North Rim Grand Canyon Hiking Trails
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon has some great hiking trails without all the crowds of the South Rim. While you are hiking at the North Rim remember to keep a look out for California condors, regarded as one of the rarest birds in the world. By the 1980’s fewer than two dozen condors lived in the wild. Grand Canyon National Park has participated in the condor reintroduction program with encouraging results. As many as 73 condors have been known to soar over the area, thus making the park one of the easiest places to view California Condors
The trail to Cap Royal and Angel’s Window both begin at the Cape Royal parking lot. This is a flat paved trail and is handicapped accessible. You will have magnificent views of Angel’s Window, the inner canyon and the Colorado River. There are also interpretive markers along the way to explain the natural history of the area. (0.5 miles, 30 minutes)
This is one of the easiest trails, is very well maintained, easy to follow and handicapped accessible. The Park Service does often offer a Ranger Talk that takes you along part of this trail. The Transept Trail runs between the North Rim Campground and the Grand Canyon Lodge. (1.5 miles, 2 hours)
Just a short walk from the Grand Canyon Lodge is the Bright Angel Point trail. This is an easy, self-guided nature trail that leads you to a spectacular view of the canyon. Here you can see and hear the sounds of Roaring Spring which is more than 3,000 feet below the Rim. (Approx. 1.5 miles, 30 minutes)
This trail will bring you out to Uncle Jim’s Point where you have fantastic views of the upper portion of the North Kaibab Trail. The Uncle Jim Trail winds through the alpine forest to a point overlooking the canyon. This trail begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot. (Approx. 5 miles, 3 hours)
The Widforss Trail has a great blending of forest and canyon scenery. This trail provides an excellent view of the Buddha Temple. The trail starts at the Widforss Trail parking area which is one mile down the dirt Point Sublime Road and one-quarter mile south of Cape Royal Road turnoff. (Approx. 10 miles, 6 hours)
This trail is the only maintained trail into the canyon from the North Rim. On this trail you will get an appreciation for the beauty and immense size of the canyon. The trail ends at Bright Angel Campground and the Colorado River. This trail is not recommended as a day hike and it is strenuous. If you want to make a day hike out of this trail then go off onto the Coconion Overlook (1.5 miles round trip) or the Supai Tunnel (4 miles round trip) (9.4 miles, 6 to 8 hours)
This trail takes you from the trail head along the northern drainage of Bright Angel Canyon. You will wind through the forest and along the rim from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area. THIS IS NOT AN EASY TRAIL AND CAN BECOME DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLLOW. (Approx. 10 miles one way, 12 hours)
Some of the best times of the year to hike these trails are in May, September and in early October. The park is closed during the winter months due to snow.
Day hikes that go farther then Roaring Springs are not recommended as a day hike. If you are going on one of the trails that are not marked as “easy” then please check in with the Ranger station before you leave on your hike. And remember to keep your eyes open for a sighting of Condors!