You’re going to look at these photos and assume I am a reckless parent. Which is exactly why Shoshone Point Trail at the Grand Canyon is such a special place to our family. Because you will also notice that Shoshone Point offers some of the most stunning views of the Grand Canyon that you will find. And to look at it on Google Maps or live, you can see that I’m exactly the opposite of reckless.
I am the father that crosses the street with his family first…and last. I am the father that sits in the “power seat” in a restaurant not to be the center of attention, but to see what is going on around us and to be aware. I am the father that extends the late evening West Florida Coast to East Florida Coast trip from 3 hours to 3½ hours through Alligator Alley—a major, divided highway—rather than take the shorter, more direct route across high-speed undivided, 2-lane country roads.
So now you’re thinking I’m paranoid. Maybe, but it’s not like it’s all I think about or do. I just think ahead and prepare for the worst. And once I have boundaries in place, I can let loose and have fun.
The Grand Canyon will likely press your “willies.” Even if you’re not “afraid” of heights, if you respect them and sometimes get a little tingle through your groin and your feet, then getting close enough to The Grand Canyon is going to give you that jolt. It is just as nearly everybody says, one of the most spectacular sights for a human (or even squirrel) on the planet.
Shoshone Point is special in that it jets out into the void that is The Grand Canyon, giving a near-360º panoramic view. You won’t find guardrails. You won’t find tour guides. You won’t find crowds.
There are picnic tables and bathrooms. And sometimes, as you can imagine, there are weddings or private events. You can check with the park or just roll the dice like we did twice.
I first discovered Shoshone Point through my step-father when Lauren, Nicole, and I flew out to RV with he and my mother to visit The Grand Canyon in late March 2015. It was the girls’ first visit to the park, my second. When this 1-mile hike was suggested, we were all game. Our first hike was a 9:30am, post-sunrise trek—not quite “golden hour” but it was pretty close. We never saw mountain lions, but we saw plenty of mountain lion tracks, so remember, the park is an active park with roaming wildlife. They don’t prey on humans, so just keep the beef jerky out of your backpack and you should be good.
As you drive in and through the park, you will at some point cross paths with Elk or Bison, just walking the roads, stopping traffic in it’s tracks. On trails, you will likely see an “Abert’s squirrel” which has really long, hairy ears. The girls and I started calling them “scrabbits” and they are everywhere so keep your eyes peeled.
We were so awestruck by the hike and the views, that it became a Bucket List item to bring the entire family back. And there we were in late March 2016. This time, we were in our own RV traveling across the United States and we choose Shoshone Point to meet a family we had only known virtually through RV groups. We hiked later in the day, around noon, not a timeline I would typically target, but it worked out well for a greet meet-up, some stunning photos, and a great. light lunch.
Candid Photos from Julie’s iPhone
If you look at Google Maps/Earth in 3D, you will see that while Shoshone Point does have a few sheer drop areas—especially on the point itself—but, most of the drop-offs are gradual and manageable. If you have a “deep” fear of heights, the views are still amazing from the picnic area—they will not disappoint.
We have less of a fear and more of a respect for heights and with our older children, I still kept them in view and made sure I knew where they were at all times. They had the appropriate level of respect for the area. The photos, well, if you haven’t been and haven’t seen the reality of the drops, the photos look like we are daredevils with nothing to lose.
The reality is, it’s a pretty safe area that will both inspire you and press your “willies” button a few times. And the hike, as you can see, is pretty easy for young kids too. If you can make the hike, you should. There is limited parking at the entrance. If you have mountain bikes, even better. It’s one of the quietest adventures in and around the park. Soak it up.