If you’re a hiker who enjoys getting spooked, then it’s time for you to pay a visit to the Transept Trail in Arizona. As one of the many hiking trails in Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll find this moderate level trek in the North Rim, adjacent to the Grand Canyon itself. But don’t underestimate this adventure on the premise that it’s not that grand of a challenge. You never know what or who you might encounter?namely the ghost of the Wailing Woman.
The Wailing Woman of Transept Trail
According to the legends, back in the 1920s when the Grand Canyon Lodge was being built, a woman moved into the building with her husband and son. Her husband and son decided to go hike what is now known as the Transept Trail, but encountered treacherous weather on their way. They lost their footing on some of the steep cliffs and fell to their deaths.
The woman, stricken with grief, hiked the trail to search for them before finally realizing that they were gone. Unable to cope with her losses, she returned to the lodge and committed suicide. It’s said that her spirit haunts both Transept Trail, where her family died, and Grand Canyon Lodge, where she killed herself.
In 1932, the lodge caught on fire, and witnesses claimed to see the woman’s face in the flames. Former park ranger Andrea Lankford wrote in her book, Haunted Hikes, that a specific door at the lodge refuses to stay open because the ghost of the woman always slams it closed. She said, “Whenever the caretaker opens that door, the wandering woman slams it shut.”
Haunted Hikes by Andrea Lankford
Hikers have reported seeing the Wailing Woman on Transept Trail at night, adorned in a white dress with blue flowers, while sporting a scarf around her head. Others have insisted that even if you don’t see her, you can hear her wailing and crying out for her family, hence her chilling name.
How to Hike Transept Trail (If You Dare)
Located in Coconino County, Transept Trail’s trailhead sits next to Bright Angel Point at the Grand Canyon Lodge. This trail is not to be confused with the one known as the Seven Warriors in Sedona, a 6.4 mile hike that begins on Verde Valley School Road and connects with Hiline Trail.
Running along the edge of the Transept, a tributary of Bright Angel Canyon, the three-mile hike follows the canyon rim through mixed pine, oak, and aspen woodland and ends at the North Rim campground. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the trail links Bridle Path and the Backcountry Information Center, and you can make a 1.2-mile loop hike back on Bridle Trail .
Day hiking in Grand Canyon National Park is split between the North Rim and South Rim. It’s suggested that if you’re a veteran visitor of the area to check out the North Rim hikes, which along with the Transept Trail, include Bright Angel Point Trail, Bridle Trail, North Kaibab Trail, Ken Patrick Trail, Uncle Jim Trail, Widforss Trail, Arizona Trail, Cape Royal Trail, Cliff Springs Trail, Cape Final Trail, Roosevelt Point Trail, and Point Imperial Trail. If it’s your first time visiting the Grand Canyon, you should probably start with the South Rim trails instead.
Have you even seen the Wailing Woman on Transept Trail? Share your frightening experience with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!