On the North Rim, the trail of least resistance is the Transept Trail. It’s a meandering, easy hike along the rim of Transept Canyon offing beautiful views seen through the ponderosa pine forest that covers your way. A very cultivated trail with benches for breaks, it leads you to and from Grand Canyon Lodge and the campground.
North Kaibob Trail:
The most hiked of the North Rim trails, the North Kaibob Trail descends all the way to the Colorado River. Because of its difficulty level, hikers often take longer to reach the bottom than those hiking the South Rim equivalent but your efforts are well rewarded with stunning views and the whole range of ecological diversity found at this unique national park. Half way down is Cottonwood Campground, a recommended overnight stop for those wishing to go all the way to the bottom. The trail terminates at Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch providing a chance to rest up along the banks of the Colorado before attempting the climb back out. Ridgeline hiking most of the way, your views are unobstructed stunners and you’re lucky to pass two beautiful waterfalls before reaching your destination at the bottom. This hike is very strenuous. Be sure you know where it’s possible to replenish water and carry enough supplies to keep you going for the duration of your hike.
Beginning just a few miles from Grand Canyon Lodge, Widfoss Trail can be accessed from Point Sublime Road. Named for Gunnar M. Wedforss a painter of the 1920’s and 30’s famous for his watercolors of the Grand Canyon, this trail offers a beautiful and less demanding hike through forest along the rim eventually descending to Widforss Point where you can see first hand what inspired its namesake. It’s a beautiful and easier day hike with an elevation change of only 400 ft, not much for a place that drops and climbs thousands. And with only 10 miles of moderate hiking round trip, you’re easily in and out in less than a day, no problem and you’ll still have energy to tackle the harder hikes another day.
Cape Final Trail:
Although one of the easiest hikes available at the Grand Canyon, Cape Final Trail is well worth the time. Only four miles round trip and very little climbing to do, it offers some of the most beautiful vistas from the North Rim. You’ll hike out east over Walhalla Plateau for stunning views of Vishnu and Jupiter Temples. It’s the road less traveled so you’ll likely find solitude and quiet along the way, something many North Rim visitors seek. Because of its out-of-the-way local, the trailhead can be a little hard to spot, so watch closely.
Cliff Spring Trail:
Short and sweet, Cliff Spring trail is a super easy hike for those needing a day of rest or trying to pack a few things into one day. Only a mile round trip, this tree covered trail heads along steep ravines to a spring. A Puebloan granary is located not far from the trailhead adding to your experience. It may not take long but Cliff Spring Trail is a gem.