hikes in Grand Canyon National Park
A hike in the Grand Canyon should be a priority on your next trip to the Grand Canyon, as hiking is the best way to explore the majesty of the Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP). There are wonderful hikes all around the Grand Canyon for visitors to explore. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, GCNP contains nearly two billion years of geological history constantly being exposed by the mighty flows of the Colorado River.
There are many great walks and hikes in the Grand Canyon National Park. Choose from easy walks for the whole family or harder hikes that take all day and require careful planning. Below is our list of our favorite hikes around the Grand Canyon, including a couple of hikes that are great to explore the Grand Canyon with your kids.
- South Kaibab Trail (24.2km, 1442m, 7-8.5h): Usually compared to the Bright Angel Trail, the South Kaibab is more challenging, but simultaneously a more stunning trek. This is one of the greatest hikes in the Grand Canyon and also a bucket-list hike for anybody building a list of the best hikes in the USA. With no water and little shade along the way, you will certainly want to start early to soak in the spectacular views along the route without battling the direct sunlight. Options exist to shorten the trail and not go all the way to the Colorado River.
- Bright Angel Trail (28.5km, 1328m, 10-11.5h): As the most “rim to river” hiking trail in the Grand Canyon, the Bright Angel Trail sees a lot of traffic from inexperienced hikers. Luckily there are several water stations along the way, and the trail is quite well graded. Be warned, however, as any trip to the river and back is extremely strenuous. This is another great hike in Grand Canyon National Park.
- Dripping Springs (11.3km, 703m, 3-3.5h): This is not as busy of a hiking trail in the Grand Canyon Area, and leaves from Hermits Rest and bring you to a secluded and shaded spring that seeps down from a hole in the roof of a small overhang. This hike gets very little sun, and the solitude of the picturesque spring is well worth the physical effort!
- South Rim Trail (12.9km, 130m, 1.5-2h): The South Rim Trail is easily the most popular hike in Grand Canyon National Park. This hike is generally flat, connecting Grand Canyon Village with Hermits Rest Point, and boasts fantastic views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
- Shoshone Point (3.5km, 81m, 1-1.5h): This less traveled trail is a fantastic easy hike in the Grand Canyon, allowing you to escape from the crowds of Hermits Rest and Grand Canyon Village. A mostly flat route leads you out to a magnificent viewpoint that you will most likely be sharing with under a dozen people!
- Bright Angel Point (1.6km, 88m, 0.5-1h): This popular trail leads from the North Rim Visitors Centre to the scenic Bright Angel Point over a paved path with minimal elevation gain. This is one of the best hikes in the Grand Canyon to take your kids, and is a perfect short hike for all levels of hikers, offering spectacular panoramic views.
- Grandview Trail (10.3km, 829m, 3.75-4.5h): This trail may not be quite as “epic” as those that hike way down the river, but nonetheless the steep climbing is easily worth the fantastic views of the eastern section of the Grand Canyon – and it’s typically less crowded, too!
- Cape Final (6.9km, 192m, 1.5-2h): The mostly flat trail leading out to the rim of the Grand Canyon, to the stunning Cape Final, isn’t the most well known, but it’s definitely well worth it. Here you will get absolutely fantastic panoramas of the Grand Canyon as well as views down to the Colorado River.
- Santa Maria Springs (7.8km, 640m, 2-2.5h): While exploring the far western tip of the Grand Canyon, this hike descends towards a rest shelter with a quaint rocking chair as well as water for the horses. Stunning views of the edge of the canyon, as well as of impressive rock formations permeate the entire trail.
- Cape Royal (1.6km, 47m, 0.5-0.75h): At the end of the harrowing scenic drive, Cape Royal is definitely an impressive reward. A short hike along a paved path from the parking area brings you past Angel’s Window to stunning panoramic views of the Grand Canyon, including Grandview Point across the river.
The best hikes in Grand Canyon National Park
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