For the most part of what I hiked on the Rim Trail it was paved. Easy to "hike" to different views and still get the feel of being out in nature. Sure there is the more natural paths for those that can enjoy them, and they were great as well, but this trail allowed me to push my mother in a wheel chair along the rim to see more than just a single point here and there. She was able to see the progression of changes as we turned corners and walked, to feel the breeze and see the wildlife. Loved it!