This year (2019) marks the 100th anniversary of the Grand Canyon’s designation as a national park, which means the park will likely see a record number of visitors coming to celebrate the natural wonder. The Grand Canyon, formed by the Colorado River, is one of the world’s most diverse geological places. The vast walls of the canyon, colored by stunning hues of orange, red, and tan elicits wonder and awe into every visitor.
Before heading out to check out the magnificent Grand Canyon rock formations, take some time to decide which hikes best fits into your Arizona vacation. The following are some of the easy and family-friendly hikes in Grand Canyon National Park.
The Rim Trail is one of the well defined and mostly paved hiking paths at Grand Canyon National Park that offers scenic views and overlooks into the majestic Grand Canyon. This 13 mile trail runs along Hermit Road and can easily be accessed from multiple shuttle bus stops. The Rim Trail provides the perfect family friendly hiking trails, as you can choose how far you’d like to go. Spend as little as 30 minutes hiking part of it, or spend the entire day hiking along the full 13 miles.
When looking for easy Grand Canyon hikes, it can be hard to find trails that offer solitude without going below the rim. Shoshone Point Trail offers breathtaking, panoramic views as well as the solitude many seek when venturing outside, as this trail isn’t advertised on park maps. Getting to the viewpoint requires hiking through the winding ponderosa pine forest before walking out onto a plateau that provides over 180 degree panoramic view of the Grand Canyon sandstone. Before heading to the trail, make sure to check with the visitor center to ensure the trail has not been booked for a private event, as it is a hot spot for weddings. Shoshone Point trail is a must when compiling your list of easy hikes in Grand Canyon National Park.
Distance: 2.1 miles
Elevation gain/loss: 130 feet
Hours: .5 – 1 hour
The Grand Canyon South Kaibab Trail is a 7 mile trail along the ridge that leads to Phantom Ranch. Hike the first part of this trail out to Ooh Aah Point for the perfect family-friendly hike. The trail starts with a few switchbacks and a steep decent against the canyon wall. The paths are wide and well traversed. There’s no question why this trail is called “Ooh Aah Point”. The overlook provides extraordinary views of the vast canyon that will make hikers stop, take pictures, and maybe let out a few “oohs and aahs” themselves.
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation gain/loss: 692 feet
Hours: 1 – 1.5 hours
This easy hike on Grand Canyon National Park’s north rim is the perfect trail to catch a sunrise or sunset on. The trip out to the trailhead from the Visitor Center is a bit of a drive but definitely worth it. The short hike has interpretive signage along the way, giving hikers the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of the Grand Canyon. Along the way catch spectacular views of Angels Window, a natural arch that frames the Colorado River. This hike ends with wondrous views of the canyon that you won’t want to miss.
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation gain/loss: 65 feet
Hours: .5 – 1 hour
The Widforss Trail is one of the lengthier, easy hiking paths at Grand Canyon National Park. The trail ventures into the aspen forest and provides hikers with the opportunity to see wildflowers blooming between trees, hear the birds singing, or catch a glimpse of a native Kaibab squirrel. Widforss offers amazing views of the canyon through the trees along the entire trail, but nothing beats the view at the end. With no distinct trail end, a picnic table marks the last 100 feet, at which point hikers can find a good rock to sit on and enjoy looking down into the canyon at the countless landmarks visible from the trail end.
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation gain/loss: 1,036 feet
Hours: 4 – 5 hours
Taking the North Kaibab Trail to Coconino Overlook provides an easy Grand Canyon hike. Winding through a few switchbacks, this trail leads to an overlook with views of the Roaring Springs Canyon and the cream colored Coconino Sandstone. This hike has very little shade, so make sure to bring extra water!
Distance: 1.3 miles
Elevation gain/loss: 465 feet
Hours: .5 – 1 hour