- From December to mid-May the roads to the North Rim are closed to vehicles due to extreme weather conditions with no visitor facilities open during this time frame and camping is only allowed with backcountry permits.