Hopi Salt Trail to the Little Colorado River

HARD 28 reviews

Hopi Salt Trail to the Little Colorado River is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near North Rim, Arizona that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking.

Distance: 5.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,097 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

rock climbing

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

NAVAJO NATION PERMIT REQUIRED - it has been reported that Navajo Nation recently closed the trail. Please check ahead of time with the Cameron Visitor Center before hiking. Contact the Cameron Visitor Center. This is not the Grand Canyon. This trail is on the Navajo Nation and the only valid permit is from the Navajo Nation. Please do not mark the rocks or add cairns. There have been way too many trail markers, cairns, added in the past two years. The blue water of the Little Colorado River is magical, but can be muddy and grey if there is rainy weather- you will also want to avoid this hike if it is too sunny as temperatures can exceed 100 degrees. The elevation and terrain of this hike make for a very challenging trek, leave adequate time and being adequate water. There is little shade. Users have also reported that this trail is difficult for dogs as it contains several steep drops.

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Hard hike y’all.

hiking
rocky
scramble
23 days ago

Open for hiking, our permit allowed for dogs to go.. BUT absolutely do not bring your dog!! Our 7 year 90 lbs yellow lab could not make it down a couple different drops. we managed to coax/coach her and pick her up but then a half hour in theres a massive drop that would require multiple people to hand her off.. needless to say we didnt make it to the river. the hike lacks any signage or trail really but that's fine, it's what I grew up with in Alaska. it is unfortunate that we drove out here and cant hike down to the river. also bring some extra drinking water, I had an extra gallon for the pup. the views are gorgeous and I'd absolutely recommend this hike to any avid hiker. hope the review helps

private property
4 months ago

CLOSED. This trail and all trails to the Little Colorado River on Navajo land are currently CLOSED per Navajo Nation. This trail has been closed since May 25th, 2019. Since they are not issuing permits, anyone on this trail is TRESPASSING on the Navajo Nation. Please respect the rules of the Navajo Nation. Call the Cameron office of Parks and Recreation for updates: 928.679.2303

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Great hike if you plan on backpacking down at the bottom of the canyon. Did this as a day hike, took nearly 11 hours. DEFINITELY DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT! If you do plan to do this hike don’t undermine the hard rating on it just because of the mileage. It is a very strenuous hike, at some points you can pretty much call it rock climbing.

backpacking
off trail
scramble
4 months ago

FALLING ROCK! Right near the start of our backpacking trip, it was super rocky and full of loose boulders. A boulder got loose and started pummeling down to the people below, it hit one person in its path and fortunately didn't break her leg. We didn't feel safe and cancelled our hike and headed to Flag to get her checked out. The first portion of the hike is not only difficult and vertical but also has lots of loose rock. Please be aware that any touch can loosen a rock and watch if others are below you during your descent. Of the portion of the trail we saw, it was like scrambling on FlatIron Trail, with less stable rocks. Add carrying a backpacking backpack into the equation and it can become very unsafe. Stay safe out there!

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

What an amazing hike! I would consider this something similar to Flatiron. We ended up doing about 10 miles round trip. Bring plenty of water. Stash some water right after you climb down the first part and then you will have it on your way out! We got down in about 3 hours and out 4 hours. Started right at sunrise and was out of the canyon right at sun set. An absolute gorgeous hidden gem and once again Arizona didn’t disappoint!

hiking
5 months ago

6 miles one way 12 total!!!!

The way back is extremely hard

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

As plenty have mentioned, this is much longer than All Trails says. My GPS put it between 5.5 and 6.5 miles one way. I found the way up to be "easier" than coming down due to the loose rocks. Keep your eyes out for carins and they will lead you up and down. Took me 3:06 going down and 3:40 coming up. But it I'm in very good shape. This is not for the casual hiker. If you wouldn't consider doing down and up of the GCNP, don't do this. I'd also recommend bringing back water filter just in case you need to top off your water.

hiking
6 months ago

Please, please, please used Leave No Trace practices here!!!! When I arrived at the camp in the bottom it was covered with TP, human poop covered in maggots, huge fire rings with melted wrappers and cans, and trash tied in bags and left at the camp. This place is getting destroyed and we are going to lose access! There was also huge fire rings and rocks (used to hold down a tent??) all over the helipad (the nice flat spot right next to Salt Creek), that seems like another great way to lose access. We took out a lot of the trash and TP this time but everyone needs to take care of these places. Take a wag bag and hike everything out with you, don't move rocks or make cairns that aren't for marking the trail in. This place is sacred and special to so many people, please don't ruin it for all of us.

hiking
no shade
private property
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Like others have mentioned, this is a difficult trail and you need a permit before you hike in. **Do not attempt this hike unprepared or without a permit** Besides what the others have mentioned, I will say that the canyon that you hike into is north-to-south facing so you have high canyon walls to the east and west. This helps alleviate some sun exposure in the morning and evening but once you reach the river, prepare for little to no shade. This trail is unmaintained so there is a lot of loose gravel and scrambling. Not for the inexperienced desert/canyon hiker and wouldn’t recommend as a day hike. Would absolutely not attempt this hike during monsoon season... that’s basically a death wish.

hiking
10 months ago

HOPI SALT TRAIL NAVAJO NATION PERMIT REQUIRED Contact the Cameron Visitor Center. This is not the Grand Canyon. This trail is on the Navajo Nation and the only permit valid is from the Navajo Nation. Please do not mark the rocks or add cairns. There have been way too many trail markers, cairns, added in the past two years. The blue water of the Little Colorado River is magical. The hike from the parking area to the Little Colorado River is about 3 miles. Not as the crow flies. Not drawn or measured on a map. I have used the Suunto Ambit 3, Garmin Fenix 5, MapMyRun, and AllTrails. If your app or watch shows more mileage, perhaps you stopped, went out of the signal path, such as an overhang, like the Ant Farm section of this trail. GPS devices are getting better, but still have issues in narrow canyons. This hike can be easy. It can be hard. That depends upon the person. I rate it at least twice as difficult as Flat Iron. For reference, it takes me at least two hours for Flat Iron (up and down without a pack), whereas it takes me two hours with a 25lb pack to make it to the Little Colorado River. The two biggest factors for time on this hike for me are: 1. Air temperature 2. Pack weight I suggest being prepared for this hike, physically and with the proper equipment. In the Summer, the temperature exceeds 100F. It is absolutely brutal to be in this narrow canyon in the middle of the day when shade is limited. When the air temperature is over 80F, it is easier to hike in and out early in the morning (in the shade). My friends usually take 3 hours in and 3.5 hours out. Most people backing that I have spoken to take about 5 hours in. I highly recommend a water filter. I have read people saying this and that about drinking the water. There are numerous springs. The water coming out varies in taste. The best tasting water that I have had is from Big Canyon. On one trip I drank about 2 gallons from the Little Colorado River in one day. Did it taste good? No. Did I get sick? No. Did I feel sick? No. Bottom line. Get a permit. Be prepared, physically and with and with food and drink. Another issue. Protect yourself from the sun. The water temperature, when blue, ranges from approximately 64F (12/15/2016 & 12/15/2018) to about 85F in the Summer. If the Little Colorado River is flowing over Grand, the Little Colorado River will be brown.

This is a spectacular hike and the end reward is absolutely magical, BUT be forewarned... this is NOT 6 miles round trip. It’s definitely closer to 11-12 miles round trip. I started pre sunrise and barely made it back post sundown. 12 hours. Yes, I did stop for photos and breaks and a bit to shelter from the rain... a six mile round trip is way different to prepare for than a 12 miles one. I had 5 liters of water and ran out with about 3/4 of mile to go (with a half mile of it being the highest climb out of the canyon). If you plan on hiking along the river, bring extra socks. Your feet are guaranteed to get wet. I had the entire area to myself for most of the day and came across three hikers on the way out. Some of the other comments said that they turned around... it was probably wise. But for those stubborn people like me, “getting to the end” can be very dangerous if you are not prepared.

backpacking
10 months ago

**NOT AN EASY HIKE** **NOT A DAY HIKE (Unless you’re very experienced)** This hike was one of my all time favorites as well as one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. We hiked down with 40 pound packs and it was quite difficult. The first mile or so is a rock scramble that was difficult with pack on but very fun! It’s took us 2.5 hours to get down there. If you plan on going on this hike either leave at sunrise to get back by sunset (and bring a TON of water) or spend the night there. The hike back was very intense fighting gravity up the 3000 plus feet of elevation gain. It took us 4 hours to get back the second day. But the views down at the river were breathtaking. **This hike is 6 miles each way. 12 miles total**

hiking
10 months ago

Went at the end of Nov. This trail should be rated hard solely due to how it starts and ends. There is a 1400 ft scramble that is steep and requires lots of attention. The trail is marked well. If you find that you haven't seen a rock stack in a min or two, stop and look. You might have to backtrack. Before you start, from the canyon edge, you can see the river and the water color. On this day it was the famous turquoise. Sadly. We turned around early due to timing. Remember, going up is more time than going down and the scramble is much harder going up!

hiking
11 months ago

This trail was so exciting and crazy. It’s rated as moderate... that is NOT right. It’s hard for sure. The beginning is an insane scramble that was so much fun but required a lot of skill and attention. We actually turned back 3/4 of the way because we were concerned with running out of water, and the river at the bottom wasn’t the pristine blue we were hoping for. We have since learned this blue is extremely temperamental and you have to go when there’s been a solid ten days of sunny weather (no rain), otherwise it’s a muddy, chocolatey brown. Still an absolutely epic hike though. We’ll definitely try another time.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

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