I-15 to UT 9 to UT 59 to Alt 89 to 67.
Allow the best part of 5 hours.
GCNP NR is 8000 feet above sea level. Heat won't be an issue.
Since it appears that you've never been to the GCNP before, I would urge you to consider the South Rim instead. You can see and do and learn much more there.Edited: 19 January 2012, 05:22
Hi Red Rox, thank you for your reply. sorry silly me, its 5am here and I am clearly not awake. I;m not sure about driving as I have never driven in the US before, so wondered about busses etc. If there isn't much, then perhaps I will have to hire a car..... Sounds scary as I am used to manual!
I thought about the north rim as it has said on these forums that its quieter and more peaceful. Do you not think so? Sally
There is no public transportation to the GCNP NR. Or to the SR either, although from LV there are plenty of day trip options to SR. Your plan to drive is the best, but I still recommend the South Rim.
There are fewer facilities at the NR, hence fewer people. But there are also fewer view points at the NR and you have to drive much further between them. At the SR there are more people, but you don't have to be in the middle of a crowd, ever. No matter which rim you choose there will be hoards of people clustered around the lodges and dining rooms.
If you choose the SR you will see much more of the Grand Canyon in a much more efficient way. You'll have more opportunities to learn about what you are seeing, and even more places to hike. You won't be hiking very far below the rim, if you are smart and follow advice. But you can hike to your hearts content along the rim and see more than you can imagine.
Bless you Redrox, I will definitely look at the South Rim then. Do you have anywhere you can recommend? Also, is there anywhere else you would see in that area before we go. Sally x
There's only one lodge at North rim and it books early. For south rim maybe try www.grandcanyonlodges.com There also is a lot to see on the way to south rim like parts of R66, Hoover Dam and the new Colorado Rover bridge near Hoover. So it depends on how much time you have and how long you want to stay at the rim.
The first time we went to the GC, we went to the north rim. It was June and the lack of crowds made it such that at times we were the only ones viewing the canyon from a viewpoint. Our first view of the GC was from Imperial Point on the north rim. We were the only ones there. Our first view of the canyon was just us and the canyon- priceless! If you like more solitude, don't get talked out of the north rim. Yes, there is only one lodge, but there are ranger activities and other activities. As a matter of fact, when we were there, an astronomy club had their telescopes set up on the back porch of the lodge for viewing the stars that night. It will also be cooler on the north rim in August.
Check out the Grand Canyon National Park website. Here is a link to the north rim: nps.gov/grca/…CP_JUMP_339333
I'm not knocking the NR. I'm saying that the SR has much more to offer, especially for a first time visitor, including the special moment for the first view. My best advice on that is to skip Mather Point. That way you will miss the crowd of day trippers who are the only ones who can spoil the moment. Head to Yavapai Observation Point instead.
For lodging at the GC, use www.grandcanyonlodges.com
Anyplace that you can stay inside the park is ideal. Read the Top Questions on the right hand side of this page for more insight regarding the specific lodge options.
I am another who prefers the North Rim, especially in midsummer. It is higher and cooler, with more trees and far fewer people. The lodge is right ON the rim. It is a side canyon so the views are more intimate and the colors deeper. You can see across the canyon to the south rim lodges. For a broader view into the main canyon, walk the short distance out to Bright Angel Point just below the lodge.
Yes, there is only one lodge there, but how many lodges do you need? One.
If you can get reservations there, that would be my recommendation if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Yes, there are more tourist shops and places to eat at the South Rim. But how many souvenir shops do you need? My answer would be none. As for places to eat, the North Rim lodge offers a dining room, a deli, and snacks in the bar, as well as a well-stocked grocery store for snacks. We were perfectly happy there for a two-night stay.
As for activities, the North Rim still offers a good mule ride down INTO the canyon, which the South Rim does not (unless you ride to the bottom to stay overnight).
The drive to the North Rim is much prettier, in our view. Coming from Las Vegas, Zion National Park is at the halfway point and makes a nice stopover. Spend 2 nights and hike a short way into the Narrows, walking in the water, on the intervening day. The kids will love it ( and so will you).
And do not worry about the automatic transmission. You will quickly get used to it. Since you will be sitting on the "wrong" (left) side of the car, it will be much easier than trying to learn to shift gears with your right hand.
And now that I've said all that, I will advise that reservations at the North Rim lodge ( officially called the Grand Canyon Lodge) are difficult, so if you decide that is what you want to do, try booking right away. The company that operates the lodge is called Forever Resorts.
Thank you thank you thank you for all your advice! I have to say I live in rural Shropshire and we are going to Las Vegas as I am a Forever Living distributor and we are guests of them (the company owns Forever Resorts). I have been to LV before, and its not my cup of tea - as we say in England. I do crave peace and quiet and the North Rim is enticing..... Especially as they provide so much nice accommodation. (Forever Living is such an exceptional company!)
I am torn between the hiking tours into the canyon and just staying at the north rim. Thank you though, it will sort itself out..... Have never driven in the US but am sure I am up to the challenge....must buy your highway code! This is a big thing for me and my girls and I really appreciate all your contributions. !! XX
I highly recommend Zion (don't miss the area near the east entrance, it's gorgeous).
Sounds like you'll probably be in the area again sometime in your life but if not and if you have time, I'd personally do the grand circle and see Bryce, Zion, and Upper Antelope Canyon too (among other things along that route). I actually liked all three of those more than the grand canyon but I imagine some would disagree with me.