The Grand Canyon Area Travel Guide is a resource for those planning to visit Grand Canyon National Park and other locations in and around the Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona. The area features diverse outdoor recreation and some of the world's most spectacular sightseeing.
(Right: Angels Window on the North Rim)
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South Rim |
Inner Canyon |
North Rim |
Toroweap Overlook |
Havasu Canyon |
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Grand Canyon National Park - North Rim
The more remote North Rim of
Grand Canyon National Park
offers quite a different experience than the South Rim. It is much less crowded (only 10% of park visitors), and the higher elevation, typically 1,000 feet high than the South Rim, produces a much thicker forest composed of firs and aspen. The nearest town, Jacob Lake, is 42 miles north of the North Rim village, with mostly undeveloped forests between. Thus, at the North Rim you have the feeling of being in a remote, less-commercialized place. Scenic highway-67 from Jacob Lake closes from November to early May due to snow, dictating the North Rim's visitor season.
Services are very limited at the North Rim, including a lodge, visitor center with bookstore, campground, and restaurant. Additional services are available seasonally in the Kaibab National Forest, 18 miles north of the rim, and at Jacob Lake. Extensive services are available in the town of Kanab, Utah, approximately 80 miles north of the rim. The national forest also has a pretty good network of dirt roads which allows access to exciting hiking areas in the western Grand Canyon, most notably the Deer Creek Falls / Thunder River area. The North Rim is the starting point for the popular but strenuous North Kaibab Trail into the Inner Canyon.
There is no public transportation reaching the North Rim. There is a seasonal shuttle service between the North and South Rims. Call 928-638-2820 for information and reservations. There is also a for-fee shuttle from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Kaibab trailhead.
The North Rim village area is located on Bright Angel Peninsula, a narrow promontory between Roaring Springs Canyon and the Transept, both short side canyons entering Bright Angel Canyon whose creek is a major tributary of the Colorado River. Therefore there are fewer convenient views of the main Grand Canyon. You need to do some hiking or driving to access the spectacular Inner Canyon views. The photo at left was taken near Bright Angel Point below Grand Canyon Lodge. It shows Bright Angel Canyon running towards the Colorado River. The South Rim is in the distance.
Grand Canyon North Rim map with all facilities.
Other Grand Canyon National Park maps.
North Rim Activities.
Viewing the canyon. By far the most common visitor activity is viewing the canyon from the various vista points. Views of the main Grand Canyon are less easily accessed around the North Rim. There are excellent views of Bright Angel Canyon
from Bright Angel Point, a short walk from the lodge. The best roadside vistas are available on the Cape Royal Road which runs east off the main highway just north of the village to Cape Royal on the Walhalla Plateau, a total of 20 miles one way. About five miles along, there is a short turnoff to Point Imperial overlook which faces more towards the east and the Painted Desert. The plateau juts much farther into the main canyon with closer views including the river. From the end of the road there are short walks to Cape Royal (closest point to river) and Angels Window, a natural stone window with a spectacular vista behind it.
The adventurous might try the road to aptly-named Point Sublime. The 17-mile rough, rutted dirt road rquires a high clearance or four-wheel drive vehicle, and is accessible only during dry weather. The vista provides views of the canyon to the west of the North Rim area.
Taking a hike. Very easy hikes on the Bright Angel Peninsula include the Bright Angel Point trail below the lodge (0.5 mile and paved) and the Transept trail which runs through the woods and along the rim from the lodge to the campground (1.5 miles each way) - convenient if you're staying in the campground and want to eat at the lodge. There are several easy trails off the Cape Royal Road: Cape Final (4-mile round trip to a vista), Cape Royal (0.6-mile round trip to Cape Royal and Angels Window), Roosevelt Point (0.2-mile round trip through woods to a vista), Cliff Springs (1-mile round trip across a meadow to a springs), and Walhalla Ruins (short walk to Indian ruins site). More challenging is the Wildforss Trail (10-mile round trip), trailhead near Pt. Sublime turnoff, which winds around south end of Transept. For more details, see the
NPS Grand Canyon Day Hiking Guide.
Bookstores and other services. Services are limited at the North Rim. The park service visitor center is located next to the lodge and has a bookstore / gift shop. Grand Canyon Lodge also has a gift shop, as well as a snack bar and restaurant. There is a camper store and camper services building near the campground.
Participate in a ranger program. The park service offers a variety of interpretive programs. Check the current schedule at the information center.
Inner Canyon Activities.
There are various ways of accessing the Inner Grand Canyon, all of them exciting and most of them quite strenuous. These include hiking, mule rides, river rafting, and air tours. See our Inner Canyon Guide for more information.
Lodging and Camping.
North Rim and Nearby Camping
North Rim and Nearby Lodging
Note: Some of the links in this guide are to publications in PDF format. The PDF's can only be viewed or printed using
Adobe Acrobat Reader (available free, online).
Grand Canyon Area Travel Guide Index
Guides to Nearby Destinations
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