The Transept Trail

A short, introductory trail to North Rim views is the Transept Trail, an alternative route many visitors hike to get their first glimpse at the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon. Tracing the rim from the Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground, this short hike is a great way to avoid the crowded viewpoint and enjoy a great induction to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Transept Trail1

The path (it’s not truly a “trailhead”) begins right below the Grand Canyon Lodge, past the more popular viewpoint (which is likely crowded), and below the private log cabins. From here, the trail will lead away from the rim’s edge toward the Transept and the alternative viewpoints of the canyon. There are a couple of choices regarding outlooks.

Following the short trails through the brush will lead you to the edge of the cliffs, providing somewhat obstructed views of the inner gorge of the canyon, however since these are unprotected, the best option is to head toward the promontory, which provides the best view and a degree of protection. More impressive views are available just off the trail, so don’t be afraid to venture a little off the path.

The Transept Trail grand canyon

Depending on where you choose to overlook the canyon, expansive views of the inner gorge and sheer cliffs can be seen with dizzying clarity. The Coconino, Supai, and Redwall cliffs are also visible as well as the gorgeous inner canyon extending all the way to the Bright Angel Canyon. You’ll also have a clear view of the park’s most famous peaks, the Brahma, Deva, and Zoroaster temples as well as the Red Butte.

Since it is a rim trail, the Transept Trail is a great way to break in your hiking shoes and excite you senses with the scenic beauty of the isolated North Rim. It is not a difficult trail to follow and very physically forgiving. From the trail, you’ll glimpse sections of other trails, among them the Widforss trail, another great North Rim trail.