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Which rim is a must see?

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Which rim is a must see?

I would like to plan a trip to the GCNP at the end of September. We plan to spend a day and a half there - which rim is the must see? Also, any suggestions on lodging?

Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: Which rim is a must see?

For a first visit, definitely the south rim, which has a over a dozen named viewpoints, compared with only a handful at the north rim. The viewpoints at the north rim are also much farther apart, so a lot more driving between them.

Stay at one of the lodges inside the park. El Tovar, Thunderbird, Kachina, and Brigh Angel are right along the rim (which we prefer) Maswick and Yavapai are away from the rim. Check availability at this site:


If everything is booked, check back every day and call every day because there are always cancellations.

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Which rim is a must see?

I'm one of the minority who thinks the South and North rims are equally impressive. The South has more view points it is true. Desert View and Moran are my personal favorites there. The South has more lodging choices as well, but then it has many more visitors. It has more places to eat.

But in my view nothing on the South rim comes close to Grand Canyon Lodge on the North rim. I don't know why it's so, but tthe only place in GCNP to dine and hang out right on the rim with great views of the canyon is GC Lodge.

Distances on North Rim aren't much further than on South between GC Village and Desert View, just not as many viewpoints along the way.

But from where will you be coming and where do you go next? It may depend upon reservation availability as well. For GC Lodge see http://www.grandcanyonforever.com

Edited: 08 July 2014, 03:08
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Which rim is a must see?

It is the Grand Canyon itself that is a "must see."

I have never subscribed to the view that the South Rim is better because there are more hotels, more activities, and more viewpoints. How many of each do you need? There are also a LOT more people, and this can affect your experience.

I am one who prefers the North Rim, as it is higher, more forested, cooler, and is much quieter. The lodge sits right on the rim and the changing light presents a constantly changing view. Bright Angel Point is my favorite viewpoint and it is a much more pleasant experience to get there ( on foot, 1/4 mile from the lodge) than to try to shuttle out to Hermit's rest and see all the viewpoints on the way. ( if you want to hike the whole way, that is a different thing, very nice).

The best rim for you, however, is the one where you can find lodging. The lodge at the North Rim is fully booked for all of September right now. I did not check the South Rim lodges, but they may well be booked too. Late September is one of the most popular times at the Grand Canyon because the weather is so moderate. But people do cancel their reservations, so keep checking, and try calling as well.

4. Re: Which rim is a must see?

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Uden, The...
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5. Re: Which rim is a must see?

North rim only has one lodge and its always solidly booked september to half of october. Very very little chance you can get a room there that time of year but you always can call for cancellations. For a first time visit I'd also pick south rim.

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: Which rim is a must see?

For a first time visit, choose the South rim. You'll see and learn more in your short 1 1/2 day time frame. When you realize you're hooked on the Grand Canyon, plan a return trip. But plan it a full year in advance so that you can choose from all of the options, one of which could be the north rim.

Merida, Yucatan
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7. Re: Which rim is a must see?

''When you realize you're hooked on the Grand Canyon, plan a return trip.''

That's exactly what happened to me. We saw the South Rim first and then returned to see the North Rim. I also preferred the NR, mostly because of it's solitude and peace and quiet, but also because of the charm and character of the Lodge.

A visit to the NR can be combined with seeing the national parks in southern Utah, not to mention a trip to Page. But it does require early planning.

Sun City, Arizona
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8. Re: Which rim is a must see?

The rim of the Grand Canyon!

9. Re: Which rim is a must see?

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