4 Incredible Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park
Measuring 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is divided into the North Rim and the South Rim, and has long been an iconic spot for visitors to the Southwestern U.S. Here are some great hikes for experiencing it all.
Shoshone Point, Arizona 86023, USA
One of the best-kept secrets along the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Shoshone Point is an easy and level hike—less than 2.5 miles round-trip. Surrounded by towering pine, oak, and juniper trees, the leisurely trek gains approximately 200 feet in elevation and takes you straight to the canyon’s dramatic edge with the rushing sounds of Hance Rapids in the distance. It’s a popular spot for weddings and other private events during peak season (May 1 to October 15), so make sure there’s nothing scheduled before you visit. If it’s open, you’re in for a quiet and scenic treat.
Supai, AZ 86435, USA
There’s a reason this is one of the most iconic spots along the Grand Canyon. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and hidden deep within a 20-mile round-trip hike, Havasu Falls’ sparkling turquoise waters are a popular destination for seasoned hikers who come for the amazing views, rock climbing, and swimming. The hike to the falls and back is best enjoyed with a preplanned route and plenty of stops for rest, food, and water. Because tribe members of the Havasupai, which means “people of the blue-green waters,” maintain the trails and work to keep their land as unspoiled and pristine as possible, reservations for campsites are limited and day hikes and drones are not allowed.
This is a great option for a day hike in the Grand Canyon. South Kaibab Trail is a well-maintained (but steep!) stretch of dirt with very little shade and a trailhead that’s accessible only by shuttle bus. No private vehicles are allowed in this portion of the park. It’s a scenic adventure through and through, but South Kaibab’s main destinations include Ooh-Aah Point (at the highest elevation of 6,660 feet), Cedar Ridge (good for novice hikers and late starters), and Skeleton Point (an unobstructed view of the Colorado River with steep switchbacks).
Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail was turned over to the National Park Service in 1928, but its history in the Grand Canyon goes back thousands of years as a natural route navigated by the region’s American Indians to reach the inner canyon. Today it’s one of the most popular Grand Canyon hikes and often is combined with the South Kaibab Trail for a longer excursion. Bright Angel is a shaded trail with plenty of natural water, so that means more plant and animal life for you to view. At Indian Garden, water is available year round, and there’s a must-see creek-side trail that snakes through ravines of water-sculpted stone and green cottonwood trees; from Plateau Point, you can see three miles of the Colorado River. Mules have the right of way on the trail.