North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Kanab, UT

With a cool, wet, windy day predicted for Kanab we decided to take a drive south to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a drive of about 80 miles one way.  We left Kanab and headed south on US-89A.  The North Rim is over 8,000 feet of elevation (Kanab is about 5,000) so we anticipated seeing some fresh snow on the ground.  After only about 20 miles we began to climb up and came upon some fresh white stuff.

At Jacob’s Lake we turned right on US-89A and headed south on AZ-67.  As we drove along we passed through a section of the pine forest that had burned in a fire about 15 years ago.  We recall seeing the destruction  here when we rode through it on a motorcycle trip in 2006.  Recovery is a slow process, as the area looks pretty similar to what we saw back then.

As we continued south the temperature dropped.  We drove through a series of snow squalls that made us feel like we were back in Pennsylvania in January.

Once through a squall the sun would peak out and create a beautiful scene with the fresh covering of white.

Not something we anticipated seeing the third week of May! (at least the plow was up)

Arriving at the North Rim Visitor Center we were surprised to find the parking area very crowded, even though they had just opened the previous week and the cabins were still closed.

A young college student worked to keep the streets clear!

After enjoying the views of the canyon (photos to follow) we headed back north toward Kanab.  At times the wind blew hard, creating blizzard like conditions.

But the drive through the snow was definitely worth it.  The views of the canyon were impressive as the sun peaked through the clouds.  We’ll finish this post with a few pictures of the view from the lodge located on the edge of the canyon.


The weather for this week still has quite a bit of rain and wind in it, so we’ll delay our trek north (we’re headed for central Wyoming) for a few more days.  There are a couple more hikes on our to-do list we hope to complete during breaks in the rain.

More on those later . . .

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20 Responses to North Rim of the Grand Canyon

  1. Oddly enough, we just drove into Pennsylvania today and we seem to have finally found warmth! Strange that it’s taken driving all the way to the northeast to finally get out of the snow. Hope the weather improves for you soon, too. Though that region truly is spectacular with a dusting of snow. Love the photos at the end! The Grand Canyon is always a ‘wow!’

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Laura! Glad you found warmth in our old home state. Our daughter said the weather has been perfect. Looks like we warm up and the wet moves on for awhile this weekend. We do enjoy seeing the snow capped mountains.

  2. Laurel says:

    Whoa, you guys have found some serious winter!! (Note to self: scratch the North Rim of the Grand Canyon off of list for next May.)
    Your last four photos are beautiful, though. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Laurel! I wish we had a little more sun for our photos. I guess the weather isn’t too unusual for the North Rim since they just open in mid May. But Kanab is generally much warmer this time of year and dry. It’s been a very strange spring.

  3. This is one weird May all over the west! My plants are liking it though…

    I’ve never been to the North Rim, looking forward to your photos of the canyon from that side!

    • gt350ed says:

      We were hunkered down 3 days in Page due to weather. Finally made it to Red Canyon and Bryce with snow flurries and standing snow in the forest. Now we are hunkered down once again. This is our 3rd day here. We too are heading to Wyoming…eventually.

      • placestheygo says:

        We were scheduled to be in Bryce this week but cancelled and chose to stay in Kanab with this cold, wet weather all around. There is more to do here and it isn’t snowing.

    • placestheygo says:

      We’ve noticed that the weather back in Boulder City hasn’t been very warm either. Yes, it has been a strange spring in the west. The last four photos in this blog are from the North Rim. This section of the canyon is greener than the south side and not as wide. There is a better view from a wider section at two of the Overlooks but that road is still closed.

  4. Thanks for the heads up and a peek, we will be there end of May. We sure hope weather will be better when we get there. I can only hope 🙂

  5. WOW–you photos of the Grand Canyon are great with the snow covered vegetation in the foreground. Three inches of new snow at our house this morning!

  6. Sue says:

    I guess I’m glad we didn’t attempt to reach the north rim via the national forest roads when we were there. Evidently if the main road in is closed, it’s closed for a reason! Thanks for showing us what we missed.

  7. Jim and Barb says:

    Snow, rocks and trees make for beautiful pictures. We don’t mind the snow so much but it has been snowing for 3 straight days here in South Dakota right when we are trying to get the roof on the house!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a beautiful drive through the snow covered landscape. I love when the pines are snow covered. It’s especially nice knowing we were leaving it all behind in a few hours. You certainly didn’t need a snowy spring this year. Hope you have that roof covered.

  8. Gay says:

    Haven’t been to the North Rim…thanks for a sneak peek! The weather this year has surely been in the news a lot…crazy all over the country!

    • placestheygo says:

      Glad we could share the North Rim with you, Gay. It is usually getting quite warm by May in southern Utah. We’ve had enough of the wet weather. Moab doesn’t look much better.

  9. Jdee Gravel says:

    That’s a much prettier drive with all the new snow!! And without the glaring sun we had you got a wonderful view of the canyon. Nice of that college student to do his part 🙂

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