Shoshone Point Trail is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Awesome spot to watch the sunrise!
We were there in Autumn, which happens to be mating season for elk. We heard sounds like someone was playing a horn throughout our walk in and out there. Lo and behold, a large male bull appeared about 300 yards away when we realized who was making the "bugling" sound on our way out. We decided to pick up the pace and get out asap. However, the sunrise and view of the canyon is so worth it.
Great place for picnic lunch
what an awesome short trial. It starts with a very easy walk through the forest and gets you to an amazing point of view. open to anyone
Short easy walk to a beautiful view of the Canyon.
More great views, easy walk, not many people
The trailhead is hard to find. It's 1.2 miles east of yaki point road which is for tour busses only. Room for about 10 cars on your left eastbound. Trail is a dirt road. It's blocked because at the end there are 20 picnic tables and a restroom and gazebo. Probably the best views on the south rim and you can get right to the edge with no tourists. Sign says permit only but that's for the gazebo site which is used for weddings. Weekdays you may be alone. Bring wine and wife and cheese and crackers. Sneakers ok. Bring water you are over 6000 feet and dehydrate quickly.
Shoshone Point is the only South Rim viewpoint that is not right by the road and requires a short hike to get there. This makes it far less crowded than any of the other places. There is a very small parking lot at the trailhead, you will most likely miss it if you don't know where it is. Also the area can be reserved for events (like weddings), in that case single hikers are still allowed to go there, but don't disturb the party. That's also why there is a sign restricting the access. The hike itself is rather simple, you walk down a dirt road for a mile or so until you reach the rim. There is no significant elevation change or anything. At the end is a picnic area with benches and a toilet as well.
You can walk onto a mountain ledge that goes a bit into the canyon (better watch your step) so you end up with the rim surrounding you on three sides and you get a magnificent view!
This trail is fantastic for those who want to get away from the crowds. We were the only people at the point other than off duty park rangers(which confirms how unpopular this trail is). The parking lot can be a bit tricky to find. From the south entrance, take 64 toward the desert view. Go passed yaki point road and there will be a small dirt lot on the left about half a mile or so. There is a sign that says something to the effect of needing a permit to use the site but that's just so people don't go back and use the picnic area on their own.
It's a nice easy walk on a dirt road and at the end there are restrooms and benches to sit before you go to the point.
Got away from the Disney Land like visitor center area. Great solitude in such a hectic area.
The trail, which is not marked, is actually an unpaved park road that intersects East Rim Drive between mile posts 244 and 245. The road is usually gated and there is a parking area adjacent to the road. If there are a lot of cars in the parking area, come back another time. The park service rents out Shoshone Point for weddings and private parties.
Once you find the road, it's pretty simple. Follow the road until you reach the rim. The road passes through Ponderosa Pine forest for about a mile (take a minute to smell a Ponderosa Pine--they really do smell like vanilla) and then emerges onto the rim. The views from the rim are, of course, spectacular and you have much more time here to take in the canyon than you would from the busier overlooks on the Rim Trail.
You can walk right out to the point if you'd like to, but there is a narrow segment of the point with fairly sketchy footing that we didn't attempt with our kids, who were 10 and 5 at the time. You don't need to go out to the point to see the view, though. While we were there, other hikers were out on the point with, unbelievably, a large dog on a leash. It's not a good idea to have your dog near the rim.
The Shoshone Point Trail is a unique experience on the South Rim of Grand Canyon in that it provides a quiet walk through woods to rim views of the canyon. The trail is definitely worth the hour or so that it will take to complete.
I've been here multiple times, as it's a great place to get breathtaking photos without a lot of crowds. The best times to go here are probably any time the weekend isn't. I would avoid going here during the evening hours of the weekend because the site is popular for weddings and other gatherings. Fortunately it's still possible to go elsewhere around the picnic area at the end to avoid others, but for weddings, I prefer to leave it all to the newlyweds.
A good idea is to bring a liter of water, some salty snacks and most definitely a camera. If going to see the sunset, bring a headlamp or flashlight as it gets dark pretty quickly after the sun goes down with all the cover on the trail. I would advice against sneakers or anything without decent traction so you can enjoy the views after the trail.
The trailhead can be very difficult to find. As you are driving RT 64 towards Desert View, drive just past the Grandview Bus Entrance, and continue until you see a Yellow Mountain Lion Crossing sign. There should be a parking area on the left a little bit beyond that. If you are lucky, there will be others parked there. I've never seen a sign for this area.
The parking area is safe (it's far removed from everyone). And you will know you are in the right spot when you see the gate, which is the beginning and end of the trailhead. From here, it is a very easy two mile trek to the end through a very wooded section of two track. To give you an idea of the ease of use, I've driven my Honda Fit on this road for many an event, and one time, a ranger gave the Catering Manager and I a lift to the end in his Ford Contour. This is a very easy hike and perfect for anyone with bad knees or sore hamstrings after climbing the other trails in the Park.
At the end of the trail is the real reward. The trail ends in a looped parking area and a ramada (sort of an open air shelter). The Park Service finally remodeled this area and they did an amazing job. The views just beyond the ramada are fantastic, but the real treat is walking straight from the trail terminus so the bathrooms are on your left and the ramada is on your right.
From here, you can walk pretty far out onto the actual Shoshone Point. I caution anyone in sneakers or (I've seen it) high heels, the area here is a little hairy. It's a little craggy here and has some scree to be aware of. The views are amazing here, and many people will tell you that this is the most amazing spot in the entire Park to view a sunset. I'm not sure I agree with that, but it is a very cool place to look, particularly with limited time or heavy camera equipment.