North or South Rim

Jul 29th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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North or South Rim

We have a choice of staying one night at the Grand Canyon this August at the North Rim or the South. We do not hike and want to be there for the spectacle that I am promised the canyon is! Any recommendations? We will visit the South Rim for the day on the Grand Canyon Railway - any experiences of this from the forum? Many thanks
ukbazza is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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I think the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is much more impressive and what you expect when you go to the Grand Canyon.
The North Rim is less developed, fewer tourists, less places to look out over the canyon, the view is not as spectacular.
Both have their advantages, we've been to both and prefer the South Rim.
nanabee is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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North rim is much more isolated and has fewer visitors, but the best overlooks are a fairly lengthy drive from the lodge area (the lodge area is actually above a long side canyon and several miles by foot from the river).

South rim offers more easily accessible overlooks with different types of views, plus more visitor services, but it feels much more crowded. If you are already going to the south rim for a day I'd do the north rim just to see both sides.

We will visit the South Rim for the day on the Grand Canyon Railway - any experiences of this from the forum?

A friend from work did the train trip and felt it was an incredible tourist rip-off and one of the most boring days of his life. The actual ride up goes thru flat, uninteresting country, you arrive around mid-day (the worst time of day to see the canyon) and are there near the rim for just a few hours before chugging back to Williams. You can drive this in about half the time for a fraction the cost and be able to enjoy the canyon at sunrise and sunset.

The train ride and the Skywalk are the two biggest tourist traps in Arizona, sorry.

Bill_H is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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I'd vote for the South Rim because of the views. Most of the pictures of the Grand Canyon are from the S. Rim.

I've never done the train ride, but I do know you DO NOT SEE the Grand Canyon from the train. If you do the train would be just for that...a train ride. If your time is limited...I'd skip it. At the south rim you can a lot of time just riding the free shuttle buses and stopping at all the scenic overlooks.

utahtea is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Hello Ukbazza - we just came back from the North Rim, and I think it depends on what you want to do *after* you leave the Grand Canyon.

Depending on your plans, it will probably take longer to get to the North Rim. However, we found the South Rim to be a circus. Buses arrived, tourist clicked few pictures, buses left.

The North Rim was my favorite.

Mike Honeycutt
mahoneycutt is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:08 PM
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One other thing to consider: the North Rim, being much higher in elevation, is much cooler. Since you'll be there in August, this might make a difference. Unfortunately, August is also has the most visitation to the Canyon, so the much less crowded NR may also be a plus.

Even with both these considerations, I still recommend the South Rim simply because the views are so much better (IMHO). But you may decide otherwise for other considerations.
PaulRabe is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:11 PM
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I would skip the train ride and do a Helicopter of the canyon, especially since you don't hike. This is a good thrill without any effort.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:11 PM
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Hubby and I were lucky enough to do both the North and South Rims last week. I am glad we had the time to do both, because they are very different.

North Rim: Driving up via Jacob's lake, it didn't seem like we were in Arizona. Pine trees and mountain meadows along the road. Pulled off for a picnic lunch and discovered we were on the edge of the canyon! What a picnic spot! What we liked about the North Rim: fewer people, scenic overlooks actually go out into the canyon in several spots, several short trails with nice, varying views, saw lots of wildlife while leaving the park at dusk. You definitely need a car to make the most of this trip.

What we liked about the South Rim: As other posters have said, this are the views you see in most pictures of the canyon. You get more of the sense of the vastness of the canyon on this side, and a better view of the Colorado River. It was much hazier at the South Rim, but not sure if this is typical or just due to the weather while we were there. We spent one night at El Tovar, and would reccomend staying over night within the park if at all possible. It's crowded during the day, and it's nice viewing the canyon when things are quieter. It also helped when a thunderstorm rolled in the afternoon we arrived. We headed back to our room for a bit. It was neat listening to the thunder roll through the canyon, but I would have been disappointed if we'd had to leave early due to the weather. We also got to view a beautiful sunset from Hopi Point. The shuttle buses work great for getting round the park.

The best view of the Canyon? From the plane as we left Las Vegas. From the air, you get to see just how huge it really is!
rascat is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 11:11 PM
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The last time we were at the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon was in August a couple of years ago. We went with another couple and it was the only time they could go and I kept hearing about the crowds...but it did not seem that croweded to me at all...and we hate crowds!

utahtea is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their replies. Things got a bit hectic and did not get a chance to post this earlier. We are nearly mid-way through our trip now and did not do the train!Due to the last minute change, the only place we could spend our spare night was Cameron Trading Post motel which I had read the reviews about. I have to agree that the rooms were clean and adequate ... here is the BUT!
My god, the apathy in the restaurant and reception was unnerving. For a place that has Fine Dining over its front door, there was nothing short of surly service and disappointing food. A real pity!
On the other hand the Hampton Inn in Kayenta is a treasure!
ukbazza is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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... and we have chosen the South Rim!!
ukbazza is offline  

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