dogs on leash
Grand Canyon National Park pretty much speaks for itself; anyone who has been there will know this. For those yet to go, the Grand Canyon will consistently make your jaw drop even for seasoned veterans of the park. It is no wonder it is one of the country's most popular National Parks. With limited time, you can drive along the rim (Most people visit the South Rim, as it is more accessible from many other destinations and has more of the park's highlights). If you are feeling the need to get some exercise, walk along the Rim Trail as long as you want before turning around or taking one of the man free shuttles back to the lodge or the restaurant overlooking the vast canyon. The best way to appreciate the canyon is from the bottom, usually with a trip to the Bright Angel campground along the South Kaibab Trail and the Bright Angel trail. DO NOT attempt a trip to the bottom and back in 1 day. Temperatures at the bottom can reach 110 degrees in the middle of the day, many people suffer from dehydration and heat stroke due to the dry climate. If attempting this (at least 2-day) hike, start very early in the morning to avoid the heat (do not hike between 10 and 2); By starting very early, you also get the added bonus of seeing the sunrise over the canyon walls, which will bring out some of the reddest rock you have ever seen. With more time to spare, there are several Native American reservations with tourist information, as well as several museums and ranger talks about the formation of this immense canyon, the history of its first inhabitants, and how the area is still changing today.
One of the greatest hikes in the US. Descent the Kaibab and then back up on the Bright Angel. No water on the Kaibab.
For all the people who have done this hike, I can't believe no one has reviewed this yet. It has to be one of the top 10 classic hikes in this country if you ask me. My wife has done it twice, and this was my first time doing it. She and my son joined me and we headed down the South Kaibab on Halloween of 2015. For anyone who has not hiked down into the canyon, don't think it's easy just cause you're going downhill. It is a long haul to Bright Angel campground, regardless of the miles involved, and your joints and legs and feet are feeling it when you get there. Incredible views down this trail as it follows ridge lines and not canyons. We made it down in 5 hours which is pretty typical for us, as we have been down to the river before. We spent one night camped out in the BA campground. The next a.m. we headed out from there and were destined for Cottonwood campground for the next night. This is now the North Kaibab trail. It is nice and level for the first several miles as it just follows Bright Angel creek. Very shady in here as well. They call this section "the box". Once out of the box, you are back into sunshine and it was pretty warm that day, for that time of year. We got to the cut off to Ribbon Falls and hid our packs along the trail, and walked up to the falls. Very cool spot, worth the side trek to see it. It's only a quarter of a mile or so one way. After the falls, we continued hiking up to Cottonwood. With our little jaunt to Ribbon Falls, the total for the day was just over 8 1/2 miles. The last day was our long climb out. We left early and got going while it was cool. We made the cut off to Roaring Springs Canyon in about an hour and 45 minutes. This is where you bear left and BA creek goes right. Now it was a steady climb thru the red wall and beyond to get to the North Rim. This is quite an impressive stretch of trail here. Some big drop offs along this. Not for the faint of heart. Once above the red wall, you lose a little elevation as the trail drops down to the canyon floor and crosses a bridge to the other side. Then it's steady climbing again until you get back into the trees. The last couple miles are tough as you are pretty beat by now. An awesome hike as one would expect, but it is tough, no way around that. Every time I have hiked down, it has been tough. Going down, and coming back up. This is not for the casual day hiker. But it is worth getting in shape for and doing, as it is rewarding to say that you have seen the canyon that way.
Webt only about 1hr down, great views. Far less crowded than Rim Trail. very much worth it.
Hiked from South Kaibab down past Tip Point and back up. Tough climb, but beautiful! A hike I will not forget
Going down is not so bad haha. I took the family out on this trail 9-17-16, with the goal of reaching Skeleton Point and then turning back. It was a fairly hot day. I've been on a lot of hikes, but coming from California, I wasn't prepared for how unmerciful the desert treats you. On the way back up, after you take a drink of water, then take 20 steps, you're thirsty again. The dryness and the heat are something to be prepared for. Bring plenty of water and food. My wife and daughter quit 1.5 miles down. But I was determined to reach Skeleton Point, and my young son was not staying behind...he demanded to come along. We left the girls in the shade, with plenty of food and water and made the extra 3 miles out and back. It was worth it. The views of the canyon all around are astonishing. We sat on the edge of a cliff at Skeleton Point and could see the Colorado River. Coming back up is extremely challenging. I am more experienced, but bringing the wife and kids, who aren't, required frequent stops and water breaks. Still an amazing time. Would love to go back some day, with the guys, and go all the way down to the very bottom, camp out and then head back up. It would be torture, but it would be an incredible accomplishment.
My sister and I took South Kaibab Trail down to Skeleton Point in December as our first hike in the Grand Canyon. The first two miles going down was tough with the ice but after that the trail cleared up nicely except for some muddy patches. They aren't kidding when they say the further down you go the warmer it gets, and also the more difficult going back up is! We hiked down in around 2 hours, but it took us over 3.5 to get back up and my knees where definitely feeling the burn.
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Got lucky that weather conditions were bad for most people. Surprisingly good trail given the weather and park warnings. Few days after 18 inch snow the trail was hard packed from foot traffic, crampons helpful, they were still digging out trail for mules so only people. Temperature reached about 22 F on top, at Skeleton Point snow had melted and trail turning to mud but easily walkable. Very few people on lower trail; really perfect time for hiking the canyon.
This hike was so much fun! We went in January and talked to a ranger at the visitor center that told us the hike was accessible but only if you had extra traction on your boots. So we went to the gift shop across the street and bought chains you slip over your boots. Thank goodness we did bc up until the three mile rest house the trail was covered in snow. After the rest house we followed the trail to the plateau which is easily seen. It was a long and steady down and back up hike. Worth the challenge.