South Rim Trail

Grand Canyon National Park

An easy trail traversing the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
21 km
Ascent
315 m
Descent
477 m
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
South Rim Trail Map

Description

The South Rim Trail, or simply the Rim Trail, is one of the best ways for Grand Canyon visitors to enjoy breathtaking, dramatic views of the largest canyon in the United States. 4,500' above the Colorado River, the trail is mostly flat, full of panoramic vistas, and easily accessible from the campground or Visitor Center at Grand Canyon Village.

Thanks to countless access points, this one of the most versatile hikes on the south rim. Out and back runs are an excellent option if you're staying at the campground, but most runners would opt for a shuttle, utilizing one of the free shuttle busses to return to their vehicle or campsite. If you were to run the full length of the trail, the run would be near 13 miles. Though debatable, this may be the most scenic half-marathon in the entire country!

The eastern trailhead doubles as the start of the South Kaibab Trailhead, one of two popular routes to reach the Colorado River. The other, Bright Angel Trail is located at the Grand Canyon Village also along the South Rim Trail. With the campground and adjacent Visitor Center nearby, this is one of the busiest areas in the entire park. It is also the only place to refill on water until the trail's end.

As you head further west, the Rim Trail parallels Hermit Road, often incredibly close to the edge of the rim. Other than the overlooks, many sections are unpaved and shaded by trees, though it never ventures far from the road.

Finishing out the final leg, the trail showcases several excellent vistas including Hopi Point, Mojave Point, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, before its final terminus at Hermit's Rest.

Sources: https://www.10adventures.com/hikes/grand-canyon-national-park/south-rim-trail/

Difficulty

Moderate

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area