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anna_moon North Rim - A travel report by Polly
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North Rim,  United States - flag United States -  Arizona
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anna_moon's travel reports

The other side of the Grand Canyon

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Sunset from the North Rim.
Sunset from the North Rim.
While going to the Grand Canyon is probably one of the most popular and iconic travel adventures, we chose the North Rim for our 2001 vacation instead of the more popular (and commercial) southern rim. Among the major differences – the North Rim is controlled by the National Park service, a greater percentage of the visitors are international, and instead of standing at the edge of the beautiful panorama, you are a part of it on the many points that jut out into the canyon.

Favourite spots:
The view from Bright Angel Point.
The view from Bright Angel Point.
Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim was built during the depression, but is well kept and rustically beautiful. It has it’s own post office, restaurants, and gift shop, but you spend the night in two or four room cabins (with a private bathroom) a few steps away. The lodge is built on the edge of the canyon, directly above scenic Bright Angel Point and close to several walking trails. Other points (Point Imperial, Cape Royal) can be reached by driving.

What's really great:
The Colorado River
The Colorado River
Seeing (and hearing) ringed tailed cats in the trees outside your cabin. Watching the sun set from the sunroom of the lodge, or from one of the points or trails below. The firemen who kept the flames by the side of the road under control as we drove safely past. Cape Royal was the most interesting point we drove to. It’s a thin bit of rock sticking out into the canyon, and the middle of the base is slowly eroding away, turning it into a giant natural arch. There’s also lots of interesting plant life on either side of the paths. Since it is part of the national park, there are also guided tours of some of the trails, or dealing with aspects of canyon life (we learned about the Ancestral Pueblo).

Accommodations:
Sunset from the main lodge.
Sunset from the main lodge.
We stayed at the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, in small, very rustic cabins (two beds per cabin, two to four cabins joined). The drain in our shower was stopped up, but the cabins were still a wonderful experience.

Restaurants:
North Rim travelogue picture
The choices are the lodge dining room, or the miniature cafeteria that serves fast food. The Navajo Taco at the dining room was especially good.

Other recommendations:
Looking up at the Grand Canyon.
Looking up at the Grand Canyon.
There are lots of side trips to take between the Las Vegas airport and the North Rim. We stopped at Pipe Springs National Monument on the way there, and took a detour through Zion National Park on the way back. Pipe Springs is an interesting look at frontier life, while Zion is majestic in it’s own way – looking up instead of down.

Published on Wednesday January 21th, 2004


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