5 Best Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park
Travel to soaring views and explore the rims on these great trails
If you’re after views alone, the South Rim won’t disappoint; its overlooks galore offer varied perspectives on the canyon. The higher, cooler North Rim―claiming only 10 percent of the visiting throngs―is more remote and bordered with wildflower meadows and thick stands of spruce.
Plan ahead when hiking. If you’re going into the canyon, decide just how long you’d like to hike, then turn around once a third of that time has elapsed. Head out at dawn to avoid hiking in the heat of the day.
Bring water. It gets hot here in the summer. Plan on 2 1/2 gallons of water per person for each day of your stay.
5 BEST HIKES
1. Bright Angel Trail. A good though long day option on this classic route into the canyon is the 9.2-mile roundtrip (with a 3,000-foot return climb) to the spring at Indian Garden. Very Strenuous Trailhead next to Kolb Studio in Grand Canyon Village.
2. South Kaibab Trail. A less crowded alternative to the Bright Angel Trail, its easiest day hike is the 1.8 –mile roundtrip to views at appropriately named Ooh-Aah Point 600 feet below the rim. It’s one of two main routes to the canyon floor, and there is a very strenuous trailhead south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road. Access by shuttle bus only.
3. Rim Trail. The one truly level trail on the South Rim, it runs for 12 mostly paved miles with outstanding views along the way. Easy Trail access at viewpoints between Hermits Rest and Pipe Creek Vista off Desert View Drive