Hiking the Grand Canyon Northern Rim

The Grand Canyon is one of the most visited National Parks. People from around the world marvel at the spectacular canyon every year. Most people who visit the canyon choose to go to the Southern Rim, but these visitors are missing out by not going to the Northern Rim, which only attracts 10 percent of all the tourists who visit the canyon. There are several things which distinguish the North Rim from the South Rim.

Differences Between the Northern Rim and the Southern Rim

The Southern Rim is more accessible and is open year round. It's easy to get to from major cities in Arizona. The Southern Rim has numerous restaurants, shops, and accommodations. People who stay at the Northern Rim do so for the relaxing atmosphere. It's more about a summer vacation with the family.

Attractions at the Northern Rim

The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only lodging in the Grand Canyon National Park on the Northern Rim. The lodge was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and is a brief walk from the Northern Rim. People gather to socialize in the campgrounds and spend time chatting with park rangers at the lodge in the evening.

Northern Rim Hiking Trails

Bright Angel Point Trail is a self guided nature trail and an easy hike for beginners. It takes approximately a half hour. The trail provides scenic views of Roaring Springs, which is located 3,000 feet below the North Rim.

Ken Patrick Trail is for more advanced hikers since it's 10 miles, one way. The trail goes through the forest from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail along the Rim.

North Kaibab Trail is also for more advanced hikers and people in good physical condition, since it's quite strenuous. The hike is 9.4 miles long and takes between 6 and 8 hours, depending on your pace. North Kaibab is the only maintained trail that extends from the North Rim that gives hikers an indication of the canyon's enormous size and spectacular beauty.

The Uncle Jim Trail begins at the parking lot for North Kaibab and into a beautiful alpine forest. It extends through North Kaibab switchbacks and provides spectacular overlooks of the canyon.

Get an early start to hike Widforss Trail, which is 10 miles long. It takes about 6 hours to hike the trail which has a combination of spectacular canyon and forest scenery.

Canyon Mule Rides

One way to experience the spectacular scenery of the Grand Canyon is on a mule ride along the trails of the canyon. This is the perfect way to experience the Grand Canyon up close, and is a great family adventure. Experienced guides take riders through the canyon trails and share their knowledge of the canyon. For riders who want a brief ride, one hour trips along the canyon rim are available, but most people choose longer rides. An exciting way to experience the grandeur of the canyon is to descend 2300 feet by mule to experience the panoramic views.

Although both the southern Rim and the Northern Rim have their own beauty and attractions, if you love to hike and like challenging trails, the Northern Rim of he canyon is definitely for you.