Hiking in the Grand Canyon

The 5 best hiking trails

Hiking in the Grand Canyon is magical. And actually walking is the only good way to really appreciate this area. Only then do you see how high the gorge is and how the Colorado River is still doing its job. Believe it or not, every year the gap gets higher and wider.

Many people visit the Grand Canyon for a day. Or even less. Which is a shame, because this is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. Where you can enjoy a walk, for several days. With an unprecedented number of views. And it is also the way to escape the many other tourists.
The Grand Canyon is an ideal place to hike. There are countless options: from a few hours to several days. But one of the best routes is the multi-day 'Rim to Rim walk'. Straight through the Grand Canyon.

The best hikes of the Grand Canyon

There are numerous hikes in the Grand Canyon, giving you a great choice. They vary in length, but also in difficulty. Certainly there is a walk for everyone, even if you have little time. Or if you have several days. I would definitely go hiking for several days, because this landscape is truly unique.

South Kaibab Trail (11,4 kilometer)

A view on the South Kaibab Trail.

The South Kaibab Trail is considered by many to be the most beautiful hike in the Grand Canyon. You walk through the Ooh Aah Point! to Cedar Ridge and then on to Skeleton Point. With countless mighty views of the gorge along the way. The entire walk is nearly ten kilometers; one way.

Bright Angel Trail (12,9 kilometer tot 15,9 kilometer)

Hiking the Bright Angel Trail.

The Bright Angel Trail is the best hike if you want to go into the gorge to the lower part and back up again. It is a popular route that sometimes gets busy. The length is approximately 15 kilometers, so a wonderful day trip.

The Bright Angel hike to the Colorado River and back is a wonderful day trip. It is not extremely difficult, although you have to take into account that you will of course also have to climb up again. The height difference is about 1,000 meters, so back and forth.

Rim to Rim Trail (20,5 kilometer)

The famous Rim to Rim Trail.

The Rim to Rim hike is actually a combination of walks. The walk from one side of the canyon to the other is considered one of the best in the United States. It is the best way to experience this immense natural wonder. The hike, known as tricky, takes several days. But it is incredibly beautiful. And totally worth it.

You then actually combine parts of the North Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail. The total route of this popular walk is more than 30 kilometers. The route runs from North Kaibab to Grand Canyon Village. Or the other way around of course. You can easily use public transport in the park to get from one place to another. The best time for this is from the beginning of May to October.

Rim Trail (20,9 kilometer)

On top of the Rim Trail.

The name is a bit confusing, but it is correct. The Rim Trail runs on the South Rim, so the southern side. A path that follows the edge of the canyon. It is an easy path to walk, because there is relatively little difference in height.

It is a bit long if you want to run it out completely. So get out early. Of course you can also walk parts of it. This is the ideal walk if you don't have that much time, but want to get away from most of the tourists.

Hermit Trail

The Hermit Trail is one of the lesser known hikes in the Grand Canyon. But this is a favorite among avid hikers. The walk is difficult, steep and above all rocky. The walk is approximately 6 kilometers one way. You will encounter Waldron Basin along the way, as well as Santa Maria Springs and Dripping Springs. If you are really looking for a challenge, that is the hike for you.

Guided hike or on your own?

It is best to do this with a guide, where you spend the night in tents. But you can also do it yourself. At the various Visitor Centers in the park you can get current information about these walks and all others. And also about the "Guided Walks", or the walks with a park ranger. You will also receive all the information about Permits, the permits you need. And also, for example, about transport to and from the various places.

Hiking in Grand Canyon is extremely beautiful. ©NPS

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Be aware!

The weather can change quickly in the Grand Canyon. Even though you don't see a cloud in the sky, it can storm an hour later. So make sure you always have extra warm and rain gear with you.

As well as something extra to eat and drink. So more than for the day itself. And leave your name in the registry books on the hiking trails that you are out on the road. And when you return, so that everyone can see that you are safe back again.

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