The Grand Canyon is truly spectacular. The South Rim offers the easiest access for most and is much more populated. In fact, the North Rim (due to the high elevation) is closed due to snow early in the fall and doesn't open until late spring. I actually made it to the North Rim within the first few days it was open in 1994. The area around the North Rim is covered in Pinion Pine Forest and is spectacular. As expected the lodge is great and offers a great place to eat and rest in the evenings.
I drove from the North Rim to the South Rim in a day and found the South Rim to also be a great spot. Though the crush of people was quite a difference. However, once you hiked an hour or so down the canyon the crowds thinned out. As all the hiking books mention, you have to be careful how far you hike down into the canyon as the climb up is quite a challenge compared to the hike down.