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Before my most recent trip to the Grand Canyon, I had been there twice and both times I was underwhelmed. Or maybe overwhelmed because I cannot fathom the size of the canyon.
And I still can’t fathom the size of the Grand Canyon but the view at the end of the Shoshone Point Trail really, really impressed me.
Maybe it was because it was so much quieter or because there was only one other person there for a bit, then just us. Maybe it was because I finally hiked in the park. I’m not entirely sure but I liked it. A lot.
It’s still not even in my top five parks, but it made me appreciate the park a lot more. While we were there, I learned that the picnic area at the end of the Shoshone Point Trail is the only place in the park you can reserve for weddings!
And what a view for that! That’s why they don’t really advertise the hike. I’m not sure if you can still hike this if an event is going on but if you can and there is, please be respectful of them.
This was the last stop on my little road trip with my parents (but not the last of the posts, they’re just out of order) before getting back to Page.
I knew I wanted to hike in the Grand Canyon and I also knew I didn’t want to hike into the canyon this time. And by I, I mean we. I got the Shoshone Point Trail recommendation and decided that was the one.
We did this as a loop day trip from Flagstaff and went in on the east side by the Desert Watchtower and out through the Grand Canyon Village and back through Williams. It would also make a great hike on a day trip from Page.
We stopped at all the overlooks on our way in and I bonded with a raven (I love them so much). Then we finally made it to the Shoshone Point Trail and got walking.
It’s just a dirt parking area and the trail is an old road. Just head down the road until the end. It’s pretty easy and it’s nice and shady.
It’s hard to imagine you’ll get to a view from here since you’re just walking through the woods but you do and it’s so worth it! And the woods are nice and open, not super dense, which I like.
At the end there is a little loop on the trail and you can go either way to get to the picnic area and view. There’s even a bathroom at the end here.
The little path to the best view is kind of between the picnic tables and bathroom. It’s pretty easy to see. Just follow that out to the point and enjoy the view!
This last little section feels a little sketchy and you may not like it if you really hate heights but it’s not entirely exposed. It’s no Angels Landing.
Just take your time and watch your footing as you make your way over this rocky part. Also just watch your footing at the end point and if you have kids, really keep an eye on them.
We probably spent ten or fifteen minutes at the viewpoint and I just couldn’t even grasp what I was looking at! The pictures really don’t do it justice. Like Black Canyon of the Gunnison, it looks like paintings in pictures. It’s just one of those place you have to see in person.
If you’re looking for an easy hike in the Grand Canyon that’s on the rim (doesn’t go below the rim), the Shoshone Point Trail is perfect for you!
National Park Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking on your trip, or even at home, check out AllTrails! This is my favorite app to find, keep track of, and track my hiking activity. And it’s FREE! Sign up here.
- This Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is a must-have. You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a little National Park notebook to write all about your adventures while you’re on the road. These from Field Notes are all very cute! If you want one for all of the NPS sites (400+!) then this one is for you!
- Before your trip, get some national park apparel for your trip!
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
Where is the Shoshone Point trailhead?
The Shoshone Point trailhead is about 5.5 miles from the Grand Canyon Village and about 19 from the Desert View Watchtower.
It’s not a marked parking area, just a dirt parking lot on the left (from the village) or right from the watchtower. It’s just 1.6 miles closer to the village from Duck on A Rock viewpoint.
If you put Shoshone Point Trail into Google Maps, it should take you right there, just keep and eye out for it once you get closer.
How long is the Shoshone Point hike in the Grand Canyon?
The Shoshone Point Trail in the Grand Canyon is just 2.1 mile round-trip with only 154 feet of elevation gain. You should be able to do this in two hours or less.
Is the Shoshone Point trail hard?
Nope! The trail is an old road so it’s pretty well maintained and it’s pretty flat. To get to the best view, you do have to walk on a sort of narrow ledge with rock on one side and some tree/rock but mostly drop on the other.
If you’re really afraid of heights, you may not like that part but you can still get great views before that part. It’s not terrible but it’s not totally exposed, just use caution on that part.
Is the Shoshone Point trail worth it?
Yes! The effort to view payoff ratio is extremely good and if you want to hike in the Grand Canyon but want to stay on the rim, this is the perfect option.
We only saw a couple of other people on the trail and there is even a picnic area with grills at the end so you can have lunch here too!
Grand Canyon South Rim tours
- Helicopter and optional hummer tour
- Grand Canyon flight, Antelope Canyon, Colorado River float
- Scenic flight
- Grand Canyon Railway from Williams
- Hummer tour
- Grand Canyon tandem skydive
Have you hiked the Shoshone Point Trail? What did you think of it? What is your favorite view in the Grand Canyon?
4 thoughts on “Shoshone Point Trail: The Grand Canyon Hike That Won Me Over”
I was very humbled to be able to accompany my best friend to the canyon several years ago to drop her parents ashes off. We were sitting at the bar at the big lodge restaurant in the park waiting for the reservation. A Shoshone couple was also there and chatted us. Upon hearing what we were doing there they told us about, and suggested, the point and the role it plays in the culture to their people. So we did. Amazing, yet somber, experience! Somewhere on my page is my account of this but its back a bit both in page and in memory!
That sounds like a wonderful (if sad) experience! It’s great you were able to be part of it 🙂
Yes, definitely so. She and I are tentatively planning to return next spring. I am particularly excited on a personal level, because that trip really spurred a huge personal change. I was a big guy (still am!) but was always quite active and actually played beach volleyball at a decently competitive level even at 6’2″ 300 plus pounds…but getting to the canyon and having never seen anything like that or done any hiking that wasn’t flat Florida or Indiana land and immediately wanting to hike to the bottom…and then discovering for the first time that, oh wait…my body size isn’t going to allow for this. Now, I kinda think the damage done to my knees will probably still be a barrier, but when I go back it will be 100 pounds less…so pretty excited about that!
That’s wonderful! Hiking into the canyon at all is a pretty impressive feat and I hope it as amazing as I imagine!