North Rim or South Rim??

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satillayakker
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North Rim or South Rim??

Post by satillayakker » Aug 13 2010 11:28 am

I am curious to see what folks are thinkin on this:

I have visited the South Rim GC. AWESOME views! We heard while we were there that the North Rim has even more spectacular views..... Any input on this??

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azbackpackr
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 13 2010 11:34 am

I look at the views, which alter and change, while hiking down the trails to the river. North or South, it's all good. Have done most of S. Rim trails since they are closer. Doing N. Rim trails requires more driving, therefore an extra backpacking day or two has to be scheduled. I can't wait to do all of the N. Rim trails, though, when I have the time! Have done only 2 N. Rim trails so far.

As I said, it's all good. There are some great river views from both rims. But lingering on the rim is not my thing.
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Jeffshadows
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Jeffshadows » Aug 13 2010 2:31 pm

Fewer tourists on the north side, on average, and a longer drive. Everything else is comparable, IMHO...
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maxpower
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by maxpower » Oct 12 2010 8:13 am

I'm a couple months late in replying, so apologies for that. Views are subjective. Some like the expansive "see forever" view that you get from the South Kaibab, others enjoy a side canyon view like that on Bright Angel or Hermit trails. There is something to be said for contouring in and out of a creek drainage and walking along the precipitous edge of a shear side canyon wall, a la Salt Creek or Hermit Creek drainage. If you can visit enough times, you get to see it all....how cool is that!

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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Oct 12 2010 8:49 am

Yes! It's all good. Wotan's Throne was Harvey's favorite place in the Canyon. The ashes of Harvey and Roma are scattered on Wotan's Throne. What Elizabeth says is right on the money as usual.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
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azbackpackr
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 12 2010 8:51 am

You can never, ever see it all. You can hike all the trails, but the trails are just a very small part of what there is to see. Then, if you are fit enough, you will want to tackle the routes, and then the off-routes. And you will want to do river trips in order to hike side canyons that can only be reached by boat.

Harvey Butchart logged over 20,000 miles. A friend of mine has done over 100 backpacking trips and a lot of river trips. But I don't think either of them would say they have seen the whole Canyon. It is probably just not humanly possible.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Oct 12 2010 8:52 am

“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths.” John Wesley Powell

"No matter how far you have wandered hitherto, or how many famous gorges and valleys you have seen, this one, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, will seem as novel to you, as unearthly in the color and grandeur and quantity of its architecture, as if you have found it after death, on some other star." John Muir, Our National Parks, 1901.

“The glories and the beauties of form, color, and sound unite in the Grand Canyon - forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.” John Wesley Powell
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Jim_H
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Jim_H » Oct 12 2010 8:56 am

Since I was up at the North Rim in late August, and then the South many other times, I can stick my opinion in, right? I prefer the South Rim. I did not find any of the things at the North Rim that People Rave about. I believe the reputation the North Rim has developed is from an elitist idea that few people go there, and since "we" did, it is better than the south. I prefer the South Rim. I find it warm, accessible, friendly (at times), expansive, and an all around nice place to go.

The developed area at the North Rim is small, and it was very crowded when I was there. Everything was packed, dining required days in advance reservations (unless you went to the cafeteria) and there was nearly no parking. So, the "there's less people there" wasn't noticeable to me. It almost seemed more crowded than the South Rim because the area is so small. The south may have more people, but it is built for it, has more view points, and services and such and can handle it.

Views were a little less impressive to me. The South has lots of views, and view points. The north not so much. You are further from the river and tucked back at the lodge area. The best thing is seeing over the South Rim and out to the Volcanoes south of it, but you won't always get that view. It was a little cloudy and hazy, and very cold and windy when I was there in August, so the views were hazed out by the sun. It was probably the weather, but the people there were not moving around like they do at the south, instead, most people sat at the lodge. A lot of people were sitting on the porch or in the fire place observation room and reading books. I guess the canyon bored them? My point is that the North Rim just didn't seem as conducive to walking around and seeing the canyon.

Part of that is because there is no Rim Trail at the North Rim, and in order to get to the views that are not right at the lodge, you have to drive through tunnels of dense forest, for a very long time. They are pretty nice views, but they are not like the south. The lodge area is nice and the lodge is a nice place to visit, so it is worth a trip at least once in your life. I don't now I'll ever go back there, or not any time soon. I can say I've been, but I much prefer the South Rim to the North Rim. I am not impressed by people from xxxxx who wear T-Shirts saying they have been to the North Rim. They need to make one that reads, "I hiked the length of the Tonto in July". That would impress me.
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Oct 12 2010 9:12 am

Jim_H wrote:The developed area at the North Rim is small, and it was very crowded when I was there. Everything was packed, dining required days in advance reservations (unless you went to the cafeteria) and there was nearly no parking.
In the famous words of Yogi Berra: ""Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." I can honestly say that I can go to the North Rim forever and never go to the developed area.
Jim_H wrote: Views were a little less impressive to me. The South has lots of views, and view points. The north not so much. You are further from the river and tucked back at the lodge area. The best thing is seeing over the South Rim and out to the Volcanoes south of it, but you won't always get that view. It was a little cloudy and hazy, and very cold and windy when I was there in August, so the views were hazed out by the sun.
It's called Point Sublime for a reason. And Point Imperial. And Cape Royal, and Cape Solitude. And the best of all at sunset - Toroweap. Yes some are hard to get to. So when you go to the North Rim, you are going for an extended period. You develop an appreciation for different features of the Canyon. The North Rim erodes from the drainage off the Kaibab toward the Colorado. It is farther to the river but has much more between the Rim and the River. And much more water. The South Rim drains south away from the River. So it is much steeper and shorter to the River. And the features are much more striking - like Monument Canyon. But I'm happy that people haven't discovered the North Rim. Leaves more for me.
Jim_H wrote: It was probably the weather, but the people there were not moving around like they do at the south, instead, most people sat at the lodge. A lot of people were sitting on the porch or in the fire place observation room and reading books. I guess the canyon bored them? My point is that the North Rim just didn't seem as conducive to walking around and see the canyon.
I think you are exactly right, but for the wrong reason. Many of those people are on a once in a lifetime trip to the Southern Utah National Parks - Bryce, Zion and Canyonlands - and throwing in the North Rim of the Canyon as their Grand Canyon trophy. Many are at the Lodge for a rest day on their trip and for the relaxation. And it is relaxing. Few of those people are there for the rugged pleasures the North Rim offers.

Here's another great Yogi quote that sums it up: You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.

“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths.” John Wesley Powell
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Jim_H
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Jim_H » Oct 12 2010 9:18 am

Well, that was my take on the place. Being a tourist, and given that most are tourists when they go there, I think that most will stick with the developed areas like I did. I actually found the view points to be nice, but also crowded when there. It was the end of peak season, I think. I basically made my trip down while coming back from points north including UT parks, and had only a few hours to spend there. Still, I wanted to get out and hike or see it. As I had limited time, the trails that went down into the canyon were out, but a Rim Trail would have been nice. A rest day may have been their thing, but it was very windy when I was there, so I thought that was the reason. I thought it an odd homecoming for me in that I was back in Arizona and it was cold and windy.
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Oct 12 2010 9:21 am

Jim_H wrote:They need to make one that reads, "I hiked the length of the Tonto in July". That would impress me.
I would be impressed by "I Hiked Tuckup without puckering my sphincter" http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=28686 http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=28685

Somebody might be able to help me. I know Colin walked the entire length of the Canyon and wrote that book. Who was that darn fool who set off from Page and hiked the entire North Rim the turned around and hiked the South Rim back? Can't remember. And didn't one guy commit suicide because someone beat him to it? Or am I starting to dream up history now that I'm an old fart.

In the words (sort of) of John Hance (at least I think it was John) - "There are three big liars here, I'm one and Bill Bass is the other two."
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 12 2010 9:32 am

I have done two North Rim backpacking trips, which were the Bill Hall trail to Thunder River/Tapeats Creek (one of the best hikes in the entire Canyon with a HUGE waterfall) and South Canyon, which takes you down to yet another sizeable waterfall that falls directly into the river.

Another fork of the Bill Hall Trail takes you to Deer Creek falls, another incredible falls, which I have not hiked yet. There are many other waterfalls on the North Rim, since it is draining the Kaibab Plateau.

But I have never been to the actual "North Rim" area where the lodge is, nor paid to get in. The two trails I have hiked, and most of the other great trails of the North Rim, such as North Bass, Nankoweap and Kanab Creek, are not accessed via the main National Park area, but instead via the intricate maze of dirt roads in the Kaibab National Forest, or via yet another intricate maze of roads in the House Rock Ranch area of Marble Canyon.

As for water, read the guidebooks and suggestions on this site, but also remember the Backcountry Office often has updated info, since a lot of the water sources are seasonal. Which is why I am planning to do that Tonto Loop from Grandview to BA, in the spring, when there is a chance of the springs and creeks having a little water in them.
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 12 2010 9:33 am

Al_HikesAZ wrote: Somebody might be able to help me. I know Colin walked the entire length of the Canyon and wrote that book.

In the words (sort of) of John Hance (at least I think it was John) - "There are three big liars here, I'm one and Bill Bass is the other two."
And Colin Fletcher is the other one. He had a helicopter lift, and didn't admit to it in the book.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Jim_H
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Jim_H » Oct 12 2010 9:37 am

Al_HikesAZ wrote:I would be impressed by "I Hiked Tuckup without puckering my sphincter" http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=28686 http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=28685
That hike is nuts. Mostly due to the packs, but it still looks crazy. Something about (what looks like) a loose gravely trail that is sloped towards the canyon.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by paulhubbard » Oct 12 2010 9:38 am

Al_HikesAZ wrote:Here's another great Yogi quote that sums it up: You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.
One of my favorite Yogi-isms is "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

That could ensure you get to see more than you planned for! Jim, there's a lot of nice little side trips, and while it's been a long time since I've explored up there, I seem to remember a lot of the side roads are dirt but passable in a car. Beautiful views of House Rock Valley can be seen from the East Rim. Get some good, current maps and do some exploring the next time you plan on going up there!
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

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maxpower
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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by maxpower » Oct 12 2010 9:52 am

Al_HikesAZ wrote:Somebody might be able to help me. I know Colin walked the entire length of the Canyon and wrote that book. Who was that darn fool who set off from Page and hiked the entire North Rim the turned around and hiked the South Rim back? Can't remember. And didn't one guy commit suicide because someone beat him to it? Or am I starting to dream up history now that I'm an old fart.

I believe you're thinking of Robert Eschka. And he also ended up taking his own life so perhaps the stories are intermingled? For reference, check out chapter 24, "The Canyon's Grip" in Elias Butler's and Tom Myers' book, "Grand Obsession."

BTW, no need to apologize for being an old fart.....welcome to the club. :y:

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Re: North Rim or South Rim??

Post by Dschur » Oct 12 2010 4:01 pm

The Widforss trail is kind of like a rim trail as it starts out in the forest and then travels on to Widforss point... following the canyon... Also the Uncle Jim trail goes along the forest and then along the rim too. They are not paved and have just a few people on them... And the Ken Patrick goes all the way from the Kaibab trail to the Point Imperial... There are lots of overlooks you just have to drive farther to them... Such as the Point Sublime... there is a trail along the top there too...
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