There is something incredibly mesmerizing about the landscape that immerses
explorers of the Kaibab Plateau in October. While this area is gorgeous year-round,
there is something truly spectacular about the abundant array of color found here during
the most engaging month of fall.
Plus, there are an abundance of trails that wind in and around Kaibab Plateau. So, there
are multiple ways to experience this enthralling area surrounding the Grand Canyon.
Here are some of the best trails and what to expect when you embark on your
Williams, Arizona: Sycamore Rim Trail
**Length: up to 15 miles
The easiest way is to start at Tusayan and go south on Highway 64 for about 45
minutes, until you reach I-40. You are going to want to go east on I-40 and take exit
167, Garland Prairie Road, south for about 2.5 miles, after which it becomes Forest
Follow Forrest Road 141 for ten miles. When you get to Forrest Road 56 you are going
to want to turn left and go about a quarter of a mile, until you find the parking area for
Sycamore Rim Trail.
What to Expect:
Sycamore Rim Trail is a gorgeous, abundant area, filled with ponds, streams, cliffs, and
deep canyons. Autumn offers an array of color, specifically reds and yellows as the
leaves change. Sycamore Falls, a main attraction for this trail, is only about six miles
from the trailhead.
Grand Canyon: Hermit Trail to Santa Maria Spring
** Length: 3.5 miles
** Dog-friendly: no
During the autumn months, until December 1 st , there is a free Red Route shuttle bus
that takes riders to Hermit’s Rest. Once there, you will find a gift shop. Behind that
building, there will be a trailhead, which commences your journey. Santa Maria Spring is
about a half a mile down Waldron Trail Junction.
What to Expect:
The trail is steep, and it could be maintained better. However, the beautiful canyon
horizon and the oasis that is Santa Maria Spring makes it all worth it. Plus, there are
many plant and animal fossils that are visible from the trail, lining the red and white rock
layers. It is a secluded trail and is a great spot to try your hand at capturing some
breathtaking sunset and sunrise pictures.
North Rim: North Canyon Trail
**Length: 5 miles
Start out at Tusayan and head into the park. Take the Highway 64 exit for Desert
View/Cameron and follow that for sixty miles.
Once you reach Cameron, you are going to want to drive north, on Highway 89 for fifty-
six miles. Get on Highway 89A at Bitter Springs by making a left and follow 89A for
thirty-six miles. Take a left on Buffalo Ranch Road and follow that for seventeen miles,
where you are going to find Forrest Road 631. At this road, make another left and go
3.5 miles. This will take you to the trailhead.
What to Expect:
North Canyon Trail is not for the faint of heart. It is labeled as a difficult trail because it is
a true test of your endurance. The trail starts at the entrance to the northern part of the
Saddle Mountain Wilderness. It quickly descends into conifer and oak thickets, bringing
hikers to North Canyon. Following a small stream, you make your decent, into the
canyon. In addition to the fall colors that surround you in this unique area of the Grand
Canyon, there are birds, flowers, and plants that can be found here, which cannot be
found anywhere else on the Kaibab Plateau.