Grand Canyon National Park is visited by millions of people on the south rim and only by thousands of people on the north rim. We often visit the south rim in the winter when there are fewer visitors. The north rim is only open from May till October each year as it is 1,000 feet higher in elevation and facilities are not winterized as they are at the south rim. This year the north rim did not open till July due to heavy snow and water pipeline issues.
Wow, what spectacular sights of the canyon from the north rim! No words can adequately describe it so I have included photos. Hiking the short Bright Angel Point trail is a must for everyone, unless you are concerned about edges and altitude. If so, then hang out on the back deck behind the main lodge to catch canyon views from there.
Another must-do is to drive the Cape Royal Road. Plan at least 3 hours to drive its length and stop along the way. I cannot imagine not stopping at Point Imperial, the highest point at 8803 feet, on the north rim. Here you can view the eastern end of the Grand Canyon. Continue your drive, stopping at various vistas along the way to the end of Cape Royal Road where you can hike to Angels Window.
Our favorite vista was Roosevelt’s Point where we hiked the trail. Each vista has something different to check out. As a result 3 hours may not be enough time for your visit, so start early in the day to make this drive and to enjoy all the views. We were on the road by 9:30am and back to the main lodge on the rim at 3:30pm to enjoy a beer we bought at the saloon. A great day!
Another day, another trail!
We had never hiked the Transect Trail so we checked it out on another day. It is an easy trail except we got caught in a monsoon rain storm and spent time at the campground’s general store. Our plan was to hike the Bridle Trail back to the main lodge area. Fortunately a very kind couple drove us back the short distance and we did not have to be on the muddy trail in the pouring rain. (We had our raincoats, snacks, water and wore low hikers, but we would have been drenched … we appreciated the ride!)
We stayed in a frontier cabin. There are larger cabins available called the western cabins. Reservations need to be made ahead of your visit. Even the campground is fully booked. Dinner reservations are needed, but not for breakfast or lunch at the main lodge. We enjoyed some ranger programs and watching the rain, thunder and lightning storms roll across the canyon. It is important to be hydrated and to know the weather prediction as you do not want to be caught out on a trail unprepared! Someday I hope you visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon!