The Trail of Time is an interpretive walking timeline trail that focuses on Grand Canyon vistas and rocks to guide visitors to ponder, explore, and understand the magnitude of geologic time and the stories encoded by Grand Canyon rock layers and landscapes.
The Trail of Time is a 4.56 km (2.83 mile) long geologic timeline. Each meter walked on the timeline trail signifies one million years of Grand Canyon's geologic history. Walking the trail gives you a visceral appreciation for the magnitude of geologic time. Bronze markers mark your location in time; every tenth marker is labeled in millions of year! Along the timeline trail are a series of rocks and exhibits that explain how Grand Canyon and its rock formed.
Portal signs welcome visitors to the exhibit at the entry points to the trail, Yavapai Point and the west end of Grand Canyon Village. The rock column holding up this sign shows Grand Canyon's rock actual layers, brought up from deep in the canyon.
Placed at their "birthdays" along the trail are about 50 samples of Grand Canyon rocks brought to the rim from deep in the canyon. Many show spectacular features, like 1.7-billion-year-old folds, 1.2-billion year-old mud cracks, 800-million-year-old algal reefs, or 270-million-year-old fossils.
Waysides tied to the timeline explain the key events that lead to formation of Grand Canyon's rocks and the landscape we see today at Grand Canyon.