South Rim Trail In Wyoming

Here is everything you need to know about the South Rim Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Wyoming
  • Length: 9 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Grand Canyon National Park
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The South Rim Trail, located in Grand Canyon National Park, holds a rich historical significance that dates back thousands of years. The area surrounding the South Rim has been inhabited by Native American tribes for over 12,000 years. The ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, were among the first to settle in the region, leaving behind evidence of their presence in the form of ruins and artifacts.

European exploration of the Grand Canyon began in the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors ventured into the area. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the South Rim Trail gained attention from American explorers and settlers. In 1857, Lieutenant Joseph Ives led an expedition to survey the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. His report described the area as “altogether valueless” and “unfit for human habitation.” This perception changed in the late 1860s when John Wesley Powell, a geologist and explorer, successfully led the first documented expedition through the Grand Canyon, sparking interest in the region.

The South Rim Trail gained popularity in the late 19th century as the railroad reached the nearby town of Williams, Arizona. The Santa Fe Railroad Company recognized the potential for tourism and built the El Tovar Hotel in 1905, providing visitors with a luxurious accommodation option. The South Rim Trail became a popular destination for tourists, attracting artists, writers, and nature enthusiasts who marveled at the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.

Over the years, the South Rim Trail has witnessed various developments, including the construction of visitor centers, lodges, and viewpoints. Today, it remains a significant historical landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and exploration of the Grand Canyon.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. South Kaibab Trailhead: This trailhead is located near Yaki Point and is the starting point for the South Kaibab Trail, which descends into the Grand Canyon.

2. Yaki Point: This is a popular viewpoint along the South Rim Trail, offering stunning panoramic views of the canyon.

3. Pipe Creek Vista: Another scenic viewpoint along the South Rim Trail, offering breathtaking views of the canyon and the Colorado River.

4. Mather Point: Located near the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Mather Point is one of the most popular viewpoints along the South Rim Trail, providing a great introduction to the grandeur of the canyon.

5. Yavapai Point: This viewpoint offers expansive views of the canyon and is also home to the Yavapai Geology Museum, where visitors can learn about the geological history of the area.

6. Grand Canyon Village: This is the main hub of activity on the South Rim, with various amenities, including lodging, restaurants, and shops. The South Rim Trail passes through the village, allowing visitors to explore the area.

7. Bright Angel Trailhead: Located near the Bright Angel Lodge, this trailhead is the starting point for the Bright Angel Trail, another popular hiking trail that descends into the canyon.

8. Hermit’s Rest: This historic landmark is located at the western end of the South Rim Trail. It offers stunning views and is a popular spot for sunset viewing.

9. Trailview Overlook: This viewpoint provides a unique perspective of the Bright Angel Trail as it winds its way down into the canyon.

10. Powell Point: Located near Hermit’s Rest, Powell Point offers panoramic views of the canyon and is named after John Wesley Powell, the famous explorer who led the first documented expedition through the Grand Canyon.

These are just a few of the major access points or trailheads along the South Rim Trail. There are many more viewpoints and trailheads along the trail, each offering its own unique perspective of the Grand Canyon.

Transportation Available

1. Grand Canyon Shuttle: Shuttle service offering transportation to various points along the South Rim Trail.
2. Grand Canyon Railway: Historic train ride that takes you to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
3. Bright Angel Bicycles: Bike rental service for exploring the South Rim Trail.
4. Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle: Free shuttle service within the park, including stops along the South Rim Trail.
5. Grand Canyon Jeep Tours: Guided jeep tours providing transportation and scenic views of the South Rim Trail.
6. Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours: Helicopter tours offering aerial transportation and breathtaking views of the South Rim Trail.
7. Grand Canyon Mule Rides: Mule rides providing unique transportation options along the South Rim Trail.
8. Grand Canyon Airport Shuttle: Shuttle service to and from the nearby Grand Canyon Airport, convenient for accessing the South Rim Trail.


The South Rim Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Here is a list of amenities available at the South Rim Trail:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities located at various points along the South Rim Trail. These restrooms provide clean and accessible facilities for visitors.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas available near the South Rim Trail. Visitors can park their vehicles and easily access the trailhead.

3. Camping Sites: The South Rim Trail does not have designated camping sites directly on the trail. However, there are nearby campgrounds available for visitors who wish to camp in the area. Mather Campground and Trailer Village are popular options for camping near the South Rim Trail.

4. Picnic Areas: There are several picnic areas located along the South Rim Trail. These areas provide scenic spots for visitors to enjoy a meal or snack while taking in the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.

5. Visitor Centers: The South Rim Trail is conveniently located near the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and the Yavapai Geology Museum. These visitor centers offer information, exhibits, and educational resources for visitors to learn more about the Grand Canyon.

6. Water Stations: There are water stations available at various points along the South Rim Trail. These stations provide drinking water for hikers and visitors to stay hydrated during their journey.

7. Shuttle Service: The South Rim Trail is accessible via the park’s shuttle service. Visitors can use the shuttle to reach different points along the trail, making it easier to explore different sections of the trail.

Please note that amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with the park authorities or visitor center for the most up-to-date information on amenities available at the South Rim Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Bright Angel Lodge – Historic lodge offering rustic accommodations and dining options near the South Rim Trail.
2. El Tovar Hotel – Grand hotel with elegant rooms and fine dining, located close to the South Rim Trail.
3. Maswik Lodge – Affordable lodging option with comfortable rooms and a cafeteria-style restaurant near the South Rim Trail.
4. Yavapai Lodge – Modern lodge offering comfortable rooms and a casual dining experience near the South Rim Trail.
5. Phantom Ranch – Remote lodge accessible by hiking or mule ride, providing basic accommodations and meals at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
6. Grand Canyon Village Market – Convenient grocery store offering food and supplies near the South Rim Trail.
7. Grand Canyon Clinic – Medical facility providing emergency services and basic healthcare near the South Rim Trail.
8. Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center – Information center offering guidance and assistance for visitors near the South Rim Trail.
9. Grand Canyon Village Post Office – Postal service available for sending and receiving mail near the South Rim Trail.
10. Grand Canyon National Park Emergency Services – Emergency services including search and rescue operations near the South Rim Trail.

South Rim Trail Difficulty Notes

The South Rim Trail, located in the Grand Canyon National Park, is known for its challenging difficulty level. Spanning approximately 13 miles, this trail offers breathtaking views of the canyon, but it requires a high level of physical fitness and endurance. The trail consists of steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and narrow paths, making it a strenuous hike. Hikers should be prepared for long, arduous stretches and be equipped with proper hiking gear, plenty of water, and a map. Despite its difficulty, the South Rim Trail rewards hikers with unparalleled beauty and a sense of accomplishment upon completion.

Features And Attractions

1. Grand Canyon Village: The South Rim Trail starts at Grand Canyon Village, which offers stunning views of the canyon and is home to historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.

2. Mather Point: This popular viewpoint provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River winding through the canyon floor.

3. Yavapai Point: Located near the Yavapai Geology Museum, this viewpoint offers a unique perspective on the canyon’s geology and is a great spot for sunset views.

4. Hopi Point: Known for its expansive views, Hopi Point is a favorite among photographers and offers a great vantage point to see the Colorado River’s meandering path.

5. Powell Point: Named after explorer John Wesley Powell, this viewpoint offers a more secluded experience and provides a stunning view of the canyon’s layers and colors.

6. Maricopa Point: This viewpoint offers a unique perspective on the Bright Angel Trail as it descends into the canyon, and it provides a great view of the Colorado River.

7. Hermits Rest: Located at the western end of the South Rim Trail, Hermits Rest is a historic landmark designed by architect Mary Colter. It offers stunning views and is a great spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.

8. Pima Point: This viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the canyon, including the famous Horseshoe Mesa and the Colorado River.

9. Mohave Point: Known for its dramatic views, Mohave Point offers a unique perspective on the canyon’s inner gorge and is a popular spot for sunrise and sunset photography.

10. The Abyss: As the name suggests, this viewpoint offers a dramatic view of the sheer cliffs and deep abyss of the Grand Canyon, providing a sense of the canyon’s immense scale.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the South Rim Trail. Exploring the trail will offer countless opportunities to witness the grandeur and beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are not allowed on the South Rim Trail.
– Camping is not permitted along the trail.
– Open fires and smoking are prohibited.
– Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
– Respect seasonal closures and restrictions, if any.
– Do not disturb or feed wildlife.
– Carry out all trash and leave no trace of your visit.
– Be aware of and follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The South Rim Trail, located in Grand Canyon National Park, is a breathtaking hiking trail that offers stunning views of the iconic Grand Canyon. The best times of the year to visit the South Rim Trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the weather is mild, and the trail is surrounded by beautiful wildflowers in bloom. The fall season brings cooler temperatures and vibrant autumn foliage, creating a picturesque backdrop for your hike.

During the summer months, the South Rim Trail can be quite crowded, as it is a popular destination for tourists. The temperatures can also soar, reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it challenging to hike for long periods. It is essential to carry plenty of water and wear appropriate sun protection if you choose to visit during this time.

Winter at the South Rim Trail can be a magical experience, with snow-covered landscapes and fewer crowds. However, it is important to note that some parts of the trail may be closed due to icy conditions or heavy snowfall. It is advisable to check with the park authorities for any seasonal closures or restrictions before planning your visit.

It is worth mentioning that the South Rim Trail is open year-round, but certain facilities and services may have seasonal closures. For example, some visitor centers, restaurants, and shuttle services may have limited operating hours or be closed during the winter months. It is recommended to check the park’s website or contact the visitor center for up-to-date information on any closures or changes in services.

Overall, the best times to visit the South Rim Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the trail offers stunning natural beauty. However, regardless of the season, the South Rim Trail promises awe-inspiring views of the Grand Canyon, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the South Rim Trail entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: Smooth and level paved pathways throughout the trail for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair accessible restrooms available along the South Rim Trail.
4. Handrails: Sturdy handrails installed along certain sections of the trail for added stability and support.
5. Benches and Rest Areas: Rest areas with benches along the trail for individuals to take breaks and enjoy the view.
6. Braille and Tactile Signage: Signage with Braille and tactile elements to assist visually impaired individuals.
7. Assistance Animals: Service animals are allowed on the South Rim Trail to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Shuttle Service: Wheelchair accessible shuttle service available to transport individuals to different points along the trail.
9. Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas with accessible ramps or platforms for wheelchair users to enjoy scenic views.
10. Accessible Visitor Center: The visitor center at the South Rim Trail is wheelchair accessible, providing information and assistance to all visitors.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or disturbing the natural environment.
2. Carry enough water: Ensure you have an ample supply of water to stay hydrated during the hike.
3. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy and comfortable shoes to prevent slips, falls, and blisters.
4. Dress in layers: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by wearing or carrying extra clothing.
5. Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen regularly.
6. Watch out for wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from animals and avoid feeding or approaching them.
7. Be cautious near the edge: Stay away from cliff edges and exercise caution when taking photos or enjoying the view.
8. Hike during daylight hours: Plan your hike to ensure you have enough daylight to complete the trail safely.
9. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans and expected return time.
10. Carry a map and compass: Familiarize yourself with the trail and carry navigation tools to avoid getting lost.
11. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it, as well as having a plan for contacting emergency services if needed.
12. Stay aware of weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before starting your hike and be prepared for sudden changes.
13. Avoid hiking alone: Hiking with a companion is recommended for safety and assistance in case of emergencies.
14. Stay on guard against dehydration: Drink water regularly and recognize the signs of dehydration to prevent health issues.
15. Respect the environment: Leave no trace by packing out your trash and respecting the natural surroundings.

Conservation Notes

The South Rim Trail, located in the Grand Canyon National Park, holds a conservation status of utmost importance. As one of the most iconic and heavily visited trails within the park, its preservation and protection are crucial to maintaining the natural integrity of the area. The trail traverses along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, offering breathtaking views of the vast and awe-inspiring landscape.

Efforts to conserve the South Rim Trail primarily focus on minimizing human impact and preserving the delicate ecosystem. The trail is subject to strict regulations and guidelines to ensure the protection of the surrounding flora and fauna. Visitors are encouraged to stay on designated paths and refrain from disturbing or removing any natural elements. Additionally, the park authorities actively work towards educating visitors about the importance of conservation and the potential consequences of their actions.

To mitigate the environmental impact caused by the high volume of visitors, the South Rim Trail undergoes regular maintenance and restoration projects. These initiatives aim to prevent erosion, maintain the trail’s stability, and restore any damage caused by natural forces or human activity. By implementing sustainable practices, such as using locally sourced materials and minimizing the use of heavy machinery, the conservation efforts strive to strike a balance between preserving the trail’s natural beauty and accommodating the needs of visitors.

Overall, the conservation status of the South Rim Trail remains a top priority for the Grand Canyon National Park. Through ongoing efforts to educate visitors, enforce regulations, and implement sustainable practices, the trail’s unique ecosystem and scenic beauty can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

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