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Grand Canyon National Park - OutdoorPlaces.Com
Destinations  > Grand Canyon NP > North Rim > 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8  >>> Marble Canyon

 Day Hiking, North Rim

 

 
A vast number of hiking trails are available at Grand Canyon National Park, along the North Rim, and in the surrounding North Kaibab National Forest.  Hiking trails range from easy strolls in ponderosa forest to grueling climbs to the Colorado River, 6,000 feet below the Canyon rim.  When hiking in the Grand Canyon you must be careful to take into account three key factors, altitude, terrain, and hydration.

At over 8,000 feet, flatlanders may have problems dealing with the thinner air.  If you plan to do serious hiking, allow one or two days to adjust.  Your ability to adjust to altitude has less to do with physical condition and more to do with genetics.  Although serious medical conditions are highly unlikely, if you find yourself short of breath to the point you can not carry a conversation, you are pushing yourself to hard.

Terrain is the next issue.  Most rescue missions at the Grand Ken Patrick Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States, Copyright 1999, OutdoorPlaces.Com, All Rights Reserved Canyon are for hikers that hiked down into the Canyon but grossly underestimated the effort and/or time to hike out.  If you are going down into the Canyon you should divide your time into thirds.  One-third to go down, and two-thirds to come back up.

You should also carry at least one gallon of water with you when you hike.  High altitude increases the amount of solar radiation (read - heat) you absorb and dehydrates you faster.  If you get dehydrated it will be harder for you to perform, increasing your hiking times and putting yourself at risk.

We could not possibly list every day hike available at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  There are literarily thousands of miles of hiking opportunities between the North and South rim.  We offer to you some of the recommended hikes you can take while you are there.  Please note if you plan to stay overnight in the backcountry, a permit is required.

Bright Angel Point Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  Corner of the east patio at the Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim
Type:  less than half-a-day
Length:  1/2 mile (round trip)
Hiking Time:  30 minutes (round trip)
Difficulty:  easy
Description:  This is a short hike on a paved trail to a spectacular view of the Canyon.  A self guided nature trail pamphlet is available from a box on the trail.  A map can be obtained for free at the Rangers Station located at the Grand Canyon Lodge.

Cape Royal Trail (handicapped accessible)

Trailhead Location & Access:  Cape Royal Parking Lot
Type:  less than half-a-day
Length:  6/10 of a mile (round trip)
Hiking Time:  30 minutes (round trip)
Difficulty:  easy
Description:  Interpretive paved trail that is relatively flat.  Provides views of Angels Window and the Colorado River, 6000 feet below

Cliff Springs Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  Angels Window Overlook, 3/10 of a mile north of Cape Royal
Type:  less than half-a-day
Length:  1-6/10 of a mile (round trip)
Hiking Time:  1 hour (round trip)
Difficulty:  moderate
Description:  Switches back down a ravine past some Native American Ruins.  The trail ends where a chest-high boulder rests under a large overhang.  The spring is located on the cliff side of the boulder.  Water is not potable and you should not drink

Transept Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim
Type:  less than half-a-day
Length:  3 miles (round trip)
Hiking Time:  1.5 hours (round trip)
Difficulty:  moderate
Description:  Trail follows the Canyon rim from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground.  Good views of the Canyon looking to the west and south.

Cape Final Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  Dirt parking area about 1-1/2 miles north from Walhalla Overlook
Type:  less than half-a-day
Length:  4 miles (round trip)
Hiking Time:  2 hours (round trip)
Difficulty:  moderate
Description:  Arguably the best hike at the North Rim.  Incredible views of the Canyon looking east at this remote point, remote location within park, good opportunity for solitude during a weekday

Uncle Jim Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  North Kaibab Trail Parking Lot, about 1/2 mile north of the North Rim Campground, on the National Park Service Access Road
Type
:  half-a-day
Length:  5 miles (round trip)
Hiking Time:  3 hours (round trip)
Difficulty:  moderate
Description:  Trail actually starts on the Ken Patrick Trail for the first mile and then heads east toward Uncle Jim Point.  About a three mile loop through ponderosa forest with Canyon views.  Moderate terrain

Widforss Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  About 1/2 mile north of the North Kaibab Trail Parking Lot, turn west onto a dirt road and go about one mile to the Widforss Trail Parking Area
Type:  full day
Length:  10 miles (round trip)
Hiking Time:  6 hours (round trip)
Difficulty:  moderate
Description:  Blends ponderosa forest and Canyon scenery.  Canyon overlook approximately one mile from the trailhead, and another about 1-1/2 miles from the trailhead.  Good views of the Canyon, self guided trail brochure is available at the trailhead

Ken Patrick Trail

Trailhead Location & Access:  North Kaibab Trail Parking Lot, about 1/2 mile north of the North Rim Campground, on the National Park Service Access Road to the south, and the Point Imperial Parking Lot to the north
Type:  full day one way
Length:  10 miles one way
Hiking Time:  6 hours one way
Difficulty:  moderate (strenuous first two miles from Point Imperial, another steep climb about three miles into the trail from Point Imperial, easy past that point)
Description:  Ponderosa forest and Canyon views.  Heading from Point Imperial the trail is strenuous, although there is no aggregate elevation change, you are constantly going up or down steep inclines.  About one mile from Imperial Point trail doesn't make sense, do not continue straight at fork in the trail, but double back about 170 degrees.  The trail that goes straight dead ends about 1/8 of a mile up at a spectacular Canyon view -- this is a common error hikers make on this trail.  After first two miles along the Canyon rim from Imperial Point, trail crosses a park access road and enters the heart of the Kaibab Forest.  Climb over a steep hill and trail is easy for the rest of the way to the North Kaibab Trail Parking Lot.