Hiking in the Grand Canyon
Exploring the Grand Canyon on foot is a great way to admire its spectacular natural surroundings and grand scale.
Hiking in the Grand Canyon is the perfect way to see the entirety of the canyon and the course of the Colorado River.
A range of South and North Rim hiking trails captivate millions of adventurers and nature lovers annually.
Read further to learn about famous hiking trails in Grand Canyon National Park, tour packages and more.
Best Grand Canyon tours and tickets
# Grand Canyon South Rim guided tour
# Grand Canyon South Rim tour with Lunch
# Grand Canyon Guided Sunset Hummer Tour
# Grand Canyon helicopter ride and optional Hummer tour
Get your backpacks ready for
Grand Canyon National Park
Hiking in South Rim Grand Canyon
South Rim is the most famous Rim and welcomes around 95% of the visitors to the Grand Canyon.
If you want the best experience hiking in the Grand Canyon, the South Rim houses a range of hiking trails carefully planned by experts.
Most hiking in the South Rim Grand Canyon begins from the South Kaibab Trailhead and follows the rim.
Hiking trails in Grand Canyon South Rim
Some of the best hiking trails in South Rim Grand Canyon are:
South Rim Trails is one of the primary hiking trails most hikers visit.
With minimum elevation and a 13-mile paved route, this trail connects scenic viewpoints.
Mather Point, Powell Point and Yavapai Point are the most popular viewpoints on this hiking trail in the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail is the signature hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park, which descends steeply into the floors of the Canyon.
This trail is renowned for backpacking and long-distance hiking past the Grand Canyon corridor.
You can also try backcountry camping along the trails at the Bright Angel Campground.
The Bright Angel Trail is your perfect match if you want a hike with scenic views unfolding at every turn.
South Kaibab Trail
South Kaibab Trailhead is one of the best hiking trails in Grand Canyon South Rim that ventures deep into the canyon.
The trails drop 5000 feet in 7 miles with radiating rock formation and stunning views of the vast canyon.
Cedar Ridge, Skeleton Point and Ooh-Aah-Point are some of the best turnaround points on this trail.
It should be noted that personal vehicles are not allowed on the trail and it is only accessible by shuttle buses.
If you are looking for hiking trails in Grand Canyon South Rim, then hit the Hermit Trail.
From the Hermit trail, take a round-trip of 5 miles to Santa Maria Spring and 7 miles to Dripping Springs.
Trail conditions are much more complex than the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails, as it is an unmaintained, steep path that requires careful navigation.
Hikers looking for a less crowded and unbeaten trail should take the Grandview Trail to Coconino Saddle and Horseshoe Mesa.
The trail is not maintained and is steeper than Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails, so hikers should be extra cautious.
The trek begins at Grandview Point, 12 miles east of the Village on Desert View Drive.
South Rim hiking tours
Here are some of the best South Rim hiking tours.
These tour packages may include round transport facility, guided tour, hiking and more.
- From Las Vegas: South Rim Private Tour
- Las Vegas: Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and horseshoe bend hiking tour
- From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon South Rim full-day tour
North Rim hiking trails
North Rim is less crowded and provides the most serene location for hiking in the Grand Canyon.
It has a higher elevation than the South, resulting in a different climatic and geological experience.
North Rim offers picturesque hiking trails to enjoy the panoramas of the Grand Canyon.
Here are some of the best North Rim Grand Canyon hiking trails.
North Kaibab Trail
North Kaibab Trail is the only access route to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
A small hike from the North Kaibab Trail leads to the beautiful Coconino Overlook or Supai Tunnel.
However, you can also opt for a one-day hike to Roaring spring to discover less visited places in the North Rim.
Transcept Trail is an alluring hiking trail that connects the Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground.
This is one of the most accessible hiking trails on the North Rim Grand Canyon for adventure lovers and families with kids.
Transcept trail has been voted one of the best spots in the Grand Canyon to watch the sunset.
Bridle Trail connects the Grand Canyon Lodge with the North Kaibab Trailhead.
This easy and well-maintained trail is used by hikers, bikers, mules, pets and more.
Bridle Trail with Transcept trail forms a loop with scenic viewpoints.
Cape Royal Trail
Cape Royal Trail provides the best panoramic views of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim.
This mile-long route is an easy hike for any tourist, even inexperienced hikers.
Enjoy the vast vistas of the land carved by the Colorado River as you remain surrounded by the scenery, greenery and wildlife.
Point Imperial Trail
Point Imperial Trail leads to the highest viewpoints of the Northern Rim.
On this 2 hour tour, trek through the Kaibab National Forest Road and the Nankoweap Trail.
The view from here encompasses the Echo and Vermilion Cliff, the upper Colorado Canyon, the Dead Flat, the Plateau east of the river and more.
Point Imperial Trail has the most picture-perfect sunset spot in the North Rim.
Grand Canyon West Rim hiking trails
The Grand Canyon West Rim falls under the Hualapai Reservation, where visitors can witness and explore their rich traditions and significant cultural practices.
The West Rim does not have well-established hiking trails like the other rims.
However, there are a few hiking trails with famous viewpoints like Eagle Point, Guano Point and the Skywalk.
The most popular hiking trail in the Western Rim is the Highpoint Hike.
Highpoint Hike leads to the top of Guano Point, where tourists can enjoy panoramic views of the Grand Canyon.
For travelers looking for a little more adventure, they can also venture onto a hiking trail leading from Guano Point to an abandoned aerial tramway.
Some of the best tours for hiking in the Grand Canyon West Rim are:
- Las Vegas: Grand Canyon West bus tour with Hoover Dam stop
- Grand Canyon ultimate tour
- Grand Canyon West Rim tour, lunch, and skywalk option
Things to remember while hiking in the Grand Canyon
Some essential points to remember when planning Grand Canyon hiking trips are listed below.
- Carry adequate food, water and equipment, including a first aid kit, map, flashlight and waterproof clothing.
- Wear appropriate footwear and consider carrying over shoe traction devices and hiking poles while trekking challenging trails.
- Carrying a whistle and signal mirror is suggested to help rescue in severe weather conditions.
- Be aware of hypothermia and exhaustion, and come well prepared.
- Before starting the trek, check the trail conditions at the Backcountry Information Center.
- Tourists who visit during the winter season should be aware that North Rim is closed from October 15 to March 15 due to unpredictable weather.
1. Can beginners hike the Grand Canyon?
Hiking in Grand Canyon is one of the best experiences.
Grand Canyon has hiking trails for everyone, from beginners to experts.
If you are a beginner, bring your gear and join a guided tour for a safer and more immersive Grand Canyon hike.
2. What is the longest hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park?
The Tonto trail is the longest hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park.
It is one of the best hiking trails in the Grand Canyon South rim.
The Tonto trail is 95 miles long and stretches between Hance Rapid and Garnet Canyon.
3. Is the Grand Canyon suitable for hiking?
If you plan to visit Grand Canyon, hiking is a must-try activity.
With numerous well-set hiking trails, this is the best place to hike for everyone, from beginners to experts.
One of the most accessible hiking trails in the Grand Canyon is 13 miles along the canyon rim.
If you are looking for a strenuous hike, the South Kaibab trail is the best place.
4. What is the safest hiking trail in Grand Canyon?
The Bright Angel trail is Grand Canyon’s premium and safest hiking trail.
It is a well-maintained trail with regular drinking water, covered rest houses and a ranger station.
This trail is the best for first-time hikers.
5. Where is the best place to hike in Grand Canyon National Park?
The Bright Angel trail is the most popular and best trail to hike in Grand Canyon National Park.
This trail offers some of the best viewpoints in the Grand Canyon.
In addition, this is one of the safest and most well-maintained hiking trails in Grand Canyon South Rim.
6. How long does it take to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon?
If you wish to hike to the bottom of the canyon, you can take the South Kaibab trail or the Bright Angel trail on the South Rim.
The South Kaibab Trail is 6.8 miles and the Bright Angel Trail is 9.3 miles.
Most hikers take 4 to 5 hours to get to the Canyon floor.
However, the return hike would take 7 to 8 hours.
Note: We do not recommend hiking down and up the grand canyon in one day.
7. How long does it take to hike the entire Grand Canyon?
Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon takes about 15 hours to complete.
Most of the hikers usually choose the South Kaibab to North Kaibab route.
Some Rim to Rim hiking trails also take 1 to 4 days.
8. What is the best month to hike the Grand Canyon?
September through October are the best months for hiking in the Grand Canyon.
This is the least crowded time of the year.
The cooler temperatures and pleasant climate make it the perfect time for hiking in the Grand Canyon.
9. How hard is hiking in the Grand Canyon?
The difficulty of hiking in the Grand Canyon depends on the hiking trail.
Grand Canyon has easy trails for beginners and backcountry camping trails for experts to hike easily.
Being a beginner should not stop you from hiking in the Grand Canyon.
Featured Image: Nps.gov