Distance: 10 miles round-trip
Duration: 5 hours
Elevation change: Moderate ups and downs totaling 1,100 feet
Effort: Easy to moderate
Trailhead: About one mile past the North Kaibab Trail parking lot, turn left onto a dirt road and drive another mile to the trailhead
This rim trail is a good choice on a hot day: It’s shaded much of the way, and you won’t have to climb out of the canyon in midday heat. The first 2.1 miles of trail are a scenic ramble from Harvey Meadow up to the rim of Transept Canyon, with peekaboo views of Bright Angel Point and Zoroaster Temple.
Pick up a brochure near the trailhead for a self-guided tour describing highlights along this section of the trail, which makes a fine day hike. The trail continues around the head of Transept Canyon to its west rim before heading into the forest.
Shaded by fir and aspen, the trail climbs to a ridge west of the Transept. As you traverse the ridge, the forest changes to ponderosa pine and gradually opens. Just beyond a picnic table and campsite (a backcountry permit is required to camp here), the trail drops toward the rim for a splendid view of the South Rim’s Coconino Plateau. See if you can spot Grand Canyon Village by pinpointing El Tovar Lodge.
Below you is Haunted Canyon, and before you are several of the canyon’s monumental peaks, including Buddha and Isis Temples. To the southeast, a limestone spire marks Widforss Point, named for Gunnar Widforss, who painted strikingly detailed watercolors of the canyon in the early 1900s.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition