Millions of people make their way to northern Arizona to see the Grand Canyon each year. One of the seven wonders of the world, this incredible canyon is a bucket-list destination for many people around the world. 

Most of the Grand Canyon’s annual visitors make their way to Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim. This popular section of the park is a bit far for a day trip from Zion resorts. But what many visitors don’t know is that there’s another section of the national park located much closer.

The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is just a two-hour drive from your Zion red rock cabin at Water Canyon Resort. This makes it the perfect destination for a fun day trip. Keep reading to learn more about planning your own day at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Getting to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Even your drive to the North Rim is an exciting adventure. You’ll leave the red rock desert landscapes of Hildale behind as you climb up the Kaibab Plateau. This high plain is covered in a thick forest primarily made up of various pine trees, including spruce-fir, aspen, ponderosa pine, and pinyon-juniper. 

Much of the Kaibab Plateau is a protected national forest. On your way to the Grand Canyon, you can stop in the Kaibab National Forest Visitor Center, located in Jacob Lake, Arizona, to learn more about this unique forest.

The drive from your Zion red rock cabin is just over two hours each way. Unless you’re visiting on a Fee Free Day, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or present a valid national park annual pass to enter the North Rim. The entrance fee is $35 per carload and is valid for seven consecutive days.

Visiting the Grand Canyon’s North Rim

While it may be less well-known than the more popular South Rim, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers equally stunning views and many of the same amenities. There’s a Visitor Center where you can talk to a park ranger about hiking conditions, learn about the Grand Canyon, and pick up a few souvenirs. There’s also a lodge and restroom facilities available.

The most popular thing to do at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is to simply take in the sights. Compared to the South Rim, the North Rim is located at a higher elevation. This means that you’ll enjoy a more panoramic view of the Grand Canyon. The best overlook at the North Rim is called Bright Angel Point. This viewpoint is accessible via a half-mile paved trail next to the Grand Canyon Lodge.

If you’re looking for a more exciting adventure, hiking is another popular activity. There are many trails to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous. The Transept Tour is a great choice if you’re visiting for a day. This three-mile round-trip hike follows the rim of the Grand Canyon between the Grand Canyon Lodge and the North Rim Campground. 

If you want to hike into the Canyon, head to North Kaibab Trail. While you can hike all the way to the South Rim or the Colorado River from the North Rim, these hikes are too long to do in a day. But you can use this trail to hike into the Canyon for a better look before turning around to hike back out.

When to Visit

Winter can be a great time to plan a stay in a Zion red rock cabin at Water Canyon Resort. But if you have your heart set on enjoying a day trip to the Grand Canyon, you’ll want to plan to visit during warmer weather. That’s because the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed to visitors each winter. The closure usually runs from December 1 to mid-May, though this may vary depending on the weather and snow cover each year.

Planning Your Zion Red Rock Cabin Stay

A day trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a great addition to your itinerary during your stay in a Zion red rock cabin at Water Canyon Resort. There are plenty of other day trips to choose from as well. Zion National Park is one popular option. There are also several Utah State Parks just a short drive away from one of the best luxury resorts Utah national parks have to offer.

Ready to start planning your next Southern Utah adventure? While the North Rim won’t open for the year until May 15, 2023, it’s not too early to start planning your stay in a Zion red rock cabin. Right now, when you book a visit of three or more nights at Water Canyon Resort, you’ll enjoy a 25 percent discount on your stay. Book today to take advantage of these savings.