Header image
POINT OF INTEREST

Grand Canyon North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

No trip to Las Vegas is complete without visiting the Grand Canyon. Thousands of feet higher than the South Rim, the canyon’s North Rim provides impressive vistas, trails along the Colorado River, and a better glimpse at the inner canyon, all with sparser crowds than its more popular counterpart. Highlights on the North Rim include Bright Angel Point (a terminus of the famous Bright Angel Trail), Angel’s Window Overlook, Cape Royal, and Point Imperial—the Grand Canyon’s highest point at 8,800 feet (2,682 meters).

  • Points of Interest

    Grand Canyon North Rim

While not as popular as the South Rim, the North Rim offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Visitors based in Las Vegas can get a bird’s-eye view of the North Rim aboard a helicopter or airplane flightseeing tour, with the option to add an ATV ride or Jeep tour for close-up views from the ground. Since the Hoover Dam is along the route from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon North Rim, many visitors and tours stop there first.

  • The North Rim is a must-see for nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts.

  • See the rim on an aerial tour or from the ground in a Jeep or ATV.

  • Due to the distances involved, tours from Las Vegas can last up to 10 hours.

  • There isn’t much shade at the Grand Canyon, so remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

The Grand Canyon North Rim runs into both Arizona and Nevada, and is part of Grand Canyon National Park. The North Rim is about 275 miles (442 kilometers) east of Las Vegas and about 207 miles (332 kilometers) from Flagstaff in Arizona. If you’re not visiting on a tour, you can get there by car by taking Highway 89A to Highway 67/North Rim Parkway. A Trans Canyon shuttle runs between the South Rim and the North Rim when the North Rim is open between May and October.

The best times to visit the Grand Canyon are in early autumn and late spring, when temperatures are cool and the crowds are sparser than in summer. Visitor facilities at the North Rim are open from mid-May to mid-October, and it’s possible to visit the area until the first snowfall closes the road from Jacob Lake until it melts again in spring.

The Grand Canyon North Rim offers some spectacular trails for day hikers, including rim hikes with stellar views of the inner canyon or even hikes down into the canyon itself. The Bright Angel Point Trail can be hiked in as little as 30 minutes along a paved path, with excellent views the entire way. The three-mile (4.8-kilometer) round-trip Transept Trail follows the rim from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground, while the more challenging North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs inside the canyon takes a full day to complete.

Yes, the Grand Canyon North Rim is worth it. Plan to catch a sunrise or sunset while you’re there—they are remarkable—or head to Cape Royal for sunrise and make sure your cameras are charged. The North Rim is also a place to escape the crowds and the city to unwind for a little while.

If you can, visit the North and South Rim because you’ll see different landscapes and ecosystems. The South Rim has iconic views and is often more crowded year-round. However, The North Rim has cooler weather, making it more pleasant in the hot Arizona summers.

Driving the North Rim takes around an hour, but stopping off and doing some hikes along the way is worth it. There are several overlooks like Bright Angel Point, Walhalla Overlook, Uncle Jim Point, and more, so make sure to factor in time to see these. A full day could be around 16-20 hours.

The best times to visit the Grand Canyon are the spring (March through May) and fall (September through November) if you want to avoid hot summer temps and large crowds. It’s also difficult to secure accommodation in the summer, so you’ll have many more options during the other seasons.

Keep your eyes peeled for bison, deer, and turkeys roaming the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. There’s plenty of room to wander in the alpine meadows and forests between maple and aspen trees. Occasional black bears are spotted on the North Rim, but these are rare, so don’t worry.

Yes, you need a backcountry permit for the Grand Canyon North Rim to stay overnight in the winter season. You can only access this area by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking at this time. You must also pay to enter any area of the Grand Canyon during any season—around US$20-US$35.

THE VALUE OF TRIP CANVAS

Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!

BACK TO TOP