Grand Canyon North Rim Exploration
Notes from the run:
The trip went mostly according to plan. Everything changed when we paid a visit to the Back Country Office inside of the park. We got lucky and were able to reserve the Fire Point camp area for the night. In fact we could have booked it for two nights. I would have been happy to stay there but others wanted to see what else we could find. Day 2 we finally found a nice secluded spot outside of the GCNP but still with walking distance of the rim. I would highly recommend this trip. The views from the North Rim are amazing. Less people, less traffic, and plenty of great places to camp. On day 2 we made it to Sublime point. Both camping spots were open, but reserved. I have my doubts as to whether those with reservations ever showed up. One group was camped in an illegal spot. Oh well. Next trip we plan I will try to reserve Sublime for at least one night.
On our border to border run we passed the entrance to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but didn’t have time to go exploring. With the fun of the AZ border to border run fresh in our minds a few of us thought this would be a great weekend to return. In my 25+ years in AZ I have never explored the North Rim. Nows the time! Plan on 3 days of camping unless you head up to Flagstaff early Saturday.
Season Mid-May to Mid-October: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hours.htm
Day 1 (Friday) - Head up to Flagstaff and explore the cinders area. Camp near Sunset Crater - Location TBD Some may stay in town as well. Since most have to work Friday we decided this would be a good day 1 place. It is approximately 5.5 hours from Phoenix to the entrance to the north rim and that is a bit to long in 1 day to also allow for trail runs.
Day 2 (Saturday) - Flagstaff to North Rim. Leave by 8:30AM
We will work our way up 89 to Marble Canyon (Fuel Stop) then on towards Vermillion Cliffs. Here we will take a “short cut” scenic road to the north rim. Buffalo Ranch Road to 220 then 67 for a bit. Then on towards Point Sublime Road for our scenic journey along the north rim.
Explore the area and include an afternoon light hike along the rim WX permitting. Pick a camping spot.
My Life Outdoors has some great info on the north rim.