The Grand Canyon North Rim: Everything You Need to Know
The Grand Canyon north rim is one of 4 main entry points into the landmark. It’s drastically different from the others, giving you a chance to experience the Grand Canyon in a new light.
So, if you’re looking for a vacation to the Grand Canyon north rim, including tours in Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, here’s everything you need to know.
While there are 4 entry points based on compass directions, the north and south rims are the most popular. The south rim is viewed by many as the “traditional” Grand Canyon – it’s where most of the recognizable pictures come from.
The north rim is around 1,000 ft. higher in altitude, meaning it’s cooler and has different scenery. There’s more vegetation, and the Grand Canyon animals are more prevalent here. You should be able to see wrens and squirrels without too much looking.
The bottom line is that the south rim is a good option for first-timers, but the north rim is preferable if you want something a bit different (and quieter). If you’re not a massive fan of tourists, the north rim is the better choice.
The Grand Canyon north rim is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area. However, there are a few things to consider before planning your trip:
Due to its higher altitude, the north rim’s tourist season is much shorter. It only runs from May until October because of winter snowfall. As of May 1, 2023, the North Rim is closed due to heavy snow accumulation, and the reopening has been postponed until June 2, 2023. As such, you’ll need to ensure it’s actually open before visiting!
The north rim is around 8,000 ft. above sea level, meaning it’s a lot cooler than the south rim. Many tourists might prefer this, especially considering how hot the area can be. Expect it to be at least 10 degrees cooler than the south rim in the warmest parts of the north rim.
The average temperature of the Grand Canyon North Rim varies throughout the year. According to U.S. News Travel, the average temperature in for each month is as follows:
The Grand Canyon north rim lodge is just one of the places you can stay in the area. As discussed below, you’ll want to book a hotel or similar at the north rim because it’s not close to any major cities in the state. There are quite a few places to stay near the north rim that can serve as bases for all the activities you might want to do.
You might be asking yourself, where is the Grand Canyon, and what state is the Grand Canyon in? Well, the answer is Arizona, although it’s common for people to travel from cities such as Las Vegas, which is in Nevada.
The easiest options for getting from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon north rim are by road or air. You could drive or take a bus, which would take between 5 and 7 hours depending on the route and vehicle. Unsurprisingly, buses take the longest.
As mentioned, the Grand Canyon north rim is inaccessible in the winter. By extension, the road conditions can be dangerous leading up to the area’s closure. You probably won’t want to risk driving there from the beginning of October onwards, as the roads won’t be safe if you’re not familiar with the area.
Instead, you could consider traveling as part of a shuttle tour because the drivers will likely be more confident on the roads.
As you can imagine, most of the activities in the north rim focus on being outdoors. For example, there are numerous scenic hiking trails, including the Bright Angel Point Trail and the Cape Royal Trail.
There are also scenic drives if you’ve got your own car, which can be combined with hiking trails as needed.
You could also go camping and wildlife spotting, and there’s a visitor center that can suggest local landmarks or things to do. Finally, there are guided tours of the area, which you can do on foot or horseback.
If you’ve visited a national park before, you’ll know there are usually some permits or payments needed to enjoy the area. This is the case at the Grand Canyon, so here are some of the things you might need to buy depending on your planned activities.
· Park Pass - $25 per vehicle
· Camping and horse-riding permits
· Filming permits
· Backcountry hiking permits
Bear in mind, though, that if you’re hiking as part of a guided tour, you won’t need a permit. It’ll come as part of the tour package.
Also, make sure you pack accordingly for your chosen activities. You should be sure to bring:
· A large water bottle
· Appropriate hiking shoes
· Warm/wind-resistant clothes
· Sunglasses and sunscreen
· Bug spray
· The Grand Canyon app (discussed below)
Finally, make sure you consider the following safety tips:
· Don’t leave the designated trails, ever
· Never climb over railings
· Know where the edges are, and watch your footing
· Keep an eye on children at all times
Download the official Grand Canyon app to help with things like route planning, camping and hiking locations, bus info and more. It works just like the national parks website, but it’s specifically for the Grand Canyon and allows you to access all the relevant information offline.
When you’re visiting the Grand Canyon north rim, it’s vital that you stay connected via your smartphone. While it’s best to not get lost, at least you can call someone if you do!
To get the most from your phone while at the Grand Canyon, set up Textr eSIM on your phone. As an eSIM, there’s no physical card to put in your phone, and it allows you to access affordable data plans and global coverage.
Check out Textr’s prepaid eSIM deals for USA and North America today to see just how cheap the plans are for your Grand Canyon trip. Better yet, use the code TEXTR15 for 15% off our May-June Summer 2023 promotion!