Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Grand Canyon - North Rim

It's such a beautiful day. I love winters. I feel more relaxed and peaceful during the winter. We watched Skyfall this weekend. I can't say I was impressed. We got bored after the first half and it wasn't as amazing as I thought it would be. I've been watching a lot of TV lately. Recently, I finished watching all the seasons of the West Wing. I loved watching West Wing and miss it now. I started watching Eureka these days and I find it quite interesting. I might be hooked to this one for a while. I also started watching Commander in Chief (my substitute for the West Wing); that's quite interesting too. 

Anyway, today's post is about my weekend trip to Southern Utah. While we were visiting Zion, one morning we decided to drive down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon because it was a two hours drive from there. It was 19°F (-7°C) that morning... super super cold. 

Me, right before entering Grand Canyon National Park. It was freezing.
The Grand Canyon's North Rim is more remote and less developed than the South Rim. It's less "touristy" and gives you a chance to breathe in the nature instead of fighting the crowd in the South Rim. The viewpoints in the North Rim are located at much higher elevations than the ones in the South Rim and some people think they are more beautiful. I haven't been to the South Rim, yet, but have heard all about it from my husband. The North Rim was not a lot like what I had heard about the South Rim but the views I saw were spectacular, nonetheless.

The North Rim forms the edge of the Kaibab plateau and the elevations range between 8,000-9,000 ft above sea level. In 1908, the park was founded as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt and in 1919, it became a national park. The park is about 1.2 million acres in area and lies entirely in the state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the 'Seven Natural Wonders Of the World.'

The drive was beautiful because we saw deer everywhere. Apparently, they're most active in the early hours of the morning. We had to drive very carefully to not ram into one. Highway 67 leads to the entrance of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and is also the way out. 

Kaibab Mule Deer in the middle of the road
Check this deer out, casually crossing the road in broad daylight. Unfortunately, it can't be told that there isn't a crosswalk and drivers must be very careful to avoid accidents. There were a lot of dead deer on the side of the road and I'm guessing they were probably hit by cars. This was more of an issue early morning and as the day passed, the deer stopped appearing on the roads.

Services in the North Rim are open from mid-May to mid-October. A Trans Canyon Shuttle runs between the South Rim and the North Rim once each day, in each direction. This is a 4.5 hours drive each way. When we arrived, the park was closed but the highway was open so we could drive through. The entrance fee is $25, valid for seven days and includes the entrance to both North and South Rim. We have an annual pass valid in all national parks around the United States, but since the park was closed, we just drove in for free.

Ankit, hiking up to Bright Angel Point
We decided to do a trail that led to 'Bright Angel Point'. The trail was short but can be scary for people who are afraid of heights. The trail is a well built, concrete paved path, that goes through the canyon. There are steep drops on either side of the trail.
Bright Angel Fault

The trail is about 0.25 miles in distance and is along a narrow peninsula dividing Roaring Springs and Transept Canyons.

Because this is a shorter trail, it's usually crowded. We saw a bunch of photographers at the end doing photography. According to them, the North Rim is prettier than the South Rim and during this time it's easier for them to take good pictures because the park isn't very crowded. 

I clicked this picture after reaching the end of the trail. Here is where I saw a bunch of photographers with their fancy cameras clicking pictures. Well, guess what? I used my iPhone for this panoramic view and I'm so proud :)

Next, we decided to check out "Point Imperial" which was a short drive away from here. On our way to Point Imperial, we saw two coyotes crossing the road. Crazy stuff.

A coyote who stopped on the side for me to pose while I clicked a picture

Point Imperial (Elevation: 8803)
Ankit, at Point Imperial

The view from here was 'grand' and  just how "Grand" Canyon should be. For a first-timer like me, I was awestruck. There are a lot of other really beautiful trails one can do at the North Rim, but we were short on time and this trip was something we snuck into our Southern Utah trip. Luckily, we had enough time to see everything and came back satisfied. 

Hopefully in the future, I'll get a chance to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon too. The North Rim didn't fail my expectations and I can recommend it to travelers. The best time to visit would be around end of September and mid-October because the weather is cool enough to go hiking. 

Well, that's it for my post for today. Thanksgiving is day after tomorrow. Hope everyone has a nice holiday.



  1. The Grand Canyon is one of nature's great wonders. If you haven't seen it, you have really missed a great experience. I was fortunate enough to experience its wonder and beauty.

    Brian Head Resort

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