Cliff Spring Trail

A group of people walk down a dirt trail through tall ponderosa pines
This short trail offers a pleasant mix of Grand Canyon experiences.


Quick Facts
North Rim

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Trailhead

This short, unique trail is accessed from a pullout on the left side of a curve in the road, 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from Cape Royal. Just across the road, the trail heads down along a wash down into a forested ravine.

After passing an archaeological site, the trail descends further and cuts over to the right side of the wash. From here you wander underneath rocky outcrops until you reach a chest-high boulder resting under one of these large overhangs. The spring is on the cliff side of the boulder. The trail ends at the spring, .4 mile from the trailhead.

Do NOT drink the water.

Trail Information

Roundtrip Distance: 1.0 miles (1.6 km)
Elevation change: ~ 300 feet (~91 m)
Average Hiking Time: 1-2 hours

Hike Smart

Make a Plan
Once you have researched your hike and are confident in what to expect on the trail, leave your plan with someone who will notice if you are overdue and report it to 911.

Check the Weather
Summer temperatures in the shade routinely pass 100°F (38°C). Avoid hiking between 10 am and 4 pm, the hottest times of day.

From July to September, monsoons can build large, violent lightning storms. Seek shelter immediately.

In winter and early spring, temperatures can drop below 32°F (0°C) and upper portions of this steep trail become dangerously icy. Hard ice often conceals potentially hazardous passages. Over-the-shoe traction devices are highly recommended.

Pack Properly
It is critical to determine before your hike your needs for fluids and for snacks high in calories and salts. Consuming twice as many calories as during normal exercise is realistic for summer canyon hikes. The return hike will likely take twice as long as the hike down. Wearing sun hats and cool, wet clothing will help regulate your core body temperature during warmer hikes.

Energy Balance
Your body needs energy-balancing proper nutrition and hydration are critical to your hiking success! Eat and drink while resting-sip fluids only when thirsty.
Too little water leads to dehydration and heat stroke. Excessive hydration and insufficient salt intake causes hyponatremia -a seizure-producing electrolyte disorder. If you do not feel well: seek shade, get wet, cool off, eat, and rest. Turning around may be your best option.

Grand Canyon National Park

Last updated: March 24, 2022