North Rim

North Rim Information On This Page Navigation

 
Visitors at overlook on the left looking out across Grand Canyon at three temples.
View of Deva, Brahma, and Zoroaster Temples as seen from Grand Canyon Lodge
 

The North Rim is Closed for Winter

 
Visitors sitting on the veranda of the North Rim Lodge looking out at Grand Canyon
On the patio of Grand Canyon Lodge

Introduction

Lodging and restaurants are open May 15 through Oct. 15.
Grand Canyon Lodge is Closed for the Winter.

A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or "other side" of Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors.

- The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation

- There is one lodge, Grand Canyon Lodge.
- and one campground, operated by the NPS.

Reservations for Lodging and the North Rim Campground are highly recommended.

During winter months, the North Rim closes because of snow.

 
Flight of stairs leads up to front entrance of rustic North Rim visitor center.
The North Rim Visitor Center is adjacent to Grand Canyon Lodge
The hike across the canyon from South Rim to North Rim is 21 miles (34 km). However, driving from the South Rim to the North Rim by automobile requires a 4.5 hour drive of 220 miles (354 km). Driving directions to the North Rim.

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.

During the season, the Visitor Center is open May 15 through October 15 from 8 am to 6 pm daily. The North Rim Visitor Center is Closed for the Winter, and will reopen on May 15, 2019.

Interpretive ranger programs are offered daily during the season.

Public restrooms and outdoor exhibits are located behind the building.

 
Two interior photos in North Rim Visitor Center. Left: Exhibit area with round relief map in foreground. Right: Bookstore and gift shop.
Interior of North Rim Visitor Center. Left: exhibit area; right: Grand Canyon Association bookstore and gift shop.
 
Left: front entrance to rustic Grand Canyon Lodge features log and stone construction. Right: looking down Bright Angel Point Trail as it recedes into the distance; tiny people walking on trail.
Left: main entrance to Grand Canyon Lodge. Right: walking the trail out to Bright Angel Point from the lodge.
 

Bright Angel Point Closed for Winter

For classic North Rim views, start at the Grand Canyon Lodge patio, then walk the paved trail out to Bright Angel Point.

From the main parking area it is a relatively short, easy walk to Lodge itself. The lodge is wheelchair accessible.

From the lodge the paved, 0.5 mile (0.8 km) round-trip trail leads out the spine of the ridge to Bright Angel Point. This trail is steep in places, with drop-offs and stairs, but provides dramatic views into Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Canyons.
 

North Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide

In place of a newspaper, the North Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide is now being distributed at entrance stations, visitor centers, lodges, campgrounds, stores, and out-of-park locations. Download it here...
 
Graphic shows front (listing of services) and back (maps) of North Rim Pocket Map - the PDF version is accessible.
Front and back sides of the North Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide. Click on the image to download as an accessible PDF file (2.2 MB)
 
Left: Pointed Mt. Hayden at sunset with deepening shadows around the nearby formations. Right: A jagged narrow ridgeline leading down and to the right, then widening at the base of massive flat-topped Wotan's Throne.
Left: view of Mt. Hayden from Point Imperial, highest overlook in the park at 8,803 feet (2,683 meters). Right: view from Cape Royal across to Wotan's Throne.
 

North Rim Scenic Drive Closed for Winter

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.


 

Winter Camping with a Backcountry Permit

North Rim roads are closed to vehicles between December 1st and May 15th, and no visitor services are available. During these winter months backpackers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are permitted to use the North Rim Campground, provided a backcountry use permit has been obtained in advance. – These permits are available through the South Rim Backcountry Information Center (e-mail us or call 928-638-7875,) and at the Visitor Center at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.

The closest place to park during this time is Jacob Lake. The hike through the snow from Jacob Lake to the North Rim Campground is around 45 miles. Hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers will need to remain off the closed road (per Superintendent's Compendium re: safety from snowplows) and forge a path through the snow.

  • Note about Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles are not permitted within the park.
  • Note about the Yurt: The North Rim yurt was removed because of safety issues and is no longer available.
 
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Duration:
8 minutes, 21 seconds

There is something about the North Rim of Grand Canyon that invokes a sense of solitude and serenity. This is a place that invites you to slow down, to ponder, to feel your own innate creativity, and to fall in love with landscape.

 
An audio described version of this video is available here.
 

More About Grand Canyon Lodge

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    Last updated: December 7, 2018

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 129
    Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

    Phone:

    (928) 638-7888

    Contact Us