When visiting the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, Rim Trail is the only option for a non-strenuous hike. This long path connects all the overlooks and points of interest between South Kaibab Trailhead and Hermit's Rest. Even though it parallels the road, many sections depart far enough to lose traffic noise and crowds, and venturing onto one of the countless spits of rock just off the trail allows for the illusion of having the canyon all to yourself.
Most of the trail is paved, flat, and ADA accessible, but there are sections of dirt surface and some short steep sections. You can hike any distance out and back from your car or shuttle stop, or you can hike one way by linking shuttle stops Hermit Road. This is an easy way to quickly leave named viewpoints and get the same panorama without the crowds.
Another major pro of the Rim Trail is that dogs are allowed. They must be held on a leash no longer than 6 feet, and you must always clean up and pack out any waste. This is crucial for preservation of the canyon's scenery and enjoyment of other visitors.
The trail also has interesting interpretive signs in some places. For a fun lesson on the canyon's geology, follow the Trail of Time--the portion of the rim trail between Yavapai Geology Museum and Verkamp's Visitor Center in Grand Canyon village. Along this 2.83-mile stretch, interpretive signs and actual samples of rocks from the canyon illustrate the landscape's 1.8-billion-year-old history by traveling from the canyon's oldest exposed rock layer to the youngest, with one big step along the path (one meter) representing a million years of time.
Before you head out on your next Grand Canyon National Park adventure, make sure you have the right gear!
Here's a list of our go-to hiking essentials to get you started:
$169.99 • Waterproof, Calorie Burn Tracker, GPS, Sleep Tracker, Shock Resistant, Speed Tracker, Lap Timer
$99.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with DynaLock Levers, Four-season Functionality, 20 oz.
$49.95 • LED, Waterproof, Maximum Beam Distance: 80 m, Takes AAA Batteries
$19.00 • Ultralight, Watertight, Group Size: 1 person, Trip Duration: 1-2 days
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