Grand Canyon North Rim

 

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Mileage: Mount Carmel Jct.
Tuweep 90 miles
South Canyon 75 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Zion Park 12 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles

The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes the Grand Canyon!

Plan your North Rim Grand Canyon vacation with our Arizona Maps and Information

In these pages you will find insiders information on the best Grand Canyon hikes and Backpacks including Tuweep and South Canyon Trails. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on Grand Canyon North Rim hidden treasures.

Making grand memories in the Arizona national parks.

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Grand Canyon North Rim map

Grand Canyon North Rim Road Map

Directions to North Rim Grand Canyon: From Zion National Park, take on U-9 through the park to Mt. Carmel Jct. Turn south on US-89 to Kanab. There is only one stop light in Kanab; this is where US-89 changes to ALT 89. Fredonia, Arizona is 6 miles. In Fredona take 89A to Jacob lake (36 miles), then take AZ 67 to the Grand Canyon North Rim park entrance.

Winter Road Conditions and
Highway 67 Road Closures

Grand Canyon backpacking

The short side trip to Ribbon Falls along the North Kaibab Trail is spectacular.

Grand Canyon Permits

Backcountry use permits and fees are required for overnight hiking. These should be obtained prior to your visit at the Grand Canyon.

Inner-Canyon Backcountry Permit Fees
$10 for backcountry permit fee
$ 5 for impact fee per person

Rim Backcountry Walk In permits
$10 for permit, $5 per group
May 15-October
Information between 1-5pm 928.638.7875
No permits are given on the phone.

To obtain a backcountry permit
write to: Information Center
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
The backcountry Office is open daily from 8am-12pm and 1pm to 5m.

Phantom Ranch Reservations
Reservations can be made 23 months in advance.
Phone: 303.297.2757 Fax: 303.297.3175

 

 

 

Grand Canyon North Rim Backpacking

North Rim Backpacking Trails

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers easier backpacking, above the rim, as well as the strenuous North Kaibab corridor trail, that drops below the rim, leading to the Colorado River.

Uncle Jim Backpack

The Uncle Jim Trail is a 5 mile round trip, but add the Ken Patrick Trail and it's a good backpack. The start of this trail is shared with the last section of the Ken Patrick Trail. During the summer, mule rides are guided on the Uncle Jim Trail. Much of the hike is through a thick forest plateau with groves of ponderosa pines, spruce, fir and aspen. The path leads to an overlook of the Grand Canyon. Primitive camping is allowed along either trail. There are no designated campsites.

Ken Patrick Backpack

Point Imperial is 8803' elevation and the highest place in the Grand Canyon that can be reached by car. This is where the hike will begin. Follow the rock stairway to the trailhead. The trail has a 3 mile rim section between Point Imperial and the Cape Royal road. After the views of Mt. Hayden, as well as many far off views such as those of Marble Canyon, the trail then forges through the forest. It's a relatively even path and easy to follow as it stays west of the rim. A backcountry permit is required for camping. Primitive camping without designated campsites.

Widforss Trail

The 10 mile (round trip) backpack rolls up and down through the forest, edging along some nice sections of the rim on the way to the Widforss Point Overlook (8000'). Primitive camping without designated campsites.

Point Sublime

The scenic, 36 mile round trip to Point Sublime is usually traveled by 4WD rather than on foot. However you go, the view at the end is magnificent. Camping is only at designated sites.

North Rim Corridor Trails

The following trails are steep, dropping far below the rim. During the summer, temperatures can reach over 115°. In the winter, the trails can be covered with snow and you can lose your way.

North Kaibab Backpack

The North Kaibab Trail is a strenuous, 14.5 mile one-way backpack. This is the only North Rim trail leading to the Colorado River. The trail descends beneath the rim, through the forest, for the first 5 miles, to Roaring Springs. Roaring Springs is a waterfall created by water pouring from a muav cave into Bright Angel Creek. The trail continues along Bright Angel Creek and on to Phantom Ranch. If you opt to take the mule ride from the North Rim, they only travel as far as Roaring Springs.

The following are points along the trail that can serve as a trail destination.

To the Coconio Overlook .75 mile one way
To Supai Tunnel 2 miles one way
Redwall Bridge 3 miles one way
Roaring Springs fork 4.7 miles
Roaring Springs 5 miles
Cottonwood Campground 7 miles
Ribbon Falls 8.5 miles
Phantom Ranch 14 miles
Bright Angel Campground 14.5 miles

Rim to Rim Backpack

Hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim is 23.5 miles one way. Most hikers will pick up a shuttle ride back to the North Rim to get their car rather than turning around and hiking another 23.5 miles.The recommended way to hike rim to rim is starting at the North Kaibab Trail and ending on the Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim. Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds.

The Esplanade

The hike to the Esplanade and back is 11 miles. Backpack down from Monument Point to an oasis of sandstone and hoodoos. Primitive camping is allowed near the trail. There are no designated campsites.

Thunder River

The hike to Thunder River is a 17 mile round trip. This remote trail begins at the end of a delightful dirt road in the North Kaibab Forest and ends at a roaring waterfall spurting from the mountainside. Camping is allowed in designated campsites as well as in Surprise Valley or on the Esplanade.

Deer Creek

Deer Creek begins the same as Thunder River but detours in Surprise Valley and heads to Deer Springs and the Colorado River.

South Canyon

The hike from South Canyon to Vasey's Paradise is a 17 mile round trip. This is a remote hike starting at House Rock Buffalo Ranch Road through a remote canyon to the Colorado River and a wonderful waterfall on the river. Primitive camping is allowed at designated campsites.

River Trip Story

Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is incredible, but a trip through the Colorado River combines hiking with the river and it's unbeatable!

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As the twilight deepens, the rocks grow deep and somber; the threatening roar of the water is loud and constant, and I lie awake with thoughts of the morrow and the canyons to come.

-- John Wesley Powell

Photo: North Kaibab Trail:
North Rim Grand Canyon
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Photography by Tanya

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