Visiting the Grand Canyon was one of the most majestic experiences of my life. (It really does rank up there, and I’ve traveled to nearly 20 countries, and almost 30 states). Three years ago, I decided to fly into Phoenix and travel up through Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon. At the time, all I knew is that I wanted to see “out west” and I wanted to see the Amazing Grand Canyon. Compare tours USA that offer a Grand Canyon stop.
My friend Nicci and I rolled up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, mid-July, having really no idea what to expect, nor an idea of what to bring with us. As we pulled into the Grand Canyon National Park, we headed into the ranger station to be confronted by many warning and caution signs about entering the canyon unprepared. I remember one warning very distinctly that spoke of an unfortunate young woman, who was in really excellent shape, who had passed away in the canyon of heat exhaustion. We really weren’t prepared, so we decided to just stay up and walk on the Rim Trail, which runs alongside of the vast Grand Canyon.
Two years later, I decided to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon via Utah in June (if you want a crazy awesome hiking itinerary- check out a previous blog post here). I was traveling this time with 3 other hiking friends. We were better prepared- we had our water, our hiking shoes, and our food. We stayed at the lodge that overlooks the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was amazingly picturesque. Upon waking up to the brisk, cool morning air we decided to head INTO the Canyon. We hiked about 2 miles down, on a a less popular wilderness trail, exploring and discovering bear prints, views of the Colorado River and amazing views of the colorfully painted canyon walls.
I briefly shared with you two of my experiences of the grand canyon- the North Rim and the South Rim…. so which one is better?
The South Rim (Arizona side) of the Grand Canyon is BY FAR the more popular side. Tour buses arrive in loads as hundreds of people step out to spend anywhere from 1 hour to half a day at the Grand Canyon. People from all over the world come to visit one of the most jaw dropping, awe inspiring beauty in nature that the United States has to offer.
The Rim trail stretches 13 miles from start to finish and has many bus stops along the way to venture to each popular lookout point of the canyon. The rim trail is A MUST if you want to experience some of the most amazing views of the canyon
- Breathtaking Views
- Highly recommend for first time Canyon viewers
- Rim Trail to see all the amazing, most photoed landscapes
- Super packed, highly touristy
- Can be EXTREMELY hot in the summer months
The North Rim (Utah side) is the quieter side. This side is more rugged. Well heck, the entire canyon is rugged, but what I mean by rugged here is less touristy! There are still jaw dropping views of the canyon with vibrant colors begging for you to stop and meditate to take it all in. The summer months provide cooler mornings and a sweatshirt or light jacket is advised.
- Less people/less touristy
- Little bit cooler in morning/afternoon
- Staying at the Grand Canyon Lodge
- Chilly in the summer months if not prepared
- More trees growing out of the rocks
- Some of the trails are not traveled as often, so are a little less obvious as high traffic trails
The Big Question: North Rim vs South Rim- Which one Wins out?
Wow. That’s the big question…
One of my bucket list items is to hike all the way down into the canyon, stay the night and hike back out. I still haven’t decided if I want to hike rim to rim and then back, or just down and back. Either experience will be amazing.
You Decide. North Rim or South Rim? Which one wins out?
Jenny O is a world traveler, life transformation specialist, and an author. She works with female
entrepreneurs by showing them how to live a life filled with authenticity, inner peace and
TRAVEL! She hosts powerful destination retreats focused on life transformation, creating a
community, outdoor exploration and healthy living. Check out her blog here!