Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesaprint
Looking for a backpacking trip that is a bit shorter and less of a challenge? Take a trip out and back along the Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa and explore the copper mining camps abandoned in the late 19th century. While you are there, test your fears of the dark, small places and bats in the Cave of the Domes - the only cave open to Grand Canyon visitors. The cave is also a possibility for the Escalante Route trip as well. You can do a hike as short as 2 days including camping on Horseshoe Mesa, extend it by a couple days and hike down to Cottonwood and Hance Creeks. Any way you decide to explore this area of Grand Canyon, you will experience an adventure like none other.
The trail has some narrow and steep spots so occassionally you may have your stomach in your throat. Just swallow - it will go back down! The views all the way to the mesa are fantastic and distracting and you will soon realize you got there without any major distress. In fact, it is not until the group reaches camp that you will notice your legs are a bit tired. Once on the mesa, the group will explore historical sites of the copper mining that once occurred here in the late 1800s. Mineshafts, equipment and structures still exist on the mesa and are now part of the historical record of Grand Canyon.
This hike is an out and back but guaranteed you will see the canyon from a whole different perspective as you are hiking out on the last day.
Need some help planning your trip? With our outfitting services for your Grand Canyon backpacking trip, your experience will be more enjoyable as we will do the footwork for you. Click here for more information about JRI's outfitting services.
A 2 day option is also available, covering the same route but with less time for side hiking and exploring.
Need more information about the trails? Click here for the official Grandview Trail description from Grand Canyon National Park.
You will be drive to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Once reaching the Grandview trailhead, begin the descent into the canyon spending the next 4 hours hiking down the Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa. The trail to the mesa is steeper than the main canyon trails, but is well used and easy to navigate. The trail drops 2,600 ft (792 m) in elevation over 3 miles before reaching the mesa.
Pack up your daypacks so you can explore the mesa. You will enter the only cave open to any tourists, the Cave of the Domes as well as the remains of the Last Chance Copper Mine (which you can only enter a short ways). Late in the afternoon, you can hike the trail to the end of the western arm of the mesa for some outstanding views of the canyon.
Take in the “grand views” as you hike out of the canyon along the Grandview Trail. The hike will cover 3 miles (4.8 km) and 2,600 ft (792 m) to reach the South Rim at Grandview Point.
Share your experience! Review this trip
On April 29, 2016 myself, my husband and my brother-in-law hiked the Horseshoe Mesa trail in the Grand Canyon. Our guide Erin Brugler was amazing!!!! She was fun, exciting, energetic, and extremely knowledgeable. She made the entire hike so special to us even to go as far as hiking down a cupcake with candles to celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday with us. She even knew where to stop and rest to get the best views! I would highly recommend her as a tour guide and would definately request her for our next hike! Also, the entire staff at Just Roughin' It was great! They responded to ALL my questions and concerns extremely fast. From the beginning Debbie Hendricks who helped us choose which hike to take, to Jill Bunnilope for answering all my questions and even providing us a special order for our lunches. The entire staff at Just Roughin It is top notch and i would recommend them to everyone!! Thank you for an amazing hike and experience!!!!!
Trip Cost Per Person
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- 65-75 liter multi-day backpack
- 2 person ultralight backpacking tent (1 tent per 2 people)
- Sleeping bag appropriate for the season you are hiking (20 F to 45 F synthetic bag)
- Therm-A-Rest Z-lite backpacking mat
- 1 pair trekking poles
- 1 backpacking stove and fuel (1 stove per 2 people)
- Backpacking meals (dinner and breakfast)
- Trip planning and logistics assistance
*Please note - Just Roughin' It is not a guide service for Grand Canyon National Park. Just Roughin' It is providing trip planning and outfitting service and will not be physically present during your hike. Hikers are required to know their fitness abilities and limitations on any backpacking route they choose to apply for directly from Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers will be required to sign a waiver when picking up the outfitter package.
Now’s the time to consider purchasing a travel protection plan to help protect your trip investment. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0152.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 W20.