Analysing terrain data
4 - 5
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
The South Rim Trail is the ideal choice for visitors who want to see the South Rim’s renowned vistas, but don’t want overly strenuous hiking.
It is also one of the few trails in Grand Canyon National Park that allows dogs, so long as they are kept on a leash and cleaned up after.
The full length of the trail runs from Hermits Rest in the west to South Kaibab Trailhead at Yaki Point in the east—about 13 miles—but it’s easily accessed from many points, and short section hikes are most popular.
It is paved for most of the way and relatively flat, though you’ll find short inclines and stairs in some places.
A hike of any distance is rewarding, whether several steps or several miles.
You can use the park’s free shuttle system to hike any amount as a one-way. There are no designated trailheads for Rim Trail—simply find it next to any park facility, parking area, or shuttle stop on the South Rim.
Major overlooks can become quite congested, but just a short stroll along the Rim Trail can lead to equally impressive vistas without the crowds.
Much of the trail stays within sight of park roads, yet it's just far enough away that you can still find stillness on the edge of this natural wonder.
The farther you venture from Grand Canyon Village and major park facilities, the fewer people and noises you will encounter.
For the most solitude, explore the unpaved section between Monument Creek Vista and Powell Point, along Hermit Road. If you are interested in how the canyon was formed, check out the interpretive Trail of Time and the Yavapai Geology Museum, which are located along the Rim Trail through Grand Canyon Village.
They provide a unique perspective and a thorough look at the canyon’s geologic history. Keep in mind that there is no water along the trail, except at major park facilities.
Pack, dress, and plan accordingly based on weather conditions and how long you intend to hike. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/RimTrailMap.pdf https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/RimTrail.pdf