Don’t just visit the Grand Canyon. Experience it!
Visiting is just like going there for a while, taking photos and posting them on your Instagram and Facebook. I have nothing against it but if you’ve got time, stay longer and experience one of the world’s most photographed natural wonder. Witness its breathtaking sunrise and its stunning sunset.
Go hiking and watch the galaxy at night. I promise, Grand Canyon will never ever disappoint you!
Before you go hiking at the Grand Canyon, there are only three things I’d want you to make sure to bring: a camera, water and food (salty food is good).
TIPS ON HIKING THE GRAND CANYON
- On your way down and up, take a rest when necessary.
- Don’t rush yourself.
- Enjoy the view, the hike and smile to your fellow hikers. 😀
- Pack light.
(If you are camping like me and don’t have a safe place for your gadgets, you can go inside the Bright Angel Lodge and ask if they have a vacant locker (for a small fee) to leave your things.)
- 5. Recommended time to hike:
- Morning, between 8-10, when most of the trails are overshadowed by the canyons themselves. Going back, expect hot weather, for sure.
The best time to visit the Grand Canyon
I went camping there for three nights/four days—and I had a blast! Aside from taking a lot of photos, I went hiking alone. Oh well, with my dependable tripod, actually. There are many hiking trails at the Grand Canyon. And these are the ones I’ve taken and I’d recommend:
1. South Kaibab Trail / Cedar Ridge Trail
This is my favorite hiking trail at the Grand Canyon. The changing colors of the canyon’s shadows and its multi-colored cliffs and plateaus are a visual feast as the sun goes up. It’s a breathtaking panorama and I couldn’t help but stop a million times. Every time I rested, a squirrel or three would gather around my feet and
There’s a water fountain at the beginning of the hike, near the bus stop. Fill your water bottles here because there’s no water fountain going down to Ooh Ahh Point and Cedar Ridge.
A. One hour to the Ooh Ahh Point, including stops for views and rest. It’s one mile and a half hike, one way.
B. Two hours to the Cedar Ridge Point, including stops for views and rest. It’s 3 miles hike, one way.
How to get there:
Take the Orange bus line and get off at Kaibab South Trail.
Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult.
2. Rim Trail (via the Orange bus line)
This is a trail that goes along the South Rims of the Grand Canyon. I’d recommend you to take this in the morning. Watch the sunrise at Yaki Point (last stop of the Orange bus line) and after that, start walking the Rim Trail all the way to the Yavapai Geology Museum.
Difficulty level: Easy
3. Trail of Time (Good for young children and physically-challenged)
This hike starts from the Yavapai Geology Museum to Bright Angel Lodge or vice versa. This is along the rim, so, you don’t need to go down and back. From either of these points, you can take the shuttle buses to your next destinations.
This trail is good for any age. Children and adults would love to touch the stones that are a million years old. They are displayed along the trail and one step you take here means a million years in earth’s history. This is an interesting hike you’re gonna enjoy, and , perhaps, will make you almost a geologist at the end of the trail.
Hiking duration: 60 minutes, including stops for views and rest / one-way.
How to get there: Take the Orange line to Yavapai Geology Museum. Or a blue bus line to Bright Angel Lodge.
Difficulty level: Easy / wheelchair accessible
4. Bright Angel Trail
You don’t need to finish the whole trail, down to the Indian Garden. You can pace yourself by hiking down the 1.5 mile mark and back. If you want to push yourself for a more challenging activity, continue hiking down to the 3-mile mark. Each of these marks have a water station, a tiny rest house and a bathroom with a view.
Hiking duration to the 1.5 mile resthouse:
60-90 minutes, including stops for views and rest / one way.
How to get there: Take the blue bus and get off at Bright Angel Lodge.
Difficulty level: Intermediate to difficult.
5. Rim Trail (Red Bus Line)
I hiked this trail but didn’t go all the way from start to finish. I hopped on and off the shuttle bus at some overlooking points because I didn’t have much time and the sun in the afternoon was really scorching.
So, here’s what I’d recommend you to do.
- Start your hike from Hermit’s Rest Route Transfer Stop (the beginning of the red bus line).
- Hike all the way to Mohave Point.
- Take the shuttle bus to The Abyss.
- Hike from The Abyss to Monument Creek Vista.
- Get on the bus to Pima Point. Stop and walk around a bit.
- Get on the bus to Hermit’s Rest.
- Back to where you want to go next. Perhaps, back to Mohave Point for the sunset.
The views here (along the red line) are as stunning as the other overlooking points. The Grand Canyon has no bad angle. Every side is as photogenic as the others. So, be a camwhore and make your friends jealous!
If you do not want a not-so-crowded spot to witness the sunset, get off at Hopi Point.