Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The park newsletter does not have a very attractive description of the Cliff Springs Trail, which may be why it does not seem to be very well traveled. In spite of this, visitors to the North Rim who drive the Cape Royal Road should really consider the short hike down this lovely canyon for it's scenic value and the interesting rock art and small granary it passes.

Starting just down the hill from the Cape Royal Overlook, the trail immediately heads down into a small valley, passing the granary ruin in a few hundred feet. The valley descends into a side canyon that has interesting overhanging rocks and eventually some nice views into the Grand Canyon. Much of the trail is along a ledge in the canyon that makes the hike quite easy and flat. Eventually the trail reaches an alcove with many pictograph handprints, several of which unfortunately seem to have been defaced. But it is clear that this wet spring was once very important to the Anasazi people who seasonally lived in the area. The spring for which the trail is named was disappointingly small at the time of this writing, but perhaps it flows more in a wetter year. Nevertheless, the trail is well worth the effort for it's beauty and historical significance.

Recommended Gear

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:

Backpack: Osprey AG Pack

Men's Manta 28L and Women's Mira 26L • $123.99 • Hip Belt, Adjustable Torso, Compression Straps, Raincover + Hydraulics LT 2.5L Water Reservoir Included


Hiking Shoes: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Shoe 

Men's and Women's • $165.00 • Cushioned, GORE-TEX, High Traction Contagrip, 15.8 oz

Shirt: Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pro Long Sleeve Shirt 

Men's and Women's • $95.00 • Sun Protective, Moisture Wicking, Quick Drying, Roll-up Sleeves

GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch

$169.99 • Waterproof, Calorie Burn Tracker, GPS, Sleep Tracker, Shock Resistant, Speed Tracker, Lap Timer

Trekking Poles: MSR DynaLock Explore Poles 

$99.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with DynaLock Levers, Four-season Functionality, 20 oz.

Socks: Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock 

Men's and Women's • $21.95 • Made in USA, Anti-bacterial, Merino Wool, Breathable, Fast-drying

Headlamp: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp 

$49.95 • LED, Waterproof, Maximum Beam Distance: 80 m, Takes AAA Batteries

First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight .5 Kit

$19.00 • Ultralight, Watertight, Group Size: 1 person, Trip Duration: 1-2 days

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Beautiful side canyon. Interesting wall art.



Trailhead Elevation

7,717.00 ft (2,352.14 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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