I am not very familiar with the North Rim -- visited there once as a car-traveling, shorts-and-sandals tourist about ten years ago.
A friend of mine and I would like to backpack the North Rim for 4-5 days, maybe 20-40 miles total, maybe in September next year.
We want to pretty much stay out of the Canyon -- preferring to walk and stay on the high, flat ground around the edge of it. We'll be totally self-sufficient as far as food and water are concerned.
A loop would be best, but if there is a way we can park in one place (say, at the North Rim Lodge), catch a ride to our starting point, and hike back to the car, that would be a good alternative. Not having seen any trail maps yet, I don't know if this is possible.
I am having a hard time finding extensive information about trails that would accommodate such a trip. I also need some general information about such matters as weather, availability of water, critters we might encounter, facilities along the trails, and such.
I'd love to converse with a site member about these things, and maybe get info on a good, comprehensive book that covers everything about the North Rim like the AMC guides do about the Appalachian Trail. I'll also need topo/contour maps.
Also, is there anything similar in the Vermillion Cliffs area?
Thank in advance for you for your help.