Bridle Path

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 8149 - 8310 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Flush toilets
Trailhead: North Rim
Fee: $25/vehicle or $12/person
Attractions: Scenic forest and canyons
   


View Bridle Trail in a larger map

The Bridle Path trail is located in the North Rim Section of the Grand Canyon National Park. The trail runs along the rim east of the Visitor Center and parking area to the campground and beyond to the North Kaibab and Ken Patrick trails. The trail can be combined with the Transept trail to form a loop. The Bridle Path is the one trail in the North Rim Section of the Grand Canyon that allows bicycles and pets on a leash.


A good place to begin the hike is at the log shelter on the east side of the parking area. There is a sign for the Bridle Path on the north side of the shelter. Before beginning there is a water station and free ice machines near the restrooms behind the Visitor Center if you need to freshen up and fill your water bottles.


The trail starts out heading north between the rim and the parking area. Occasionally you can glimpse good views from the trail down into Roaring Springs Canyon.


The trail crosses the entrance road at the north end of the parking area. Once across the road the trail follows a service road for a short distance before departing to the left at a signed junction.


The Bridle Path is wide enough in most places to easily accommodate a horse drawn buggy. A bridle path is of course a trail made for horses though its use for that function seems to have come and gone. The map and a couple of the trail signs refer to this trail as the Bridle Trail while most others call it the Bridle Path. Perhaps they are in the process of changing the name.


The trail continues through a beautiful forest of ponderosa pines and aspen trees with the next fork in the trail providing a shortcut over to the campground. The distance from the beginning to the campground is about 1.25 miles. A little further along the trail crosses the road that leads into the campground where you can see the gas station and large tent where they have the barbecues and evening entertainment. The General Store is only about a quarter mile down that road, just past the laundromat.


The trail crosses back over to the east side of the entrance road once again just past the Emergency Building and begins a steep descent to the North Kaibab trailhead. The trail drops just over 100 feet as it descends the hill at this point.


There is another water station at the North Kaibab trailhead if you need a refill. You will have to do without the ice this time though. Visitors to the Lodge can use the Bridle Path as a means to get to the North Kaibab trailhead to do a little inner canyon hiking without needing a vehicle which they may not be able to find a parking spot for anyway. This is the turn around point for this post so its back up the hill for the leisurely stroll back to the Visitor Center.


When trees have plenty of room around them they can grow larger than normal branches which often times die off as the tree gets taller. Anyway, in case you didn't know trees like this are called 'wolf trees'. Every once in a while you can come across a real monster. One neat thing about ponderosa pines that you may have never noticed before is that the bark usually smells like vanilla or butterscotch.


The North Rim Section of the Grand Canyon is only open from Mid May through Mid October due to the amount of snow it receives. Normally most services shutdown around October 15th and the park closes after the first big snow. The South Rim is open year round. The Bridle Path provides a place near the campground and Visitor Center for a peaceful hike. The trail would probably be classified as easy were it not for the overall distance and the elevation change. Visitors hiking only as far as the campground can look forward to an easy and pleasant stroll. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.