Grand Canyon Trails
The Grand Canyon National park offers some of the most stunning hiking trails in the world, due to the amazing views and scenery on the way. For hikers wanting to enjoy the natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon, read on for some strikingly beautiful and rewarding trails in the area.
Backpacking in the silent wilderness of the Grand Canyon is the adventure of a lifetime. Venture out beyond the developed campgrounds on the North Rim or South Rim for solitude in rugged and awe-inspiring surroundings, and experience the true beauty of the Grand Canyon by hiking one of the fifteen trails and numerous, unmaintained routes.
Permit is required when hiking overnight outside the developed camp grounds. It is recommended to apply to avoid disappointment, and the earliest you can apply for a permit is the first of the month, four months prior.
Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim is not a journey to be forgotten. The trail may be completed fairly quickly to in-shape hikers, but spending several days is recommended due to the fantastic sights and gorgeous camping along the way.
The Rim Trail runs west from Pipe Creek viewpoint, and is a good choice for hikers wanting a flat, but equally interesting, trail. It stretches for about 15 miles, with 8 of them paved, going all the way to Hermits Rest. There are plenty of overlooks by the trail for views across the canyon. There is shade along the trail, though no water, so remember to bring a bottle with you.
From here hikers may continue on the steep Hermit Trail to Santa Maria Spring and Drippings Springs. This interesting trail requires some caution as the path may be unmaintained, but the experienced, adventurous hiker will be well rewarded by the stunning scenery.
For a full day hike, the fascinating North Kaibab Trail is rich in beauty and natural wonders. Allow 7-8 hours for the challenging, yet stunning, hike to Roaring Springs and back. It is recommended take a break during the hottest part of the day to avoid dehydration or exhaustion.
The Rainbow Rim Trail is a 36 miles hike through a lush, aspen and ponderosa forest, with great views and outstanding scenery. The relatively easy trail starts in the middle of Locust Pint by the North Rim, is popular also among mountain bikers and horseback riders.
When to go
The Canyon is a beautiful sight during the hour after sunrise and before sunset. The low light turns the walls into striking red and orange shades, leaving lasting memories and opening for some gorgeous photos.
For long-distance hikers, July and August can get very hot. It is recommended to venture out between mid-May to mid-June, or September through October. Day hikers during the hot summer months may consider choosing a path with shade, and bring along plenty of water.
Tip before travelling
The trails may take hikers to high elevations through hot desert conditions, with a brutal ascent back up to the rim. Prepare well in advance and choose a hiking trail fitting health condition to ensure the pleasant, memorable journey that you hope for.