I feel a little uneasy sharing this with you. The trips location is no secret, but the place definitely ranks high on the stoke factor. World class views, no crowds, and excellent singletrack combine to form the Rainbow Rim Trail. Riding is prohibited in the Grand Canyon National Park trails (below the rim), but just a few miles North of the Northern Rim lies the Rainbow Rim Trail system. The route winds along the 7,600ft elevation terrain, dipping into old growth forest and then diving back out to the rim for expansive views of the canyon. The singletrack is fast and well groomed (most sections) and provides the rider some difficult climbs, mixed with bomber downhill.
A friend of ours (@cribboutdoors on Insta) organized a car camping and mountain biking trip to the trail last week. I don't want to give away our camping location, but I will say to think outside the box when choosing the best place to set up a basecamp. The spot he chose looked out over the canyon and was a few minutes away from one the best sunset views the canyon can offer. We hung out for the weekend riding (AKA:sucking air for us Phoenix residents) and relaxing in the high elevation temps.
The trip started for us after driving 3.5 hours from Phoenix, as we dropped into Marble Canyon. Our first stop was the Navajo Bridge which we hit right as the sun was painting the desert. The bridges spans across the Colorado River and is one of the few places most people can get a glimpse of the river and canyon walls.
We arrived too late Friday evening to see our campsite and most the crew was already asleep. In the morning we were treated with a beautiful sunrise as everyone got in some calories. The plan was to break off into different groups and ride a distance we were comfortable with. Some had their sights on the whole enchilada of 30+ miles, while some of us just wanted to enjoy the views and single track. Lying around the campsite were thousands of dollars worth of bikes. Cross, hardtails and full suspension provided us enough to geek out on for hours.