A geological time walk

Have you ever wanted to walk back in time or space? The Trail of Time is a fantastic path along the Grand Canyon South Rim that allows visitors to take a trip back into the history and geology of the canyon, with spectacular views of the canyon from the top of the rim. Perfect for families and for anyone who's unable to hike down into the canyon. Read more to travel through time!

Of the 6 million or so visitors per year to the Grand Canyon, the majority are not able to hike down into the canyon. The trail was therefore built as an accessible way to view the Grand Canyon and stop people at a time when already inspired by the grandeur of the canyon and feeling they want to learn more about the geological events that shaped the landscape.


The trail starts at the Yavapai Geology Museum, a half hour walk from Mather Point and the Canyon View Visitor Center. The trail continues on to Grand Canyon Village and beyond towards Hermits Rest.

Walking forward or backwards in time

The Trail of Time is a walk depicting a geological timeline of one million years of the Grand Canyon’s history every metre of the walk. It is a relatively flat, paved walk 2.83 miles long (4.56 km). The trail evokes deep inward feelings of time, space and the enormity of this natural phenomenon. Bronze markers separate your location in time, every 10th market represents a million years. Rocks and exhibits along the trail explain how the Grand Canyon and its rock were formed and invite the visitor to think about the magnitude of time and the events that have occurred in each period.


Walking east from Grand Canyon Village takes you forward in time, from Grand Canyon's oldest rocks to canyon carving and Grand Canyon's human history. Between Yavapai Geology Museum and Grand Canyon Village (2.1 km or 1.3 miles), walk (west), backwards in time and experience Grand Canyon's entire geologic history. Start by walking the "Million Year Trail", transitioning from human time scales to geologic ones. The "Million Year Trail" is immediately followed by the main Trail of Time where each meter equals one million years of Grand Canyon's geologic history. This one hour walking trip is fully accessible and provides breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon while allowing you to ponder and try to comprehend the depths of geologic space and time.