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.
Beauitful day hike with my brother down the less traveled South Kaibab. The descent from each layer to the next is breathtaking, with anticipation of when the Colorado River will pop into view. We saw more mules than people ^_^. Across the suspension bridges along the CO river then back up Bright Angel Trail; where again, seeing those magnificent layers go by just kept me going. Next time Rim to Rim when we have time for the long shuttle.
Started right before 0800 on Election Day. Took just under 7.5 hrs with a number of short picture stops, couple bathroom breaks at the conveniently placed compost toilets and a 5 minute snack break.
Overall, I would not call this trail hard - but I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to drastic elevation changes over shorter distances. Traveling just under 17mi from point to point, the 2 main trails make for a rather gradual descent and ascent with the perfect grade to feel pumped but not worn out. It is a long slog but a very well maintained set of trails. That is to say, do heed the warning signs and do NOT try this in one day if you are not in physical shape and have adequate water. The weather was mid 60s which made this an ideal Fall hike but I still consumed 3.5 liters of water (and could have used more). In the summer it would have most likely been a bit torturous. There are no water spots along South Kaibab till you get across the CO river. Bright Angel has 3 water breaks evenly spaced about 1.5 miles from each other.
In November this hike is so much easier than in summer. I'm 70 years old and hike only 3 times a week, 3 miles per hike in 1 hour, typically; and I hiked to the 1-1/2 Mile point and back easily in 2-1/2 hours. It was beautiful and cold, under a clear blue sky.
Absolutely amazing experience, I would recommend to all. Just make sure you prepare yourself for the trip. I hiked from the South Rim to the North Rim in one day during this last summer in June. Finishing the hike was an amazing accomplishment that I will always remember and I hope to do it again soon.
Shauna A. on Rim Trail
Yes The South Rim Trail is relatively easy. Most of it is paved. However walking ( not driving, not bussing) the South Rim Trail is by far the best way to make the most of your Grand Canyon experience. Every step and every viewpoint will give you an ever-changing view. It is amazing to see how the light plays off the colorful rocks and crevices. We were staying at Yavapai Lodge which was an excellent place to coordinate the walk. One day we headed east and the next day we headed west. If I remember correctly the trail is no longer paved after Monument Creek Vista and there a couple areas that require a little more exertion. However the trail is well defined and it is packed dirt. Get out and enjoy the views, get away from the crowds between the bus stops and enjoy the grandeur. Wear comfortable layers, sunscreen, sunglasses, and bring lots of water!
What a SPECTACULAR hike! A group of us just completed this in a day. We had time constraints on a last minute trip plan and chose to accept the challenge rather than not do it at all. What an incredible experience! Starting at the South Kaibab TH at 6am, I reached the North Kaibab TH at 5:30pm while others in my party were 25-30 minutes earlier. Total distance recorded by my GPS was 23 miles in 10.5 hours including in a short detour to Ribbon Falls for lunch. If this is an item on your bucket list, just make sure you're ready for the significant elevation gain that comes at the end of a long day. Definitely an epic adventure I'd do again in a heartbeat!
Awesome hike with spectacular views. Make sure you get all the way down to cedar ridge. Views are really breathtaking. It is a tough uphill climb back. It it's doable if you are in decent shape. I am 59 years old and did it with relatively little difficulty
Came up after a restless warm/hot night at PhantomRanch in Sept of 2009. No sleep. My buddy almost was killed when a Mule train clipped his backback twisting him under a mule who nearly stombed on his skull...rested at Indian Garden under a full moon and made it out the next morning..whew!