Grand Canyon East Rim Travel Guide

Grand Canyon East Rim

The East Rim of Grand Canyon commonly referred to as Marble Canyon, is located 2.5 hours northeast of Grand Canyon Village and less than 2 hours from the North Rim.  Although part of Grand Canyon National Park it is technically Marble Canyon (not the Grand Canyon) until you reach Nankoweap further down the Colorado River.  Marble Canyon starts at Lee's Ferry, which is also the jumping off point for multi-day whitewater rafting trips through the Park. 

This quiet and picturesque section of Northern Arizona is paralleled by Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and has great recreational opportunities for those who seek solitude. Visitors will not find the quintessential Grand Canyon Vistas at Marble Canyon, but the scenery is still amazing and there is a very raw feeling of nature due to the lack of people and infrastructure. For adventure seekers this is definitely a great area. Marble Canyon's Rim lies at about 3,600 feet in elevation, half that of the South Rim.  This lower elevation leads to scorching temperatures in the summer, but very pleasant weather the rest of the year, including the winter season. Read the guide below to learn more or check out our East Rim map to see all the East Rim destinations and attractions.

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East Rim Destinations and Activities

Lee’s Ferry

The most popular activities that take place in Marble Canyon start at Lee’s Ferry.  Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting through the Grand Canyon all the way to Lake Mead are a classic canyon adventure. While Rafters cruise down the canyon, fishing guides and other fisherman usually head up river into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  Backpackers with proper permits will end an awesome hike through Paria Canyon and history buffs can explore the old homestead.

Marble Canyon

More adventurous sportsman will hike down one of several side canyons to reach a more remote fishing hole within Marble Canyon.  Hikers will also have a great time here with some awesome day hikes and backpacks to the Colorado River, as well as shorter hikes that head inland through some fascinating geology.  If you have a 4X4 you can actually drive right out to the rim of the Canyon and set-up camp without another soul in sight.

Vermillion Cliffs

Vermillion Cliffs are the dramatic back drop of this area and home to three lodge that offer accommodations and great food.  These are old school lodges that still have character, as well as some characters that run them. There is also a Fly Fishing Outfitter, and a place to gas up for those heading up to the Grand Canyon's North Rim or Southern Utah. Hikers to want to check out seldom visited trails or head off-trail will love exploring Vermillion Cliffs.

Guru Tips for Exploring the East Rim

The East Rim (Marble Canyon) is a very unique part of Grand Canyon National Park. Nearby the North Rim, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon also offer some awesome tourist attractions and unique experiences. Here’s a couple tips for making the most of the East Rim.

Reserve your hotel or campground in advance

  • Although it's not as busy as the South Rim, East Rim Lodging options are limited so it's a good idea to book in advance. Check out our East Rim Hotel guide to learn more or make reservations for your East Rim adventure.
  • For car camping reservations at the canyon and other nearby parks go to
  • Another great option to explore the canyon and other nearby attractions is to rent an RV. Outdoorsy has a ton of options from camper vans to larger RVs.

Book a tour or ticket before you get to the canyon

  • A guided tour is a great way to really experience the Grand Canyon and having a reservation means you won't have to worry about finding activities when your on vacation. 
  • Learn more about tours with our complete list of Grand Canyon Guided Tours.

Get geared up

  • Make sure you have the right gear for your trip. From launching a rafting trip at Lee's Ferry to fly fishing on the Colorado River good gear is essential.
  • We’re definitely gear junkies here at the Grand Canyon Guru. Check out our recommended gear for our favorite canyon-ready clothing, travel bags and outdoor gear as well as rental options to outfit your trip. 

More resources for your East Rim trip

  • It always a good idea to have travel insurance for your trip. Check out rates and get travel insurance before you head to the canyon.
  • If you need more booking options for hotels, rental cars, flights, tours and tickets just check out our Grand Canyon reservations page.
  • Take a look at our featured tour and recommended East Rim lodging below and learn more about East Rim Visitor Centers, locations and more.
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Antelope Canyon Ticket

Featured Self-Guided Tour - Lower Antelope Canyon 

Lower Antelope Canyon is an amazing slot canyon near Page, AZ. Get your ticket today for this popular self-drive tour, from $57 on Viator.

Grand Canyon East Rim

East Rim Lodging -Top 3 Marble Canyon Hotels

Grand Canyon's East Rim (Marble Canyon) has 3 classic lodges to choose from and they all make a great basecamp. Rooms start at $60 a night.

East Rim Visitor Centers

Lee’s Ferry Visitor Center

Lee's Ferry is the official start of Grand Canyon and is where all river trips put their boats on the water for the big adventure ahead. You can drive into the area's large parking lot adjacent to the boat ramp and touch the waters of the Colorado River. The official park visitor center is rarely open these days but there is a park ranger office adjacent to the boat ramp parking lot if you need immediate assistance. The better option for getting general area information is the nearby Navajo Bridge Visitor Center.

Lee’s Ferry Visitor Center: Hours, Address and Location

  • Season: Area is open year-round. Visitor Center is rarely open.
  • Address: Located on Highway 89A 45 miles southwest of Page Arizona and 62 miles southeast of the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.  
  • Parking: There is a large parking lot at the boat ramp that can accommodate large RVs and trailers.
  • Hours: Area is open 24 hours.

Navajo Bridge Visitor Center

The Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center is now the official visitor center for the Lee's Ferry area and is conveniently located on Highway 89-ALT. Visitor center staff can provide area information and maps and there is a bookstore for those looking to buy gifts as well. The most popular attraction at the site is the self-guided walk across the Navajo Bridge where you can gaze down to the Colorado River below. California condors frequently perch on the lower part of the bridge where they can rest in the shade.

Navajo Bridge Visitor Center: Hours, Address and Location

  • Season: Open April-October.
  • Address: Highway 89-ALT on west side of Navajo Bridge.
  • Parking: There is a parking lot adjacent to the Visitor Center.
  • Hours: Open 9am-5pm.

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