grand canyon NORTH RIM

North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon North Rim

The North Rim is the quiet side of Grand Canyon National Park.  Only ten miles from the South Rim as the crow flies, its takes 4 hours driving time to get to the North Rim from Grand Canyon Village.  The North Rim is on average 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim resulting in a very different ecosystem. This higher elevation also results in higher snowfall, which closes the North Rim from the first major snowstorm (usually in late November) until May 15th.  Facilities at the North Rim are open May 15th through October 15th every year.

The North Rim is a great place for those looking for more solitude on their Grand Canyon vacation.  This part of the Canyon really feels like a National Park, and is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the other side.  The North Rims alpine like environment is more reminiscent of a drive through the mountains than a trip to Arizona.  Towering Ponderosa Pines, Aspen Groves, and beautiful meadows will greet visitors here, alongside a laid back atmosphere. There is only one North Rim lodging option inside the Park, but there are two other options between the North Rim and Jacob Lake.  There are a few tour guides and fewer scheduled activities, but for those of you who love to hike the canyon and explore one of the seven wonders of the world without mobs of people around, you're heading to the right place. Read the guide below to learn more.

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North Rim Destinations

Kaibab National Forest

From Jacob Lake, AZ you'll follow highway 67 on a one-way trip to the North Rim.  Kaibab National Forest parallels the highway on both sides all the way to the park entrance station.  There are many dirt access roads into the National Forest where you can find some great Grand Canyon vistas, campsites, and access backcountry trails into Grand Canyon National Park. A drive along highway 67 will also bring you to the Kaibab Lodge and Demotte Campground, the only developed camping and lodging close to the park if the North Rim lodge or North Rim campground are full. 

Point Imperial and Cape Royal

After the North Entrance Station you can access two scenic paved roads to Point Imperial and Cape Royal before you reach North Rim Village. These are some great scenic viewpoints, as well as a fun short hike to the rim.

North Rim Village

If you continue on highway 67, you'll reach North Rim Village, the hub of Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim. Here you'll find the North Rim Lodge, campground and Visitor Center. You’ll also find services like gift shops, stores and a gas station.  Although the North Rim has less visitation, there is no shortage of activities for the more adventurous Grand Canyon explorer.  Hiking is awesome from the North Rim and includes the North Kaibab trail, where backpackers start or end an epic Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike.  There are also limitless backroads to explore, including the 4X4 road to Point Sublime, one of the most scenic viewpoints in Grand Canyon National Park.

Guru Tips for Exploring the North Rim

The North Rim is the quiet side of the Grand Canyon and one of our favorite Grand Canyon destinations. The North Rim is a great place to hike, camp, explore and find solitude. Here’s a couple tips for making the most of a North Rim visit.

Reserve your hotel or campground in advance

  • Lodging on the North Rim is limited and can book up more than a year in advance. Check out our North Rim Hotel guide to learn more or make reservations for your North Rim adventure.
  • For car camping reservations on the North Rim and at other nearby parks go to recreation.gov. If the campsites you want are booked, we love Campnab to help find reservations at sold-out campgrounds.
  • 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 before you travel since there’s not a ton of options at the park.
  • 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 North 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 North Rim hotel below and learn more about North Rim Visitor Centers, locations and more.

Destinations

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Recommended Tour - South to North Rim Scenic Flight

Experience a birds-eye view of the canyon on this 45-minute Grand Canyon South Rim to North Rim Helicopter Flight, from $279 on Viator.

Best North Rim Hotel -The North Rim Lodge

This Popular lodging option is inside Grand Canyon National Park right on the North Rim. Rooms and Cabins start at $113 a night.

North Rim Visitor Centers

Grand Canyon North Rim Visitor Center

As the only visitor center on the North Rim, this visitor center serves as a one-stop-shop for all visitor North Rim needs. Here visitors can speak with a park ranger, view exhibits about Grand Canyon, get trail information and obtain backcountry permits, and purchase books and gift items from the Grand Canyon Association Park Store. A short walk to Bright Angel Point will reveal one of the most famous Grand Canyon views. The nearby Grand Canyon Lodge offers a huge patio with stunning views in addition to cabins for rent, restaurants and gift shops.

Grand Canyon North Rim Visitor Center: Hours, Address and Location

  • Season: Opens annually on May 15th. All facilities on the North Rim close on October 15th. The North Rim itself remains open to day-use only traffic and visitors until either a "significant" snow storm shuts down the highway or December 1st, whichever comes first. Hikers can still access the North Rim year-round on foot from the North Kaibab Trail. Once Highway 67 closes for the season, the highway is gated at both Jacob Lake and at the North Rim entrance stations.
  • Address: Like most Grand Canyon facilities, there is no official address for the visitor center.  Located on Highway 67, 45 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ.
  • Parking: There is a large shared parking lot for all North Rim facilities, including the North Rim Visitor Center.
  • Shuttle: There is no park shuttle bus on the North Rim.
  • Hours:  Open 8am-6pm

Kaibab National Forest Visitor Center

The Kaibab National Forest Visitor Center is located on Highway 67, just south of the junction with Highway 89-ALT. The visitor center provides visitors with general area information including Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim, Kaibab National Forest trail and road conditions and permits, and tourist destinations in Utah. Inside you will also find a Grand Canyon Association Park Store where you can buy books and gifts. The visitor center shares a parking lot with the Jacob Lake Lodge, home of the world famous Jacob Lake cookies and milkshakes, as well as a gift shop, restaurant and gas station.

Kaibab National Forest Visitor Center: Hours, Address and Location

  • Season:  Open from May 15th-October 15th. May have limited weekend hours after October 15th, as staffing allows.
  • Address: Located on Highway 67, just south of the junction with Highway 89-ALT.
  • Phone: (928) 643-7298 or (928) 643-7395.
  • Parking: Parking available in shared Jacob Lake Lodge parking lot.
  • Hours: 8am-5pm.

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