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Hiking the Grand Canyon

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The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is possibly the most iconic hiking destination in the world. There are a variety of opportunities for day hikes, or with advance planning, overnight hikes into the canyon. The three most popular trails are the South Kaibab Trail, the Hermits Rest Route, and the infamous Bright Angel Trail.

If taking the Hermit Trail from Hermits Rest, do heed this Park Service description: "Unmaintained steep trail requires caution. Rocky and strenuous." This is a great hike with incredible views of the canyon from the South Rim. Elk and mule deer are common sights on the rim. There is also a bus route that goes along Hermit Road. Between March 1 and November 30 of each year, this route provides transportation between Grand Canyon Village and Hermits Rest with stops at nine scenic overlooks. The Hermits Rest Route provides easier walking opportunities via the Rim and Greenway trails. Check schedules for pick-up spots.

The Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail head down into the canyon. Be aware that temperatures can vary by as much at 50 degrees or more between the rim and the bottom. Hiking back up is much more strenuous than hiking down, so be prepared to take twice as long climbing as it takes to get down. Also bring plenty of water, as there is nowhere to get water along the trail.

A variety of lodges on the South Rim vary in cost and amenities. Plan ahead, as rooms book up in advance. There are also a number of options for meals, shopping, and gear. The Park Service offers ranger-led hikes, talks, and exhibits for those interested in the educational aspects of the canyon.

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