South Rim vs. North Rim
Which should you visit - the South Rim or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon? It's a question more and more visitors are asking each year. The answer depends on several factors and ultimately comes down to whatever makes the most sense for your vacation. Here are some basics to help you figure out what you expect to get out of you Grand Canyon visit, and choose the Rim that's right for you.
The majority of visitors come to the South Rim each year. Compare 5 million annual South Rim visitors to 1 million yearly North Rim visitors and 200,000 annual visitors at the West Rim. There is a good reason people flock to the South Rim; it's part of Grand Canyon National Park; it's stunningly beautiful; it's more developed by way of visitors centers and services; there's more lodging nearby; you can hike, backpack and camp; it's easier to access; it's more centrally located for Arizona visitors; and it offers more activity and tour variety.
The North Rim is a very remote destination there is very limited lodging and services, and one visitors center. There is little variety among the activities and tours offered; there are few if any commercial tours to the North Rim, and once there, activities are typically limited to camping, hiking, walking, mule rides and river rafting. If you're willing to make the trek, the North Rim's beautiful rugged views and trails do offer world-class hiking, 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.
The South Rim is open year-round. The North Rim is open from mid-May through mid-October. Weather extremes and moderates occur at all three rims at different times of year.
To put it simply, popularity, availability of services, ease of proximity and weather are some of the major considerations when deciding whether the South Rim or the North Rim is right for you.But if you have more detailed questions, or want a more personalized guide to where, when, and how to see the Grand Canyon, take our Grand Canyon Quiz.
1. Wildland Trekking
2. The Ultimate Off Road Adventure
- (928) 351-1000
- 1200 Airport Rd
- Sedona, AZ
3. Red Feather Lodge
4. Papillon Helicopters
Explore the Grand Canyon with this guided, full-day sightseeing adventure around the South Rim. Beginning in Las Vegas, travel to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and the National Geographic Visitor Center. See a number of different panoramic views from various lookout locations while learning about the history and geology of the canyon from the expert tour guide. Upgrade to include an IMAX movie and/or a scenic 2-hour Jeep tour or a breathtaking helicopter flight. Lunch and a Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
Book and save 44% compared to our local operator's price!Grand Canyon West Rim Luxury Helicopter Tour
Need a break from bustling Las Vegas? Hop on board a helicopter for a luxury sightseeing tour to the Grand Canyon. Listen to informative commentary from your pilot as you get an aerial perspective on the majestic grandeur of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. On the way, you'll also see landmarks such as Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Black Canyon and the Las Vegas strip. Your tour includes a 30-minute stop at the Grand Canyon West airport, with time for some quick shopping at a Native American gift boutique.
Book and save between 23% and 29% compared to the local operator's price!Deluxe Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Tour
Experience the beauty of one of America’s natural wonders with a scenic helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. This low-level flight takes travelers past the famous Hoover Dam, extinct volcanoes, and stunning Lake Mead., as well as a pass over the glittering Las Vegas Strip. This half-day tour includes a champagne picnic at 3,200 feet (960 meters) below the canyon rim and allows plenty of time for afternoon exploring after your flight concludes.
Book and save 26% compared to another travel site!
5. Helicopter & Airplane Tours Of ...
- 2730 Airport Drive
- North Las Vegas,
6. Great West Adventure Tours
- (877) 367-2383
- Sedona, AZ
We have a trip finder that is unique and works much like Expedia, but for Grand Canyon Rafting Trips. With filters to narrow down options based on your preferences whether it is traveling within a certain date range, by raft type, by canyon route or trip duration, our Trip Finder can help you easily explore the different options!
7. Advantage Grand Canyon
8. River Rafting Tours From Las Ve...
- 4285 North Rancho Drive
- Las Vegas, NV
9. Grand Canyon Expeditions
10. Grand Canyon Railway
11. Grand Canyon Tours From Las Ve...
12. Maverick Helicopter Tours
- (888) 261-4414
- 6075 South Las Vegas Boulevard
- Las Vegas, AZ
13. Browse, Compare & Reserve West...
14. Pink Jeep Tours A Guided Full ...
15. Grand Canyon Airlines
HOTELS IN OR NEAR THE GRAND CANYON
Book Grand Canyon hotels in or near the park. Reservations are often made a year in advance. See All Hotels Near Grand Canyon »
SOUTH RIM TOURS
Fuel your adventure on these Grand Canyon South Rim tours by helicopter, airplane, van or train. See All South Rim Tours »
NORTH RIM HOTELS AND THINGS TO DO
Browse Grand Canyon North Rim hotels in and near the park including the AZ/UT Grand Circle. See All North Rim Hotels & Things to Do »
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO THE NORTH RIM
The road to the North Rim is remote and beautiful. Get easy-to-follow directions right here. Driving Directions to the North Rim »