North Rim Grand Canyon

Updated September, 2000

The day after Memorial Day we drove the 83 miles south of Kanab to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was a pleasant drive, mostly level on good roads. Much of the drive was down a long valley with signs about snow-mobiling. The area is near 8,000 feet and during the winter it does get cold.

There had been a major forest fire in the area in the past weeks, and at one point we saw where the fire line had crossed the highway.

There is much more greenery around the North Rim than at South Rim. North Rim viewWe drove in or near pine forests as we approached the edge of the canyon. At the canyon the pine trees grew right up to the edge of the canyon and in some places the trees grew down inside the canyon.

This trail followed the edge of the North Rim. trail along North RimIt was pleasant but you couldn't see the canyon very well. We left the car parked in the shade (we had the dogs with us since it was cool) and walked on down to the lodge.

The lodge was built many years ago and has been rehabed several times. It is a massive structure with heavy rock walls and floors.

There was a great view from the lodge. view from lodgeI was having some problems with the altitude so we spent almost an hour just sitting in the lodge and looking out. That also gave the air a chance to warm a bit. The wind kept it pretty cool.


The air was more hazy than it had been at the South Rim. cactus flowerIt may have been smoke from the fires. Looking out over the canyon you could see the South Rim but it was not all that clear.

We found a place in the lodge to have a snack. We had had a picnic lunch earlier alongside the canyon itself. We kept the dogs closely tied since we didn't want to chase them down the side of the canyon.

There is trail out to the tip of Bright Angel Point. Bright Angle Point trailAfter I got to feeling better we headed for a walk out to the point. The trail started easy and smooth, but the sides kept coming in on us as we walked along. Finally, we were walking along the edge of the canyon.

Deb took this picture. Sam and Alice at North RimThis is as far as Alice would go. She found a nice bench in the shade and sat down to wait for us to come back.

We walked on out the trail. It is a good paved trail, but there are places where you could step off the end of the world if you wanted to. From time to time the wind gusted through to make a person feel a little less secure.

There were flowers alongside the trail. trail flowersI am always willing to take a picture of some pretty color.

The trail got narrower. narrow trailPeople seemed quite happy walking along the path, so we just kept going. There were a couple of places where they actually had to build bridges across abysses to continue to the point. But the scenery kept getting better.

I took a number of pictures along the way, but they do not really show what it is like.

The view straight down was spectacular. looking downThis was a place along the trail where you walked right along the edge. You can see the edge wall of the trail at the bottom of the picture. I just held the camera out and pointed it down and snapped the shutter. Notice that there is some distance between me and the edge.

Also, notice that there is a red lichen on the rock over the edge.

Here is some more lichen that grew next to the trail. cactus flowerIt was such a bright red I had to take a picture of it. It was in the shade so it does not look as bright as it was.

I took pictures for a panorama when I reached the actual point. It shows the canyon around almost 270 degrees. It is almost 3mbytes in size and I decided not to upload it. I will run out of space if I put too many such panoramas on the website.

Here are some different flowers along the trail. more flowersThese were white and seemed to enjoy the rough climate on the point.

In the distance you can the South Rim. South Rim in distanceIn the enlarged view you can also pick out the San Francisco Mountains in the far south. The air had cleared and the viewing had gotten much better as the day went on.

We worked out way back to the lodge and took time to have another refreshment. Then it was time to head back to Kanab.

On the way back we photographed the path of the fire. North Rim fire pathThis is where it crossed the highway. The burned area was only about a half a mile long. The fire went on to the east and burned over 13,000 acres.

The North Rim is a nice area to visit, and there are some good campgrounds where you can stay. But there is not much to do there except hike or sit in the lodge. There are ranger programs and talks, but we did not the chance to go to any of them.