North Rim to Ribbon Falls
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The North Rim is open from mid-May until mid-October and closed in the winter. There are less iconic views but it’s also much less crowded than the South Rim.
The North Rim is only visited by 10% of the Grand Canyon visitors. You might even go in summer as the temperatures are more pleasant due to its higher elevation. Summer days are usually delightfully clear and cool except for the occasional thunderstorms in July and August. May and September are still great months to hike this trail. It's not heavily crowded if you visit in the summer. But still, try to avoid weekends and start your hike early.
It's a 4 hours drive from the South Rim to the North Rim. The reason that's this part of the park is less visited.
The North Kaibab Trail is less popular, but even more strenuous. We hiked the North Kaibab Trail until Ribbon Falls and back in one day. It is a 27 km / 17 miles long hike with an altitude difference of 1800 m. The North Rim is 300 m higher above the sea level than the South Rim. The trail is quite steep and hiking poles are recommended. Don't forget to bring enough water and snacks.
End of May we started our hike at 5 am and it was freezing cold. This hike reached our limit due to the long ascent back. The views are not as spectacular as from the South Rim. Anyhow, it was an incredibly beautiful trail with fewer people.
Actually, we had the idea to stay at the Phantom Ranch or campground. It wasn't our plan to hike all in one day, but the Phantom Ranch can be booked 13 months in advance and also reservations for the campgrounds have to be made early. All sites are quickly sold.