Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Select from three trails at North Kaibab

Coconino Overlook on North Kaibab Trail, looking into Roaring Springs
Canyon. Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon NPS.
A great set of day hiking trails on the Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim start at the North Kaibab Trail trailhead.

After entering the park on Ariz. Hwy. 67, use the North Kaibab parking lot, which is immediately after the Forever Resorts Grand Canyon.

From there, you can choose among three trails:
g North Kaibab Trail – The North Kaibab is the only maintained trail into the canyon from the North Rim. Rather than hike all the way to the bottom – which would require an overnight stay – hike about 500 feet down in elevation, which alone is a steep trail at a high altitude covering about a 1.5-mile round trip. The turn back point is the Coconino Overlook, where an excellent view of Roaring Springs Canyon awaits. While the North Kaibab is well-maintained, it’s also very steep with long drop-offs. Because of this, you won’t want to take young children on the trail.
g Bridle Path – The 1.2-mile trail (2.4-miles round trip) links the North Kaibab trailheads to the Grand Canyon Lodge. It parallels Hwy. 67 and typically is taken by those staying at the lodge to the North Kaibab trailhead. For travelers not staying at the lodge and who have dogs, this is a great trail as pets on leashes are allowed.
g Ken Patrick Trail – A short segment of this 10-mile (one-way) trail can be done through a forested area. About a mile from the parking lot, you’ll reach the junction for the Uncle Jim Trail; turn back here for a two-mile round trip. For families with older teens, you might consider extending the hike by taking part of the Uncle Jim route. A lollipop trail, combined with the Ken Patrick it runs five miles through woodland to Uncle Jim Point, a canyon overlook. To shorten the trip, go right where the trail’s loop begins; it’s then a little more than three miles when combined with the Ken Patrick.

Read more about day hiking the Grand Canyon in my Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Grand Canyon National Park guidebook.