Where to Stay Grand Canyon North Rim: Top Accommodations Guide


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Visiting the Grand Canyon is an unforgettable experience, and choosing the right place to stay can make all the difference. The less-crowded North Rim offers a unique viewpoint, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder. With its higher elevation and fewer visitors, the North Rim provides an incredible way to experience the Grand Canyon in a more serene setting.

There are several lodging options available near the North Rim, including the historic Grand Canyon Lodge, which was built in 1928. This iconic lodge allows you to stay within the National Park boundaries, making it easier to explore the area and engage in various activities. It’s important to plan ahead and book your accommodations early, as options are somewhat limited in this more remote region.

While staying on the North Rim, enjoy its uncrowded vistas, go on breathtaking hikes, and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds you. The North Rim is a hidden gem within Grand Canyon National Park, and it is well worth the visit for those seeking a more intimate experience with this iconic destination.

Why Stay at the North Rim

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a different experience from the more touristy South Rim. It is a secluded and peaceful destination, perfect for travelers who want to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon in a more intimate setting. It is also much less crowded, allowing you to connect with the serene environment and natural wonders this unique landscape has to offer.

Visitors to the North Rim can choose from various lodging options, including the famous Grand Canyon Lodge. This historic lodge is the only place to stay within the park’s North Rim, and provides a cozy atmosphere with breathtaking views of the canyon. Planning ahead is essential, as reservations fill up quickly – it’s advised to book as soon as the reservation window opens, a year in advance.

When staying at the North Rim, there’s a multitude of activities available for every type of traveler. For nature enthusiasts, some of the best hikes in the area include:

  • North Kaibab Trail
  • Cape Royal Scenic Road
  • Point Imperial

For memorable moments, take in the sunset at Cape Royal or watch the sunrise at Point Imperial. Stargazers will appreciate the opportunity to see the Milky Way rising over the Grand Canyon, showcasing the beauty of our universe.

Fun Fact: The North Rim is only accessible from mid-May to mid-October due to its higher elevation, which results in more snow and colder temperatures than the South Rim. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly!

While staying at the North Rim, you’ll appreciate the serene atmosphere and unique vantage points of the Grand Canyon that few others get to enjoy. Engage in outdoor adventures, relax in the peaceful environment, and create lifelong memories in this stunning natural wonder.

Accommodation Options

Visiting the Grand Canyon’s North Rim offers a variety of accommodation options for travelers. Whether you’re looking for an authentic lodge experience, rental cabins, or even campgrounds, there’s something for everyone. In this section, we’ll explore these various options.

Grand Canyon Lodge

The Grand Canyon Lodge provides the only lodging inside the National Park on the North Rim. Sitting at 8,000 feet in elevation, guests are greeted by breathtaking views of the canyon. The lodge offers a range of accommodations, and it’s recommended that reservations are made as far in advance as possible. The lodge operates seasonally from May 15th to October 15th.


The North Rim Campground is a great option for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. Open seasonally, the campground offers a range of facilities, such as restrooms, picnic areas, and grills. Reservations for this campground can be made through the National Park Service.

Rental Cabins

In addition to the Grand Canyon Lodge, there are rental cabins available for a more intimate, cozy experience. The Kaibab Lodge, located just 5 miles outside of the park, offers cabin rentals amid a stand of Ponderosa pine. These cabins offer a serene, peaceful atmosphere, providing an ideal getaway for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that the North Rim welcomes only 10% of the Grand Canyon National Park guests each year? This makes it the perfect destination for those seeking a quieter, less crowded experience when visiting the Grand Canyon.

Things to do

While staying at the North Rim, take advantage of the numerous recreational activities available, such as hiking, mule rides, and stargazing. Don’t forget to visit some of the most popular viewpoints, including Bright Angel Point and Point Imperial, to fully appreciate the stunning beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Location and Accessibility

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a stunning destination that offers a more peaceful and secluded experience compared to the South Rim. With fewer visitors and a higher elevation, it provides breathtaking views and unique attractions.

Driving Directions

To reach the North Rim, you can access it from Highway 67, which runs south from Jacob Lake, Arizona, on Highway 89A. Be aware that Highway 67 usually closes during winter months due to snow. The nearest lodging outside the park is the Kaibab Plateau, 18 miles north of the North Rim, with options such as Kaibab Lodge.

Shuttle Services

While there isn’t a specific shuttle service operating within the North Rim, all park shuttle buses throughout the Grand Canyon National Park are wheelchair accessible.

Keep in mind that the terrain at the North Rim is rugged, with narrow, rocky trails and steep cliffs. Visitors using wheelchairs or who have visual impairments may need assistance navigating the area.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that the North Rim only receives about 10% of the Grand Canyon National Park’s total annual visitors? This makes it a perfect destination for those seeking tranquility and undisturbed beauty while exploring the canyon.

Things to Do

There are plenty of activities to enjoy at the Grand Canyon North Rim:

  • Hike the various trails, such as the popular North Kaibab Trail
  • Capture the stunning views from the many viewpoints, like Bright Angel Point and Cape Royal
  • Dine and relax at the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
  • Participate in ranger-led programs or talks to learn more about the park’s history and geology

Remember to plan your visit between mid-May and mid-October, as most services and facilities close during the winter season.

Activities and Attractions

Scenic Drives

The Grand Canyon North Rim offers some breathtaking scenic drives to take in the beauty of this natural wonder. One popular drive is the Cape Royal Road, which takes you to various overlooks, including Point Imperial, Vista Encantada, and Cape Royal. The drive is approximately 23 miles one way, making it a perfect half-day activity.

Another scenic drive to consider is the 45-mile ride to Jacob Lake from the North Rim, offering stunning views of the surrounding forests, canyons, and wildlife.

Hiking Trails

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers several hiking trails for various skill levels:

  • Rim-to-Rim Trail: This challenging trail is popular among experienced hikers and takes you from the North Rim to the South Rim in a 24-mile journey through the canyon.
  • Bright Angel Point Trail: For a more accessible trail experience, the paved path to Bright Angel Point is a relatively short and easy walk, offering classic North Rim views.
  • North Kaibab Trail: This trail takes you through the North Rim’s Coconino Plateau, into the Roaring Springs, and even down to Phantom Ranch at the canyon’s bottom.

Mule Rides

For a unique and memorable experience, consider taking a mule ride at the Grand Canyon North Rim. These guided trips allow you to explore the canyon’s rugged terrain atop well-trained mules, offering a truly unforgettable adventure.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Grand Canyon is home to the endangered California condor? You might just spot one while exploring the North Rim!

No matter what activities you choose, the Grand Canyon’s North Rim offers something fun and exciting for everyone. Pack your bags, head out on an adventure, and enjoy the natural beauty of this iconic American landmark.

Amenities and Services

The Grand Canyon North Rim offers various amenities and services for visitors to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit. This section will highlight several key offerings, including dining options, visitor center facilities, and some important considerations for your stay.

Dining Options

At the North Rim, there are a few options for dining during your visit. The Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room provides a delicious variety of menu items, including regional cuisine and healthier alternatives for those who are health-conscious. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning views of the canyon. Other options include:

  • Deli in the Pines: A casual dining spot offering sandwiches, salads, and snacks.
  • Coffee Shop: For a quick caffeine fix and light snacks.

Visitor Center

The North Rim Visitor Center is an essential stop for any visitor to the area. The center offers valuable information to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time at the Grand Canyon. Some of the services provided include:

  • Ranger-led Programs: These activities give visitors a chance to learn about the canyon’s geology, history, and wildlife with expert guidance.
  • Interpretive Exhibits: The exhibits inside the visitor center provide interesting information on the region’s cultural and natural history.
  • Wilderness Permit Information: If you plan on camping or hiking in the backcountry, it is necessary to obtain a backcountry permit. The visitor center can provide information and assistance on obtaining the required permits.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

The North Rim is known for being less crowded than the South Rim, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a quieter and more intimate experience with nature. Additionally, the North Rim sits at a higher elevation, which offers cooler temperatures and unique plant life compared to other areas of the park.

Things to Do

There are plenty of activities to enjoy at the Grand Canyon North Rim. Here are some popular options among visitors:

  • Scenic Drives: The park offers multiple routes, presenting breathtaking views of the canyon, forests, and meadows.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the beautiful landscape at your own pace on several well-maintained trails.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Stay vigilant during your visit, as you may have the opportunity to spot mule deer, mountain lions, and other fascinating creatures that call the North Rim home.
  • Photography: Capture stunning images of the canyon, which looks entirely different depending on the time of day and weather conditions.

Seasonal Considerations

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon has a shorter season compared to its southern counterpart. The North Rim is open for visitors from mid-May to mid-October, which means fewer crowds and a quieter experience. But with this limited season, planning and booking accommodations is essential.

During the season, the Grand Canyon Lodge is the only option for lodging inside the park. It’s crucial to book on the day the reservations open for the season, as rooms fill up quickly.

If the Grand Canyon Lodge is fully booked or you prefer to stay outside the park, there are alternatives. Jacob Lake Inn and Kaibab Lodge are two options situated close to the North Rim. Campers have the choice of two campgrounds or free dispersed camping along the many Forest Service roads.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that the North Rim is approximately 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim? This difference in elevation results in cooler temperatures and a unique flora compared to the South Rim.

Things to do

The North Rim offers various activities for visitors to enjoy:

  • Scenic drives: Don’t miss the Cape Royal Road and Point Imperial, which provide breathtaking views of the canyon.
  • Hiking trails: Explore trails such as the North Kaibab Trail, Bright Angel Point Trail, and Cape Final Trail to delve deeper into nature.
  • Wildlife watching: Keep an eye out for various wildlife species, like mule deer, bison, and wild turkeys.
  • Stargazing: The North Rim is known for its darker skies, which make starry nights even more magical.

So, whether you’re visiting for the striking landscape or seeking adventure, the North Rim has it all while providing a more tranquil experience. Remember, early planning and considering the seasonal factors will make your visit to the Grand Canyon North Rim unforgettable.

Alternative Accommodations

If you’re looking for other places to stay near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, consider these alternative accommodations.

Nearby Towns

Several towns around the Grand Canyon offer a variety of lodging options outside of the National Park. These towns are a great way to experience the charm of the local communities and are just a short drive away from the North Rim.

  • Kanab, Utah: This small town is located about 80 miles away from the North Rim and provides various accommodations, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals.
  • Page, Arizona: About 120 miles from the North Rim, Page offers hotels, motels, and campgrounds conveniently located near the popular attractions of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona: A little further away, approximately 200 miles from the North Rim, Flagstaff is a lively city with plenty of lodging options, from budget motels to cozy bed and breakfasts.

South Rim Options

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon offers additional accommodation options for visitors. It’s essential to remember that the South Rim is roughly 220 miles from the North Rim, so it would require a longer drive to reach the North Rim for sightseeing or hiking.

  • Grand Canyon Village: Located within the National Park, the Grand Canyon Village features several lodges and hotels with stunning views of the canyon. You can book rooms directly through Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
  • Tusayan, Arizona: Just 9 miles south of the park entrance, Tusayan provides numerous hotels, restaurants, and tourist services to make your Grand Canyon visit more comfortable.

Fun Fact: The North Rim is less visited than the South Rim due to its remote location and limited seasonal access, which makes it an excellent choice for visitors looking for a more quiet and peaceful experience.

Things to do: While you’re near the North Rim, be sure to check out popular attractions such as Point Imperial, Cape Royal, and the beautiful North Kaibab Trail. Additionally, there are ranger-led programs available, perfect for learning more about the Grand Canyon’s fascinating history and geology.

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