South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trail

HARD 66 reviews

South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trail is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Grand Canyon Village, AZ that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

16.6 miles 5216 feet Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

no dogs

It's the Grand Canyon just breath taking

backpacking
2 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

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.

28 days ago

1 month ago

I could not have done this as a loop. Staying at Phantom Ranch for 3 nights was ideal. Two nights would have worked too if I had not also hiked another 12 mile out and back to Ribbon falls the day after coming down south kaibab. A hike of a life time. Hiking back out on Bright Angel trail was perfect.

1 month ago

I am not an experienced hiker. I've only done a couple of 5-6 miles and under 1000ft hikes. This hike is very strenuous to me. I started early around 8am and finished around 5:30pm(should have started 1 hour earlier, sunrise is 6:45am, trailhead is close to Yapi point for good sunrise). The descent down to the river is easy and very very rewarding with breathtaking views which are not same as the ones you see from the rim. I took hundreds of photos. After I reached the river, I crossed a black bridge and then went to phantom ranch for iced lemonade and lunch(I packed mine but you can reserve a meal there). The camping ground is located there too. The ascent via bright angel is the part I felt my legs are going to explode. I suggest making many small breaks to catch your breath and rest those legs. Do some stretch from time to time. The view features the creek and is different from south kaibab.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Perfect weather in October for this awesome hike.

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

For me, extremely hard, but beautiful, and what an accomplishment.
I'm 53 and very slow, so we took all day, but we met a lot of wonderful people, and what a feeling when I could say, "I did it. "

2 months ago

Oh man, tired now but that was amazing! BTW, clocked in at 17.7 on my GPS...

3 months ago

Do this 6 times, the best I've ever done

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Epic!!! One of our most memorable hikes. The views were incredible... Geologic formations and colors, color changes and shadows from the sun and clouds, streams and rivers, wildlife....we were amazed thinking about the forces through time that created such beauty. The trails are well maintained. The employees at Phantom Ranch were helpful and friendly. Water and shade at Phantom Ranch and on the Bright Angel Trail were critical given the heat and sun.

Here are a few things that hopefully help you as you prepare. First, be prepared physically and with your provisions. We saw people who were struggling and weren't enjoying the hike....we don't know how far they were able to go.....but we saw many more who were well prepared and enjoying their time in the Grand Canyon. Ensure you have plenty of water and food. We had water in our hydration backpacks and bottles of electrolytes (we used a powder mix so we could refill at the water stations) in the bottle holders of our packs. We also packed turkey sandwiches, trail mix and energy/protein bars. We packed more than we used, but we were well hydrated and nourished. We also packed a second pair of socks and a light weight long sleeve shirt to block the sun on the hike up. And, plenty of sunscreen. We parked near the Bright Angel Trailhead and took the 6am express shuttle to the South Kaibab Trailhead. We were hiking by about 6:30am. There were many places to stop and take pictures, and enjoy the views. We took advantage of the many scenic viewpoints. We arrived at Phantom Ranch at about 10am and spent an hour eating, drinking water and our electrolyte mix, and then sitting in the creek next to the Bright Angel campground. We soaked our shirts and hats in the creek, put on fresh socks (lower odds of blisters) and then started hiking up Bright Angel. Every creek we crossed we soaked our hats...very refreshing given the hot sun. We stopped at the first two water stops and refilled our water, ate and soaked our heads, hats and shirts. The last water stop was a quick stop to soak our hats and then hike the last ~1.5 miles to the top. Getting to the top and looking down into the canyon was beautiful, and an amazing experience. Be prepared and enjoy!

4 months ago

awesome very hard last mile

backpacking
5 months ago

It's hard to beat a trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There is no water along the South Kaibab, so I recommend taking the South Kaibab down and the Bright Angel back up so you'll have water along the climb at Indian Garden and the rest houses.

backpacking
6 months ago

South Kaibab offers amazing views of the canyon ALL the way down. What Bright Angel lacks in views it makes up for in showing the part of the canyon most people don't expect. This series of trails is great for diversity.

hiking
6 months ago

This is really an amazing hike, but make sure you thoughtfully prepare! A few tips

- They highly recommend not trying to go rim to rim in one day. If it is hot and you are not fit and prepared, I would recommend you do not try. With that said, it's certainly possible

- Do the standard physical preparations: carb up, good breakfast, bring salty foods and sports drinks, wear a hat, bring plenty of sun screen, bring a headlamp if you are worried about making it back in time

- Take your time. The reason you're not recommended to go rim to rim in one day is because of exhaustion. It's less than 7 hours of hiking, but it gets so hot and dry that you have to pace yourself and take lots of breaks. We saw two different people throwing up....

- Don't waste your time going to phantom ridge unless you're out of supplies. Rest in the shade at boat beach instead.

backpacking
6 months ago

Amazing! Couldn't have asked for better weather with overcast and sunshine peaking out with a high around 70. We started at the rim around noon and made it down to the river around 3pm. The trail delivers on spectacular views of the canyon. Saw a rattler right along the trail in a water run off, loved the field of those cacti that stand tall, and once seeing the Colorado river excitement and a sense of achievement strikes. Once we crossed the black bridge we Spent about 40 minutes relaxing along the rocks listening to the river run its course and hypnotizing us into a slumber. Woke up and continued onward towards clear creek to hike a few miles up and set up camp. O ya and make sure you make it down before the canteen closes to enjoy a cold brew!

hiking
6 months ago

We were 2 guys at 58 and 17 years from Denmark, took the hike from South Kaibad Trails down to Phamton Ranch at the Colorado river and then Bright Engel Trail to the top om one day.
The hike was spectacular and the hardest hike for me so far
Tip: there is no water supplies at the South Kaibad Trail, so start there, and then take Bright Engel Trails all the way up, there are several water posts
Hope to come back, the Holdrup, Mathias and Arne