There are hiking trails into the canyon for every level of hiker. My grandson and I just wanted an hour or so, so went about 3/4 mile down the Bright Angel Trail and then back. The trails all descend (except the Rim Trail) at varying rates, so pick up The Guide, the newspaper from the National Park Service or some other publication which will give you information about distances, time, water and restroom facilities. Bright Angel is a bit steep but is not really difficult if you pace yourself and don't try to do too much of it. It is fairly wide and well maintained although footing can be tricky in soft soil or mule droppings so watch out. The whole trail is over 9 miles to the bottom but we did a small portion which gave us great views and we were able to see some petroglyphs left by early Native Americans.
The trails don't seem steep going down, but do coming back up so plan on a much longer time to ascend than to descend. There are lots of switchbacks so descending about a mile takes a walk of about 9 miles. You can see some of these switchbacks in one of the photos.
This photo gives you an idea of how difficult some of the trails can be. The easiest trail to follow is the RIM TRAIL. It's perfect for visitors who would like an easy walk. You can pick it up at Grand Canyon Village or Herman Road.
BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL is considered steep and begins west of Bright Angel Lodge. It is noted that the upper portion of this trail could be extremely icy in the Spring. Some portions are very strenuous.
SOUTH KAIBAB TRAIL is another steep trail, which begins south of Yaki Point located on Yaki Point Road. Access to the trailhead is by shuttle bus and is a short-moderate hike. (see shuttle schedule below)
HERMIT TRAIL is an unmaintained steep trail and is only for the experienced desert hikers. This trail begins 500 feet west of Hermans Rest.
GRANDVIEW TRAIL is extremely steep and is for experienced desert hikers only. The trail begins on the canyon side of Grandview Point, which is along Desert View Drive. Be on the alert for ice in the early Spring.
**Shuttle schedule for S. Kaibab Trail: Hikers express shuttle departs directly from Bright Angel Lodge and the Backcountry Info. Center to the S. Kaibab trailhead daily: March-7am, 8am & 9am. April-6am, 7am & 8 am. May-5 am, 6 am & 7am.
(This info. courtesy of the National Park Service)
I'm not a hiker ... a bit of a walker and wanderer actually. So I can't DO the walks far into the canyon. And I was with my Dad who is disabled so didn't want to leave him for more than an hour at a time .... the rim trail was perfect for my needs. You can take this trail all along South Rim, or you can take bits a pieces of it as you desire. Since it hugs the edge of the canyon, the views are awe inspiring. I walked from Bright Angel lodge up to Maricopa point, which the books say is about a mile and a half. It was tough for me in spots as the trail was a bit steep, but the views were wonderful! It took me much less time to come back down :) I met a few people along the way and all had joyful faces, despite some huffing an puffing. There is something about the vistas that just brings out the child in us all ..... there are flatter portions of the rim trail between Bright Angel and Mather Point ... there are steeper sections heading up to Hermit's rest. The section I walked was perfect: challenging without being overwhelming. So take a piece of the rim trail yourself and see what you can see :)
There is a webpage that has more detail about the rim trail that I've linked here so you can learn about the parts I didn't take :)
The rimtrail is the easiest hike this side of the canyon. The American way of doing this hike, is to get on the bus and press your nose aganinst the window. But Europeans should really walk this trail. You can also take the bus to hermits rest (last stop) and walk your way back. It should take a few hours, so bring water and food.
The South kaibab trail leaves the South rim from Yaki point and runs 6.7 miles to Bright Angel campoint at the river below.
The start point is at 7262 feet and you descend 4800+ feet to the Colorado below.
From the camp site you can then continue if you so wish on the North kaibab trail to the North rim, which climbs 8200 feet in 14 miles.
It is strongly discouraged to attempt this in one day, likewise a descent and return in one day.
The photo was taken early one morning having started the descent soon after arrival at sun rise.
Before arriving at the Grand Canyon, we read several warnings that the only maintained trails into the canyon on the south side were the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails and that you would hike others at your own risk. Well, since we knew we'd be mule-riding those trails, we opted to take the risk and we were glad we did. We hiked a little-traveled trail called the Hermit's Trail, where we hardly passed any other hikers -- this in one of America's busiest parks. Of course, the prize of loneliness has a price -- danger -- so we had to make sure we were well-stocked with water and kept track of our time in the broiling sun. However, that wasa small price to pay for a beautiful solitude and the joy of NOT hiking the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. When we road tose routes, we immediately learned the additional perils hikers face there -- passing colums of mules kicking up dust clouds and creating lakes of urine and buttes of feces on the "maintained" path! No thanks!
This is a lovely gentle hike around the edge of the South Rim of the Canyon giving spectacular views from the edge.
Don't be fooled, the Rim Trail isn't always walking along the edge - something I was pretty disappointed at.
The Rim Trail does, however, cater for disabled visitors.
Some of the group hiked into the Canyon but unfortuntely I was a little worse for wear after hiking in Zion National Park a couple of days previous. If you're up for the challenge, they definately recommended it.
DO NOT try to hike down to the river in a day. Take plenty of notice of the ranger tips and warnings as they are very useful.
Take the South Kaibab Trail down about half way and you will receive some great views of the Colorado River and the Phantom Ranch.
It will be harder going back up - don't forget that. No water, food, shade or phones on the trails. Take plenty of supplies and you will have a lot of fun. Check out my picture and that will give you an idea of the fantastic views you will take in.
Just hop on the shuttle bus east to the South Kaibab Trail head and you are set.
Look at my homepage for more details.
There are marked pathways along South Rim road. You can venture down the cliffsides at your own risk. If you're not in great shape, it can be exhausting to do, because the pathways (if you can call them that) are rough and pretty much straight up and down at times! But it's worth the loss of breath and chest pain, haha. It's a great way to get some exercise and see nature at it's finest.
If you didn't already know, admission fees to the park are $20 per vehicle. Great deal if you carpool.
FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME, STAY OVERNIGHT IN THE GRAND CANYON!!!.
There are a lot of trails routes to do here,.some of them are very easy but becareful,because there are also some difficults ones.
Another funny option here can be take a mule ride!.
Are you ready to hiking in the most beautiful place on earth??.
El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon Grand Canyon
14 Reviews and 1068 Opinions El Tovar Hotel was built in 1905 and designed by Charles Whittlesey who was the Chief Architect for...
Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn Grand Canyon
6 Reviews and 1316 Opinions We stayed here for two nights in June 2010. The hotel gave us a great base for exploring the South...
Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon Grand Canyon
5 Reviews and 869 Opinions No in room frig, No guest laundry, No concierge, No restaurant . Good breakfast . Worth staying at...