South Rim vs. North Rim

South Rim vs. North RimPhoto Credit: gcflight.com

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.

 

1. Great West Adventure Tours

The Sedona and Grand Canyon Specialists! Enjoy the scenic views of Sedona on our Sedona tours and le
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Sedona
AZ
8773672383
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2. Grand Canyon Expeditions

The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its hea
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Kanab
UT
8005442691
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3. Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon

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1515 North Main Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(800) 514-0884
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4. Helicopter & Airplane Tours Of Grand Canyon National Park

Viator offers air, helicopter & land tours to the Grand Canyon. Book a Grand Canyon helicopter tour
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2730 Airport Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
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5. Maverick Helicopter Tours

Maverick Helicopters provides helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon. Maverick brings VIP and first-
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6075 South Las Vegas Boulevard
McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, NV 89119
888-261-4414
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6. The Ultimate Off Road Adventure

At Guidance Air in Sedona, we fly Robinson helicopters, specifically the R44 and R66, which have unr
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1200 Airport Rd
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 351-1000
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7. Grand Canyon Tours From Las Vegas Viator

Every sightseeing and adventure tour of the Grand Canyon imaginable - from Las Vegas hotels to Grand
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2730 Airport Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
8005665868
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8. Pink Jeep Tours A Guided Full Rim Experience

The most far-reaching tour of the Grand Canyon, upgrade and explore the entire South Rim in an open-
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450 AZ-64
Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
(800) 999-2137
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9. River Rafting Tours From Las Vegas

Every sightseeing and adventure tour of the Grand Canyon imaginable - from Las Vegas hotels to Grand
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4285 North Rancho Drive
Northbrooke Business Park, Las Vegas, NV 89130
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10. Red Feather Lodge

Ideally situated in the center of Tusayan, a small town one mile from the south entrance to the Gran
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Route 64
Tusayan, AZ 86023
9286382414
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11. Browse, Compare & Reserve West Rim Helicopter, Drive & Rafting Tours

Got just one day to see the Grand Canyon West Rim? Book one of our West Rim Tours from Las Vegas an
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8525 Edna Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
7027495664
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12. Grand Canyon By One Day Tours

At One Day Tours, you will enjoy a luxurious riding experience. Our state of the art Mercedes Sp

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4262 Blue Diamond Rd #102
Las Vegas, NV 89139
702-703-4426
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13. Grand Canyon Day Tour

Voted on Trip Advisor as the most popular Grand Canyon day tour. This is the best way to enjoy th

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1515 North Main Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(800) 514-0884
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14. Advantage Grand Canyon

As a central reservation service for all 16 Grand Canyon Rafting Outfitters, we can help you find yo
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7707 East Acoma Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(888) 244-2224
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15. Grand Canyon Railway

Visit the official website for Grand Canyon Railway. Book your reservation online for a train tour o
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233 North Grand Canyon Boulevard
Kaibab National Forest, Williams, AZ 86046
3038438724
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16. Papillon Helicopters

Tour Grand Canyon with the "World's Largest and Most Experienced Helicopter Sightseeing Company!" On
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1265 Airport Road
Boulder City, NV 89005
8005282418
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17. Wildland Trekking

Join The Wildland Trekking Co. on an epic journey to the Grand Canyon! Services include 1 to 8 day
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4025 East Huntington Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
8007154453
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18. Grand Canyon Airlines

Don't just view the Canyon from the rim when you can fly the Grand Canyon with a legend! Since 1927,
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Fire Road 771
Kaibab National Forest, Tusayan, AZ 86023
9286382463
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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 »

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