Bridal Path / Transept Trail (dayhike)

SA Report: Subverted expectations

Trip Date: 9/1/2017

Location: North Rim (Grand Canyon National Park)

Permit/Pass: Vehicle - $30, Motorcycle - $25

Trail maps:

Directions: From Kanab, Utah, take Hwy 89A (also S 100 E) south toward the Arizona state line. Follow 89A for 36.6 miles as it goes through Fredonia, Arizona (where it turns toward the east), then turns south again to head up onto the Kaibab Plateau. Upon reaching the Jacob Lake area turn right onto AZ-67 S. Follow the road south through the forest for 42.4 more miles, passing through the national park kiosk and finally reaching the signed right turn into the North Rim Campground. After the turn go a couple tenths of a mile to the left turn into the parking and check-in area for the campground (just past the laundry and showers on the right).

Synopsis: Some of the best canyon scenery is to be found in viewing Transept Canyon, and if you don't have the time to do the Widforrs Trail, then the Transept Trail will serve nicely. Doing this hike as a loop, by taking the Bridal Path, allows one to experience the forest areas along with some views of Roaring Springs Canyon on the east side of the plateau.

Trail sequence: Bridal Path trail / lodge area / Transept Trail

Type: Loop

Distance: 3.4 mile

Elevation: Min. - 8140', Max. - 8363'



Rating: Easy-Moderate (factors:paved, steep sections)

Notes: As you are traveling to the North Rim Lodge - with its attendant shops and restrooms - this is one of those rare hikes with a whole lot of things to do right in the middle. It was our last day, and we happily took advantage.

Track: Bridal Path / Transept Trail - Grand Canyon NP: AllTrails, GaiaGPS

Turn by Turn:

  -- From the check-in parking area we walked up the road past the gas station and picked up the Bridal Path trail on the right side and headed south. (There is a trail that we could have taken farther back but it was signed for the amphitheater and we were unsure at that point that it would connect.)

  -- The Bridal Path trail basically parallels the road to the lodge as it heads south through the forested area away from the canyon rim.

  -- At around a mile the trail turns to the east a bit and ascends to cross the road. Soon it meets the rim trail and continues south toward the lodge and Bright Angel Point.

  -- As you pass the junction with the paved path out to Bright Angel Point, the trail turns to the west and hugs the hillside below and to the south of the lodge. Soon you meet the junction with the Transept Trail. Turn north here and begin the trip back to the campground area.

  -- Traveling north you follow the canyon rim and rise and fall with the dips in the plateau. There are excellent views of Transept Canyon all along this return trip along with spots to pull off the trail (some even have benches, not all of which are in good shape). 

  -- At about three miles we noticed that we were back in the campground vicinity and pulled off the trail to the right. We were unsure whether the trail would veer away from our destination, so we walked through a section of the campground in order to head back to our car. (Later investigation showed that had we continued on the Transept Trail is would have taken us on a more direct route back.)

  -- Orient yourself by finding the general store, then head up the road back to the check-in station.

Photos: Flickr