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This easy trail leads nine miles along the south rim of the canyon from Mather Point to Hermits Rest. It passes all the observation points along this stretch of the canyon.

The Rim Trail leads along the south rim of the canyon nine miles from Mather Point to Hermits Rest. It is an easy trail with the first three and a half miles paved and level. Visitors can hike the entire length of the route or a short segment. The South Rim Shuttle is accessible from several points along the trail.

The paved trail's eastern terminus lies at Mather Point along East Rim Drive. From this point the trail begins its long winding track westward along the rim of the canyon. Yavapai Point lies less than a mile from the trailhead. A museum is a good sideline if geology of the canyon interests you. You can also gain access to the main visitor center from this area. The free shuttle stops at Yavapai Point several times a day during peak season.

Continuing westward the trail leads southward along the eastern wall of Bright Angel Canyon. It passes Grandeur Point and the historic structures that lie on this part of the south rim. The track continues southwestward to the Bright Angel Trailhead and the West Rim Interchange for the shuttle. Beyond the trailhead and busy interchange our route skirts the western wall of Bright Angel Canyon ascending slightly as it crosses Bright Angel Fault.

Three and a half miles from Mather Point the tread changes from pavement to dirt. It is a bit more primitive from here, but very well used and maintained. Walking westward the trail soon reaches Hopi Point then skirts the Hopi Wall around The Inferno canyon to Mohave Point. A formation named The Alligator extends northward from this observation point. The west rim shuttle stops at both Hopi and Mohave Points.

From Mohave point the trail again leads southward, inland, atop Great Mohave Wall to skirt a large canyon named The Abyss. The trail leads westward along the head of The Abyss then turns northward to reach Pima Point. From this point our route turns southward toward the head of the canyon created by Hermit Creek. It ends at the shuttle stop at Hermits Rest.

Directions: From South Entrance Station, Follow South Entrance Road northward to a junction with East Rim Drive. Bear left at this junction and drive .5 miles to Mather Point.

Elevation: 6,760 feet

Ending Elevation: 6,640 feet

Usage: Heavy

Difficulty: Easy

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Expert Review of Rim Trail

Active and Adventure Review of Rim Trail

Away Travel Expert: Bill Weir
expert favorite Active Expert Favorite
ActiveExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Day Hiking,Walking
Active and AdventureExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Try to visit at sunrise and sunset for memorable experiences.
  • People often gather at Yavapai Point, about 1.5 miles east of Grand Canyon Village, for the sunrise and sunset. During the day, you can drop in at Yavapai Observation Station to see geology exhibits.
  • Kolb Studio, at the west edge of Grand Canyon Village, displays excellent art exhibitions related to the Grand Canyon.

South Rim
Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 86023
Parking: always open

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 928-638-7875 (Backcountry Information Center, 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.)
Fax: 928-638-2125
Transportation: car or shuttle
Neighborhood: South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.