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Grand Canyon National Park: Thunder Canyon

az

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 8.0 miles


Multi-layered red rocks line mile-deep canyons and cactus flowers explode with pastels on this 9-mile, secluded Grand Canyon out-and-back to a Colorado River tributary.

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s seven wonders, and the North Rim is its most remote destination. Taking Bill Hall Trail from Monument Point, begin a 5,000-foot descent down the North Rim toward the Colorado River and at-large camping near Tapeats Creek. A thousand feet above South Rim, the North Rim has much cooler temperatures and somewhat unpredictable weather patterns. Snow, hail, freezing rain, torrential downpours, and 90-plus degree heat can occur within in minutes of each other. Two billion years of wind, storms, stream and river erosion have formed mushroom-shaped rock formations, red walls, and far-reaching canyons full of cacti, flowers and shrubs. The roaring waters of Thunder River Falls—one of the tougher ascents on this 9-miler—pour out of a cave’s mouth near the campsite. The weather may be variable, but the experience is well worth packing some extra rain gear.

This hike is located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. From Las Vegas, take I-15 east to the Hurricane, Utah, exit about 5 miles east of St. George. Go East on US 9 through Hurricane, then south on SR 59, which becomes SR 389 once the border with Arizona is crossed. At Fredonia, Arizona, take US 89 south and turn right on Forest Service Road 22, about two miles south of Fredonia. FSR 22 is unpaved the last 20 miles to the trailhead. At the junction with Forest Service Road 245, turn right and continue to Monument Point parking area.

-Mapped by Heidi Sackreuter

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