5 Best Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park
A trip to the Grand Canyon would not be complete without a hike. It’s an incredible experience, and visitors say the backcountry is absolutely amazing.
Many of the trails on this list, in some way or another, intertwine with one another. They offer views of the canyons powerful and inspiring landscape; the architecture and sheer scale of the canyon alone is exhilarating.
There are many summer dangers people don’t know about. That being said the National Park Service explains, “over 250 people are rescued from the canyon each year.” They advise hikers to plan their hike before starting, balance food and water intake, hike slowly, rest often and do your best to stay cool.
Are you ready for your trip to the canyon, but still unsure about which hike to embark on? Continue reading for the 5 Best Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park.
The Rim-to-Rim hike in the Grand Canyon is one of the longest hikes there. It’s a 44 mile round-trip, which usually takes approximately 5-7 days to complete. Visitors say it’s no stroll in the park; it’s a strenuous hike, which takes a lot of endurance. However, if you train for this hike beforehand and you know what to expect, you will encounter one of the most memorable experiences of your life. According to the National Park Foundation, “you’ll leave from the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim, challenging your personal limits as you descend 14.3 miles and 6,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon before connecting with the Bright Angel Trail and climbing 4,500 feet and 9.6 miles back out again to the South Rim.”
2. Bright Angel Trail
This trail leads hikers from the south rim down to the Colorado River. The course is approximately 9.5 miles long. It also provides access to two campsites, which means you can stay overnight, or you can continue moving along the trail and take the South Kaibab Trail back to the rim.
3. Rainbow Rim Trail
This trail lies on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s approximately 18 miles in length, has 3,100 vertical feet of climbing and connects five viewpoints on the edge of the canyon, that overlook into one of the largest canyons on the planet. The majority of the trail is smooth, therefore making it accessible for bikers as well.
4. Hermit Trail
The Hermit Trail, originally known as the Horsethief Trail, can be intense; according to nps, the upper section is steep and sustained, it drops almost 2,000 vertical feet in the first 2.5 miles. View fossilized animal tracks in the Coconino Sandstone along the way. The trailhead is located just beyond Hermit’s Rest on the Hermit Road; you can take a shuttle bus to get there. The trail also has a variety of elevation points – the rim reaches 6640’, Dripping Springs Trail junction reaches 5240’ and 1400’ below the rim, Hermit Camp reaches 2800’, and 3840’ below the rum and the Colorado River reaches 2400’ and 4240’ below the rim, according to Grand Canyon Explorer.
5. South Kaibab Trail
Take a day hike along the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park for some of the most spectacular views of the park. NPS says, it is a maintained dirt trail that is steep and well defined. It has very little shade, so make sure you are wearing the proper hiking gear. It is located on the South Rim and the only way to access the trailhead is by shuttlebus. The elevation reaches 7,260 feet.