Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa Trail

MODERATE 69 reviews
#17 of 99 trails in

Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,385 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

A rewarding day hike or backpack to a wooden mesa below the South Rim.

hiking
22 days ago

Great views all around. Definitely in the moderate difficulty on the way up. Hiking poles will speed up your trip down. Less crowded then Bright Angel trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is not maintained by the park but is in fairly good condition. You will have to climb and use your hands at times but nothing too crazy. The trail is steep for the first 2 miles and becomes less steep for the remainder of the hike. There are some steep drop offs along the trail however I’m a fairly cautious person and I wasn’t afraid of falling at any point. If you start this hike early, much of the beginning will be in the shade. The end of the trail leads to a camping area and former stone house. This area had quite a few bugs when we visited in early June so we didn’t hangout at the base for very long. We only saw about 8 people while hiking so this trail is much quieter and less busy than south kaibab or bright angel. Make sure the bring plenty of water for the significant elevation change. The hike took us 4 hours (about 2 each way) but we were moving quickly compared with others on the trail.

1 month ago

Very steep in the beginning, bring poles if you have old knees like me. A good chunk of this hike is shaded if you start early enough in the morning.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike and views! I planned on the hike being grueling on the legs, but where I failed was prepping for the altitude and the impact on the lungs. It goes to 7400 feet, so you definitely feel it on the way back up. Drink plenty (even when you don’t feel thirsty, you’re getting dehydrated), and have plenty of snacks to fuel you. I wouldn’t say I have a fear of heights but can get uneasy at times, and this will definitely have some parts that will leave you a bit weak in the knees, but it’s not scary at all if you just pay attention to where you’re going (AKA don’t fall off a cliff taking that perfect pic for Instagram). Definitely doing this again!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail (Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa out and back) kicked my butt! You could hear my breathing from a mile away. :-) After driving from South of Tucson to Grand Canyon in the morning, I started at 2:20 at trail head. Left Horseshoe Mesa at 4:10 and finished at 6:20 with time to spare to watch sunset at Desert View Tower. But was a grueling 4 hours. I do hike most weekends so I am used to the breathless suffering of uphill climb. This was the hardest trail for me by far. Well worth it. I carried 4.5 liters of water because the afternoon Sun was beating down, and drank 3 liters.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. You will appreciate the effort it took to get there when you look around from down below. Look at the photos so you have a better understanding of how the place is laid out. You can’t tell when you get there. Not a busy trail; we met a total of 20 people both ways. Took us 2 hrs downhill and 3 hrs uphill. My wife had a really hard time going downhill, and I had a really hard time going uphill. I was surprised how weak I felt because I am in better shape than that. Although the trail is hard (not moderate, in my subjective opinion), I have a feeling a combination of altitude and a 20 lbs backpack was the culprit for my ills. I drank 3 liters of water both ways, and would have drunk 2 more if I had that much. Bring hiking poles. You will be glad you did. You can rent them for $3 near the visitor center. Get enough sleep the night before. The terrain is hard. First and second thirds are the worst. Very steep and rocky. You’ll use hands occasionally if you have no poles. Be careful as it's narrow in places and it takes little before you're gone for good. Last third is flatter and wide. Very easy. Having done Horseshoe Mesa on 5/25 and Cedar Ridge on 5/24 the day before, I've come to realize that the way the level of difficulty is calculated is flawed. I understand that it takes a combination of length and elevation gain, altitude, type of terrain, user input etc. Cedar Ridge is rated as hard, even though people run up that trail. Mesa is rates as moderate. Cedar Ridge should be moderate at best. Horseshoe Mesa is hard, plain and simple. There are different levels of "hard", and there are harder trails than this, but within our 3 levels available here, this is hard. I would not do this trail again on a warm day. And I would certainly do it again but I’d spend the night at the camp. This was my first visit to the canyon and I’m in love with this place. It’s magical. I felt really bad when we got back and couldn’t move for 30 minutes, but soon after I wanted to go back into the canyon.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Great conditions today! Got started at 12:30pm, didn’t make it all the way to the Mesa because we got hungry but got close and had a great lunch spot. The way back up was very hot and dry, make sure you preserve lots of water for the hike out, there’s hardly any shade and it’s steep. We’re in good hiking shape and would rate this as moderately hard. Overall awesome hike, very few people once you get below the rim. Ended at 5:30pm.

2 months ago

great views, few people. Tougher than I imagined going up. since areas with large steps up and some with brick like form on a slope. I was rather slow compared to others on the trail. im a moderate hiker, slower paced. it took 2.25hes to get to the mesa and 3.75hrs to get up from the view point. overall, my total time was close to 8 hrs with breaks and photos. I drank almost all my 3 L water. the temp was 70s F but I could definitely feel the heat taking its toll on me.

2 months ago

Steep and narrow trails mostly at the beginning. We did this on May 4th 2019 and saw the most budding and flowering cacti and trees in a very long time. the smells were amazing. Fresh pine too. There are some stairs on this trail. a few spots had been replaced with landslides, but we're passable. No water on this hike so bring plenty. We took a gallon and ran dry. lots of shade on the top steep part which was nice on the return trip. Toilet at the campground at Horseshoe mesa is out in the open, with no t.p., so bring your own. Found some Radiation signs near the campground...still need to look into that. You can't see Horseshoe Mesa from the top. the trail winds in a horseshoe pattern too. We did the full 11 miles in 7 hours. Slow going down as it's really steep.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Awesome trail with tons of good views. Going back up was a physical and mental challenge and I'd say I'm in decent shape.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was very narrow at some points but I’m afraid of heights and got through fine. I’d say it’s moderate as it took a little less than six hours for myself and my partner with plenty of water breaks and lunch for a half hour at the Mesa. Surprisingly it took us less time to hike up and out than it did to get down there. We went off the trail after the horseshoe to see further into the canyon and it is absolutely worth it. Amazing views the entire way.

Grandview Point to Horshoe Mesa is a grueling fast descent, recommended only for experience hikers. There is no water, so be sure to pack enough, and eat, as you will expand a lot of energy. Expect the return trip to be twice as difficult, as you navigate the steep ascent. However, for those brave enough to make the trek, it is probably the grandest views in the canyon

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was not hard, i would say moderate. There were spots where there were rockslides, so you had to climb over those. There were a few skinny areas in the trail but nothing too scary. Once you get to the horseshoe, there is an old mine, old house ruins, really worth the trip! We went to the right of the horseshoe (if your looking down on a map!). You can see parts of the river once your there. It took my husband and I a total of 7hrs round trip. We aren’t experienced hikers and we took a lot of breaks. Definitely take plenty of water! A hike that you should definitely do if you want something pretty easy with not many people!

hiking
3 months ago

very simple hike with great views. A must see!!

6 months ago

Don't let the awesome views keep you from watching your step! there are some areas that are pretty exposed. Oh, and it's definitely not 11 miles. It's more like 7, round trip to the Horsehshoe Mesa CG.

8 months ago

Rocky and steep in places, but beautiful views and not crowded! Bring water and sunscreen, very little shade! Fun hike with panaromic views !

hiking
8 months ago

I hiked this trail with my dad in October and loved it. The park ranger didn't think we could finish it with the amount of time we had, but coming from high altitude and regularly hiking 14ers, we were able to complete it in less than five hours with plenty of time to stop and take pictures.

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome trail!! It can be very rocky and steep at times, but nothing too crazy. Th views are amazing. Very different than the views from the canyon rim. There's some cool ruins at the bottom too. This trail is less crowded than many other trails in the park. The day I was there, the main Village had thousands of people walking around, and this trail head had 50-100 people at the viewpoint. My entire hike I saw about 5-6 other groups of hikers. I took the down hill as part hike, part trail run. Rim to campground was about 45 minutes. the hike back up was about 1.5 hours at a good clip. This trail is doable in 2.5 hours, but you have to have decent weather and be ready to hustle. 100% recommend this trail.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Did this a few days ago, great way to beat the crowds! Stunning vista from the view point at the end (ensure you keep following the track past the campsite/toilet right to the end, there is no actual sign for it and i noticed a lot of people turned back early). Tough hike back out so be prepared for that and take plenty of water as you'll need it. Done in fairly good pace, just under 4 hours :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

I did this hike, by accident, last summer. I almost died from heat exhaustion because I had been on a massive road trip all week and was already pushing my body to the limit. I forgot my water, food, camelpack, and sunscreen. Basically everything that I needed, I left in the car. SMH-yes, this was the day I officially realized I was a moron. The first half of the hike is straight down. I was basically running the whole time. The second half was brutal as the sun was burning me, my mouth was drier than it has ever been, and I was walking on a stair stepper for 2 hours. My mind started playing tricks on me at some point as the dehydration took hold. All that being said, I would like to do it again but this time prepared LOL

hiking
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Incredibly challenging if hot

hiking
Thursday, March 01, 2018

Possibly my all time favorite dayhike. I recommend going all the way out to the tip of the right fork of the 'horseshoe', adding a little under a mile each way. Its all flat so it doesn't expend too much energy to accomplish. It gives you a far better view of the inner canyon than at horseshoe mesa, plus you can get a glimpse of the Colorado River. There is a mostly established trail that runs out to the right through group campsites and eventually to the tip of the horseshoe. I've done this trail twice now and wish I'd known to do this the first time rather than just stopping and turning around at the horseshoe mesa sign! Completed this past Sunday, Feb 25th- still a good amount of snow near the rim and for the first mile or two of the hike, where the trail gets little sun.

hiking
Sunday, January 14, 2018

This trail is nature's stair master on fleek. It's a shortened version of the Grandview Trail Loop. If you have the time and the stamina, definitely do the whole loop. It is WELL worth it.

backpacking
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

I took my two boys ages 10 and 11 for a two day backpacking trip where we camped at Horseshoe Mesa campground. The trail is quite steep even by Grand Canyon standards as it features three sets of switch backs on about a 1.5 mile upper section. The trail features cobblestone on the switchbacks. The views of the Horseshoe Mesa itself and underlying Canyon are impressive. The campground is easily found with signs that my boys and I were able to find in the dark. We explored the Mesa and the antique mining house and old gear left behind. There are several mines , but are off limits. The most difficult part of our trip was retrieving water from Page Springs, which I found plenty of water available in late December. Great trip , just be careful on your way down to Page Springs.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Awesome trail, lightly trafficked compared to other hikes in the south rim. Saw just a handful of people on this trail around mid-day. Past the Horseshoe Mesa sign there is a excellent look out where the trail dead ends at one of the ends of the horseshoe; makes the whole things about 8.5 miles. It’s a steep one and really uneven/rocky.

hiking
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Best Trail at the South Ridge: lightest Traffic and steepest ascents! Great workout, quick down and up to Horseshoe for those conditioned. Weather can be 30-40 degrees different from top of ridge to bottom at Canyon floor- It was sunny and warm at bottom and snowing when we got back to the top, so bring layers.

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Amazingly beautiful hike, trail was easy to follow and in good condition. We hiked all the way to the north end of Horseshoe Mesa for a stunning view at the inner canyon (probably about a mile past the campground, but trail is quite level). Trail is strenuous (especially your way back up), it took us about 5 hours to complete (without breaks). We only met three other hikers on the trail. Weather was not too hot for August with a nice cool breeze.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Long for a day hike, be prepared with lots of water and plenty of layers. If you want to get to the Mesa you'll need to start early to get back before dark.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hiked it in a little over 4 hours. Beautiful sunset as we were climbing back to rim. Lots of steps, but would do it again.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Not many people do this trail. Great trail. Took 2 litres of water and about 1 of Gatorade. Drank it all. Hiked in August. Very hot, leave early to avoid the heat.

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