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Which Side of the Grand Canyon Is Less Touristy?

Last Update on April 01, 2023
by Sunny Samaroo
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The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. It's a stunning sight to behold, with its sheer size and incredible rock formations. 

Naturally, that kind of magnificence draws in crowds of tourists, with plenty of Grand Canyon tours to choose from. Not all of the Grand Canyon's rims are equal in terms of popularity, though. So, which side of the Grand Canyon is less touristy? 

Short answer: The North Rim is the least touristy side of the Grand Canyon.

Long answer: There are several reasons why the North Rim draws in the least amount of tourists to the Grand Canyon. These reasons could influence your decision of whether or not to visit it, so let's take a look.

What Are the Different Sides of the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon is divided into three sections, the North Rim, South Rim, and West Rim. The South Rim is the most popular and heavily visited area, with millions of visitors each year. However, the North Rim is much less crowded and can provide a more peaceful and relaxing experience.

Related Reading: Grand Canyon South Rim Versus North Rim 

The West Rim, also known as "Grand Canyon West," falls between the North and South Rims in terms of popularity. However, it doesn't really have trails or places to explore. Rather, the main attraction is the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

The North Rim is located at the highest elevation, which means that it's typically cooler and more forested. This makes it an ideal spot for those looking for a break from the heat of the desert. 

The North Rim also offers a different perspective of the Canyon, with more rugged and wild terrain. It's less developed than the South Rim, with fewer amenities and services. However, this can also make it a more authentic and natural experience

Why the Grand Canyon North Rim Is Less Touristy

One of the main reasons why the North Rim is less touristy is that is more remote and harder to access than the South Rim. It is only accessible by car or shuttle bus, which can limit the number of visitors. The North Rim is only open from mid-May to mid-October, and the road leading to it is closed during the winter months. 

The North Rim's location also plays a role. It is further away from major cities and airports, so it is a longer and more difficult journey to get there. 

Another reason why the North Rim is less touristy is that there are fewer amenities and attractions in the area. While the South Rim has numerous restaurants, hotels, and gift shops, the North Rim has only a handful. 

This could be a pro to some, as the area is less developed and thus more natural. The lack of amenities also means that there are fewer crowds, making it easier to find a quiet spot to enjoy the view.

Things to Do at the Grand Canyon North Rim

Despite being less developed than the South Rim, the North Rim still has plenty to offer visitors. There are numerous hiking trails and viewpoints that provide stunning views of the Canyon. 

Some of the most popular trails include the North Kaibab Trail, the Cape Final Trail, and the Bright Angel Point Trail. These trails range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, and all offer unique perspectives of the Canyon.

Another popular attraction on the North Rim is the Grand Canyon Lodge. This historic lodge was built in the 1920s and provides a rustic and charming place to stay. The lodge offers a restaurant, a gift shop, and stunning views of the Canyon. There are also cabins and camping sites available in the area for those looking for a more outdoor experience.

In Conclusion

While the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is more developed and heavily visited, the North Rim offers a more remote and natural experience. It's less crowded, cooler, and more rugged than the South Rim. 

The North Rim is perfect for those looking for a break from the crowds and a chance to experience the Canyon in a more authentic way. While it may be more challenging to reach and have fewer amenities, the stunning views and peaceful surroundings make it well worth the effort. 

Still undecided about which part of the Grand Canyon you should go to? Read our blog post on which side of the Grand Canyon is best to visit.


Sunny Samaroo

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