Grandview Trail makes an excellent alternative to the more crowded South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails of the South Rim, and it is actually a better alternative in many ways. The views from this eastern route are different and every bit as spectacular as what you will get from the Grand Canyon Village area. Also, you don't have to hike as far or as deep to get a glimpse of the Colorado River and the canyon's bottom-most rock layers. On Grandview, you won't have to contend with as many people or any mule traffic, though the trade off is that this trail is less maintained and more rugged in places. All in all, Grandview is a great choice for hikers seeking a challenging and rewarding day hike into the canyon.
Any distance down the trail and back up is worth it, so only go as far as you feel you can safely return uphill. The ultimate goal is to make it to the tip of Horseshoe Mesa for views up and down the canyon and the river in the bottom, but this requires proper preparation and physical fitness. A good option for beginners and those without much time is to go 1.1 miles to Coconino Saddle. Past this point the trail gets slightly more difficult. To Horseshoe Mesa is 3 miles one way, and to get all the way to the end of the mesa is about one additional mile on easy terrain.
Where the trail first crosses onto the mesa is the site of a copper mine from the late 1800s. The old mine site is closed, but you can view the remnants of some historic buildings nearby. There are backcountry toilets here and a campground (permit required for overnight stays). Also from this area are a few junctions where trails continue out to the two arms that form the "horseshoe" of this U-shaped mesa. Go the extra distance to one of those two points for the truly grand views.
Note: There is no water available anywhere along the trail or at the trailhead, so bring plenty. Also bring snacks to stay fueled. It's important to eat even when you are thirsty. See our tips for How to Hike the Grand Canyon to help prepare.
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