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North Rim of Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon North Rim offers breathtaking views of towering cliffs, deep canyons and stunning sunrises, offering something for everyone. 

With only 10 percent of the annual Grand Canyon visitors making their way to the North Rim, it is underrated. 

With complete tranquility, the North Rim offers a less crowded and serene ambiance when compared to the South Rim. 

North Rim offers everything you need, from unrivaled views of the Canyon to adventurous hiking trails and kayaking options. 

It is home to some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the Grand Canyon, making it a picture-perfect spot.

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, plan a trip to the Grand Canyon North Rim and get ready to take in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world!

Best Grand Canyon North Rim tickets

How to Reach Grand Canyon North Rim 

How to Reach Grand Canyon North Rim
Image: Nps.gov

The easiest way to get to the North Rim is by car or by flying into Las Vegas and drive to the North Rim. 

There are shuttle services available from Las Vegas and Flagstaff that can shuttle you to the North Rim. 

You can also take the Amtrak line from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon Railway Station, then take a shuttle to the North Rim. 

Distance between North and South Rim of Grand Canyon

The North Rim is 20 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

It is a 5 hours drive of 220 miles between the two entrances of the Grand Canyon. 

If you plan to hike to the other Rim, getting to the other side takes 8 to 14 hours. 

Visitors traveling from the South Rim can also take the Trans-Canyon shuttle, which takes 8 hours to get from the South Rim to the North Rim.

Map of North Rim of Grand Canyon 

When visiting, ensure that you carry the North Rim of Grand Canyon map. 

This makes sightseeing and getting around the Rim easier. 

The map highlights all the hiking trails, major viewpoints, service centers, amenities and more. 

North Rim of Grand Canyon weather

The size and altitude of North Rim Grand anyon influence the region’s weather. 

North Rim is the coolest and Wettest Region of the Grand Canyon. 

Located 8297 feet (2529 m) above sea level, the North Rim is the wettest weather station in Grand Canyon. 

Due to the high elevation, the coldest temperature recorded in North Rim is -22°F.

With an average of 25.8″ of rainfall, it is the wettest location in the Grand Canyon. 

Winter is rough in the North Rim of Grand Canyon.

North Rim records the highest snowfall, with an average of 142″ inches. 

Due to the high snowfall, the North Rim remains closed during the winter from Mid-October to Mid-March.

While the winters and monsoons are heavy, summer and spring are very pleasant in the North Rim. 

The temperature at North Rim of Grand Canyon

The maximum temperature at North Rim of Grand Canyon is 77°F (25°C) during July.

The lowest temperature of 37°F (-9°C) is recorded during January. 

The average temperature on the North Rim by month is given below.

MonthTemperature
January 37°F (3°C) 
February 39°F (4°C) 
March 44°F (7°C) 
April53°F (12°C)
May 62°F (17°C)
June73°F (23°C)
July 77°F (25°C)
August75°F (24°C)
September 69°F (21°C)
October 59°F (15°C)
November 46°F (8°C)
December40°F (4°C)

Hotels at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

If you want to stay at the North Rim of Grand Canyon, several lodging options are available. 

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim is the only in-park lodging option. 

The lodge also consists of a restaurant, a gift shop and a recreation area with a pool and game room. 

Other nearby lodging options include Kaibab Lodge and Jacob Lake Inn,  located less than an hour from the North Rim. 

Camping on North Rim of Grand Canyon

The North Rim campground, operated by the National Park Service, costs $18 to $25 per night.

However, tourists should note that there are no hookup services available. 

The campground features a theater, park ranger programs and access to Bridle Path and Transept Trail. 

The service station is open from 8 am to 5 pm and offers pay-at-the-pump, gas and diesel services. 

You can also find a general store for groceries, gifts, camping supplies, ATM and Wi-Fi.

The Backcountry Information Center is open daily from 8 am to noon and 1 pm to 5 pm. 

You can get information, hiking maps, overnight backcountry permits, drinking water, and restroom here. 

Other campgrounds near North Rim of Grand Canyon are 

  • DeMotte Campground
  • Jacob Lake Campground
  • Kaibab Camper Village 
  • Dispersed Camping

Note: The campground is open only from Mid-March to Mid-October. 

However, Backcountry hiking is allowed if you get a permit. 

Best Viewpoints of Grand Canyon North Rim

Millions of tourists go to the Grand Canyon to witness the masterpiece carved by the Colorado River. 

The Grand Canyon North Rim houses some of the best viewpoints in the Grand Canyon. 

Bright Angel Point

Grand Canyon North Rim bright angel point
Image: Nps.gov

Bright Angel Trail is the signature hiking trail of the Grand Canyon, which descends steeply into the floors of the Canyon.

This hiking trail offers the best view of Grand Canyon north rim. 

This trail is renowned for backpacking and long-distance hiking past the Grand Canyon corridor.

You can also try Backcountry Camping along the trails at the Bright Angel Campground.

If you want a hike filled with switchbacks and scenic views unfolding at every turn, then the Bright Angel Trail is your perfect match.

Cape Royal

Grand canyon North Rim Cape Royal
Image: Nps.gov

Cape Royal is located at a breathtaking 8,000 feet and is the southernmost view on the North Rim. 

It offers an unparalleled panoramic view of the Grand Canyon.

Those who make the 23-mile trek to this scenic spot will be rewarded with stunning sights and tranquility amongst nature.  

Point Imperial

Starting from the Visitor Center, an 11-mile journey will take you to Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint in the park, situated at 8,803 feet. 

From this location, cherish the opportunity to observe Mt. Hayden, Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon and the area impacted by the 2000 outlet wildfire. 

In addition, there are picnic tables at the point and an informational sign that explains the region’s geology.

North Rim Grand Canyon activities

North Rim offers a lot of exciting activities for all kinds of visitors. 

Whether you are looking for a calm weekend getaway or visit Grand Canyon for an adventurous adrenaline-pumping vacation, there is something for everyone. 

Hiking at North Rim Grand Canyon

The North Rim section of the Grand Canyon offers 12 hikes, ranging from easy strolls to more strenuous hikes. 

These hiking trails offer many scenic viewpoints to stop by. 

The North Rim hiking trails, distance and the time taken to cover the trail are listed below. 

TrailDistanceTime (approx)
Roosevelt Point Trail0.2 mile (0.3km) roundtrip20 minutes 
Bright Angel Point Trail0.5 miles (0.8km) roundtrip30 minutes 
Cape Royal Trail & Angel’s Window Detour0.8 mile (1.3km) roundtrip30 minutes 
Cliff Spring Trail0.8 mile (1.3km) roundtrip1 hour 
Birdie Path1.9 miles (3.1km) one way1.5 hours 
Transept Trail2 miles (3.2 km) one way 1.5 hours 
Cape Final Trail4.2 miles (6.8km) roundtrip2 hours 
Uncle Jim Trail4.7 miles (7.6km) roundtrip3 hours 
Widforss Trail9.6 miles (15.5km) roundtrip6 hours 
Ken Patrick Trail9.8 miles (15.8km) one way 6 hours 
Arizona Trail12.1 miles (19.5km) one way 7-8 hours 
North Kaibab Trail14.2 miles (22.9 km) one way 7-8 hours

Mule Ride at North Rim Grand Canyon

Experience the Grand Canyon like never before by riding a gentle mule along the North Rim of Grand Canyon. 

A one-hour mule ride will take you around the Kaibab Forest.

A three-hour ride descends 2300 feet into the canyon and takes you to the Supai Tunnel. 

Also, you can take the three-hour trip to Uncle Jim’s Point along the Ken Patrick Trail for a day of adventure. 

All rides are accompanied by experienced guides, and the mules are chosen for their steady footing and calm demeanor. 

Helicopter tours

Exploring the North Rim of Grand Canyon by helicopter is an unforgettable experience. 

Take in the breathtaking views of the canyon walls from the air, including the red and pink sandstone cliffs, vast plateaus and the meandering Colorado River. 

The tour will take you to iconic locations like Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal and Point Imperial. 

Fly over the vast expanse of the Kaibab National Forest and observe wildlife such as the endangered California condor, bighorn sheep and elk. 

The tour can be tailored to your preferences.

You can fly to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley, too.

Polaris Ranger or ATV

Grand Canyon North Rim ATV
Image: Nps.gov

Head out on an adventure with the North Rim Polaris Ranger, a powerful, off-road vehicle capable of taking you to remote locations. 

It has a strong engine, a strong suspension and all-terrain tires for extra grip in different terrains. 

It can accommodate up to 1,500 pounds of cargo, so you can bring what you need for your journey. 

You’ll be secure while exploring the great outdoors with comfortable seating and a roll cage. 

Try a 4×4 trail through Whitmore Canyon and Lake Mead Recreation Area to the rim of the Grand Canyon, to see the landscape from 3,000 feet above the Colorado River.

Things to remember when visiting North Rim

When visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, it is important to keep a few things in mind. 

  • The North Rim is closed from Oct 16 to March 15 due to extreme weather conditions. 
  • The North Rim is open from May 15th through October 15th. Visitors should plan to make sure they have the best experience possible. 
  • The North Rim is typically much less crowded than the South Rim, so visitors should plan their trip accordingly. 
  • The North Rim is 8,000 feet higher than the South Rim, making it a much cooler climate. It is essential to dress appropriately for cooler temperatures. 
  • Camping is allowed on the North Rim, but permits are required. It is essential to check with the National Park Service before setting up camp. 
  • Hiking is a popular activity at the North Rim, but visitors should know the terrain and weather conditions before embarking on a hike. 
  • Wildlife can be seen in the area, so visitors should be prepared to encounter animals. 
  • Visitors should also be aware of their environmental impact and take steps to minimize their presence. 
  • Always abide by the park rules and regulations to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable visit.

FAQs

Which is better North or South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon’s North and South Rims provide breathtaking views and distinctive experiences. 

South Rim is the most popular rim of the Grand Canyon that offers the best view of other rims due to its lower elevation. 

It has more developed hiking trails, observatory points and amenities like hotels and food.

The North Rim offers a more private experience with rugged hiking trails, wilderness and fewer tourists.

The decision between the two rims depends upon the preferences and priorities of the visitor.

When is the North Rim of Grand Canyon closed?

North Rim is closed from mid-October to mid-May.

The North Rim has a higher elevation when compared to the South Rim and experiences a rough winter. 

The Rim is closed due to heavy snowfall and challenging driving conditions during the winter.

However, North Rim is open for backcountry camping during the winter.

Why is North Rim closed during winter?

The Grand Canyon North Rim faces snowfall and dangerous driving conditions throughout the winter. 

The North Rim faces a higher elevation than the South Rim, which makes it more vulnerable to rough winter weather.

Can you enter Grand Canyon North Rim?

Visitors may indeed access the Grand Canyon North Rim. 

Unfortunately, due to snowfall and road closures in the winter, access to the North Rim is only possible during the summer from mid-May to mid-October.
 
Visitors must also pay an admission charge to enter the park.

Is the Grand Canyon North Rim open now?

The Grand Canyon North Rim is open for tourists during Summer and Spring from May 15 to October 15. 

Tourists can not enter North Rim during the winter from mid-October to mid-Marc.

How crowded is North Rim Grand Canyon?

The North Rim is generally more isolated and lacks services compared to other rims.

While 5 million visitors annually make their way to the Grand Canyon, only 1 million visit the North Rim. 

During peak season (May to September), the North Rim gets substantial crowds along prominent views and trails, during peak season (May to September). 

It is advised to book your tours and activities in advance for a more comfortable experience.

Is North Rim Grand Canyon worth visiting?

The North Rim is a unique and stunning location for nature enthusiasts due to its greater height, colder weather and more varied wildlife.

In contrast to the busy South Rim, it provides a more private and tranquil experience, with breathtaking canyon views with fewer visitors. 

Tourists enjoy the wild hiking trails, rugged paths and backcountry camping grounds in North Rim. 

Hence North Rim is worth visiting. 

Which side of the Grand Canyon is less touristy?

The Grand Canyon’s North Rim is typically thought to be less touristy when compared to the South Rim.

 This is because the North Rim offers fewer tourist attractions and activities. 
This Rim is remote and more challenging to reach. 

However, 1 million tourists go to North Rim to enjoy the scenic views and wilderness with thin crowds. 

What is the best month to visit Grand Canyon North Rim?

The best time to visit the North Rim of Grand Canyon is from May to September. 

The North Rim is open during this time and has a lot of activities to participate in. 

The daytime temperatures are pleasant and crowds are also thin.  

How cold does it get at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon?

North Rim is the coldest region of the Grand Canyon. 

The lowest temperatures are recorded from November to February ranging from 8°C to 4°C. 

During January, the average temperature drops between 2°C to 3°C, making it the coldest month. 

Grand Canyon North Rim recorded the lowest temperature of -30°C in 1985.

Featured Image: Joecho-16 / Getty Images Pro

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