Grand Canyon North Rim
Off the Beaten Path at the Grand Canyon North Rim
By Dixie Brunner
Few would argue that the Grand Canyon is the most desired tourist destination in the world. Adventures there include descriptive words such as “heavenly,” “awesome,” “incredible,” “magnificent,” or simply put, “I was brought to tears.” How do you describe one of the seven wonders of the world? The Canyon’s matchless beauty and grandeur go far beyond the shallow human ability to describe. Much has been written about the wonders of Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim is literally overrun with U.S. and international visitors. Large crowds and bumper to bumper traffic are the norm at the scenic sight. But the best-kept secret of the Grand Canyon adventure isn’t discovered by visiting the arid South Rim. The best way to see the Grand Canyon is to get “Off the Beaten Path” via the North Rim! It’s a visitor’s dream come true, with incredible views, improved trails and great facilities. The only thing the North Rim doesn’t offer you are the crowds. When approaching the northern canyon access, you travel through the scenic Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway, which traverses the 1500 square mile North Kaibab National Forest-Grand Canyon National Game Preserve. Travelers drive through the gentle green forests, which rise dramatically to 9,000 feet in elevation. The Kaibab, which the Paiute Indians called “the mountain lying down,” changes from the Sonoran desert zone at one extreme, to the frosty climate of the sub-alpine zone nearer the canyon. Dense pine forests of the high Kaibab Plateau end abruptly at the canyon’s edge. Campgrounds and lodges are available at the park, but those things can wait – the Canyon is beckoning! At the first overlook you are rendered breathless with the panoramic view. The rugged, restless collection of colors and canyons, buttes and mesas, wildlife and vegetation, stimulate emotions in people. The Canyon offers a multitude of moods, appearing differently with every passing minute of every single day. Each of the well-maintained overlooks provide a different view of the canyon and the Colorado River occasionally glimpsed below. Those catching a sunset or sunrise are in for a truly inspiring sight. There are many ways to experience the Grand Canyon. Many find hiking to the bottom, riding a burro or floating the exhilarating Colorado River rapids the only real way to truly experience the Canyon. Whichever way you choose to explore, immerse yourself in the adventure of the Grand Canyon. The trip will offer you a spiritual experience. With plenty of time and access to meditate on the awesome beauty, one leaves the Canyon feeling more bonded and in tune with the natural wonder. Don’t cheat yourself – get off the beaten path and visit the Grand Canyon North Rim!