Take A Virtual Hike Through The Grand Canyon With Google Street View

Grand Canyon 4

Photo: Google Earth

In the past, Google’s Street View cameras have ventured off the streets to capture sites from the White House to Mexico’s ancient ruins.Now, the map program is letting users explore more than 75 miles of paths and trails surrounding the Grand Canyon, from ground level.

To capture the natural wonder, Google’s team strapped on 40-pound, Android-operated backpacks carrying a 15-lens camera system. They traversed the rocky terrain on foot, collecting some 9,500 panoramas.

We tested out the program by taking a walking tour of one of the Canyon’s most popular trails, the Bright Angel Trail, and saw some stunning views.

We're starting our hike on the Bright Angel Trail. The length of the trail is abut 9.5 miles to Bright Angel Campground.

Following the trail, we reach the first lookout point over the Grand Canyon.

The trail can be treacherous, so it's always recommended to travel with a group or a guide.

We found our first mountain goat! The goats are usually shy and camouflage well, so it can be rare to see them.

The trails in the Canyon are full of carved out tunnels like this...

...and lots of dusty red roads.

At the three mile mark, we reach the first rest stop.

The trail follows a few different creeks.

The creeks open up into the Colorado River.

There are some boats that can take you across the river.

If you prefer not to cross by boat, you can keep hiking the trail...

...until you reach the bridge.

The bridge is sturdy and well-built.

On the other side, we find what looks like an old horse stable.

With all the cactus patches, this is exactly what one might imagine the southwest desert to look like.

We've reached the start of the Bright Angel Campground. On the left, a rest stop. On the right, a trail map.

Some people have already pitched their tents for the night.

Now we can watch the sun go down over this beautiful place.

Here's a video of how Google shot the trails.

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