Whether you’re planning a R2R2R traverse or simply looking for some exercise, this guidebook will pair you with your perfect run during your visit to the Grand Canyon.Less
There isn't a trail runner in the world who hasn't dreamt of running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim. A bucket list route, even those who have completed it often come back for seconds. It stands boldly as one of the most recognized epis in all of the US, maybe even the western hemisphere. On average, it takes most runners between 12 and 15 hours, most choosing to start between 3 and 4am.
An internationally-recognized trail run through the United State's largest canyon.
Considered the best vista this side of the Grand Canyon, this 4.5 mile trail run pairs the Bridle and Transept Trails, then detours to Bright Angel Point at its furthest point. While many opt for a simple out-and-back hike from the Visitor Center, trail runners should consider this loop if there is time to spare. The loop is a mixture of both paved and unpaved paths with no significant elevation gain. By most runner's standards, the loop is entirely runnable.
Named after an early 20th-century game warden, the Uncle Jim Trail is a moderately challenging trail run on the North Rim with stunning views from its namesake point. At the overlook, visitors are awarded sweeping views of Bright Angel and Roaring Springs Canyons, plus a direct line of sight to Bright Angel Point. Across the Colorado River, views of the South Rim and even the distant San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff are possible.
A Grand Canyon classic, this trail run showcases three of the National Park's most iconic trails: South Kaibab, Tonto, and Bright Angel. Runners are awarded awe-inspiring views, diverse terrain, and meticulously built singletrack on this near half-marathon route. Though it could be completed as a loop utilizing the South Rim Trail, most runners opt for the free shuttle buss instead. earlyrisehiker.com even describes this as a "beautiful and less trafficked" alternative to a full Rim to Rim trek.
Less than 6 miles, this loop pairs the Village Greenway and South Rim Trails, awarding runners with breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon's dramatic landscape. Whether you're staying at a campground or visiting for the day, this route is a versatile option for anyone looking to get some exercise on their visit.
Part of a large initiative to provide access to the Grand Canyon by bike, foot, and horseback, the Tusayan Greenway connects the South Rim Visitor's Center to the park's gateway town 6 miles south. Mostly paved, the path meanders through Kaibab National National Forest and offers the perfect opportunity to get some exercise on your visit to the Grand Canyon.
One of the least visited routes to the Colorado River, the Hermit Trail offers a similar experience to the popular Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails, just without the crowd. Many opt for shorter out-and-back trips, though experienced runners should have no problem reaching the river and returning in less than 8 hours. The developed trailhead also offers water, restrooms, and a concession stand to stage your run.
Beginning at Grandview Point, this ~11 mile loop offers a challenging trail run through remote and lesser visited portions of the Grand Canyon. Built by miners in the late 1800's, the route showcases several fine views across Horseshoe Mesa, but at a price - a demanding 4,200' of climbing in just 11 miles! If you're looking for a challenge, consider this loop, or the South Kaibab-Tonto-Bright Angel route closer to the Grand Canyon Village.
Starting at Hermits Rest, this out-and-back run visits a reliable spring located in a quiet alcove of sandstone cliffs. Breathtaking views of the dramatic red rock landscape are abundant throughout the run, and the spring welcomes runners with plenty of shade on a hot summer day.