Grand Canyon Lodge View
North Rim is closed for the winter. Reopens May 15, 2014.
A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or "other side" of the Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors. There is only one lodge, the Grand Canyon Lodge (managed by Forever Resorts) and one developed campground on the North Rim.
The hike across the canyon from South Rim to North Rim is 21 miles (34 km). However, traveling from the South Rim to the North Rim by automobile requires a five-hour drive of 220 miles (354 km). Directions to the North Rim...
Lodging and camping are available at the canyon's North Rim from mid-May through mid-October. During winter months, the North Rim is closed due to snow.
The North Rim Visitor Center, located adjacent to the parking lot for Grand Canyon Lodge and Bright Angel Point provides park and regional information, maps, brochures, exhibits, and a bookstore. Open mid-May through mid-October from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. Interpretive programs are offered seasonally. Public restrooms are located in back of the building.
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Most visitors make a stop at Bright Angel Point, at the southern end of the entrance road. From the parking area it is a short, easy walk to Grand Canyon Lodge and a classic view of the canyon. This facility is wheelchair accessible. A paved, 0.5 mile (0.8 km) round-trip trail leads from the lodge, out the spine of the ridge, to the point. This trail is steep in places, with drop-offs and stairs, but provides dramatic views into Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Canyons.
Point Imperial and Cape Royal are reached via a winding scenic drive. The trip to both points, with short walks at each and several stops at pullouts along the way, can easily take half a day.
Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim at 8,803 feet (2,683 meters), overlooks the Painted Desert and the eastern end of Grand Canyon. Here the canyon transforms as the narrow walls of Marble Canyon, visible only as a winding gash, open dramatically to become "grand." Layers of red and black Precambrian rocks, not visible at Bright Angel Point, add contrast and color. Part of the viewpoint is accessible.
Cape Royal provides a panorama up, down, and across the canyon. With seemingly unlimited vistas to the east and west, it is popular for both sunrise and sunset. The sweeping turn of the Colorado River at Unkar Delta is framed through the natural arch of Angels Window. Look for the Desert View Watchtower across the canyon on the South Rim. This popular viewpoint is accessible via a paved, level trail.