Grand View Trail
The “Last Chance” Copper Mine at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, was established in 1890 by Pete Berry. Fighting impossible odds, he built a rugged pack trail that descends from the steep Grand View Overlook. The trailhead begins at 7,400 feet elevation, then proceeds to dip deeply into the canyon below.
The copper mines were scattered near the south edge of Horseshoe Mesa, which lie 2,500 feet underneath the South Rim trailhead. In retrospect, this is barely halfway to the canyon floor. At the time, there was no need to extend the trail all the way down to the Colorado River. Berry had one sole intention; mine the copper and transport it by burro back to the rim.
Rock slides, trail instability and washouts proved to be a constant battle for mining operations. While the mines produced extremely high grade copper, the inevitable transportation costs would eventually take the business down. The copper mines and operations were abandoned by Berry in 1908.
Our trek down the Grandview Trail to hunt for the lost copper mines, encompassed a full day adventure. Take lots of water and wear good hiking shoes, as some areas require a good traction for the steep terrain.
As a side note, if you are looking to escape the masses at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, this trail is a great alternative to the Bright Angel and some of the other more “popular” trails.
Trail Precautions & Radioactive Radon
We have issued a few mindful warnings for our fellow adventure seekers:
- Do not go into the abandoned mines. It is tempting but these mines are likely to be unpredictable and unstable (probably a lot like your -ex….)
- Reports say that a majority of the mines have vertical shafts that could drop hundreds of feet. If you fall in, there is most likely little to no chance of rescue.
- Apparently the mines have more than 3x’s the normal level of radon. This radioactive gas causes lung cancer. It’s not worth the risk!
- This trail is poorly maintained, if at all. Steep hand-to-foot inclines/ declines and washouts have thrashed the lower aspects of the trail. It’s not an easy hike for people with injuries, joint replacements, or below average fitness levels.
Enjoy the rugged terrain and beautiful rock formations along the way!
Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.
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