X
Although there are countless ways to experience 1.2.-million-acre Grand Canyon National Park, hiking down into the 'Big Ditch' is among the best. And despite its reputation as a strenuous place in which to lace up the boots, the Grand Canyon has a well-developed system of trails that offers many miles of excellent day hikes and overnight backpacking.  
Credit: National Park Service 
X
With its trailhead located at the South Rim's busy Grand Canyon Village area, Bright Angel Trail is the park's busiest thoroughfare, though the day-tripper crowds slim the deeper you get. Phantom Ranch and nearby Bright Angel Campground (permit required) await on the canyon floor about one mile down and over nine miles in. A bracing-cold, freshwater stream near the campground feels like manna from heaven after a hot and dusty day on the trail.  
Credit: National Park Service 
X
Another perfect spot for a day hike, South Kaibab Trail requires a shuttle or short hike from Grand Canyon Village so receives, relatively speaking, less foot traffic than Bright Angel Trail. Hike the steep switchbacks for about three miles to the perfect picnic spot at Cedar Ridge (seen here from Mather Point on the Rim trail on the South Rim, east of Grand Canyon Village).  
Credit: National Park Service 
X
A rim-to-rim hike across the Grand Canyon is considered a 'life-list' experience by many outdoor enthusiasts. The only footbridge for crossing the Colorado River is near Phantom Ranch, from where it's a further 14 miles on the North Kaibab Trail up to the quieter, more remote North Rim. And remember: as a general rule of thumb, it takes about twice as long hiking up out of the canyon as it does dropping in!  
Credit: National Park Service 
X
The Grand Canyon delights in any season, at any time of day, with the colors and textures shifting with almost every turn of the trail. Not surprisingly, summer can be exceedingly hot, while winter temps can dip below freezing. Plan accordingly in terms of clothing and supplies! Each year, over 250 people are rescued from the canyon for a variety of reasons, from minor sprains to severe dehydration.  
Credit: Alistair Wearmouth 
X
The 1.7-billion-year-old Grand Canyon will leave you feeling like you're walking through geological time as you descend the exposed layer-cake rock formations toward the Colorado River. Observe its human history, too, with trails that were blasted out of the sheer cliffsides by gold prospectors in the late 19th century and prehistoric artifacts that date back some 12,000 years to the Paleo-Indian period.  
Credit: Alistair Wearmouth 
X
From rim to river, a hike into the Grand Canyon will give you eye-popping panoramas in every direction. And despite the very real dangers that can befall unwary hikers, don't be intimated by the exposed spaces and steep drops. Be prepared and you'll be just fine!  
Credit: Alistair Wearmouth 
 
  • Regional Galleries
  • Related Galleries
  • Most Recent Galleries
Replay Slideshow
 
txt

advertisement


Post Your Comment

You have characters left.

advertisement