Most users enjoy the peaceful Riggs Spring Loop Trail as a two-day outing, stopping at one of the 3 backcountry campsites along the way. The Corral Hollow campsite is pleasantly shady but nearby Bullberry Spring is swampy and only useful as a last resort. Better to camp at Riggs Springs where there are cool groves and a good water source. The Yovimpa Spring campsite lies in a meadow with good views and a nearby water source.
The preferred direction for navigating the Riggs Spring Loop is counter-clockwise if you want a somewhat more gradual climb out. From the Rainbow Point parking area, head west following signs towards Yovimpa Pass and Riggs Spring. Descend through forested terrain leaving the chaos and crowds behind. Along the way, you'll approach the edge for great views of pink cliffs and occasional eroded hoodoos. At Yovimpa Pass, you'll see the camping and spring pumphouse in a pretty clearing with aspens and a dirt road entering from the north.
Drop down from the rim on a very steep section of switchbacking trail that affords good views of the cliffband. Hike beside Podunk Creek through dense stands of ponderosa pines. Arrive at the shady Riggs Spring and campsite. If you're spending the night here, one suggestion is to wake early to catch the sunrise shining on the rim.
After Riggs Spring, turn sharply to the north and ascend the Mutton Valley drainage heading towards the base of more pink cliffs. Travel through thick, healthy looking forest. You'll find more solitude and chances for wildlife sightings in this part of the park than near the rim! At about 5 miles, you reach the Corral Hollow campsite. Continue the traverse, eventually reaching the breezy saddle below the Promontory mesa.
Begin the long climb back out of the canyon through drier forest north and then west towards Rainbow Point. Follow signs past junctions with the Under-the-Rim Trail
and the Bristlecone Loop
until reaching the parking area.
Spruce, bristlecone pine, fir, ponderosa pine, aspen. Bears, deer, elk.