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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : out & about January 25, 2015

6/10/2014 10:50:00 AM
Grand Canyon's Grandview Trail not for the faint of heart (or out of shape)
Hikers trek toward Horseshoe Mesa on the Grandview Trail in Grand Canyon. Stan Bindell/NHO
Hikers trek toward Horseshoe Mesa on the Grandview Trail in Grand Canyon. Stan Bindell/NHO
Stan Bindell
The Observer

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Grandview Trail at Grand Canyon brings hikers beauty and danger right from the start.

As drivers get out of their vehicles, they can see the awe inspiring view of the Grand Canyon, but scavenging ravens circle overhead waiting for prey.

About 10 people die a year in the Grand Canyon, which isn't many considering the amount of people that visit the national park, but the Grandview Trail should come with a warning sign.

Hikers can die in the Grand Canyon if they hike below the rim in hot weather and don't bring enough water. This can even happen on the well-maintained trails, but the Grandview Trail is steeper and not as well maintained as trails like the Bright Angel.

The trailhead begins at the Grandview Trail Overlook. As hikers start down, beautiful flowers of blue, yellow, orange and white greet them, but this can be another diversion to keep the hikers from thinking about the dangers.

This is a hike where you want to watch your step. The hike drops from about 7,400 feet to 4,800 feet in about three miles.

Websites warn that the Grandview Trail is not for the faint of heart and considered hazardous by some because of the exposure, especially if it's icy or wet. On this day, the problem was that it was too dry and temperatures went well into the 90s.

The trail is somewhat eroded leaving boulders, rocks and steps that are hard on the knees going up or down.

"Was the Grand Canyon made for hikers only over six-feet tall?" one hiker asked because the steps were often three feet or higher wreaking havoc on normal sized people's knees. Large slabs of sandstone provide much of the walking surface. The steep cobblestone switchbacks mean hikers need to pay attention to their steps.

Grandview Trail leads to Horseshoe Mesa, which offers campsites and remnants of old copper mines. After getting down the 2,600-foot hill, I found a shady place under a tree to lie down. It was less than a minute until a squirrel came up within an inch of my left arm, stood on its heels and begged.

The U.S. Forest Service website warns hikers with food on Grandview to keep the food out of sight because the mice and ravens will poach whatever they can get.

The blue bellied lizard, flowers and scenery make Grandview Trail an enticing hike.

Grandview Trail is located 12 miles east of Grand Canyon Village.

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