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Top 3 CCC Trails

The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps, a quarter-million-strong workforce that created or upgraded 800 state parks and built 28,087 miles of trails. Commemorate the CCC’s 75th anniversary by hiking one of these three classics

Grand Canyon NP, AZ
Hike a Cliff-Hugging Trail

Between 1933 and 1936, 200 men from Company 818, one of seven CCC crews in the park, chipped out riverside hiking trails as wealthy guests relaxed piano-side at Phantom Ranch. Trek on their handiwork along the nine-mile Clear Creek Trail, with gobsmacking views of Zoroaster Temple and steep red-walled cathedrals. Pick up the Clear Creek Trail in the narrow canyon just north of Phantom Ranch (it’s a one-to-two-day hike in from either rim; try Bright Angel, or the North or South Kaibab Trails). Climb three-quarters of a mile to a stone wall overlook and bench perched 550 feet above the Ranch. Continue east over the Tonto Platform and look for campsites about 2.5 miles in, just past Sumner Wash, or continue 6.8 miles to campsites along Clear Creek. (928) 638-7888;

An ice-cold Tecate at the Phantom Ranch Canteen pairs well with its Hiker’s Stew. (888) 297-2757;

The Way
From Phoenix, take I-17 north 136 miles to Flagstaff. Follow US 180 81 miles northwest to the Bright Angel trailhead.

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