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8 Amazing Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park

Hit the trail in one of America's most scenic national parks.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

When entering the Grand Canyon, you might expect the worst of the worst of national park crowds and sometimes - especially when visiting the more popular and more easily accessible South Rim - you'd be right. You can't blame people from around the world who flock here, but if you want to find the experience you came for (a little peace and quiet with a beautiful view) the best way to do that is hit the trail and get away from the visitors center. 

The Grand Canyons is a BIG place (duh), so an extended trip into the backcountry would be ideal to see as much as you can. But if you're not going to be backpacking in the Grand Canyon, these day hikes ought to do the trick.

Don't miss these 8 Grand Canyon hikes

1. Hike Point Imperial Trail

A person stands on a tall rocky cliff with mountains as far as the camera can capture.
Photo by Jonathan Reed

Distance: 5.38 miles
Type: Out-and-back

There's not really a bad view in the Grand Canyon, but Point Imperial is the highest point in the whole park, so it's definitely one of the best. 

2. Hike to the Grand Canyon's Sunset Nook

A person sits on a portable camp chair on a rock cliff. A rock face rises above the person. The person is looking out over a valley with rising rock peaks. The sun is rising or setting and the sky is blue and orange and pink and purple.
Photo by Michael Gabbert

Distance: 1.5 miles

Sunset Nook lives up the the name. It's the perfect quick hike to settle in for a sunset with gorgeous panoramic views.

3. Hike to Shoshone Point

A person wearing a backpack is standing on a cliff. There are mountains silhouetted by the sun in front of them.
Photo by Evenne Fields

Distance: 2.14 miles
Elevation: 100 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Three sides of the point have steep, dramatic exposure so be sure to be super careful if you choose to venture towards the edges. 

4. Hike to Bright Angel Point on the Grand Canyon's North Rim

A shadow outlining a person lies on a vertical rock in warm, golden sunlight. Mountains with flat tops and striated rocks rise in the distance to the left.
Photo by Jared Blitz

Distance: 0.86 miles
Elevation: 361 feet
Type: Out-and-back

If you're looking for a sunrise spot, this is a great place to set up with a cup of coffee and your camera. At sunset, however, it gets a little more crowded.

5. Hike the South Kaibab Trail to Tip off

A person wearing a backpack is walking down a switchback trail from high rocky mountains. A canyon and scrubby trees are below.
Photo by Benny Barrett

Distance: 8.86 miles
Elevation: 5,000 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Ready to get a little further away from the crowds? This 9-mile round trip hike is a solid workout that covers a lot of ground and different parts of the canyon and the Colorado River. 

6. Hike Plateau Point via Bright Angel Trail

Horizontally striated rocky mountains rise in the distance. The sun is making the rock faces glow orange and purple.
Photo by John Stambaugh

Distance: 12.27 miles
Elevation: 3,000 feet
Type: Out-and-back

For an even longer hike, the Bright Angel Trail is an excellent option and is one of the most beloved trails in the park.

7. Sunset hike the Cape Royal Trail

Looking out over a canyon with tall rocky mountains in the distance. They have flat tops and glow orange. The sky is blue fading into white, yellow, and orange.
Photo by Jared Blitz

Distance: 0.8 miles
Type: Out-and-back

This super short hike is not exactly a hidden gem, nor off the beaten path. In fact, the whole area is handicap accessible. That said, it's one of the best views in the South Rim and if the moon isn't shining, it's an amazing spot for astrophotography.

8. Hike and camp at Nankoweap Granaries

A river winds through tall rocky canyons. The canyons grow orange and purple. A group of people are standing on an outcropping near the bottom of the image.
Photo by Kevin Kaminski

Distance: 2 miles
Elevation: 700 feet
Type: Out-and-back

The Nankoweap Granaries are technically a day hike, but you'll need to begin the short hike from your campsite on a river rafting trip. Guess you'll just have to plan a Grand Canyon river rafting trip, won't you?! 

Discover more adventures in the Grand Canyon with the Outbound Collective app.

Cover photo: Kevin Kaminski

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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