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From Page, Arizona, to the North Rim of Grand Canyon

North Rim of Grand Canyon
The North Rim and the South Rim of Grand Canyon are both about 110 miles (176 km) from the town of Page, Arizona which means about 2 and hour drive.. Since we have visited the South Rim in the past, and Bryce Canyon in the north was next on our agenda, we chose to drive to the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

Although the average distance across the canyon is only 10 miles (16 km), it is a five-hour drive of about 215 miles (346 km) between the park's South Rim Village and the North Rim Village.  For those with time on their hands there is an option to hike from one rim to the other. However, it is a difficult trail 21 miles (34km) so you'd better be well prepared for it.

Navajo Bridge, ArizonaTo reach the North Rim of Grand Canyon from the town of Page first you have to drive route 89 South to Bitter Springs (23 miles/37km), then 89 ALT to Jacob Lake, and then 67 south to the Grand Canyon's North Rim entrance.

On the way from Bitter Springs to Jacob Lake we crossed steel arch bridge. After passing the bridge we stopped at the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center to view two bridges across the Colorado River. One of them is the historic Navajo Bridge opened in 1929, that served for 66 years until new stronger, wider bridge was open in 1995. Both bridges are about 470 feet (142m) above Colorado River. You can still view Colorado River from Navajo bridge which is now open for pedestrians only.

We were still in the hot desert area but once we got to the Jacob Lake junction, the scenery changed completely. We drove now through Kaibab National Forest. We were finally able to open our windows to breathe fresh, much cooler air.

Mount Hayden from Point Imperial, North Rim of Grand Canyon The entry fee to Grand Canyon is $25 per vehicle and is valid for 7 business days.

There are three viewpoints at the North Rim. Point Imperial is about 11 miles (18km) one way from the Visitor Center.  At 8803 feet, or 2684m. it is the highest point of both rims. Here you can enjoy the views of Mt. Hayden, Saddle Mountains, and Marble Canyon. Cape Coral is 23 miles (37 km) from the Visitor Center, and Bright Angel Point is just about half a mile (800m) away. You can enjoy great views from all the viewpoints but the views of the Colorado River itself on this north side of the canyon are rare and distant.

There are also 13 trails for everybody to explore, from 0.5 miles/0.8 km to 28 miles/45 km both ways. To enjoy hiking in Grand Canyon you have to be well prepared before you arrive at the canyon.

 Grand Canyon  North Rim, ArizonaI found both Rims equally amazing. The position of the sun makes the South Rim look more colorful then the North Rim which makes the South Rim more attractive to see and to take pictures. The only way to get to the North Rim is by car (no railway or airport in the neighborhood) which makes this part of Grand Canyon more difficult to access. That's why North Rim draws only fracture of visitors to Grand Canyon. 

If you're lucky you may also see a condor soaring over Grand Canyon. Currently there are about 60 condors in Arizona.  Many of them visit Grand Canyon especially at summer time. In the 1980s there were fewer then two dozen California condors left in the world.  Their population increased as a result of captive breeding program to ensure the continuation of the species.  The condors were released in Grand Canyon and central California.  To call the program a success, the birds must not only survive, but also reproduce.Two condors fledged in both 2004 and 2005, and one in 2006.  Presently there are several acrive nests in the Grand Canyon area.  As you enjoy your next Grand Canyon viewpoint, look for these massive scavengers soaring on their nine-foot (3-m) wings over the canyon. If you see a condor, do not approach and do not try to feed it.  Read the number on the wing, if you can, and report it to a ranger. Condor, Grand Canyon, National Park Service Photo








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