See it and you’ll understand immediately why the North Rim is regarded as the Grand Canyon’s “best side.” While visitors at the South Rim jostle with crowds and endure daytime temperatures nearing 100°, those fortunate enough to see the Grand Canyon from its North Rim will have a whole different experience; one the travel magazine Conde Nast once described years ago as “the Connoisseur’s Grand Canyon.”
Grand Canyon’s North Rim is only open from mid-May through mid-October. At 8,000’ above sea level, the North Rim is cooler and typically experiences heavy winter snows, hence the shorter season. At the South Rim, you’ll find primarily evergreen trees. On the North Rim, maple, aspen, birch and oak trees stand side by side with Ponderosa pines, making autumn a particularly special time to visit when these trees put on a radiant display of colorful foliage. Unique animal life abounds here, too, most notably, the gray Kaibab Squirrel with its distinctive tufted ears.
Visitor facilities at the North Rim are fewer in number and smaller in scale. While the South Rim area has well over a thousand hotel rooms, the North Rim only has a couple hundred. The South Rim sees approximately five million visitors a year; the North Rim receives maybe one-tenth that number.
Distance from WillowWind: 124 Miles