Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nice Day Hikes in The Grand Canyon, South Rim, Arizona

Some Nice Day Hikes in the Grand Canyon (South Rim)

Along with walking the Rim Trail for as long as you’d like, there are a few hikes you can take into the canyon, which offers an entirely different perspective than looking down from the rim. These hikes can be as short or as long as you’d like, these are just some recaps of what we did when we visited the Grand Canyon. Please be sure you bring plenty or water and wear good shoes. A good rule of thumb to follow when canyon hiking – it takes twice as long to hike out, so if you hike down a mile and it takes you ½ hour, expect the same mile going up to take an hour.

Bright Angel Trail ~ This is a well-maintained trail with lots of visitors, including mules, so be sure you wear good shoes, as you’ll be stepping around (or possibly in) mule waste. One great thing about this hike is in about ¼ mile, just after the bridge, are some Native American petroglyphs. Click here for more information. Some nice destination if you’re up for a longer hike are: the 1 ½ mile Resthouse (3-miles round trip, elevation change 1,131 ft, 345 m); 3 Mile Resthouse (6-miles round trip, elevation change 2,112 ft; 644 m); Indian Graden (9.2 miles round-trip; elevation change: 3,060ft; 933m).

South Kaibab Trail ~ This was a nice trail to hike (read here for our detailed description), and has a nice stopping point at Ooh Aah Point at 0.9 miles, with en elevation change of 600 ft (190m) and one a but later at Cedar Ridge (1.5 miles one-way, 1,140ft/346m elevation change). This trail is also shared with mules, offers expansive views, and is less crowded than Bright Angel, as you need to take the South Kaibab shuttle to get to it.

Hermit Trail ~ This was definitely the least visited trailed we hiked (for full report, click here), and for a nice change, lacked any mules and mule waste! This is a populat trail for backpackers, so you’ll see a few day hikers, and an equal number of backcountry hikers working their way out of the canyon. It is a different perspective on this trail, and it is quite steep and rocky. Some destination points: Waldron Basin (3 miles round-trip, elevation change: 1,240ft, 380m), Santa Maria Spring (5 miles round-trip, elevation change 1,760ft, 540m), and Dripping Springs (7 miles round-trip, elevation change: 1,400ft, 430m).

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