Whether you want to do an easy hike on the rim trail along the Canyon or hike into the Canyon there are options for you. Both are amazingly beautiful and something you should not miss. The Rim Trail stretches from the South Kaibab Trailhead west to Hermit’s Rest, approximately 13 miles. Most of the trail is paved with a trail condition of flat to slight inclines and some sections are accessible. You can access the trail from any viewpoint along the way in Grand Canyon Village or along Hermit Road.
The two main corridor trails leading to the inner canyon are the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail. Both are maintained and go from the canyon rim to the bottom.
Grand Canyon Rim Trail
The Rim Trail along the edge of the Canyon is a great walking trail with plenty of shady spots, some benches along the way and it is easy to catch the free Park Shuttle if you get tired or need to get back to your starting point.
Bright Angel Trail
The Bright Angel Trail is 9.3 miles deep and the trail includes switchbacks, shade and water most of the year. About half way down is Havasupai Gardens , a great resting place with toilets, water and a ranger station. For a shorter, but just as awesome hike on the Bright Angel Trail plan on going down to mile and a half house. There is a bench to take a rest and water (except in colder months). Average would be 45 minutes down the mile and a half and 90 minutes back up.
South Kaibab Trail
The South Kaibab Trail is 6.8 miles deep with switchbacks, no water available and little shade but again awesome views. And surprisingly enough even though this trail is shorter the steepness makes the time about the same as going to the bottom on the Bright Angel. Again, you don’t have to go all the way to the bottom to experience the beauty, just hike as far as you are comfortable with. Free Park Shuttles take hikers to the trailhead.
Plan For Your Hike
On either trail plan that typically it will take you twice as long to hike out as to hike in. Most first time hikers go at a rate of about one mile per hour. In all cases you want to be prepared for weather and take enough water and food with you. National Park Service does not recommend anyone hiking from the rim to the bottom and back up in one day. Nor do they recommend hiking alone.
Another walking/running/biking trail available year round is the Grand Canyon Greenway Trail. The trail starts behind the IMAX Theater in Tusayan and is a 13.1 mile round trip to the Visitor’s Center inside the National Park. This trail is good for all skill levels, is paved most of the way and has a good amount of shade. You will still need your park pass.