Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Grand Canyon's North Rim

About 10 years ago, Mr. UR and I took our kids on an epic road trip from the east coast to the Grand Canyon. We stopped many places along the way - Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, the Oklahoma City Memorial, The Big Texan Steak Ranch ( a western themed steakhouse where you can get a free meal if you eat so much food in so much time - we didn't take the challenge) in Amarillo, Texas and visited a cousin in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We got to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on a gorgeous 70 degree, blue sky day. The next day snow covered the canyon and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. C'est la vie.

Last spring we visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time. The North Rim closes from approximately October through mid-May each year and we visited on the third day it was open for the new year last May. We were driving from southwestern Utah - and the drive took about 2 1/2 hours each way. So it was a long day trip but doable. 



We drove through some diverse scenery - from desolate desert to forest and meadow - and I found all of it to be so interesting. The scenery is so different from where I live on the East Coast! We passed only a few gas stations and a campground before we arrived at the Canyon.











I was surprised at the long line of cars waiting to get through the gate as we had hardly passed any on our way there. Once inside the gate it was about 15 more miles to arrive at the North Rim. We had brought a picnic lunch - as we do - so we ate our lunch in a picnic area and then headed to the rim for our first view. My son's girlfriend had never been -and it had been a long time for us - so we were all excited to see the Canyon.




I don't think it matters how many times you've been - that view never disappoints! Once again, we had a beautiful day - sunny with a little chill in the air. Almost perfect. 





Dining room in thelodge

A statue honoring the mules of the Canyon






The rim is just to the left of this cabin!
After our first view we headed to The Grand Canyon Lodge. The lodge and it's cabins are the only lodging inside the North Rim area of the park. The lodge includes a dining room which serves 3 meals per day, a bar and a gift shop. After seeing the cabins, I had a new item to add to my travel wish list. I would love to stay in one of those - especially the ones close to the rim. Me and everybody else, right?  We wandered around and then took in the view from the lodge.


Can you see the people on the edge of the light colored rock?




The lodge from a viewpoint
We walked the Bright Angel Point Trail which is a 1/2 mile walk on a paved trail which ends at a point sitting out in the canyon. It's an easy walk though there are some points which may make those who are uncomfortable around heights well, ...uncomfortable. I clung to the wall a bit - and my son's girlfriend helped me out by taking my arm and helping me through some of the higher spots. Thanks Alyshia! 













We decided to make a stop for another view on our way back to Utah. Point Imperial was on our way out of the park - and also has incredible views. At 8,800 feet, Point Imperial is the highest of the North Rim overlooks. It's about 2 1/2 miles from the lodge by way of the bendy, twisty Cape Royal highway.










Our last stop was at In-n-Out Burger. It was our first time - and yes, we got animal fries and yes, it really was that good!




For those of you who haven't been to the Grand Canyon, and wonder which Rim to visit, I don't think it matters. If you don't like crowds, then the North Rim is for you. If you have a specific time of year you need to visit, then maybe the South Rim is for you as it's open year-round. If you've been to one or the other and think you need to go to both, I would suggest that you don't have to. Unless you really, really feel the need to see both, then by all means, do so. But they both offer excellent views! (We did  both so my son's girlfriend could see the Canyon and the North Rim was closer for us)



This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner! Please visit them for some travel inspiration!












24 comments:

  1. The view from Point Imperial is amazing. One day we will get there I am sure. Meanwhile explain In n Out Burgers and animal fries please!

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    1. In n Out Burgers is a popular chain located in only a handful of states - California, Utah, Texas, Oregon and I believe, Washington. So those of us on the East Coast aren't able to eat there. They are well-known for their delicious burgers - and you can get your fries "animal style" which is covered with a special sauce, onions and cheese. It's part of their "secret' menu - meaning not on the regular menu - which isn't so secret. And all lived up to the hype I had heard about In-n-Out Burgers!

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  2. What can I say about those views? They are incredible. I have never been to the Grand Canyon National Park. I been to parts of the Canyon that are inside Indian Reservations. I can wait to visit the actual park. My husband has been to the North Rim. He came back with tons of amazing photos.

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    1. I hope you make it there someday Ruth - it's such an incredible place! And lucky you, it sounds like you've been to some parts of the Canyon that others haven't. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. We've only visited the South Rim twice and you're right, the views can never disappoint. Your photos are beautiful. I see some differences with the views and greenery. Maybe now I need to go visit the North Rim just to compare and contrast. We live in Southern California so In-N-Out is a staple. My kids can't get enough of them and I think they have the best fries. :)

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    1. Thanks Mary - and I agree about the fries! The amazing thing to me about the North and South Rims is that if you could just drive across the canyon you could do both views in a day - but then it wouldn't be a canyon then, would it? Thanks for visiting!

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  4. I am so wanting to do a rim to rim hike. We will be in the area this summer and I am trying to figure out how to make it happen. It will be in the dead of summer-blech, but it's the only time we are in the USA and out west.

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    1. I would be concerned about the summer's unbearable heat but if you do the research and it looks feasible then maybe you could make it happen. What a fantastic experience that would be! I've always wanted to raft the Canyon's river but have never taken the first step towards making it happen. Good luck - hope you work it out!

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  5. I can't wait to visit Grand Canyon again, was here more than 12 years ago and look forward to being back with the family this time :-) In and Out Burger definitely on the list as well! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. And thanks for visiting! Enjoy your trip!

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  6. We visited the North Rim a few times so far. The views are incredible indeed.

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    1. Have you also visited the South Rim? If so, any comparisons? My visits to both were so spread apart that I like to hear others who have visited them more recently. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. What a beautiful journey. That house on the edge is great - better you don't wander in your sleep ;) I had to smile when I read that you also always take your picnic with ;) #WeekendWanderlust www.travelbug.co

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    1. It definitely wouldn't be good if you are a sleepwalker, would it? Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Wow, I had no idea there were cabins right on the edge of the Grand Canyon. I agree with you, I have added that to our travel bucket list as well, seems like an amazing experience to wake up to those views. Thank you for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

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    1. I didn't know that there were cabins right on the rim either until we saw them. Wouldn't that be a great experience?!

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  9. OK, I'm adding those cabins to my list. I was just reading a different blog about the Grand Canyon and thinking it was time to go back. Now I know where I'll stay. I wonder how many years in advance I need to make the reservation?

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    1. I don't know how many years in advance to book - possibly one as I'm not sure if the National Parks booking goes any further in advance than that. I think part of the problem is that they are only open from May to October - I'm guessing you'd have a better shot with weekdays. Thanks for visiting and good luck with the cabins!

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  10. I have not been to the Grand Canyon in over ten years, so i'd love to see it again! We love visiting National parks and just saw our third in Colorado

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    1. I love the National Parks too - such treasures! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. We've only been to the south rim, and we were on a bus tour that was part of the Grand Canyon Railway package, stopping here and there for five minutes at a time. We need to go back when we can spend as much time as we want at any of the vantage points and not be there with a busload of people.

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    1. I'm sure that the bus tour was a good overview of all the spots - but I hope you make it back to spend more time. The day we went to the South Rim that was snowing was really uncrowded and a nice slow pace. I did like the slow pace and peace of our North Rim visit!

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  12. Stunning shots! I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but if I ever get the opportunity to travel in the US it is on my list. Thanks for linking up. #TPThursday

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    1. Thanks so much - and thanks for stopping by!

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