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Get Out Of Town!: North Rim Grand Canyon

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a special place. At over 8000 feet in elevation, the climate is cooler and wetter with alpine meadows and evergreen trees.

Only about 600,000 of the more than six million annual visitors to the Grand Canyon visit the North Rim. The Visitors Center, restaurants and Lodge are quiet and relaxing, even in the busy summer season.

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View of the Grand Canyon from hidden room under the Lodge at the North Rim. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Hotel, food and park services are open May 15 through October 15. The park itself is open year long, but the roads are not maintained in winter and the nearest town of Jacob’s Lake is 45 miles away. In winter, average snowfall on the rim is over 11 feet.

Late September and early October is a very popular time to visit the North Rim, with leaves turning out their fall colors and temperatures dropping.

Rustic cabins and Lodge hotel rooms allow a few hundred visitors to stay overnight. Nearby campgrounds are also available for advance reservation, with some sites open to walk-up visitors. Backcountry permits are required for camping below the rim.

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A large herd of bison graze outside the park entrance to the North Rim. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room provides enjoyable meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few other small sandwich shops, an evening buffet and a bar are also on site.

Some easy trails branch out from the Visitors Center, including the Transept Trail and Bright Angel Point Trail. Follow the Bridle Trail for 1.2 miles from the Visitors Center to find the entrance for the North Kaibab Trail which leads down into the Canyon, passing the Coconino Overlook, the Supai Tunnel and other points of interest along the way.

More challenging trails along the rim also abound, just a few miles from the Visitors Center.

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The view from Bright Angel Point. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 534 miles from Burbank, approximately a straight 8 1/2 hour drive, going through Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, it’s about 4 1/2 hours to drive 263 miles.

The North Rim is a gorgeous place that warrants an overnight stay and more exploration if you have the time. The view of the Grand Canyon from the north is awe-inspiring and iconic. If you’re lucky, you’ll see bison, deer, turkey and the famous but rare, tassel-eared Kaibab squirrel.

Current parking fees are $35 per vehicle for one week. More information on the North Rim can be found here.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Get Out Of Town!: Page And Northern Arizona

The north-central part of Arizona may not be as well-known as other parts of the state, but there’s plenty to do in the area around the town of Page, with Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam and National Recreation Area, Horseshoe Bend, the Navajo Nation, Vermilion Cliffs and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument all within a few minutes to an hour’s drive.

The southern edge of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument runs along the Arizona border. The Grand Staircase takes its name from the five different colors of layered rock visible in the area’s weathered formations: pink, gray, white, vermilion and chocolate. Each color corresponds to an era of the Earth’s geological history, identified in the 1870’s by geologist Clarence Dutton.


Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Apart from intense colors of the landscape and desert scenery created by nature, humans have also made some amazing places in the Page area: Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. Although water levels have receded significantly in Lake Powell, it continues to be a boater and vacationer’s paradise.

Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966 and made Lake Powell, a reservoir which stretches 186 miles long and 25 miles wide across Utah and Arizona, from the Colorado River.

Wahweap Marina is a nice place to stop off and visit Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Monument. Show your National Parks annual or lifetime pass to avoid the $30 per vehicle parking fee.


Lake Powell. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Lake Powell Resort offers several restaurants with view of the water, including the Driftwood Lounge. Their food and drink menus have something for everyone. We enjoyed the prime rib melt and salmon avocado sandwich there along with prickly pear martinis and red rock rye.

Lots of people rent houseboats or rooms at the lakeside resorts, particularly in the summer when it is super hot and very sunny. Don’t forget sunscreen. All manner of water activities including swimming, boating and fishing are available at different parts of massive Lake Powell. Camping and hiking in the areas around Lake Powell is also very popular. One can really get off the grid here.

From Wahweap Marina, the Carl Hayden Visitors’ Center sits next to the Glen Canyon Dam just before crossing the Colorado River and entering Page. Visitors get an up close view of the dam and learn about the history of the area and the building of the dam.


Horseshoe Bend. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Plenty of hotels abound in Page, with most catering to vacationers who are enjoying water activities or hiking in the area. Restaurants are a bit limited in the small town, but we found a terrific Mexican spot, El Tapatio.

They serve very good cocktel de camarones, fajitas and carnitas de pollo. For those familiar with authentic Mexican food, this place is a must for good homestyle cooking. Plus, El Tapatio offers fishbowl-sized margaritas in a host of flavors and colors, along with dozens of different kinds of tequila.

From Page, visitors can visit Rainbow Bridge and Antelope Canyon, which are located on Navajo Nation land. Navajo Nation lands cover approximately 27,000 square miles through Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The tribe offers guided tours to the popular Antelope Canyon slot canyon and other sites on their lands.

Just south of town lies Horseshoe Bend, which is accessible via a half-mile slog through sand to the well-known curve in the Colorado River. Parking is a challenge, so try to visit off-peak times and pack your patience.


Members of the Navajo Nation set up tables of handcrafted jewelry and art for sale on tribal lands outside of Page, Arizona. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

As one leaves Page and heads west towards the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, there’s a lot to explore along the way including Marble Canyon, the Navajo Bridge, Paria Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs, Cliff Dwellers, Coyote Buttes and more.

One of the trailheads to The Wave sandstone rock formation is located in Coyote Buttes area, but only about 30 people are allowed to access the formation daily, as permitted by the Bureau of Land Management.

Page is about 8 1/2 hours drive north-east from Burbank, through Las Vegas and southern Utah. It takes about 9 hours to get there if one heads directly east through Kingman, Arizona, passing the southern side of the Grand Canyon. From Page, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is just a few hours drive west.

It’s very easy to add on a visit to Page and north-central Arizona if you’re already planning to visit the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas. So, get out of town and see the amazing desert of northern Arizona.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.