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“North Rim is much quieter, but a long drive to get there” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
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Visit Grand Canyon North Rim like an insider
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$149*
and up
Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Word of mouth has that the more remote, harder to get to and therefore less crowded North Rim offers a more authentic Canyon experience and better views. However, there is no bus service on this rim and it is closed during the winter.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“North Rim is much quieter, but a long drive to get there”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We took an 8 day trek to Western National parks in August. After about 1 hour of driving into the National Park entrance from the main road, we arrived early morning. The park is easily walkable, fairly priced (my father had a senior citizen National Park annual pass which is a great deal), and epic. There is a post office, a nice-sized store for postcards and t-shirts, and a small cafe for sandwiches. We parked near a picnic bench and had lunch very close to the edge in a wooded area. A note: I am a little afraid of heights (old silly fear that I will jump even though I don't want to die), and until you get to Angel Point there are no railings and some narrow passages with canyon on each side...not for the faint of heart and I had to talk to myself to be OK and not be a wimp with my kids.

Visited August 2012
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Ashburn, Virginia
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52 reviews 52 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“The Right Place to Get Right-Sized”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is the less-visited side of this world-famous gorge. It is uniquely configured to impress, as the first view one gets of the canyon is through the massive windows facing it from the historic Grand Canyon Lodge. One steps outside either direction onto a terrace for outdoor viewing, and for access to the hiking trails that lead to points into the area.

Heading left, one can walk a quarter-mile to Bright Angel Point, crossing a mile-deep ravine where the running river below can be heard, but not seen! Seashell fossils are clearly visible in the limestone (8,000 feet above sea level!), and the view is breathtaking! Heading the other direction down Transcept Trail leads one to campgrounds, and ultimately back to the lodge.

Food at the lodge dining hall is sumptuous and tasty. Service is efficient, friendly and polite. The lodge rents small cabins as well as rooms for those who wish to stay a day or more. There is a ranger station, gift shop and delicatessen as well.

It's a long drive to get to the North Rim, but well worth every minute and every mile. The drive itself is scenic and pleasurable. There is only one Grand Canyon in this world, as this is it. Don't miss it!

Visited September 2012
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Thomasville, Georgia
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445 reviews 445 reviews
198 attraction reviews
Reviews in 157 cities Reviews in 157 cities
337 helpful votes 337 helpful votes
“Very Dramatic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Although both rims of the canyon are unbelievably gorgeous, I actually believe the north rim to be the prettiest. It's even more dramatic and over the top than the South Rim, if that's to be believed. All stunning!

Visited November 2012
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Niceville, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“The Nicer Rim”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We camped here two nights, one in site #38 the other over on the rim in siteT03. We had a wonderful time here, beautiful campground, breathtaking views and many trails. No where near the people the south rim had, nicer bunch too. Well stocked camp store and the lodge is awesome. Critters were all over, more like home. We loved it!

Visited October 2012
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United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Have this awe inspiring spot very nearly to yourself”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

The Grand-ness of the Canyon is enhanced on the North Rim by the fact that you're not sharing it with nearly as many other travelers as you would on the south. Colloquially known as the Grim Rim by park service staff, the South Rim is the closest to civilization and thus attracts *significantly* more viewers than the North Rim.

None of us who visit the National Parks expect to have them to ourselves, but the sense of solitude on the North Rim is really something. Over the course of six days there we encountered a total of around fifteen other people, only one group were native english speakers. The point is that this park, due to it's distance from the nearest airport (Las Vegas, around 4.5 hours), will attract less visitors in general than the easier-to-visit South Rim. The visitors that we did encounter tended to be foreign tourists, who (from my own experience) are quieter and more respectful of the surroundings than the average American. There's certainly nothing wrong with loud conversation or studied ironic indifference in the right circumstances - but to me the Canyon calls for quiet, respectful viewing. The whole point of visiting the canyon is to have one's breath taken away; to be forced to consider one's own smallness in the grand scheme of things and one's utter insignificance in geologic terms. Boorish interruption at such a moment quickly degrades the quality of the experience, lucky for you that you'll be exceedingly unlikely to encounter such an interruption on the North Rim.

Both the cabins and the campgrounds are excellent and situated (for the most part) within view of the edge of the canyon. There are some cabins which actually provide a full sunrise or sunset view while lying in bed!

The North Kaibab trail (which leads down to the river) is absolutely amazing. In many places it's a shelf-style trail blasted out of solid sandstone and/or limestone, you can still see the holes drilled for blasting and the radiating fractures that occurred when the blasts went off. There are points where the drop off the side of the trail is several hundred feet, and there are no guard rails anywhere. This isn't to say that it's a dangerous walk - I didn't find it to be such - only that you want to be sure footed and not scared of heights if you're going to do it. Oh, and that you're capable of climbing back out! This is the steepest hike out I've ever done, and while it wasn't quite a "death march" this was only because we planned an entire day for the trip. If you were in a hurry at the end of an afternoon it might feel different. I'd suggest a hike down to the Cottonwood campsite for the night (try for a full moon night, wow!) and then hiking back out the next morning. Trying to go down and back up in one day is too much effort and not enough time down in the canyon. For those not inclined to hike down and up, there are a number of plateau-top hikes which are almost flat and which lead to absolutely spectacular viewpoints of the canyon from it's edge. Some of them are paved and short (Bright Angel Point), some are longer and dirt (Transept, Widforss, Cape Final), take a picnic lunch and bottle of wine!

Please pack out everything you packed in along with any other trash you happen to spot, and know that there are no fires allowed anywhere in the park.

Altogether, I think that this is in my top five national parks experiences. I would highly, highly recommend a visit.

Visited November 2012
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