Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim

There is no place like the Grand Canyon, and the North Rim of the national park was absolutely spectacular.

On the first day of our national park trip, Meghan and I visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. For those who do not know much about the Grand Canyon, it is a massively-colossal canyon that has been created after billions of years of erosion from the Colorado River. It is so large that it can clearly be seen from space. Just to give some numbers, it is over 250 miles long, at some points over 15 miles wide, and sometimes over 6000 feet deep! It is hard to capture the magnitude of these numbers on camera, but here are a few photos of the canyon itself.

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Now for those who have never been to both sides of the Grand Canyon National Park, they are quite different. The South Rim, which is at a lower elevation (~5,000 to 7,000 ft), is typically characterized by Sonoran desert flora or juniper/pinyon pine forests. On the other hand, the higher elevation North Rim (8,000 to 9,000 ft) ranges from ponderosa pine forests to more montane conifer-aspen forests, like in the below picture. We visited at the perfect time to see all the aspen trees change into their beautiful yellow fall colors.

Photo credit: Meghan Duell

Photo credit: Meghan Duell

Being a huge fan of mountains and montane habitats, I found myself preferring the North Rim. The cooler temperatures were a plus as well. However, the North Rim does close down during parts of the year due too much snow, but that was not a problem for us! We enjoyed the crisp cool mountain air and epic views of the Grand Canyon – both from Bright Angle Point, where we saw the sunset over the Canyon,

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The San Francisco Peaks, which are near Flagstaff, AZ - over 70 miles away!

The San Francisco Peaks, which are near Flagstaff, AZ – over 70 miles away!

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And Point Imperial, where we saw the eastern end of the canyon.

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The Colorado River as it leaves the Grand Canyon

The Colorado River as it leaves the Grand Canyon

All of it was amazing, and I would love to spend more time hiking into the Grand Canyon from the North Rim and hiking around the Kaibab Plateau, which is the heavily forested, high elevation landmass around the Grand Canyon National Park North Rim. If you look on Google Maps, you can clearly see the Kaibab Plateau, which is a very interesting feature in-of-itself, as the surrounding landscape is mostly arid desert. While exploring the plateau, we happened upon some bison, which are always fun to see due to their size, along with many deer, squirrels, and ravens.

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I hope to explore more of both of these areas in the future and again experience the epicness of the Grand Canyon National Park!

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