Remember to check the schedule for the North Rim -- open May 15 - October 15 only!
To me this place seemed fairly laid back, though typical of a national park the visitor's center parking can get crowded. I heard many people say (though I've never been to the South Rim) that the North Rim is much less crowded and quieter.
From the visitor area there is a short (less than 1 mile out and back) paved trail, Bright Angel Point Trail. It is relatively easy, though there are some pretty sharp ascents and descents, and takes you out to a point with (according to one of the Rangers) one of the best views of the canyon. But this little trail is absolutely recommended. There are all kinds of places to scramble for amazing vantage points -- every one seemingly different. If you like standing out on sheer points looking out over empty space, there are plenty of places for that. I could have spent the whole day here. If you are at the North Rim visitor's area I highly recommend checking this out. For me, this was the first place I really saw the Grand Canyon so it was absolutely unforgettable.
The lodge restaurant was good eating and not really overpriced (at least the lunch menu) like you might expect.
The Rough Rider Saloon was a must-stop for a coffee or adult beverage.
Drive out to Imperial Point and Cape Royal. Allow plenty of time at Cape Royal... there are trails out to at least two (maybe three) different overlooks and numerous side trails for exploring the rim... again, this is a place where I probably could have spent an entire day.
Beautiful 300 degree view from Bright Angel Point. Worth the .5 walk. Very doable trail but no handrails and several drop offs.
Not as spectacular as the South Rim but if you are travelling that side it is worth the visit. If you wanted to stay close, the cabins look wonderful. Found it not as busy as the South Rim. Saw a herd of buffalo driving in which added to the adventure.
This place is AWESOME! It's gorgeous. We hit the North Rim first and a storm was moving through. People were complaining because the usual picturesque views were gone. I was excited because we got to see a different side of the canyon than they typical photos found until.
The South Rim was cleared of weather by the time we got there and simply beautiful.
The North Rim gets high marks for being off the beaten path of most tourists. If you're looking for some amazing vistas without the crowds this is your best bet. We took the five mile hike on the Cape Final Trail. It was a pleasant hike through the Kaibab National Forest with some amazing outlooks. But we decided we might have enjoyed the Canyon more if we'd had time to take a few longer hikes into it. Overall a pleasant detour.
A bit too full of tourists for my taste. But still a gorgeous side of the park.
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Grand Canyon National Park - North Rim
- Wed: 6:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Thu: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Sun: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
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