The Grand Canyon is one of those things that you see once, then you want to see it again and again. The North Rim of the Canyon is no exception. We left our FS campsite early-ish to try and beat the crowds to the only gate at the North Rim. We were unsuccessful and hundreds of tourists were in line with us at the gate. We bought our annual National Park pass, which will become a tradition for us every year unless we are traveling abroad for a big chunk of a year. At $35/car, you make up the $80 annual fee in about 2.1 visits to a park. If you aren’t visiting a National Park 2.1 times in a year, you are doing it wrong.
The North Rim is a sight to see and is well worth the drive. We enjoyed Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon Lodge, and Point Imperial. Bright Angel Point and Point Imperial were both exceptionally good because it showed us a viewpoint of where we had been previously on hiking trips from the South Rim. Point Imperial has a great viewpoint of the Colorado River and the highway criss-crossing the Navajo Reservation below the Vermillion Cliffs. Bright Angel Point was splendid as it gave us a far-off view of our Grand Canyon hike from last spring. We could see the trails, resting areas, and little dots criss crossing the hillside…so fun!
We left the Canyon and headed North toward 4-corners only to be disappointed by the tribal park that now shuts off admission at 8PM and charges a fee to see an intersection of state borders. That is the world we live in. We carried on into Colorado and nestled ourselves into a BLM camping area near Cortez, CO and Mesa Verde National Park.