15 Best Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Trails

15 Best Grand Canyon Hikes – Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Guide

Best Grand Canyon Hikes: There are two types of hikes in Grand Canyon: day hikes and overnight hikes.  The Grand Canyon trails offer some of the best hiking in Grand Canyon. 

You will find both the best Grand Canyon Day Hikes and the best Grand Canyon backpacking in this Grand Canyon Vacation Planning Guide.

best grand canyon hikes hiking grand canyon

Hiking at the Grand Canyon is a special experience.  Grand Canyon hiking offers some of the best views of the canyon and really lets you see the beauty of the canyons.

grand canyon hiking trails

Hiking in the grand canyon is unique as you start at the top of the canyon and head down into the canyon.  Its the reverse of climbing a mountain and very few people actually go into the canyon but rather check out the Grand Canyon Viewpoints.

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To visit any of the National Parks in the USA, I recommend buying a National Park Pass. The America the Beautiful Pass is valid for one year and costs $80. Plus 10% of sale proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.

Here are the best trails in Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon Hikes

1.Rim Trail is one of the best Grand Canyon South Rim day hikes

The south rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the best and most popular hikes.

best hiking in grand canyon

Largely due to the easy accessibility and magnificent views of the canyons and Colorado river below.

The trail is mostly flat aside from a few up trails along the way and also offers busses from stop to stop for those not wanting to walk the full trail.

During many stops of this trail offers full panoramic views of the sweeping canyons below. At some points of the trail, the Colorado River is even visible with the white-water rapids also within viewpoint.

The final legs of the trail are paved and seemingly easy compared to the rest of the trail. The path has a restricted view and therefore isn’t the best, but the path ends at Hermits Rest, which offers amazing views of the canyon.

The Rim Trail is 13 miles long and starts at South Kaibab Trailhead and ends at Hermit’s Rest.

2. Bright Angel Grand Canyon Trail one of the Grand Canyon Best Hikes

The Bright Angel Trail is the most popular hiking trail along the south rim of the Grand Canyon!

grand canyon trails

The entire hike in itself is a long and difficult 15-mile hike that could take up to a few days to complete. However, there are many smaller day hikes within the Bright Angel Trail that you could take that still offer the beautiful views of the inner canyon.

If you do wish to hike the full 15-miles, there are campgrounds scattered along the trail to take rest breaks and stay overnight.

3. South Kaibab Trail is one of the best Grand Canyon day hikes

Located along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, South Kaibab Trail is another very popular trail for hikers.

hiking at the grand canyon

The trail is quite steep, and because of this it will likely take twice as long walking back up as it did to walk down. It is also recommended to do this hike in the early morning or afternoon due to the
minimal shade along the trail.

The trail in its entirety is just over 7-miles, and the view at the end is a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the beautiful canyon.

However, the views along the hike are also just as beautiful, so there are many opportunities to only hike parts of the trail without missing out on the beauty that the trail offers.

If you’re wanting to experience this for yourself, private vehicles are not permitted. Therefore, you will have to get a shuttle bus to the beginning of the trail.

4. North Kaibab Trail is a North Rim Day Hike

North Kaibab Trail is a popular hiking trail located on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

hiking in grand canyon

This trail is one of the most difficult hiking trails to complete along the Grand Canyon. However, because of this it also offers privacy and solitude due to the minimal people that tackle the hike.

Along the hike, you will get a view over the Bright Angel Canyon through an array of trees, wildflowers and ferns.

The full trail is 14-miles. However, there is a campground located half way as well as at the end enabling you to complete the trail in its entirety over a couple of days. Although, hikers need a permit from the Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Information Centre in order to legally stay overnight at any of the campgrounds located at the Grand Canyon.

If you do choose to tackle this impressive hike, you will get to see the ‘Pumphouse Residence’ located about 5-miles into the hike. This was home to artist and reserve worker for many decades where he lived, worked at the canyon and spent his time painting.

Although the hike may seem like a lot or difficult, the views that it offers, makes it well worth the hard work.

5. Havasu Falls requires you to go backpacking the Grand Canyon

The Havasupai Trail is on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  IT sone of the best hikes Grand Canyon South Rim.

arizona waterfalls

The hiking trail is 19-miles long and takes place on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.  You must get a permit which is valid for 3 days.  You cannot visit the Falls in a day trip, you must stay overnight.

The trail takes hikers through the beautiful canyons, through a remote village and
concludes a the gorgeous 100-foot tall Havasu Falls.

Hiking the trail takes approximately 4-7 hours to complete each way and is considered to be a
semi-difficult hike, particularly on the way back out of the canyon. Unlike other hiking trails, it is highly recommended that hikers complete this trail in its entirety due to the absolute gorgeous Havasu Falls at the end.

However, it not easy to get on the trail either. Permits are necessary to be on the Indian Reserve and you will not be gained access without one. This could take some time to get, but it will be well worth it once having experienced the unique beauty of the trail and falls.

6. Grandview Trail another one of the Grand Canyon South Rim Trails

Grandview Hiking Trail is located along the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

grand canyon hike

The trail is considered rather difficult due to the unmaintained trail and therefore is a recommended trail for experienced hikers.  The perfect Grand Canyon hike.

Although the trail is only 7.1-miles and not as long as some of the others, due to the difficulty and
hazardous conditions of the trail it is highly recommended that hikers account for extra time to complete the hike and take caution when hiking the trail.

This trail was initially made and intended as a mining route. Therefore, if you’re brave enough to attempt this hike, you will get to experience some of the rich history of the trail too.

Although the route is dangerous and calls for caution when hiking it, it does also offer some beautiful views of the canyon which makes the hike well worth the work.

7. Widforss Trail a great trail to go hiking at the Grand Canyon – North Rim

Widforss Trail is an almost 5-mile hiking trail located along the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon National Park: Transept Canyon from Widforss Trail
Via Flickr

The trail is a considerably easy day hiking trip that offers beautiful views on the way to the wonderful Widforss Viewpoint.

The trail itself offers great views of the canyon which at some points can be restricting due to
the trees along the trail, but at other points the views sure make up for it.

There are no camping stops along the way, meaning if you intend on walking the full trail, you will have to make the trip back on the same day, leading to a full 9.5-mile day hike.

8. Cape Final Trail – North Rim

Cape Final Trail is a short and easy 4-mile roundtrip hike through the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

grand canyon hiking

The trail leads hikers to a secluded and spectacular viewpoint, overlooking many temples through the Grand Canyon. The trail offers much shade from the sun making it suitable for all times of the day and an easy hike to do if you have young children with you.

9. Hermit Trail

Hermit Trail is an impressive almost 9-mile hiking trail through the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

grand canyon south rim best views

The trail is rather steep, particularly in the first few miles where it drops a dramatic 2000 feet into the canyon. However, this trail is not as private and tranquil as some other routes due to the location of the trail being right below the popular helicopter sight-seeing location. Causing there to be often loud helicopter noises long the hiking trail.

Due to the longevity of the trail, it is recommended not to do the entire hike in an entire day. There is a campground located along the trail where many hikers spend the night before resuming the remainder of the hike. However, as with the other trails, to stay at the camp ground over-night requires a permit which may take some time to get.

The views that this trail provide are rather spectacular though as they change and vary throughout the trail. Some of the views you’ll experience on this hike include the slopes of the Hermit basin, panoramic views of the Tonto Bench landscape, as well as stunning pools and waterfalls along the Hermit Creek.

10. Rim to Rim Trail – Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in one day

The rim to rim hike through the Grand Canyon is often on many hikers’ bucket lists! The route itself is beautiful and offers majestic views of the canyon that no other single hiking trail could offer.

hiking in the grand canyon

However, it sure is not an easy route or something that should be taken lightly. The trail is 24-miles long (one way) and to complete in its entirety could take up to a few days to complete.

It is best to begin at the north rim and work your way down to the south. Therefore, the recommended route is to begin walking the North Kaibab Trail then moving on to the Bright Angel Trail.

Beginning on the North Kaibab Trail, walking through the gorgeous scenery of the canyon and experiencing the rich history it has to offer; the route ends at the Bright Angel Campground. This is
where you will have the chance to fully rest and spend a night or two before jumping on to the next adventure – Bright Angel Trail!

In the early morning, begin the experience of hiking up through the Bright Angel Trail, one of the most popular on the south rim. The trail takes you through the inner canyon walls and offers stunning and majestic views along the way.

Once you have reached the end of the Bright Angel Trail, you would have completed the rim-to-rim hiking experience and it would have been a great one at that! Due to the longevity of each of the two hikes individually, it is recommended that you complete the rim-to-rim over the course of a few days while staying at the multiple campgrounds, that the canyon has on offer.

Conclusion – Best Hikes Grand Canyon

When looking for the best grand canyon trails, the main thing to access is your activity level to find the right trail and hiking in Grand Canyon for you.

Your trip to the Grand Canyon will be a special one but to also be one of the few people who go into the Grand Canyon on one of these Grand Canyon hikes is epic as well.

Have you been on the hiking trails in Grand Canyon?  Let me know which ones you’ve done or which ones you want to do in the comments below.

Sharing is Caring!  Pin this article to save for later.  Enjoy hiking in the Grand Canyon!

The best hikes in the Grand Canyon

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Best North Rim Grand Canyon viewpoints

The Best Lookout Points in all of the Grand Canyon

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Nicole LaBarge

Nicole is a travel expert who has been traveling to the American Southwest since 1992. There is so much to see and do in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California. I spend part of the year in Phoenix and travel around the area visiting all the best places and going on the best hikes. Check out my detailed destination guides, the best hiking in each state guides, and the travel gear you need for your next trip.

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