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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > North vs South Rim Grand Canyon?

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patperry2766

Saginaw Texas

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Posted: 01/11/17 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Starting to plan for the summer and possibly considering the G.C. for about a week. Will be traveling in pop up with 2 adults & 2 kids( 15 & 7 Y.O.) plus my sister and her pack will be tent camping.

I have looked at North Rim & Mather CG's and like the fact that both have bathroom & shower facilities...but basically it boils down to where will be get the "best" experience? Mather CG has significantly more sites, but does that detract from the grandeur in any way or would be better served to stay at the North Rim for a less touristy experience?

Which side, N or S offers the better access to the G.C. is so far as trail & hiking, etc, weather, scenery, photo opportunities, wide open spaces withing the campgrounds, etc??


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agesilaus

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Posted: 01/11/17 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

North Rim has substantially fewer visitors. Which is probably why the SR CG is larger. The NR CG is excellent. You also have fewer people on the trails. But you still will be sharing the trails and view sites with some people especially in the area around the visitor center. However if you drive out to the different areas away from there you will find yourself alone or almost so.

Some people claim that you get better views and better photographic lighting on the south side but I haven't noticed that. It's true for photography have the light come from behind you can be better but it can also lead to flat images.

If you have a 4WD truck, or really just a high clearance pickup there are areas just outside the park but within the National Forest where you will be all alone and able to site on the edge of the canyon and look straight down. Ask the rangers about House Rock Road.


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Rug

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Posted: 01/11/17 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been to both sides.

The North rim has fewer people. But you are very limited on things to do. Only one restaurant. The campground has a store, But only one place to buy a sandwich or drinks outside of the campground area.
No shuttle service to the lodge. Very small parking near the lodge.
The area is so much smaller it seams more crowded than the south rim.

The south rim you can walk the entire rim. Several miles. The views are great. With such a large area the more people it does not seam as crowded. The shuttle service from the campground is great you do not have to drive much. Several places to eat or get something to drink.
Yes a lot more people but the area is so much larger. So much more to do.
We think the views of the canyon are a lot better on the south rim.
Drive out to the lighthouse that area is nice.

Hope this helps a little.


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 01/11/17 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

been to both sides. south side much more developed, North side sort of congested at one location. see the same rocks from either side.
can take a train up to the south side if desired. shuttle service to far reaches.
we visited the North side in the toad, left RV at the lake at Page. got on waiting list for a cabin for the night and stayed there that night so we took our toothbrushes. [emoticon]
bumpy





TenOC

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Posted: 01/11/17 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to view the canyon from "view points" to the the South Side.

If you want to view the canyon by hiking trails and see other than "standard" views go to the North.

Almost all the photos you see are from the south side.

A week on the North Side.


A week on the South Side


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Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 01/11/17 12:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loved the north side with a pop-up in the main Nat'l Park campground. South is great too but the north is more like a pine, north woods atmosphere.


Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 01/11/17 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been to both, and they are very different.

South side is more popular, in part because most of the year, the sun illuminates the North wall, and somewhat shades the South wall so photos from the South are less shadowed. Also, North side is at 2,000 feet higher altitude, thus cooler/colder. South side has free hop-on/hop-off shuttle buses that go everywhere along with more development.

Which you will like better is very much a matter of personal preferences. I loved both.





agesilaus

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Posted: 01/11/17 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

@TenOC I get a 404 error msg on both those links

NCWriter

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Posted: 01/11/17 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you have a whole week, why not divide your time and see both?

Some good points raised here. Both are great, and from there it's what appeals to an individual.

Been to the south numerous times. I loved the North Rim - reminded me of the way I remember the National Parks from the 1950s and 1960s. I loved having dinner in the old lodge with windows overlooking the canyon, and sitting in the sun room and out on the sun porch. Incredible views!


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Busskipper

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Posted: 01/11/17 02:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NCWriter wrote:

Since you have a whole week, why not divide your time and see both?

Some good points raised here. Both are great, and from there it's what appeals to an individual.

Been to the south numerous times. I loved the North Rim - reminded me of the way I remember the National Parks from the 1950s and 1960s. I loved having dinner in the old lodge with windows overlooking the canyon, and sitting in the sun room and out on the sun porch. Incredible views!


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Follow this advice - We love them both - But if you are able to do this in the shoulder season or off season - the North side is just special - we have been when you could count the number of People on your hands - nothing open and Almost Heaven!

I always suggest to folks to try to eat in the park Buildings - the North side Breakfast Buffet is Awesome at 7:00 - and the sun is just unbelievable at Sunset.

JMHO,


Busskipper
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