I had visited the Black Canyon several times, always the South Rim due to the large number of improved viewpoints, and thought the North Rim would be a secondary attraction. I would still say that the South Rim should be your destination for a first visit, but do try to see the North Rim on your second, since it is spectacular. The road by the viewpoints is dirt, but well maintained, and you won't fight the South Rim crowds. Some of the truly historic and scenic parts of the canyon, such as The Narrows, really cannot be seen well except from the North Rim.
As an avid photographer, I had always assumed that the lighting would be bad for photos from the North Rim, since "surely" the view over to the south side would be shaded for most of the day. I was dead wrong, and must say that the photos from the North Rim are just as good as my large collection taken from the South Rim.
Tip 1: If you are coming from Gunnison, do make sure you have at least a half tank of gas, since you won't find any gas stations along the route.
Tip 2: This is open range country, and you might even find yourself part of a cattle drive going right down the road as you approach the park. We did, and I'm including a photo.
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