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New!  Historic Trails Endowment

Project Background
Historic Rim Trail Grand Canyon is literally embroidered with trails. Most descend from the North and South Rims to the Colorado River, threading the inner canyon of the park's vast backcountry. All together there are more than 500 miles of trails within the national park. Nearly all of them are historic. But funding for maintenance and rehabilitation of Grand Canyon's historic trails has been a financial challenge since the founding of the park in 1919. The current shortfall to maintain these trails is estimated at one million dollars per year.

  The Need for Resources for Historic Trails
Jacob's Ladder on the Bright Angel Trail Escalating backcountry use since the 1970s has strained the carrying capacity of the central corridor trails and caused hikers to seek more remote travel routes. Today's backcountry users have discovered the canyon's long-abandoned trails, posing several challenges to preserve the historic integrity of these trails while accommodating modern use and safety concerns.

To help with this urgent need, the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation has established a permanent endowment fund to help preserve and maintain the canyon's historic backcountry trails. The Foundation's goal is to secure $5 million for the Historic Trails Endowment over the next several years. Funds raised will support an archeologist-historian working with park service trail crews who will combine historic rehabilitation with subsequent, continuous, cyclic maintenance of the park's historic trails on a predictable schedule.
     "Jacob's Ladder" on the Bright Angel Trail

Be a part of history!  Donations from you to the Historic Trails Endowment make a real and lasting impact on preserving the Grand Canyon's unique cultural and historic resources.

Give online today!

Some of the park's more important trails, in approximate order of heaviest modern use:

  • Bright Angel - Originally built in 1890-91 for prospecting and pioneer tourism
  • South Kaibab - First trail built by the NPS, in 1924-25, for tourism
  • North Kaibab - Built by David Rust for tourism, 1906-07; rebuilt by NPS in 1922-28
  • Hermit - Built in 1912 by the Santa Fe Railroad; a model for subsequent trails
  • Grandview - Pete Berry's trail to his Horseshoe Mesa mines, 1892-93
  • South Bass - Havasupai trail improved by Bill Bass for prospecting & tourism, 1885
  • Boucher - Developed by Louis Boucher in the 1890s for prospecting & tourism
  • Tanner - Built by miners Seth Tanner and Franklin French in the 1880s and 1890s
  • New Hance - Originally a toll trail built by 1890s prospectors, including John Hance
  • Rust (old Kaibab) - Original northern leg of the central corridor, David Rust, 1906
  • Dripping Springs - Developed by the "hermit," Louis Boucher, in the 1890s for tourism
  • Deer Creek - Built by prospectors during the great 1872 Kanab Creek Gold Rush
  • Nankoweap - Built by John Wesley Powell in 1882 to study inner-canyon geology
  • Old Hance - Oldest South Rim tourism trail, ca. 1883, abandoned by 1900


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The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation
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