Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (2022)

Originally published on out-spiration.com.

Back in September, my friend Nick and I planned a trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It was one of the two national parks in Colorado we both had yet to visit and wanted to check off our list so we packed up my car for an epic adventure to the canyon that boasts steeper walls than the Grand Canyon. Our #1 priority was to venture into the inner canyon to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. Here is OUTspiration’s guide to exploring the inner depths of this underrated canyon on the north rim side of the park (disclaimer: it is an SOB) .

About Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Established as a National Monument in 1933, Black Canyon of the Gunnison was officially designated as a national park in 1999. Black Canyon is located in Western Colorado. The south rim entrance is located 15 miles east from Montrose, CO while the north rim entrance is located 11 miles north of the town of Crawford, CO. While the park itself only contains 12 miles of the 48-miles of canyon, these 12 miles are the deepest, steepest, and most dramatic parts of the canyon. This park gets its name because some parts of the canyon only see 33 minutes of sunlight per day.

South Rim Versus North Rim

The South Rim is the busier and more developed side of the park. With paved roads, 12 overlooks, four hiking trails, and four inner canyon routes, it is easy to see why. The North Rim is quieter and less developed than the North Rim. In the winter, the North Rim is not accessible by car because the road is not maintained. If you are looking for a primitive and solitary experience with dramatic views of the canyon during your trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then don’t overlook the North Rim. It has five overlooks, three hiking trails, and three routes into the inner canyon. While visiting both sides of the canyon is possible if you plan for a two to three hour drive between the two but splitting your trip into two days will fully maximize your experience.

Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim

For our trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we chose to visit the North Rim. Our time was limited since we only had two days for traveling and adventuring, and we wanted to get the most out of our experience by hiking into the inner canyon. We chose the North Rim because it was quieter and because the Hipcamp site we booked was closer to that entrance. After doing some research on the inner canyon hikes, we decided that the SOB Draw was the best option because the National Park Service (NPS) recommended it as a suggested route for first time inner canyon hikers. When I saw that it was only a two mile round-trip hike, I thought “Man, that will not be bad.” Even though I knew that there was 1800 feet of elevation change in a mile, my peak bagging mindset made me think it would be a piece of cake since it was so short. Boy, was I wrong.

Nick and I dragged ourselves out of our Tipi HipCamp to drive the thirty minutes from Hotchkiss, CO at around 6AM. We wanted to get to the Ranger Station as early as possible so we could obtain the required inner canyon permit without issue. The permits are on a first-come, first-serve basis so I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to hike into the canyon. Because it was a weekday and it was 7AM by the time we pulled into the Ranger Station. Nick took care to write our hiking plan on the Inner Canyon whiteboard. We hopped in the car again and drove around the campground area until we found the pull-out by the campground sign to park at. The hike began east of the campground at an access ladder along the fence line. If you are traveling to the campground from the ranger station, the trailhead is on the right side of the road.

The SOB Draw started off pretty mild as we hiked through a field of gamble oak and sagebrush that is relatively flat. Do not let that fool you.

After we got this sense of false hope that this hike was, in fact, not going to be an SOB, the trail started dropping in elevation rather dramatically. Soon we were greeted with a steep descent, several short ledges that we needed to climb down, and an abundance of poison ivy as we neared the Gunnison River.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (1)

While the trail is a substantial social trail, the cairns were especially helpful because route-finding was made difficult by the variety of paths that previous hikers had taken. I am an avid user of hiking poles but this trail required extensive use of my hands so I quickly stashed them in the gear loop on my Camelbak Sequoia 18. With every step, I saw the river getting closer but with every step I still felt miles from the end.

(Video) The Black Canyon - Backpacking S.O.B. Draw

It was a breath of relief when we came upon the large boulders at the end of the trail that indicated that we were almost at the bottom of the canyon. I threw my backpack off as soon as we reached the river and took my trail runners off to let my feet breathe. It took us about two hours to descend into the inner depths of the canyon. It was truly spectacular being surrounded by cliff walls thousands of feet high. They towered ominously, dark and free of the sun.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (2)

I closed my eyes as I nestled into a pothole in a rock and let the sound of the river lull me into a light nap. After about five minutes, I reluctantly opened my eyes as I knew we needed to get going. Nick and I snapped a few pictures to commemorate our feat and then look dreadfully back up the trail as we realized with sinking hearts we needed to hike back up what we hiked down.

If you think the hike down was hard, you will be in for a rude awakening when you ascend out of the canyon. It was largely stop and go, and it was clear why the NPS site recommended four liters of water per person. I was guzzling water at every stop. Every rock that I sat on was a welcome seat. My arms burned as I pulled myself up the steep rock ledges that we had to climb down previously. Avoiding the poison ivy was much more difficult going back up because it seemed to be in every convenient hand hold. It was with joy that we reached the gamble oak and sagebrush field and knew that we were almost back to flat ground. It took us about a total of three hours to climb out of the canyon. After dropping off our permit to show that we arrived back safely, we headed out to grab much deserved burgers and brews at Pat’s Bar and Grill in Hotchkiss.

Safety Considerations for Hiking the SOB Draw at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Primitive Trail

The park states that the trails are not maintained. With that being said, the inner canyon is remote and provides a rugged experience incomparable to other experiences in the park but it requires experience, skill, and planning ahead. If rescue were required, it would require extended periods of time so make sure to bring everything necessary to spend a night in the wilderness.

Water

The NPS site recommends that hikers bring at least four liters of water or two liters and a water filter. Trust me when I say you are going to need it. I am terrible at staying hydrated but my body was begging for water on the way back up and four liters of water almost wasn’t enough. Dehydration is a real and dangerous condition when hiking. Another thing to take into consideration is the possibility of having to stay the night out there if something were to go wrong. It is best to err on the side of caution and bring more water than you think you will need or is recommended.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (3)

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is abundant in Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Poison ivy lives in riparian (by rivers or wetlands) environments and it thrives in sunless, wet areas which Black Canyon is famous for. Wearing long pants for any inner canyon hike is recommended. Additionally, bringing an anti-itch ointment would be beneficial just in case you get yourself in an “itchy” situation.

I recommend calamine lotion, an OTC medication used to treat mild itchiness. It also dries out oozing and weeping that may be caused by poison ivy.

Winter

While the road to the North Rim is not accessible in the winter, that does not stop avid hikers from trying to access the inner canyon from this side. If you decide to brave the inner canyon in the winter, you are doing so at your own risk. The NPS recommends winter inner canyon hikers to be equipped with snowshoes, crampons, an ice axe and possibly a rope.

Planning Your Inner Canyon Black Canyon Trip

Here are the steps I took to planning this trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison and a few other recommendations to help make planning your own trip a bit easier.

(Video) Steep Canyon Hiking | Van Life in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park | SOB Draw | vlog 13

Where to Stay

Vacation Rental: Hipcamp

When we visited the North Rim side of Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we booked a tipi tent at Riverwalk Yurts for $60+fees a few miles outside of Hotchkiss, CO and a thirty minute drive to the North Entrance Ranger Station. The tipi itself came with two foldable foam mattresses, a table and two chairs, and a chest that contained reused 64oz juice jugs with water in them. Keep in mind, you do need to bring your own bedding and towels. These came in handy for our inner canyon hike. The tipi sits right in front of a beach with access to the Gunnison River. There is also a fire pit, picnic tables, and Adirondack lounge chairs. A short walk away, we had access to a cute shower house and bathroom.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (4)
Black Canyon of the Gunnison: Hiking the SOB Draw on the North Rim (5)

Camping

The North Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison also has a nice campground with pit toilet facilities that are in close proximity to the trailhead for the SOB Draw trail. Campsites are on a first come, first serve basis. The Standard camping fee is $16.00 per night. For more information on the North Rim Campground, visit the NPS Site.

Permits

Permits are required for both the South Rim and North Rim inner canyon hikes because the inner canyon is a designated wilderness area. While they are free, as mentioned above, they are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Planning on arriving early is essential to securing your permit for your inner canyon hike. For more information on obtaining an inner canyon permit visit https://www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/innercanyon.htm.

What to Wear

Having the right apparel to hike the SOB Draw will help ensure you’re comfortable and protected against trail debris.

Moisture Wicking Top

The hike down and back up will produce a lot of sweat. Wearing a moisture-wicking top made of polyester or nylon will ensure breathability.

Long Pants

(Video) black canyon of the Gunnison; the long draw route

As mentioned above, the SOB Draw trail and other inner canyon hikes contain a plethora of poison ivy. If you risk wearing shorts for your hike, you risk brushing up against poison ivy. Save yourself an itchy experience, and wear long, breathable hiking pants.

Wool Hiking Socks

You will want a thick sock to help prevent the rubbing that is bound to occur on your toes and heels from the steep descent and ascent.

Hiking Boots

I swear by my trail runners and hiked this trail in them but part of me wished I had hiking boots. Trail runners are breathable and lightweight but they do little to prevent debris from entering your shoes or bruising the tips of your toes when you shit a rock, all of which is very present on the SOB trail. Hiking boots help keep the debris out and protect your toes from impact.

What to Pack

Packing the right gear and amenities will ensure you are prepared for an epic day in the inner canyon.

Rain Gear

Unexpected storms are common in Colorado, so make sure to bring a rain jacket and rain pants so you can stay dry. A rain cover is also recommended for your pack but if you do not have one of those, garbage bags inside your pack work well too.

The Ten Essentials

(Video) Hiking Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Navigation such as a GPS device, map, or phone with a map downloaded on it. If you plan on bringing a phone to use as navigation, I recommend also bringing a portable charger.

A headlamp with extra batteries.

Sun protection including sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.

A first aid kit as well as a blister kit.

Utility knife and a gear repair kit.

Shelter or an emergency bivy because you never know if you’re going to have to spend the night out in the wilderness due to extenuating circumstances

A fire starter kit preferably with matches and/or a lighter.

Food + extra (at least an extra day’s worth). You’re going to be expending a lot of energy in two miles so make sure to stay fueled.

Water + extra (at least an extra day’s worth). Trust me when I say you are going to want A LOT of extra water for this hike.

(Video) Black Canyon of the Gunnison S.O.B Draw

Extra clothes layers because it’s easier to cool off or warm up with layers instead of one heavy layer.

    Conclusion

    Hiking the inner canyon is the best way to get intimate with Black Canyon of the Gunnison; however, in the words of other inner canyon hikers that we ran into, “There is an easier way to see the park. Sight-seeing.” While that may be true, hiking the SOB Draw gave us more than a taste of adventure. Next stop: the South Rim!

    FAQs

    Is south or North Rim better Black Canyon of Gunnison? ›

    If you only have one day to visit Black Canyon, the south rim will give you a greater variety of viewpoints and short hikes. The north rim is the best if you want a more isolated experience. East Portal Road can be accessed from the South Rim and takes you to the base of the canyon. The road is steep and windy.

    Is North Rim Black Canyon of the Gunnison worth it? ›

    As much fun as the south rim and the east portal road are, you must go to the north rim to truly appreciate the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Each major pull off from Rim Road has a relatively close viewing point where you can stare straight down from the sheer cliff face and spy the Gunnison River below.

    How long to drive to North Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

    How to Get to the North Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Even though the canyon is only 1,100 feet in the narrowest section, it takes about two hours to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim.

    Can you hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim? ›

    On this epic Grand Canyon hike, you'll leave from the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim, challenging your personal limits as you descend 14.3 miles and 6,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon before connecting with the Bright Angel Trail and climbing 4,500 feet and 9.6 miles back out again to the South Rim.

    Is the North Rim or South Rim prettier? ›

    But those who have seen the canyon from both sides tend to agree that the North Rim is the nicer side of the Grand Canyon, in several senses of the word – calmer, quieter, and reminiscent of what the National Parks may have been like in years past.

    Is it better to hike from North Rim to South Rim or South Rim to North Rim? ›

    Regardless of which route you pick, we recommend hiking north to south. The North Rim is taller than its twin, so you'll lose elevation on a southbound trek. Plus, you can leave a shuttle vehicle near North Kaibab trailhead, allowing for easier logistics.

    Is the North Rim worth visiting? ›

    While the south rim may see more visitors, the Grand Canyon North Rim is truly the best region of the park. The North Rim is quieter, more photogenic, and boasts far more pleasant temperatures in the summer. To truly experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world, you need to explore it from the north side.

    Is it better to hike north or south rim Grand Canyon? ›

    Overall, if you want the total Grand Canyon package, it's best to visit both rims. But if you have to choose between the two, I recommend that first-time visitors focus on the South Rim for the numerous overlooks and variety of experiences.

    Can you hike North Rim to South Rim per day? ›

    Long distance thru-hikers typically average between 10-15 miles a day. Hiking more than that is totally doable but not necessarily the most fun or painless. Hiking Rim to Rim in one day means hiking at least 21 miles. If the pain hasn't already kicked in by mile 15, it's very likely it will at mile 16.

    How long should I stay at North Rim? ›

    Visitors to the North Rim can't realistically do it in just one day, so we encourage you to book at least one overnight; even better, increase your length of stay to at least two nights and plan to stay at the rim or in Page, Fredonia or southern Utah.

    Do you need a permit to hike rim to rim in one day? ›

    There is no permit needed to hike from Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon, as long as you are only going to be in the park for a day. If you plan to do this hike over two days and are going to be staying at the South Rim Lodge, Grand Canyon Lodge, or Phantom Ranch, you will not need a permit either.

    How long is the North Rim Scenic drive? ›

    How long does the North Rim Parkway take to drive? This 43-mile drive should take you an hour to drive, but you may want to allow a longer time so you can stop to hike the numerous trails available along the way.

    What is the hardest trail in the Grand Canyon? ›

    Nankoweap. Known as Grand Canyon's toughest trail, the Nankoweap Trail drops off the North Rim and descends a parched south-facing, sun-baked slope all the way down to the banks of the Colorado River. If you can manage the heat and trail conditions, arrival at Nankoweap Camp is like a little slice of heaven.

    Can I enter Grand Canyon from North Rim? ›

    The entrance to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67; the actual rim of the canyon is an additional 14 miles south from the entrance. Jacob Lake, AZ is located in northern Arizona on Highway 89A, not far from the Utah border.

    Can you hike the North Rim? ›

    Both the South Rim and the North Rim offer rim trail hikes that have spectacular views of the inner canyon, some on paved trails. Or you can choose to day hike into the canyon. Permits are not required for non-commercial day hikes.

    Why is the North Rim less popular than the South Rim? ›

    The North Rim is only accessible via Route 67, which branches off of Route 89A in the town of Jacob Lake, Arizona. Due to the road often being impassable during the winter months, the North Rim is only open from mid-May through mid-October. Which is probably why it is much less visited.

    Is North Rim less crowded? ›

    1. The Quieter Side of the National Park. Offering fantastic views with less congestion, the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park offers those willing to drive five hours and 212 miles from the South Rim a chance to see the canyon without the crowds.

    What city is closest to the North Rim? ›

    The entrance to the North Rim is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ on Highway 67 (the actual rim of Grand Canyon is an additional 14 miles south of the park entrance). Jacob Lake, AZ is located in Northern Arizona on Highway 89A, not far from the Utah border.

    How difficult is the scenic rim walk? ›

    The Scenic Rim Trail is rough, steep and difficult to traverse. Although classified as a Grade 5 track overall, there are some sections of easier, well-formed walking tracks and management trails. Be aware of what to expect and how to deal with the conditions.

    How far is it between the North Rim and the South Rim? ›

    The average distance across the canyon is only 10 miles/ 16 km, howerver, it is a five-hour drive of 220 miles/ 354 km between the park's South Rim Village and the North Rim Village.

    How long is the North to South Rim hike? ›

    Our recommendation for hiking your first Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon is to hike it from North Rim to South Rim via the North Kaibab Trail (elevation 8,241 ft – 14.3 miles – mostly a descent) and the Bright Angel Trail (mostly an ascent – 9.6 miles – elevation 6,860 ft) which is estimated to be a total of 23.9 miles.

    How many days do you need to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon? ›

    Very few visitors to the Grand Canyon take on this backpacking trip, but those who do typically finish it in 2-3 days, though those who are extremely fit may do it in one long day.

    What months is the North Rim open? ›

    The North Rim is open with full services between May 15 and October 15, 2022. Reservations for North Rim Lodging and Camping are strongly recommended. Note: Between December 1st and May 14th, North Rim roads are closed to all vehicles and no visitor services are available.

    What is the safest trail in Grand Canyon? ›

    The Bright Angel trail starts at the Bright Angel Lodge and winds down into the Grand canyon. It offers several rest stops which have chemical toilets the first at the 1 1/2 mile marker. You can take your time and hike down as far as you are capable and prepared.

    Which rim of the Grand Canyon has the best views? ›

    Best Views of the Grand Canyon (Viewpoints & Overlooks)
    • Navajo Point. Location: East Rim.
    • Mary Colter's Lookout Studio. Location: South Rim. ...
    • Grand Canyon Lodge. Location: North Rim. ...
    • Shoshone Point. Location: South Rim. Elevation: 7,306 feet (2,227 meters) ...
    • Moran Point. Location: East Rim. Elevation: 7160 feet (2182 meters) ...
    6 days ago

    Should I wear shorts or leggings to the Grand Canyon? ›

    In the summer, wear shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes with a light jacket or sweater. In the winter, opt for jeans, good shoes (or even boots – it does snow at the Grand Canyon!), and a long-sleeved shirt with a jacket or sweater.

    What do you eat on rim to rim hike? ›

    Fueling Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon
    • The Nutrition Plan.
    • Sunny.
    • Pam.
    • Chris.
    • The First Half. Water. Gatorade. Endurolytes. Gels. Sharkies. Turkey roll ups.
    • Halfway. Water. Endurolyte. Mini-bagel with peanut butter. Crackers. Two ibuprofen.
    • The Second Half. Water. Lemonade. Endurolytes. Gels. Sharkies. Crackers. Two ibuprofen.
    28 Nov 2013

    How long is the North Rim Trail? ›

    8.2 Miles

    Can you hike to the North Rim in March? ›

    As mentioned above, the North Rim is closed in March, so the South Rim is the only part of the Park you can visit. In fact, the North Rim is closed from early November to mid May every year.

    Can you sleep in your car at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon? ›

    Can you camp in your car in the Grand Canyon? Yes, the National Park Service allows you to sleep in your car inside the park, but you still need to reserve a campsite. You cannot just sleep in your car in a parking lot, for example.

    How much does it cost to stay at the North Rim Lodge? ›

    Grand Canyon North Rim lodging options

    Here are the 2022 prices: Motel rooms: $153 plus tax. Frontier cabins: $168 plus tax. Pioneer cabins: $193 plus tax.

    Are there showers at the North Rim? ›

    Located on the entrance road to the North Rim Campground, between the Service Station and the North Rim General Store, visitors will find coin-operated laundry and shower facilities. One accessible and three regular shower stalls are available in sections for both women and men, on the right side of the building.

    How hard is the Rim to Rim hike? ›

    Don't underestimate its grueling difficulty. By the shortest route, combining the South and North Kaibab trails, a rim-to-rim hike, or r2r, entails about 21 trail miles and a cumulative nearly 11,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. The heat can wilt even the fittest people.

    How many days does it take to hike Rim to Rim? ›

    The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim is a classic crossing of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world … twice. The out-and-back route is 44-47 miles (depending on the variation) and has 11,000 feet of elevation gain. It is a challenging and rewarding route that can be done in 1-4 days.

    Is North Rim Drive one way? ›

    The North Rim Drive is a short one-way drive along the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The North Rim Drive begins just south of Canyon Village on the Canyon/Lake road. There are several stops along the way where you can park and enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon and the Lower Falls.

    Why does the North Rim close? ›

    The North Rim is open from May 15 to October 15 each year due to winter conditions. After October 15, the North Rim is open for day use only until December 1 or the weather conditions close Highway 67.

    Is the North Rim closed? ›

    North Rim Is Open for Day Use Only

    Grand Canyon Lodge, all food services, general store and the North Rim Campground are closed for the winter. The North Rim is open for Day Use from October 16 through November 30, 2022, unless roads are closed by a major snowstorm.

    What is the number one cause of death in the Grand Canyon? ›

    As of 2021, about 900 people have died in the Grand Canyon. The leading cause of death is airplane and helicopter crashes, followed by falling from cliffs, environmental deaths (such as overheating), and drowning. On average, about 11 people die per year in the Grand Canyon.

    What is the toughest hike in USA? ›

    11 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the U.S.
    1. Angel's Landing, Zion National Park. ...
    2. Capitol Peak via the Knife Edge, Colorado. ...
    3. Mist Trail and Half Dome Cables, Yosemite National Park. ...
    4. Huckleberry Trail, Glacier National Park. ...
    5. Camp Muir, Mount Rainier National Park. ...
    6. Chinitna Bay, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
    7 Oct 2021

    What is the deadliest hiking trail in the world? ›

    HuaShan, China

    This epic trail to the South Peak of HuaShan, one of China's Five Great Mountains, is often billed as the most dangerous hike in the world, and for good reason.

    Is the North Rim of Black canyon worth it? ›

    Because there is no bridge over the canyon, accessing the North Rim requires a bit of a drive. You'll need to allow two to three hours' drive time from one rim to the other—but it's entirely worth it. Not only are there far fewer people, but the views from the North Rim are also more dramatic, if that's even possible.

    What months is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon closed? ›

    North Rim: Closed for the Winter between December 1 and May 15. The North Rim is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67; the actual rim of the canyon is an additional 14 miles south.

    Which is better the North Rim or South Rim? ›

    But those who have seen the canyon from both sides tend to agree that the North Rim is the nicer side of the Grand Canyon, in several senses of the word – calmer, quieter, and reminiscent of what the National Parks may have been like in years past.

    Which is better north or South Rim Black canyon? ›

    What is the difference between the South Rim and North Rim? The South Rim has more services, facilities and overlooks, and provides better views of the Painted Wall. The North Rim is accessed via a gravel road, has no visitor center, but does provide better views into the narrowest part of the canyon.

    Is North Rim cooler than South Rim? ›

    In summer, when the temperature at the South Rim can reach 100 degrees in the shade, the North Rim is a cooler, quieter option that offers the same spectacular canyon views, along with good hiking opportunities and scenic drives.

    What is the best way to view the Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

    For the ultimate adventure in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, hike below the rim to the Gunnison River. On the South Rim, four trails lead from the rim to the Gunnison River. A Wilderness Use Permit is required for each of these hikes (you need to pick up your permit the day before your hike).

    Which view is better north or South Rim Grand Canyon? ›

    The South Rim is at a lower elevation which allows you to get a better view of the walls of the opposite rim. The sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon is much more visible from the South Rim. The South Rim is more “user friendly” with paved paths along the rim.

    Is it better to camp on the north or South Rim of the Grand Canyon? ›

    That being said, if you want to avoid busy campgrounds and crowded trails, head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It may be harder to reach — and is closed seasonally from mid-October to mid-May — but you'll experience the more wild (and more secluded) side of the park.

    Is the north or South Rim of the Grand Canyon more popular? ›

    Simply put, the majority of visitors come to the South Rim each year. Compare 4 million annual South Rim visitors to fewer than 1 million visitors at the North Rim.

    What is the best hike in Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

    According to users from AllTrails.com, the best place to hike in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is Warner Point Nature Trail, which has a 4.5 star rating from 1,093 reviews.

    How long should you spend at Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

    Allow 2-3 hours for a leisurely tour. Information is available at the North Rim Ranger Station, open intermittently in summer. The North Rim Road is closed in winter.

    Is the North Rim of the Black Canyon open? ›

    The North Rim is open 24 hours a day during the summer season. In the winter, the North Rim is closed. The North Rim is open 24 hours a day during the summer season. In the winter, the North Rim is closed.
    ...
    Park District - North Rim.
    Christmas DayDecember 25, 2022Closed
    HolidayDateHours
    10 more rows
    4 Jan 2022

    What city is closest to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon? ›

    The entrance to the North Rim is located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake, AZ on Highway 67 (the actual rim of Grand Canyon is an additional 14 miles south of the park entrance). Jacob Lake, AZ is located in Northern Arizona on Highway 89A, not far from the Utah border.

    Should you wear jeans to the Grand Canyon? ›

    In the summer, wear shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes with a light jacket or sweater. In the winter, opt for jeans, good shoes (or even boots – it does snow at the Grand Canyon!), and a long-sleeved shirt with a jacket or sweater.

    Which is the most visited Rim at Grand Canyon? ›

    The Grand Canyon South Rim

    The South Rim is managed by the National Park Service. It welcomes a whopping 5 million visitors every year, and it's about five or six hours away from Las Vegas by car.

    Videos

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    2. S O B Draw
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    5. North Rim Road & Campground (Audio Description)
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