Grand Canyon North Rim

The North Rim is a very remote destination so there is limited lodging and services, plus the short summer-only season means it sells out quickly. The jewel of the North Rim, perched on the precipice of the Kaibab Plateau, is the dignified Grand Canyon Lodge - a charming mix of motel and cabin accommodations and the only lodging inside the National Park. Just 5 miles outside of the park, the Kaibab Lodge is nestled on the Plateau amid a stand of Ponderosa pine. In nearby Jacob Lake, a scenic 44 miles from the North Rim, lies the Jacob Lake Inn. If you prefer a night-sky canopy and the smell of pine over Grand Canyon North Rim hotels and lodging, be sure to check out North Rim RV camp sites and campgrounds; one campground is inside the Park, while several others lie just beyond.

At the North Rim, a moderate budget should secure you a room at the Grand Canyon Lodge inside the Park; rates range from $124 for a motel room to $173 for a cabin. Visitors to the North Rim can't realistically do it in just one day, so we encourage you to book at least one overnight; even better, increase your length of stay to at least two nights and plan to stay at the rim or in Page, Fredonia or southern Utah.

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About 1 million people visit the North Rim annually; compare that to the 5 million who visit the South Rim each year. The North Rim is a remarkably remote destination there is very limited lodging and services. There is little variety among the activities and tours offered; we're not aware of any commercial tours to the North Rim at this time (although whitewater and smoothwater rafting trips begin north of the North Rim at Lee's Ferry.)

Anecdotally, we know that most Grand Canyon North Rim visitors travel to their rim destination and spend time at overlooks, the visitors center, the Lodge, ranger-led talks, and walk or hike several miles and hours. It's common to spend a couple days in a campsite, doing day hikes from your forested 'home base.' If you're willing to make the trek, the North Rim's beautiful rugged views and trails do offer world-class hiking, biking, backpacking, camping and river rafting opportunities, which makes the North Rim a fantastic choice for visitors who seek a more primeval, natural, quiet and uncrowded Grand Canyon experience.

Driving yourself is the most practical way to get to the North Rim. There are very few companies that provide Grand Canyon shuttles or taxi cabs exclusively from Flagstaff to the North Rim, but those that do offer prices ranging from $158 - $200 per person. That said, if you have a handsome travel budget, many tour operators can create a custom tour for you with a combination of van, coach or air travel, or you can take a 30-minute air tour from Las Vegas to Bar-10 Ranch, a decidedly remote 'off-the-grid' vacation lodge and ranch located on the Arizona Strip outside the National Park but only 9 miles from that portion of the North Rim, located 80 unpaved miles from St. George, UT.

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Approach the North Rim by first arriving in Jacob Lake, Arizona at the junction of US-89A and Highway 67. Take Highway 67 south 44 miles (approximately 1 hour) to the North Rim.

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A Day At The Canyon from John Burcham Photography. John Burcham is a commercial, editorial photographer based out of Flagstaff, AZ. You can see more of his work at www.johnburcham.com