|Elevation Gain||876 ft|
|My Time||1 hr 28 min|
|Closest Town||Grand Canyon|
Getting to Ooh Aah Point
Ooh Aah Point is the first leg of the hike that starts at the Kaibab Trailhead in Grand Canyon National Park. The parking area is only available to shuttle busses so you will need to take the bus from the visitor center or park on the road. I parked on the road so my breakdown is going to be from a little further away. The hike from the road is really nice through a wooded area and I even got to see this elk!
The hike down into the canyon was pretty exciting for me. It was no different than any other trail that I have been on, a dirt trail around a cliff, but the fact that I was hiking down into the Grand Canyon was mind blowing. While the hike itself is pretty normal, the views are anything but.
The views walking down the trail were some of the most breathtaking that I had seen. And as you descend deeper into the canyon the walls around you seem to rise up to remind you exactly where you are.
It is only about a mile from when you get on the trail to Ooh Aah Point and walking downhill towards it is pretty simple. The one warning that I can give is that there is a pretty steep drop over the side and it is easy to get distracted by everything around you so make sure you pay attention!
Ooh Aah Point
Ooh Aah Point is a point in which the trail makes a turn to head further down into the canyon but a lot of people stop here as it is the first time that you can truly see just how massive the canyon is.
There are some large rocks that people were climbing onto to get a good look. Also there is enough room on the trail for several people to linger. I was more on the linger side but could still see all of the amazing views around.
This spot was really magical and one of the most impressive things I have seen on a hike. There were several people hauling camping gear that were headed to the bottom to camp. Another group was planning to hike to the bottom and then up another trail for a full day hike. For me this was the end of the line. I wasn’t even sure I could hike down into the canyon so just seeing it from this spot was enough for me. Pardon the selfie but doing this really made me proud.
The Return Hike
So normally I am climbing up mountains and the return hike is nothing but a nice downhill. Well obviously hiking down into the Grand Canyon is going to be a bit of the opposite. The hike out is steep and challenging.
I measured over 700 feet of elevation gain in about a mile to get out of the canyon. Some of the grades were in the 40% range as well so it was basically like walking up a mile long staircase. So that is the bad news. The good news is that you are still hiking in the Grand Canyon and for the breaks to catch your breath you have amazing views behind you.
Here is a bit of an example of what the hike back out of the canyon looked like. From an elevation gain you can see how steep it gets. Just a reminder you will have to make it back up to the top of this.
While the hike up is a solid challenge I think it is worth it to have a chance to hike into the national monument. While this wasn’t huge on hiking content some things to remember if you are going to try to hike to Ooh Aah Point. There is no water available on this stretch of the hike so you will need to bring it yourself. I worked up a good sweat and their was still some ice on the trail so I can’t imagine how much water I would lose in the summer. There are some restroom facilities at the trailhead but nothing once you reach the trail. Finally, this is going to be very crowded so prepare yourself to be in close quarters with people on a narrow trail for the whole hike.
Despite those things it is such an amazing experience and if you are in good enough shape to get out of the canyon, I hope you can enjoy it to.
Here are two videos that I made from the hike. The “Short Edit” is full of pictures and the Hiker Edit has no pictures but shows the hike itself as a time lapsed video. I hope you enjoy them and if so feel free to follow my YouTube page to get more long and short form videos like these.
The Short Edit
The Hiker Edit
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 3.65 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 876 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 7,165 feet. The high point was at the parking lot as the hike went down into the canyon. I was also moving for a total of 1 hour and 28 minutes.
There is some reverse effort hike. The trail starts with a big descent down into the Grand Canyon before turning back up and heading back up. The hike back up was tough and steep but the views surrounding you make it worth it. Here is the step count from my Fitbit.
The trail to Ooh Aah point is really well worn and developed. It is dirt and didn’t have too many obstructions on the trail itself. The trail is framed in places with stone but there isn’t any sort of barrier between you and a long drop so it is important to pay attention.
Ooh Aah point is located at the Kaibab Trailhead. When I was there the parking area was closed to vehicles. You had to park on the road or take a shuttle bus from the main parking area. To get into the Grand Canyon National Park there is a $35 fee per vehicle and there is a good amount of parking at the main facility with a series of shuttle busses.
Wrapping up Ooh Aah Point
Holy Cow, I just hiked in the Grand Canyon. When I look back to a year ago when I started this hiking journey this is something I could never see myself doing. So it was a very proud moment for me. The hike itself wasn’t very technical but it was steep. I struggled on the hike back up to the top but it was so much easier knowing I could turn around and see these views when I was tired.
If you are thinking about hiking here make sure that you know what you are up against. I saw several people who were in a lot worse shape than me trying to get up that hill. They seemed like they were in town on vacation and not used to the thin air and elevations gains. If you don’t think the hike is right for you, here is my look at the sunrise over the Grand Canyon, something that anyone will be able to enjoy! I would definitely give this hike a 10/10 rating as one of the coolest things I have done.
I have added this hike and all of my hikes to the interactive map page you can find here. If you have any suggestions for hikes or comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!