The Other Side: North Rim Trip-Planning Guide

grand-canyon-north-rim-guide

The Grand Canyon North Rim is located in northern Arizona atop the Kaibab Plateau at an elevation between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, about 1,500 feet higher than the South Rim. The higher elevation environment of the North Rim includes mixed conifer forest with stands of aspen that turn gold in fall. The North Rim is usually blanketed by snow during winter months. Although it is only 10 miles as the raven flies to get from the South Rim to the North Rim, it requires 220 miles of driving.

Access and Season
This unit of the national park is open between mid-May through mid October. It is located 45 miles south of Jacob Lake via AZ 67 with the closest airport in Las Vegas. Be prepared for cooler temperatures with freezing nights possible as late as May and as early as September.

Visitor Center
Open daily from mid-May through mid-October, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The center includes interpretive exhibits about Grand Canyon and North Rim cultural and natural history. Rangers are on hand to answer visitor questions. A Grand Canyon Association bookstore is also located here. A separate North Rim Backcountry Information Office is nearby and issues backcountry camping permits and answers backpacking questions; open daily during summer 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A visitor center for the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest, is located in Jacob Lake; open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from mid-May through mid-Oct. The staff can answer questions about North Rim forest roads, trails and camping in the North Rim area just outside the national park. For more information: (928) 643-7175; fs.fed.us/r3/kai

Lodging and Services
>> Grand Canyon Lodge: Operated by park concessionaire Forever Resorts and positioned right on the edge of the North Rim, the main lodge contains a restaurant, hotel front desk, and common visitor sitting areas. The dining room and sitting areas have large stone fireplaces and feature 50- foot high vaulted ceilings with large plate glass windows that open onto spectacular canyon views. A wooden deck with rocking chairs is the perfect place to watch a Grand Canyon sunset. Guests stay in various size log cabins (sleeping up to five people) along the rim. Nightly rate is $121 – $187; for information and reservations: (877) 386-4383; grandcanyonlodgenorth.com/lodging.

>> Lodging is also available in Jacob Lake and at the Kaibab Lodge.

Food
>> Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails. Dinner reservations are recommended during summer; (928) 638-2611. Open 6:30 a.m.-9:45 p.m.

>> Deli in the Pines next to Grand Canyon Lodge offers inexpensive and quick food including breakfast burritos, sandwiches to go and pizza slices. Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

>> Jacob Lake Inn and Kaibab Lodge both have family-style restaurants.

Visitor Services
>> Groceries: A general store selling groceries and camping supplies is adjacent to the North Rim Campground. Open daily 7 a.m.- to 8 p.m.

>> Laundry: Coin operated laundry and showers are at the entrance to North Rim Campground. Open daily 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

>> ATM: Located in the general store and in the Roughrider Saloon next to Grand Canyon Lodge. There is also one at the Jacob Lake Inn.

>> Gas: A service station is located on the access road to North Rim Campground; open daily 8 a.m.to- 5 p.m.; 24-hour pay at the pump available. Fuel includes diesel.

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