Standing on the lip of the Grand Canyon will quickly show why this national park has become one of the most widely recognized sites in the world. While it would take weeks or even months to fully explore the area, there are a handful of hikes that should be a mandatory part of any trip to this area. Here is a closer look at five of the leading hikes to choose from, what times of year they are popular, and the level of difficulty that travelers can expect.
This is the hike that most visitors will begin at and one that is a leisurely walk for those with mobility issues, younger children, or less time to spend. Almost the entire Rim Trail is paved and has water fountains to fill up water bottles as well as restrooms. It runs for 12 miles along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon and will provide visitors access to a number of outstanding views, especially during the cooler winter and spring months.
Bright Angel Trail remains one of the most iconic locations within the Grand Canyon as it offers amazing views across the southern rim when traversing the switch backs. Bright Angel Trail is where many visitors begin their trek as the start of the trail is surrounded by hotels and condos for rent. The hike can range from a leisurely stroll for a few hours to famous lookout points to an arduous trip alongside the Colorado River or Bright Angel Glen.
This is one of the best options for those that would like a mild hike while steering clear of the larger crowds along the southern rim. Just a few miles outside of Grand Canyon Village, the Shoshone Point Trail is 2 miles of unpaved hiking paths that lead to Shoshone point, an incredible location for catching breathtaking vistas and a great trip at almost any time of the year.
South Kaibab Trail offers travelers versatility when it comes to their hike with 1.8 mile, 3 mile, and 7.5 mile trips. It is one of the easiest ways to access the wildlife below the rim of the canyon and has a number of locations for bathrooms and water spouts (dependening on the time of year). The South Kaibab Trail also leads to the famous Ooh Ahh Point, one of the most popular destinations for pictures and sightseeing.
The Rim-to-Rim hike is not for the faint of heart and requires extensive planning. Even well-versed hikers will want to schedule at least 4 days for this hike which will require camping permits. The entire trip is just over 25 miles, but it will require a number of inclines, sometimes as much as 3,000 feet within a short period. Bright Angel Trails is a popular place to start this trek as it provides a number of camping spots including the Indian Gardens, Plateau Point, and the Three Mile Resthouse.
- Rim Trail
- Bright Angel Trail
- Shoshone Point Trail
- South Kaibab Trail