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Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, United States

The Grand Canyon Rim Trail

A flat walk with stunning views of the canyon. Up to 12 miles, mostly paved.

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    This guide contains photos
 (9 votes, 5 reviews)
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 12.0 miles / 19.3 km
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: For great views of the Grand Canyon along a flat path, this is the hike for you. It offers a great introduction to the Grand Canyon, and there are several shuttle stops along the way, allowing you to pick and chose the areas you want to explore. From many of the overlooks, you will have unrestricted views to the other side of the canyon, and sometimes as far as 40 miles along the canyon.

If you are looking for a place to stop to watch the sunset, try Hopi point (although if it is too crowded, try nearby Mohave Point). The Canyon is best seen during the golden hours (the hour after sunrise and before sunset), when the light is low and the canyon walls turn into amazing shades of red and orange.

Leashed pets are allowed on the trail, but not on the shuttle busses so plan accordingly. There are some paved areas of the trail, which are accessible.


Tips: Bring water and good walking shoes, and don't forget your camera. Take the free NPS shuttle to one of the stops along the trail.

Points of Interest

Viewpoint
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Pipe Creek Vista

Take the free NPS shuttle to this stop, snap some photos of the view, and head west on the paved path along the rim towards the village.
Viewpoint
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Mather Point

For many visitors, this is their first view of the Grand Canyon (and it's a pretty good one). It is the closest viewpoint from the park entrance, even though there are better views further along the rim trail, where you can see more of the canyon. If you look down and to the northeast you will see O'Neill butte down below (it's hard to miss).

The park headquarters is a short walk away.
Viewpoint
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Yavapai Point

Here you will have some great views in all directions--even down! That's right, you can walk over the glass observation area and look straight down and few thousand feet the the canyon below. There is a store where you can see various displays explaining the geology and history of the canyon, or buy souvenirs and books.
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Grandeur Point

A short distance after Yavapai point, this lookout is only accessible on foot (which means it will be less crowded). From here you can see the entire Bright Angel Trail leading down into the Canyon below.
Information
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Verkamp's Visitor Center

Here you will find restaurants, a visitor center, shops, shuttles, a photograph studio, and the start of the Bright Angel trail down to the Colorado River below.
Viewpoint
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Trailview Overlook

As the name implies, you will have some great views of the Bright Angel trail winding down the rock walls, eventually ending at the Colorado river, about 4000 feet below.
Viewpoint
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Maricopa Point

More great views await you here, as well as a shuttle stop where you can catch a shuttle to further along the trail or back to the village for a snack after a long hike. To the East, you will see the work of erosion on the red canyon walls.
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Powell Point

The paved road stops here and becomes a dirt road for a while. If you prefer to walk on a paved road, take the next shuttle to Monument Creek Vista where it starts up again. This is a great place stop to watch the sunset, and it was the point where the dedication ceremony was held for the park in 1920.
Viewpoint
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Hopi Point

As it is the northernmost point of the entire South Rim, you are sure have some great views in both directions. Below, Salt Creek runs along one side while Monument Creek runs on the other. To the west, you can see into the canyon as far as 20 miles away. Because of the far-stretching, unobstructed views, Hopi point is the most popular spot for watching the sunset (go to Powell point for fewer people and comparable views).
Viewpoint
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Mohave Point

Another worthwhile point with some spectacular views to the west. The shuttle stops here and will take you further along the Rim Trail before heading back to the main village. There are several different overlooks here, which makes this area less crowded than Hopi Point during sunset.
Viewpoint
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Monument Creek Vista

The dirt path ends here and becomes a paved road for the rest of the rim trail. You can take the shuttle to the final stop here, or ride it back to the village.
Viewpoint
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Pima Point

This is the last viewpoint on the Rim trail (although there are still more views, don't worry). There is fairly dense tree cover near the edge, but the unrestricted views allow you to see for over 40 miles. You will also be able to see parts of the Hermit Trail below, winding through the canyon.
Viewpoint
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Hermits Rest

The last stop along the rim trail, and the final shuttle stop. If you have made it this far, you have seen some amazing views and are likely ready for some refreshments. There is a small gift shop and snack bar here, or you can catch the shuttle back to the village where you can sit down, grab an ice cream cone, and look though the hundreds of pictures you probably took.
Reviews
chris
This trail provides an excellent overview of the grand canyon viewpoints. I arrived an hour before sunset, which was the perfect time to hike this trail. One of the nice things about it is that you can start or stop pretty much anywhere since there are so many shuttle stops along the way, and you can find a great view point every couple hundred of feet.
Visited on Jun 24, 2009

by chris on Mar 17, 2011
Gordomobile
was at Canyon as sidetrip from Vegas,next time raft and chopper trips Too!

by Gordomobile on Jun 29, 2010
MiticoJane
We will stay at Yavapai Lodge hotel, we will come to visit and leave on 29 to 30,
the hotel is close to the path that I've suggested?
I hope at least to be able to make a acorsetta up to the river and back, what you say is very hard?
hello


by MiticoJane on Jun 18, 2010
MiticoJane
will be the 25th marathon in San Francisco and then make a tour coming to the grand Caynon even if I can I'll do your way, I wanted to ask, there is a path that reaches the Colorado River?
hello
danilo from Italy


by MiticoJane on Jun 17, 2010
Elindio42
Great info!

by Elindio42 on Jun 03, 2010

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About the Author

chris
chris
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When I'm not spending all of my work time and free time working on cool new products for EveryTrail,...

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