While a visit last year to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim was quite wonderful given the lack of crowds in October, hitting the North Rim has always been top of list. So last weekend, we set up camp about 30 yards from the canyon’s edge for some amazing views and epic singletrack.
First we stopped for some world famous cookies from the Jacob Lake Inn. Nothing gets my wife ready for 4 nights of no showers backcountry camping better than cookies and coffee!
After scouting a few dispersed sites along the National Forest section of the rim (no backcountry permit required), we settled in for a long weekend. The area reminded me of Colorado camping, with tall pines mixed amongst aspen trees, and sunny days with cooler summer weather – hitting highs of around 75 each afternoon. As you can see from the image at the top of this post, taken just a stone’s throw from our campsite, the views were fantastic!
Much of the Rainbow Rim Trail was navigable by our kids. There is a decent climb heading up to Timp Point and another about halfway between North Timp Point and Locust Point that our kids didn’t tackle.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy almost the entire trail, from the beginning prior to Timp Point to a bit past Fence Point. While much of the ride is tucked into the forest, you pop out to several amazing overlooks along the way.
One of my favorite moments was running into a group at Fence Point that was grilling pork tenderloin and bacon strips. I was starting an elimination diet the next day to help identify some of my food allergies, so I gladly sampled just one bite of bacon before the lockdown began!
We spent one day driving into the visitor’s center area within the National Park. While I much prefer the serenity of dispersed camping areas, we did enjoy a great buffet lunch at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge before walking over to the deli for some soft serve ice cream! If you’re there, don’t miss the view from Bright Angel Point – only a 1/2 mile walk out and back on a paved (but not very flat) trail.