The Ultimate Guide To Grand Canyon National Park - South & North Rim
Grand Canyon National Park, a world of ethereal and captivating nature!
Renowned all over the world, the host of breathtaking vistas and hikes, Grand Canyon needs no introduction!
Grand Canyon, the name given to a river valley owing to its overwhelming size, is home to breathtaking natural landscape! Carved and sculpted by the Colorado River over several million years, stretching 277 miles long and about a mile deep, Grand Canyon is enormous!
Ceaseless canyon land painted in vivid colors with spectacular rock formations defines the landscape at Grand Canyon. No words and pictures can describe the dramatic scenery at Grand Canyon and has to be seen to be properly appreciated. However, Grand Canyon is massive, with four isolated rims, each with unique vantage and distinctive scenery. It becomes tough to select one rim of Grand Canyon over the other!
There are four rims of Grand Canyon, each offering enchanting views and exciting ways to explore the Grand Canyon!
Grand Canyon South Rim: The South & the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are part of the Grand Canyon Natation Park and are overseen and managed by the Natation Park Service. Though part of the same park, they are quite different from each other. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with the most iconic vistas of Grand Canyon, paved trails, guided tours, ample lodging and dining options, is the most popular of all rims of Grand Canyon and is accessible year-round.
Grand Canyon North Rim: The North Rim, also part of the Grand Canyon National Park, is remotely located and seasonal, accessible outside the winter months. Though the distance between the edges of the South and North Rim is just about 15 miles, but to access the North Rim vista points and trailheads, it’s about 210 miles drive from the South Rim. However, the North Rim is home to serene nature, some expansive views, and several hiking trails, and with less crowd, it’s perfect for a quiet getaway.
Grand Canyon West Rim: Unlike the South and the North Rim, the West Rim of Grand Canyon is not a part of the Grand Canyon National Park. The West Rim is part of the Hualapai Native American Reservation and is managed by the Hualapai Tribe. Besides the incredible canyon views, Grand Canyon West Rim is home to the Skywalk, a state-of-the-art observation deck with a see-through glass bridge jutting out the edge of the canyon, offering unparalleled views and a lifetime experience! Grand Canyon West Rim’s proximity to Las Vegas, about 120 miles, makes it a popular day-trip destination from Las Vegas.
Grand Canyon East Rim: Though there’s no officially designated East Rim of the Grand Canyon, the area along the Colorado River to the north and east of the Grand Canyon South Rim, near the town of Page in Arizona, is popularly known as the East Rim of the Grand Canyon. The East Rim is home to some of the wondrous marvels created by nature, including Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell.
Every rim of Grand Canyon is unique, each offering unparalleled views and experiences! I recommend visiting them all, but if short on time, visit the South Rim for the most iconic spectacles of the Grand Canyon!
Here is my ultimate guide to Grand Canyon National Park, featuring must-see places, attractions map, suggested itinerary, hiking trails, campgrounds, hotels, and restaurants in Grand Canyon National Park - South & North Rim.
The South Rim of Grand Canyon is the most popular and visited rim, and one of the main reasons being it’s accessible throughout the year. Most people either drive to the South rim from: Phoenix – 3 1/2 hours drive, Las Vegas – 4 1/2 hours or Los Angeles – 8 hours drive.
Address: Grand Canyon Visitor Center GPS Lat: 36.059323, Long: -112.109277, Entrance Fee: $30 for single non-commercial vehicle
How To Explore And What To See in South Rim
If you’re visiting during the peak season, I recommend you park your car and take the free shuttles offered by the park. During peak season, it becomes challenging to find parking near vista points, and you would land up spending time and energy in finding parking.
South rim shuttle services:
Red Route (Hermits Rest Route): 80 minutes roundtrip, with busses running every 15 mins, stopping at Trailview Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point and final stop at Hermits Rest.
Orange Route (Kaibab Rim Route): 50 minutes roundtrip, stopping at Yaki Point, Pipe Creek Vista, Mather Point, and Yavapai Geology Museum
Blue Route (Village Route): 50 minutes round trip, stopping at Train depot, Grand Canyon Visitor Center, hotels, restaurants, and campgrounds
The Grand Canyon North Rim is quite remote and located very close to the Utah Border and requires more effort in terms of driving and hiking. Hence only a few visitors make it to the North rim. Moreover, the North rim is seasonal and is accessible from mid-May through mid-September.
Address: GPS Lat: 36.198598, Long: -112.052170, Entrance Fee: $25 for single non-commercial vehicle
The major vista points in North rim are Cape Royal, Point Imperial, and Bright Angel Point.
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