There are two reasons why the Grand Canyon North Rim only gets 10% of the attendance that the Grand Canyon South Rim (5 million visitors per year to the South) gets. First of all, the South Rim is open all year. The North Rim is open from May 15-October 15. At an elevation of about 8,000+ feet, 2438+ meters, above sea level the snow falls early and can accumulate dramatically on the main road in, State Route 67. There is no way the road could be kept open to supply the human population in the winter time at Grand Canyon North Rim. Secondly, the Grand Canyon North Rim is extremely isolated, difficult/long drive to get to, and physically hard on many people who can’t tolerate the high elevation.
With that in mind I suddenly realized that I had only one day before park closing to visit the North Rim to get the photo stills and video I need for my update to my book “Grand Canyon Guide.” So, I left quickly on Tuesday, October 14th. The trip up there was about 260 miles from Prescott, AZ to the Grand Canyon Lodge in the North Rim. It was long and desolate. I made sure I had plenty of emergency supplies and at least a half tank of gas in my car at all times.
The desolation near the Arizona-Utah border in northern Arizona is absolutely stunning. If you want some idea of what the surface of Mars looks like then take that trip. Since it was the very end of the tourist season along highway SR 89A and SR 67, I saw very few vehicles and absolutely no services along the way until I got to the junction of those two highways. The isolation and wilderness is very dramatic but the drive is difficult and seemingly never ending. But I am so happy I made the effort to take this quick trip. The views and landscape are dramatic and I hope to transmit that beauty and experience with word, pictures and video in my book update.
The elevation at the Grand Canyon Lodge and small surrounding village including camping and other services is high enough that people coming from near sea level really do struggle when they arrive. I could see people having difficulty going up and down stairs. They seemed to move more slowly and with effort as they walked on the trails or even within the lodge.
I took a couple hundred pictures for the upgrade to my “Grand Canyon Guide” and I hope to include at least several dozen of the best-of-the-best when that addenda is finished. I’ve included several here. Okay back to work on Photoshop. Bye for now. …will keep in touch with you soon.