Grand Canyon North Rim Trip Logistics

The view from your tent at Fence Post on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

The view from your tent at Fence Post on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

Every year, the North Rim closes its restaurants, lodging and shops on Oct. 15. After Oct.15, there is a period when the North Rim is open for day use  through Dec. 1 or until snow closes Highway 67. Limited facilities are available during the North Rim’s off-season.

After a long dormant winter, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon opens on May 15. As its name implies, the North Rim entrance is accessed on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon about a five-hour drive from the southern entrance. It is located 45 miles south of Jacob Lake via AZ 67 with the closest airport in Las Vegas.

The North Rim sits 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. Be prepared for cooler temperatures with freezing nights possible as late as May and as early as September.

Driving From the South Rim to the North Rim

Map showing North, South, and West Rims of the Grand Canyon

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.

North Rim Access and Season

In-Season

Full services are available at the North Rim between May 15 through Oct. 15. The North Rim Visitor Center is open daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Off-Season

Hikers and snowshoers can access the North Rim in the winter season but need a backcountry permit.

On Oct. 31, the North Rim campground sites close to reservations and revert to primitive use with backcountry reservations. Backcountry Permit Request From [PDF]

North Rim Visitor Center

North Rim Visitor Center at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Whit Richardson

North Rim Visitor Center at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Whit Richardson

The North Rim Visitor Center includes interpretive exhibits about 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

Lodging and Services

The Grand Canyon Lodge is 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.

The patio at the Grand Canyon Lodge overlooking the North Rim. Photo by Whit Richardson

The patio at the Grand Canyon Lodge overlooking the North Rim. Photo by Whit Richardson

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

Visit our North Rim Camping Page

Food at the North Rim

The dining room overlooking the North Rim at the Grand Canyon Lodge. Photo by NPS Michael Quinn

The dining room overlooking the North Rim at the Grand Canyon Lodge. Photo by NPS Michael Quinn

Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails. Dinner reservations are recommended during summer; (928) 638-2611

Deli in the Pines next to Grand Canyon Lodge offers inexpensive and quick food including breakfast burritos, sandwiches to go and pizza slices.

The Roughrider Saloon includes a coffee shop serving bagels, baked goods, and other breakfast items from 5:30-10:30 am.

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

Visitor Services at the North Rim

Groceries: A general store selling groceries and camping supplies is adjacent to the North Rim Campground.

Laundry: Coin operated laundry and showers are at the entrance to North Rim Campground.

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; 24-hour pay at the pump available. Fuel includes diesel.