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This little-used route requires some compass work and canyoneering experience. It promises solitude in the rugged eastern backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park.

The Nankoweap Trail leads 14 miles from the north rim, through Nankoweap Canyon to the Colorado River. This is an unmaintained trail that requires map, compass and orienteering skills to navigate. There are no facilities along this route and water can only be relied upon deep within the canyon.

Begin this hike along the north rim at the end of road 610. The trail leads eastward skirting the rim of the canyon for two miles before beginning to descend. The trail turns southward into the canyon of a tributary to Nankoweap Creek. It follows the eastern wall of this tributary just above a very steep cliff. This portion of the trail is severely exposed and extra caution is necessary.

Leaving the steep cliff of the small canyon behind the path begins to follow a ridgeline southeastward to Nankoweap Creek. Before reaching the creek bed the track turns westward and descends steeply to the flood plain of the tributary. It passes above the confluence of the tributary and Nankoweap Creek before entering Nankoweap Canyon.

Once the trail has reached the stream bed of Nankoweap Creek it winds through the canyon. The walls narrow and the river meanders before opening near the mouth of the creek. A large delta has been created by this perennial stream, you'll pass through a well-watered bank before reaching the river. Nankoweap Rapids lie at the mouth of the canyon where the river makes a large bend southward. Once on the riverbank hikers will be able to see the depth of Marble Canyon and the sheer cliffs to the steep southern rim.

Directions: From North Rim Entrance Station, Drive northward on Utah 67 to Forest Service Road 610. Turn eastward (right) on to 610 and drive 15 miles to roads end. The trail leads eastward around the rim of Nankoweap Canyon from the trailhead.

Elevation: 8,800 feet

Ending Elevation: 2,740 feet

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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