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fabulous. The downhill was killer on old knees. Gorgeous.

Absolutely beautiful place. The creek was a pain to get too but well worth it once we got down there. The hill on the other hand to go back up can kiss my butt. I lost my water somewhere and it was a really hot day and had to keep sitting down because I thought I was going to pass out and not one person who walked by me and my son asked if I was okay. Other then that the creek was worth the hike.

Great long trail but a lot of it was slipping into the lake so it was pretty dangerous to have my 4 year old son with me at the time. Had to mission impossible it in a few places or would’ve have to turn completely around.

Great hike. Not a lot of shade going down. Switchbacks and plenty of water stations on the way up. Challenging full day hike. Start before sunrise and rest at Phantom Ranch. Classic hike.

hiking
10 days ago

A challenging hike well worth the views from Rocky Top.

I hiked this trail from 5am to 4pm, totally 11 hours. I parked my car in the visitor center and took the shuttle to South Kaibab trailhead, went down to the river, visited the Phantom Ranch and mailed some postcards, and went up from Bright Angel trail. It will be the most impressed hiking in my life. I feel this hiking is meaningful for me.
The day I hiked is not hot on the rim and it's a little raining in the hike. I took 2L water in the beginning, but not drink too much when going down because of the cool weather. In the campground beside the rive you can refill your water. Remember that the temperature in the bottom of the canyon is much higer that the rim. Even in that cool day I felt so hot when hiking in the bottom, which made me a little uncomfortable.
When going up along the Bright Angel trail, there is water in the Indian Garden, 3-mile and 1.5 mile rest houses, so you don't need to take too much water. Near the Indian Garden there will be a small river and many trees. It's a beautiful place to rest. The last 3 or 4 miles is very steep. Don't be hurry, especially at that time you are already tired.
I suggest to take two alpenstocks to protect your knees. Have a good trip on this trail!

first trail hike in quite a log time. not too difficult and saw alot of wildlife. good hike

hiking
15 days ago

good lordy is this a thigh burner. first mile isnt bad but then its a constant incline. my camp site was over ran by bees so i just pushed to rocky top and thunder head. well worth the push. the blue haze and smokey clouds that roll in are worth an hour long site to embrace.

An exquisite classic. It's amazing to watch the canyon transform as you descent and get away from the crowds up top. It can definitely be done in a day if you're in extremely good shape (like marathon runner good) but I recommend doing it in two so it's more enjoyable. The descent is hard on your joints (bring poles) and the ascent is exhausting even if you are prepared. If you ddon't have all of the supplies you need you can rent gear (like a tent, big backpack, poles, etc.) for a day or two at the general store. It's so important to start hiking before the sun rises as it's far hotter at the bottom of the canyon than at the rim and also to bring electrolyte packets and salty snacks because you will sweat a ton. If you have the time and are conditioned for it, it's an extraordinary hike that makes you appreciate the Grand Canyon in an entirely new way.

hiking
22 days ago

We took off via the Lead Cove trail head, and only ran into a few people before reaching the Bote Mountain split. It is a climb from start to finish. Spence Field is a great place to take a break before heading on up to Rocky Top, where the view is amazing. We spent more time up there than we meant to.

I knew what I was getting into with this hike, but it was still very challenging. Prepare for a long difficult trip if you aren't in excellent shape. My tracker also said that it was 12.8 instead of 11.6 round trip so keeping up with that threw me off a little bit.

hiking
29 days ago

Excellent location for creeking....but as with any creek...lots of rocks and difficult footing in the stream bed. Creek is wide and filled with small fish, snakes, etc. The surrounding trail features a steep hill down into the creek valley that might be difficult for some, though my 5 and 7 year old's were able to negotiate it with no problem.

We were visiting the area, and several locals told us we had to make this hike. Midnight hike is the popular attraction, several people were swimming there, but the real beauty is Mouse Creek Falls. Be prepared, this hike is uphill the whole way there, and the trail gets pretty rocky.

Top notch and rewarding at every turn. Difficult to do in one day but I've done it twice and will do it again. I think most people do this in a few days but I had no overnight permits. I love this place, it is magical. I would highly recommend hiking down kaibab and up bright angel because water refill stops are only on bright angel trail and you will need it especially if it's warm outside.

Went with my wife to see the grand canyon. decided to hike it. Left at 1030 am with one water bottle apiece. Got to phantom ranch around 130. Had some lemonade. Put our feet in the Colorado. Got back to the top around 5. Heat wasnt too bad. There was still snow on the ground. Ate tons of cheese balls and oreos on the way home.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for a few hour hike. 3 awesome formations with many other great sights! For sure moderate with a few steep climbs about half way through.

Go to the right when you start the trail. Better views right away.

hiking
1 month ago

ATTENTION: If you take the Lead Cove trail you will see bears guaranteed. They are harmless but on the way back down I walked within 5 feet of one in a laurel thicket before we noticed each other. Be aware of your surroundings

This is a great hike for multiple reasons. Before I explain why it’s important to know there are multiple ways to eventually reach Rocky Top. The description on here will take up the Lead Cove trail which is the route I took. The other way which people have reviewed on here is to start on the Anthony Creek trail near Cades Cove. Both are lightly traveled compared to most trails in the Smokies, but Lead Cove trail is less traveled.

The first time I tried to complete this trail was a late evening hike in which I walked up on a momma bear and cub. They were no threat, but they would only walk away not run... and stayed on the trail. They slowed me down so much that I had to hike back down as I was not going to make it to the summit before dark.

I completed it finally this week. I saw 0 people the first 3 miles up lead cove to Bote Mountain trail. I met one person at the Anthony Creek trail intersection. The hike has a gradual elevation gain all the way from the Trailhead to the AT. This portion is not difficult at all if you do any hiking at all. Once on the AT the climb to Rocky Top is constantly steep and moderately strenuous. There are 360 views at the top which includes views of Fontana Lake and Dam.

This hike is great for avid hikers who actually enjoy hiking and not taking essentially a group walk through the woods with tons of people.

Wide and flat trail, although you'll feel the constant gradual climb to the falls and beyond. Arrived just before noon and got the last of 20 or so parking spots. I think the parking area is shared with campers. No entrance fee and there are restrooms at the trailhead. Midnight Hole (wading area) is 1.5 miles up the trail and the falls appear at the 2 mile point. .2 miles up from the falls is a bridge that takes you to the other side of the creek, and we saw folks in the water there as well. The trail continues for another 3 miles where it meets Swallow Fork Trail and Campsite 37. A perfect trail for all ages.

Jun 25 early morning I hiked down to phantom ranch. 3 hr down and some beautiful sights . I carried 2 l of water and had no problem reaching the bottom. I stayed in a cabin with my family that was on mules that night and made the choice to clime back out Kaibab. I left camp at 4:00 and reach the top 5 hr later with legs that felt like Jello.
This is a hard uphill clim ! I don’t train hell I didn’t even plan to make it to the bottom! Lol so !
If I had it to do it again I’d bring 3 liters of water
Both ways ,Walking stick, and a lot of mental strain. Well worth the trip !

no water currently available on this trail.

Did this hike with my (62 y/o in September) father over the course of 2 days. Both days, we started hiking at 4 am in an effort to beat the heat as much as possible. With sunrise just after 5 am, an early start time is essential, especially when hiking up from Bright Angel camp where the temps at night can still be triple digits, so be sure to bring a good headlamp. Do not underestimate anything about this trail! The Grand Canyon is epic and every trail/hike should be respected as such. Many people are capable with training and preparation; my dad is a perfect example. He crushed it. It took 4 hours to hike down Kaibab and about 6.5 hours to hike up Bright Angel. The rest of the day after hiking down was spent mostly in the creek (a necessity to stay relatively cool in 115 degree temps) and on short hikes down to Boat Beach (AMAZING), the ruins, and along the creek past Phantom Ranch (very nice and shaded). You can purchase cool drinks in Phantom Canteen and have a short escape from the heat. Bright Angel will have potable water every 1.5 mile starting at Indian Gardens seasonally in the summer months, so bring extra water starting out (maybe 2-3 liters). Drink and eat every time you stop to rest, which should be often. A hat makes a big difference providing at least a little shade for your face. The last 3 miles of switchbacks are the most challenging, so be prepared. Try the burgers at Harvey House when you make it out!

Definitely a difficult trail. Do not suggest doing this in one day. We started at 10am weather was perfect and we proceeded down to skeleton point before we committed to doing the full hike. Got down to Phantom ranch and made the choice to go back out Bright angel.

We did this trail from the Cades Cove Picnic Area to Anthony's Creek to Rote Mountain to the AT.

Rocky Top is amazing, Thunderhead is less so but still a beautiful view. This is a worthwhile, 14-mile hike. The mountain laurel and flame azaleas are starting to bloom. Raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes are common on the AT before Rocky Top.

Our group, all 14 people completed the SK-Phantom Ranch-BA route safely in mid-May.
We took the 5am bus to South Kaibab Trailhead. Because we parked at the backcountry information center around 4:55 am, and we didn't know the hikers express shuttle actually stops at the information center, we ran the hell out of us to catch the bus there.
So point one, the bus actually stops at the backcountry information center and the visitor center near SK. But giving there might be large groups(we ran into a group of 30-40, if not even more), so starting at Bright Angel Lodge may ensure a seat.
The shuttle actually only takes 20 minutes to get to the trailhead, but since we all need to use the SK trailhead restrooms (There are only 2), so we actually started hiking at 6am.
Hiking down was mostly running for me and my buddy. It took us about 2.5 hrs to reach the bridge. I slipped on a rock and bend my ankle in the middle, but luckily it didn't cause any serious damage.
My water consumption to the Bright Angel Campground was 1.5L, but brought more did give me peace in mind(I had 3L) as the weather really gets hot around 8 or 8:30 and there is no shade on South Kaibab Trail.
We relaxed a bit, refill water, used restroom at Phantom Ranch, they offer iced Lemonade, iced Beer, simple snacks, postcards with "Carried by Mule" stamps(really cool!) and some basic hot weather essentials like buff and cooling cloth, credit cards is OK to be used here.
A lot of hikers hanging out here, squirrels too. There were a lot of signs reminds hikers and visitors don't feed the squirrels, but obviously, a lot of people did before, as the squirrels are not afraid of people at all. My tracking pole felt off ground next to one and touched its fur, and this guy/gal did not care at all. I even saw one robbed one hiker's apple in front all of us while the pool hiker was just turning her head to find something in her backpack.
It was hot down at the river, I didn't check the temperature, but our group member who arrived later said it reached 110F at Phantom Ranch around 11 am.
We took about 1 hr break before my buddy “whipped" me out of the shade and we were on Bright Angel Trail at 10 am.
There was a section after crossing Silver Bridge which was all sandy surface for about half a mile, which made it really hard to walk on, I strongly suggest bring running gaiters to prevent sand and rocks to get into the shoes if you wear low ankle shoes.
It took us about 1 hr to get to Indian Garden, where we took our lunch break for an hour, the thermometer here says it is 95F.
The climb up was actually not as torturing as I expected. The rest spots are optimally arranged(Indian Garden, 3 miles, Mile and Mile Half) to be 1.5 miles apart from each other. For me and my buddies, it's about 1 hr hike from each stop, it paced us perfect so we can re-apply sunscreen, take Salt Stick tablets and eat. Besides the heat, the trail itself is moderately steep, wide, and easy to walk.
In order to achieve everybody's most comfortable hiking experience, we kind of spread out into 5 groups at the end, 1 super fast hiker arrived at 3:25 pm, taking 9 hrs only from the beginning; I and 2 others take exactly 10 hrs. Our last group arrived at 8:30 pm when it started to get cold and rained a bit. But we all made it.

The view of the canyon is stunning, and walking up Bright Angel trail I can see why most people take this route, I saw abundant rock layers, mountain formations, waterfalls, creeks, plants and living creatures. I even doubt I heard a rattle, but that might not be true. We ran into 2 mule groups, one for a guided tour, one seems like just carrying a bunch of stuff. There are trees, bushes, cactus, lizards, flies, squirrels, deer. The canyon view is always at my head turn, each time I stopped to catch my breath, I found myself turning back and looking at it. The unspeakable beauty of mother nature always touches me and always is the motivation for me to hike on.

Do this hike yearly. Never a let down.

This trail isn't too bad. The very long hill you have to go down and then back up at the end was very challenging for me, the out of shape, unseasoned hiker. Had a hard time trying to figure out which direction to go.

Beautiful waterfall and gorgeous swimming hole. The walk will take a while, especially if you have little ones, but is totally worth it.

Absolutely beautiful!

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