Hiking Tour #2: (1.8 mile loop)
Steep scree down, flat a while, steeper up, flat again, then back on the road.
Down the steep scree Chute Trail, right on the flat Homestead Trail along the river, then steeper up back to rim level and easy flat exploration of the North Point Trail, return on the road. (1.8 miles round trip from the Welcome Center)
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From the Welcome Center, go to the Overlook and descend the paved trail, then bear to the right to go down the short, but steep scree Chute Trail.
Alternate route down: take the left fork down the more gradual gravel Canyon Trail and follow it around until it meets at the bottom of the Chute Trail, adding 500 more feet to your trip.
Take a right past the helipad area before the bridge through the marked trail break in the fence. You wind along the river along the flat part of the Homestead Trail to the horse ford.
Follow the unidentified trail just above the river to the boulder field then double back on the most used trail until you rejoin the Homestead Trail. There are several trails that people have carved out to get to the river that don’t clearly lead back to the Homestead Trail.
Take the switchbacks up a moderately steep hill, and you end up on the rim level again, at the park’s Northern Point.
Take the flat North Point Trail along the rim, being mindful of unconnected areas between the ridge columns at the rim’s edge of the river gorge.
While the columns provide excellent climbing material, you wouldn’t want to let your pet or child get close to the edge, or slip through the cracks.
Rejoin the Homestead Trail at the cul-de-sac turnaround fee station and bathrooms.
Soon you’ll see the small outdoor amphitheater built from donations by contributors after the big park fire in 1996. The platform provides great views of the park, both side to side and below.
At this point you have a 10-minute walk back up the .5 mile road toward the park entrance and back to the Welcome Center.