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Most people usually visit the Grand Canyon South Rim and for good reasons. It has a larger viewing area of the Grand Canyon, and it has more services such as hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. On the other side, the Grand Canyon North Rim is closer if you’re visiting from Utah (Zion or Bryce National Parks) and don’t plan to keep traveling in Arizona. The second reason is that the North Rim is less crowded than the South Rim. The North Rim is also perfect for those who have limited time (one day is enough in order to explore the rim).

For me, the North Rim was perfect because I came from Bryce Canyon and didn’t have the time to explore the beauty of Arizona. Going to the South Rim would require me to add at least one more day (if not two) without exploring other places in Arizona. 

Grand Canyon North Rim

Pay attention- the North Rim is seasonal and ONLY open from May 15th through October 15th

Where to Stay?

Kanab- the closest town to the canyon. It’s a lovely small town where everyone knows everyone. There are plenty of things to do in the area if you have time including the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, exploring caves, and walk-through slot canyons. 

Kanab is also known as “Little Hollywood” (there’s a museum you can visit) and many western movies were filmed there. When you walk around the town, there are signs with actors and directors that were filmed in the town. Just walking around and trying to identify actors and movies you may know is a great way to explore the town. 

There are great places to stay during your visit including:

  • Holiday Inn Express
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites
  • Best Western Red Hills

At the canyon– you can stay at Grand Canyon Lodge- North Rim. The lodge is on the rim and the view is amazing. You should book in advance if you want a chance to stay there. 

Recommended Hikes at the North Rim

The Grand Canyon has plenty of hikes for everyone! If you’re short on time, I recommend choosing one of the shorter hikes such as Bright Angel Point or Transept and stopping at the viewpoints.

North Kaibab- the most popular hike at Grand Canyon North Rim. Some unique stops include Coconino Overlook (1.5 miles roundtrip from the trailhead), Supai Tunnel (4 miles roundtrip from the North Kaibab Trailhead), and Roaring Springs (9.6 miles from the trailhead). The hike difficulty considers being difficult to extremely difficult. 

Uncle Jim- The Uncle Jim Trail is 5 miles, moderate hike. The trail starts from the same place as the North Kaibab Trail parking lot. 

Bright Angel Point (8255ft)- located next to the Visitor Center. In order to get to the viewpoint, there is a short walk that begins at the visitor center parking. The trail is only half a mile round trip which I highly recommend doing.  The walk is easy and the views are absolutely spectacular! 

At the same place, you can enjoy a cup of coffee or eat your lunch at the lodge’s dining room. There’s a patio outside the lodge that everyone can enjoy. 

Grand Canyon North Rim

Transept- easy 3 miles roundtrip that connects the Grand Canyon Lodge and the North Rim Campground. There are a few beautiful viewpoints along the trail. 

Roosevelt Point- short 0.2-mile walk roughly halfway to Cape Royal. It is a great spot for a break. 

Planning a road trip? Don’t miss these guides!

Best Viewpoints!

The North Rim has only two viewpoints other than the visitor center:

Point Imperial (8803ft)-

Incredible viewpoint! This is the highest viewpoint (8803ft) and is literally breathtaking. It is a 20-minute drive with beautiful scenery. It’s a great spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. From this viewpoint, you can see Mt. Hayden, Marble Canyon, and Vermilion Cliffs. 

Cape Royal (8000ft)-

Provides panoramic view to the canyon. It’s also a popular spot to watch the sunrise and sunset. It is a 23 miles drive (one way) from the visitor center to the Cape Royal parking lot.

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