Stretching 277 miles in length and with an elevation of thousands of feet, the Grand Canyon in Arizona remains true to its name with its awe-inspiring sights and history. The scenic Colorado River runs through the canyon and offers visitors the opportunity to go rafting, as well as hike near the rim of the water. However, the National Park Service highly recommends that hikers should not attempt to trek from the river’s rim and back up the canyon in a single day, particularly during the summer season from May to September. Hundreds of hikers have had to be rescued every year because of this arduous endeavor. After spending a fun-filled day of hiking and soaking up the sun, families can unwind at one of many cozy vacation rentals near Grand Canyon Village. Accommodations range from rustic lodges to deluxe hotel rooms. With that said, here are the top family-friendly hiking trails at the Grand Canyon.
1. South Kaibab Trail
With a steep, well-maintained and defined dirt trail, the South Kaibab Trail is an easy to moderate challenge, depending on which destinations hikers plan to check out. About a mile up the trail, the first attraction is Ooh Aah Point which boasts a wide, picturesque view of the canyon. Hikers can trek half a mile further than Ooh Aah Point to reach Cedar Ridge. This is another incredible area where visitors can admire the beauty of the Grand Canyon, as well as take a break and use restroom facilities. Cedar Ridge is an ideal spot to end the day hike and turn back from this point, the journey would come out to a three-mile round trip.
2. Rim Trail
In contrast to the aforementioned trail, Rim Trail is mostly paved, flat, and has several points with shade along the trail. This trail is perfect for families with smaller children who prefer an easy hike that features views of the inner canyon. While Rim Trail spans approximately 13 miles total, there are numerous points of interest along the beginning of the trail that hikers can see without having to trek the entire distance. About two miles up Rim Trail is Pipe Creek Vista, and a mile further than that leads to Mather Point, which overlooks the canyon and is in proximity to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Around a half, a mile after Mather Point is Yavapai Point with a glass observation area.
3. Bright Angel Point Trail
For a short and sweet hike, the paved, half-mile round-trip path on Bright Angel Point Trail is ideal. Moreover, this trail is situated near major cities, so Bright Angel Point Trail is also great for hikers who would rather not to drive or venture too far from their vacation rental. The trailhead is near the visitor center at the log shelter. Along the trail are boxes with pamphlets about the area. Due to the trails high altitude and elevation change, hikers with heart or respiratory issues should be cautious on this walk. The trail offers a breathtaking view of the North Rim, and marine fossils embedded in rocks along the way.
4. Cape Royal Trail
Cape Royal Trail is another short, approximately 30-minute hike that also comes out to a half-mile round trip. This easy trail has a paved, flat path that boasts magnificent, sweeping views of the canyon, Colorado River, and Angels Window, a prominent rock formation. Since this path is on the North Rim, there is also an opportunity for visitors to take a scenic drive along the route just outside of the trail.
5. Bridle Trail
For a change of pace in terms of scenery, Bridle Trail is an about a three-mile round trip on the North Rim that offers a lovely forest setting. The trail is considered easy and appropriate for hikers of all skill levels. Stroll through the woods, take a walk with your dog, or leisurely bike ride. Moreover, pets on a leash and bicycles are permitted on this trail.
6. Uncle Jim Trail
Also on the North Rim is Uncle Jim Trail, which is an easy, five-mile round trip hike. The path winds through a forested area and reaches a point that overlooks the canyon and North Kaibab Trail. Along the trail are fossils, as well as blooming wildflowers that can be seen during the summer months. Mules are known to also use this path.
7. Roosevelt Point Trail
Roosevelt Point Trail is the ideal trek for families that desire a very short hike with a fantastic payoff in the form of picturesque views. This 0.2-mile round trip trail only takes about 20 minutes to complete, and it winds through a relatively secluded woodland loop. At the end of the path, there are benches for hikers to rest and appreciate the magnificence of the canyon.
8. Cliff Springs Trail
Approximately a one-mile round trip suitable for hikers of all skill types, Cliff Springs Trail features a varied landscape of boulders, a forested ravine, and spring at the end of the path. This trail allows hikers to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon from a less-frequented area. However, it is advisable to not drink the spring’s water as it may be contaminated.
9. North Kaibab Trail
Although the full length of this path is extensive and challenging, the initial sights at the beginning of North Kaibab Trail are noteworthy. Almost a mile into the trail leads to Coconino Overlook, and a couple miles further is the Supai Tunnel, which hikers can easily walk through. Any destinations beyond those points are more strenuous and would not be appropriate for a day hike.
10. Widforss Trail
Blending canyon scenery along with forests, the Widforss Trail is a ten-mile round trip on the North Rim boasting gorgeous views. Hikers need not trek the entire distance to experience the splendor of the trail’s offerings. Most people who embark on this trail either walk the entire distance or simply half of it, making it a mere five-mile journey. This shortened hike lets visitors see woodland, as well as the depth of the canyon.