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Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa

Winter views from Horseshoe mesa
Neat trail work on the Grandview trail
Horseshoe mesa
Pete Berry's cabin
Big views from Horseshoe mesa
Views of Horseshoe mesa as seen from the Grandview trail
map: Grandview trail to Horseshoe mesa trail
elevation plot: Grandview trail to Horseshoe mesa


How to Get There
This hike is located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

From Flagstaff, take HWY 180 north towards the Grand Canyon. Once you enter the park, you'll head east on the East Rim Drive (Yaki point turnoff). About 9 miles on the East Rim Drive will get you to the Grandview Point. The parking area is a little less than a mile drive away. There are restrooms here, but no water.
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon area

Hike details

6.40 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
3.2 miles one way to Horseshoe Mesa Campsite.
3.00 [Hours]
This is three hours downhill with a full pack and four hours uphill. As a day hike with a light pack, you can subtract an hour from each way.
Elevation Change
5,000 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Loss
2,500 Total Elevation Loss[Feet]
Elevation Details
2500 ft change
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back


Best Season
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • September
  • October
Worst Season
  • June
  • July
  • August
Season Details
Date Hike completed
February 14, 2009


Solitude Details
This is not one of the more popular trails in the Grand Canyon, despite it's easy access from the East Rim Road. Expect to meet 10-30 people this day.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
If you are hiking downhill with a full pack, this hike is mildly Strenuous. If you are hiking uphill, this is Strenuous. A 2500 ft elevation gain with a full pack is no cakewalk. There's a really cool cave here to explore as well.

Kids in good shape can make this hike with adult experience and supervision.


Permit Info
Backcountry permits from the National Park Service must be acquired prior to this hike if you are planning on camping at Horseshoe mesa. See for details. You can reserve up to three months in advance.
Be Aware of
elevation and exposure

, For Winter Hiking: Remember that the South Rim is damned cold in the winter. Snow and Ice will cover the trail for the first few miles. Crampons recommended.

, For Summer Hiking: Get an early start and don't hike during the heat of the day. Remember that the bottom of the canyon will be MUCH hotter than the top.

Hike the Grandview trail to Horseshoe Mesa in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

This is a well maintained trail in the Grand Canyon. Unlike most Grand Canyon hikes with a lot of elevation change, it does not get all the way to the Colorado River. As always when hiking the Grand Canyon, the views are amazing. Bring a camera for some good inner canyon pictures.

This trail is steep most of the way. It starts at the Grandview Point. Look for the Grandview trail marker. This trail was reconstructed by an old miner in 1892 from a Native American route.

As you walk down the trail, there are a few spots that are a tight squeeze with a full pack. It's also interesting when you realize there are parts of the trail that are held up by juniper logs that have been there for over a hundred years. whew!

Eventually, you will cross a saddle and close in on Horseshoe Mesa. Before you get to the campsites, you'll see the ruins of Pete Berry's cabin. He's the guy that rebuilt the trail. Be sure to thank Pete and leave his ruins alone for other hikers to enjoy. There's also some mining implements scattered around rusting. Leave these be as well.  

There's a toilet but no water at the campsite, but there is water at Miner's Spring. Miner's spring is located 0.8 miles and 450 feet below the campsite on the Tonto trail where it forks right at the campsites. Fill up all your water containers here, because you don't want to make multiple trips down here... it's not a stroll, but a steep hike. Water seems to taste much better when you work for it.

As a special treat, make sure you bring a flashlight. If you walk clockwise around the Mesa from the campsite, you'll find a trail leading to a cave. You can explore quite a way in this cave, with multiple passageways. Don't get lost!


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