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.
It's the Grand Canyon just breath taking
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.
Perfect weather in October for this awesome hike.
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. "
Oh man, tired now but that was amazing! BTW, clocked in at 17.7 on my GPS...
Do this 6 times, the best I've ever done
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!
awesome very hard last mile
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
This was truly an amazing hike! We were able to do this as a family of four, and it was truly spectacular! Here are some tips we found out along the way for this trip:
-Ideally, hike this in the spring/fall time. The weather is perfect (high 40s on the rim and 70s at the base). In the summer, it is miserably hot.
-If going over Easter, make every attempt to attend the Easter sunrise service at 5:45 AM. Truly incredible.
-Do not attempt to do rim to rim in one day. Therefore, either stay at the Bright Angel Campground or Phantom Ranch.
-If you would like to stay at Phantom Ranch, do not be discouraged if you cannot get a reservation the first time you try. We planned this trip in January and went in March. We had to call back weekly to see if there was any cancellations. Grab as many reservations as you can get so you can piece something together. We did not have our finalized reservations until we got there. Try to be flexible with the dates.
-Talk to the BA transportation desk when you get there. They can provide you with good information along with getting you last minute reservations at Phantom Ranch.
- If possible, try to stay multiple nights at the campground or Phantom Ranch. Staying at the bottom of the canyon is very unique in comparison to the top, and if possible, you will definitely want to do that.
-On the day of the hike, get to the Park early and try to park at the Bright Angel lodge instead of the visitors center. You can take an express bus early in the morning to the Kaibab trail. When you hike back up the BA trail, your car will be right there when you finish. That way you don't have to wait in any long bus lines after your long hike back up the canyon.
-Take your time going down and up, taking lots of pictures.
This is the hardest but the most beautiful and rewarding hike I've ever done. We started hiking down from south kaibab at 5 AM and got down we reached phantom ranch at 8 AM, rested for about 30 minutes and had snack there. We started hiking up to bright angel trail, after we crossed the bridge the trail is sandy. so don't wear a mesh shoes or the sand will get inside your feet. we saw the beautiful waterfalls and the views are amazing!! the hike was 6 something miles long. it gets very hot down the canyon so I don't recommend you to hike this trail in the summer. Use trekking poles, I learned the hard way because my knee is starting to hurt at the end of my hike. use a very comfortable shoes , I used my Nike air zoom structure 19, it has very good arch support and it has cushion that will support my feet for a very long hike.
The trail is SPECTACULAR ... We're planning my third R2R2R run in 12 short days! Can anyone please confirm that water supplies are currently active and plentiful at:
- On South Kaibab: Skeleton Point, and Tonto Crossing
- Phantom Ranch / South Kaibab bridge
- On North Kaibab: Cottonwood, Mule tie-ups (after the tunnel)
- On Bright Angel: Indian Gardens, and the Lookout
Thanks in advance! Sam