We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

North or South Rim?

Tallahassee, Florida
3 posts
1 review
Save Topic
North or South Rim?

I have 5 days to do some sight seeing with my 3 boys ages 12, 14 and 17. I want to get as much in as possible. Arriving in Las Vegas on a Sunday at noon and need to be back by Friday night. I booked two nights at the Maswik Lodge but now I realize how much there is to see up around the Utah area. Is it even possible to do the loop in 5 days? Should I focus in on one or two areas?

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,376 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: North or South Rim?

Welcome to TA!!

What month is your trip and what two nights of your 5 did you book at Maswik?

SJG

Tallahassee, Florida
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: North or South Rim?

Landing in Vegas am of 6/6 leaving am of 6/12 . Reservation for Maswik is 6/ 8 and 6/9 but I'm no dead set on staying there.

South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,376 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: North or South Rim?

I think I would move your Grand Canyon reservation to either the beginning or end of your trip, not the middle!

You have plenty of time to do this since you are planning so early!

You can than try something like this:

day 1....6/6 fly into Vegas, drive to Zion stay 2 nights

6/8 drive to Page, AZ 2 nights

6/10 Grand Canyon 2 nights!

If you are planning on driving back to Vegas for your flight out on 6/12 you can eliminate a night at Page. You can also reverse this itinerary giving you a shorter drive back to Vegas from Zion.

SJG

Edited: 1:49 pm, June 19, 2014
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
55,766 posts
225 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: North or South Rim?

The south rim has much more to see and do, as well as more and better facilities for visitors. You'll get much more out of your time there than you would at the north rim. Save NR for a future visit.

Prescott, Arizona
Level Contributor
20 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: North or South Rim?

Yes, what RR said. The south rim is much better for a first time experience. And the kids won't get bored either. You can rent bicycles there, at the main visitor center. They also have rim mule rides which are less involved than the old (now discontinued) rides down into the canyon to Plateau Point and back. Make sure you take the shuttle bus tour westward from the Bright Angel trail head area, out to Hermit Rest and back. The bus makes 8 stops along the way and you can hop off, check out the views, etc and catch the next bus (15 minutes apart, all day long) and go to the next one. The kids will love the views from Trail View vista (1st stop) where you can go down the stairway out to the dramatic view point. If they are up for taking a trail hike, there are two that I'd recommend. Go down the South Kaibab trail as far as Ooh Ah point and back (about 1.5 miles round trip, no water so carry your own) or go down the Bright angel as far as the 1.5 mile rest house and return (3 mile round trip, water available at the rest house, but still each person should carry some). Honestly, the south rim area is good for a solid 2 day visit!

Edited: 3:38 pm, June 19, 2014
Dallas, Texas
Destination Expert
for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
Level Contributor
25,265 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: North or South Rim?

We loved the South Rim took a lot of great pics.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,673 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: North or South Rim?

I love the North Rim. There is plenty to keep you busy there for two days. It may not have all the museums and viewpoints, and shuttles, but it has some beautiful views and is my idea of a national park rather than the disneyland type atmosphere that you can get at the south rim.

It is also easily enjoyed in conjunction with Zion and Bryce, so five days would be a good amount of time. 2 days for Zion, 1 for Bryce and 2 for the north rim.

And btw, I love the south rim as well,,,but the north rim holds my heart.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
55,766 posts
225 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: North or South Rim?

I love you Kbec, but Disneyland at the south rim? Hardly...

There are no lines for anything at the south rim, except ice cream.

Edited: 11:22 pm, June 19, 2014
Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
1,750 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: North or South Rim?

Kbecjeans, I'm inclined to agree with you about the atmosphere of South Rim. In a 2009 trip report, I called it the "Disney World of National Parks". Disneyland...Disney World...I won't quibble. On average, more than 10,000 people a day visit the South Rim, and they're concentrated in the areas a first time visitor should see.

Having said that, I'm still with the group that suggests the South Rim. Yogi Berra's "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." notwithstanding, I think the North Rim is best appreciated once one has a feel for what GCNP is like -- and it's easier to figure that out at the South Rim. Also, if I may use a stereotype, the three boys will probably enjoy an area that offers more distractions than "mere" nature.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,673 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: North or South Rim?

<<Disneyland at the south rim? Hardly...>>

:-)

Well, I haven't been to Disneyland lately, so can't compare today's reality, but what I meant by that was it is built to handle lots of people, and lots of people do show up.

If they had longer time, or if they were going to combine it with Sedona (which is certainly a great idea) then the South rim would work better logistically. But if they want to see Zion and Bryce then the North rim, imo, is a viable and wonderful option. (and for what it is worth I was young when I was first taken to see it, as were my own children and we never felt any depravation for having visited the North Rim only. )