The North Rim is about 9,000 feet in elevation and many say the view is much better than the south rim which is at 8,000 feet (1,000 feet lower).  This part of the Grand Canyon is the least visited with only 10 percent of visitors to the park venturing to the North Rim.  Limited space available since restaurant and retail operations are open seasonally from May 15 to October 15 depending on when the snow flies. For example, this year, 2011, the road closed again after unexpected snow on May 17. You may want to check the road condition at http://www.az511.com/adot/files/traffic/ before going. Or easier way is ask a park ranger if you are visiting other places like grand canyon south rim.

How to get there:  There are a couple of main access roads that lead to the Grand Canyon north rim.   One road comes in from Marble Canyon on the northeast and the other comes in from the northwest from the Kanab, Utah area.  Both roads converge at Jacob Lake and then Highway 67 south takes you to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  You can click on this Grand Canyon itinerary link for more information on how to experience the Grand Canyon north rim.   

Where to stay:  You generally have three good options inside/near  Grand Canyon National Park all needed advanced reservation as limited space available.

1- Stay at the historic North Rim lodge: This place is in prime location and it's the only lodge/cabin over the edge of north rim. Needless to say, advanced reservation is required, at least several months ahead. Hear is the link http://foreverlodging.com/lodging.cfm...

 2- Stay at Kaibob Lodge (www.kaibablodge.com) 

3. Stay at Jacob Lake,(www.jacoblake.com)

Nearest town outside the park is Kanab, Utah. Stay in the Kanab area for several good reasons.   Kanab and other surrounding Utah communities are situated between five great attractions; Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, the Grand Staircase National Monument, and the Grand Canyon north rim.   This means you can stay in one place (unpack once) and go a different direction every day for five days. It is also cheaper compared to options described above but be aware of some poorly maintained hotel/motels there.Dining options limited and Page, AZ has a slightly better option. 

Map of Grand Canyon North Rim and Jacob Lake

 


How far:  From distance from Kanab to the Grand Canyon north rim is 78 miles.    Similar distances exists between Kanab and the other major attractions in the area, so it really is a central place to stay when experiencing the entire area.

What to do:  There are several different hiking trails along the Grand Canyon north rim.  You'll find three main scenic viewpoints: Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal and Point Imperial.  Bright Angel Point has a paved, half-mile round-trip trail with dramatic canyon views.  Expect to use about half a day to experience Point Imperial and Cape Royal if you are including driving, scenic pullouts, and short hikes.  At 8,803 feet, Point Imperial is the highest point at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and offers expanding vistas.   At Cape Royal you will view incredible panoramic views of the entire canyon. 

You can also hike down into the canyon.  Remember to bring plenty of water and keep in mind that you will be walking back up the trail that you descend.   You are high in elevation and unless you are physically prepared for the elevation and terrain, you should not venture to far down into the Grand Canyon.   

Remember that, part of the year, there is a one hour time difference between Utah and Arizona because Arizona does not observe daylight saving time.