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 a 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.

North Rim Water Line Break in 2017

The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will open as scheduled, on May 15, with limited visitor services and water conservation measures because of a break in the North Rim water pipeline, the only source of piped water to the North Rim. This damaged water line does not affect South Rim or Phantom Ranch operations. The break in the pipeline was caused by a rockslide from a winter storm that destroyed more than 300 feet of the North Rim water pipeline and damaged the North Kaibab Trail. Park officials say it is the most significant damage to the North Rim water pipeline in more than 20 years. The North Rim pipeline transports water from the canyon at Roaring Springs to the North Rim and is operated from approximately May to November. The line was being repaired in April and May of 2017.

The park hired a private local contractor to haul at least 40,000 gallons of water a day to storage tanks on the North Rim. Hauling began April 28, 2017, and will continue until the pipeline is fixed and the park has enough drinking water stored for visitors and to meet structural fire requirements. Park officials are estimating most lodging, camping and other services at the North Rim will be fully restored by May 26, 2017, with some water-conservation measures for North Rim visitors and employees.

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, a Forever Resorts property, will offer limited food and beverage services starting May 15. Overnight accommodations begin May 26, 2017.

Campsites will open May 15 with potable water and portable toilets, but no public laundry and shower facilities. The North Rim grocery store, gas station and post office will be open. Grand Canyon Trail Rides offered at the North Rim will begin operations May 15. The North Rim Visitor Center and Grand Canyon Association bookstore will be open as scheduled from 8 am to 6 pm daily, with a variety of ranger programs offered. The backcountry information center will be open 8 am to noon and 1 pm to 5 pm daily.

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

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.

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.