North Rim

Photo: National Park Service

Although it is only 10 miles as the crow flies from the South Rim, and is part of the same National Park, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon provides a different environmental and cultural experience for visitors. Even today, the North Rim remains more remote than the South Rim. Fewer tourists visit this side of the Canyon, and there are fewer accommodations and facilities here, giving many visitors a sense that they are getting more of a wilderness experience here than in the crush of sightseers along the South Rim. The North Rim is also 1,000 feet higher in elevation, giving it a colder, wetter climate. Because the area often gets heavy snows in the winter, the National Park Service only opens it from May to October.


Explore the North Rim

In 1933 the CCC helped relocate the Bright Angel fire tower to a new location. It continued to help the NPS fight fires in Grand Canyon National Park for many decades. Photo: NPS

Fire tower at Bright Angel Point

Famed environmentalist and author Edward Abbey worked for four seasons at the Bright Angel fire tower as a lookout. His experiences inspired his novel Black Sun about a man who worked on a remote...

Grand Canyon Lodge on the brink of the North Rim. Photo: Forever Resorts. Used by permission.

Grand Canyon Lodge

    References: Anderson, Michael. Polishing the Jewel: An Administrative History of Grand Canyon National Park. GCA, 2000. Anderson, Michael, ed. A Gathering of Grand Canyon Historians. Proceedings of the Inaugural Grand Canyon History...

The “Uncle Dee” Woolley Cabin has been an important landmark on the North Rim for nearly a century. Director of the National Park Service Stephen T. Mather, second from the right, is shown visiting the cabin in 1920.. Photo:National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection

Uncle Dee Woolley’s cabin

    References: Anderson, Michael.  Polishing the Jewel: An Administrative History of Grand Canyon National ParkGrand Canyon Association, 2000. Rust, Joseph. “From the Dirty Devil to the Bright Angel: The History of David D....

William Wallace Wylie established his first permanent camps, including this one at the Upper Geyser Basin, at Yellowstone National Park. Photo: National Park Service.

Wylie Way Camps

Developing the Grand Canyon for scenic tourism, especially along the North Rim, was a difficult task because of its isolation from major population centers and transportation routes. Many entrepreneurs at the Canyon pioneered new...


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