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I wanted so much to love this trail. It has water, great birds, horses, cool plants, and is pretty unique among places I've been in Arizona.

There was trash everywhere. I just wanted one spot on the hike where my partner and I could sit for 15 minutes overlooking the water without an empty beer can within 20 feet. Couldn't find one.

If Arizona cleans this area up, it becomes an easy 5 stars.

amazing trail! definitely difficult on the last 3 miles going up to bright angel trail. went in aug 11th, temp was about 105 deg. take at least 4 liters of water per person. I took 2 and still wasn't enough. barely made it to the next water point on the Colorado river. make sure you bring electrolytes in any form. the heat and sweat will drain you! salty snacks are a must and maybe some extra socks if you wanna take a dip in a tiny body of water. will be a while till I do this one again.

AMAZING hike! We started at the North Kaibab trailhead around 3:45am and arrived at Phantom Ranch just before 10am. Stayed two nights in the dorms at Phantom and then hiked up Bright Angel at 3am to avoid the August heat in the sun and arrived at the South Rim just before 11am. Plenty of water sources along the way, but they’re unpredictable, so check with the rangers on which sources are running before you leave!

I do the rim to rim to rim hike usually 4 times a year but I have never done it in August. Just finished yesterday. Left Bright Angel on 8/5 at 3:30 am. I had shade all the way till cottonwood campground. I was up at the North Kaibab trailhead by 12:30. Met a few folks on the way down on BA then a few coming down on North Kaibab but other than that it was pretty deserted compared to other times. Spend the night at the lodge , had a great morning then hit the trail about 2pm. Some parts were already in shade going down on NK. Few people on the trail till the tunnel then nobody till Phantom Ranch. It was pretty hot down there. I started climbing up at 6:30 pm from Bright Angel campground and finished by 10pm.
If you want solitude on the trail, this really works.
I was able to avoid the sun for the most part on day one, on day two - the only bad part was from cottonwood for about 4 miles. Then it got shady. The hike up was after sunset. I was always a bit apprehensive about August hiking but it worked out great. One of my favorite hikes. Just amazing. Highly recommended

The views are incredible. If going from South Kaibab to Bright Angel the last 3 miles up to the top of the rim can be pretty brutal. Fortunately there are plenty of places to rest. My girlfriend and I did the hike in 2 days and stayed at the night at Bright Angel campground. We parked at the backcountry visitor center and shuttled to the South Kaibab trailhead, and then back to the backcountry center when we re-emerged at Bright Angel. The weather was really quite different at the rim compared to the base. It was snowing at the rim, but at the base we were in shorts and t-shirts. So be aware of what layers you might need to bring depending on the time of year you go.

I completed this hike July 29, 2018. I would have preferred to hike a cooler time of the year, but I was in Phoenix for work and decided to make it happen.

Stayed at Kaibab Camper Village (hour drive to Kaibab)
Left Kaibab trailhead at 3:15am
Arrived at Phantom Ranch at 7:40
Started feeling sick about two miles past PR and didn’t want to risk over-heating. The next seven miles were touch and go.
Arrived at Indian Garden 11am
Arrived at South Rim 3pm

I was sick with a fever in the days leading up to the hike and I’m sure that affected me. But the heat was still pretty awful, even at 8am at PR. If you’ve never done a hike like this, don’t start with this one. Know your limits and be careful with the heat.

This hike is 23-24 miles if you take Bright Angel trail. Definitely not 21.6 like it says here.

Has anyone done this trail Out and Back in One day? I have done Half-Dome in 6 hours, and finding myself still have plenty of power after reaching the bottom. I wonder if it would be possible to do a round trip of this in a day since given the elevation gain, it seems to be just double of half dome.

This hike is absolutely beautiful! You really get to experience a little bit of everything this desert has to offer. The views are fantastic and the hike easy, so even with the 100+ degree temperatures it was pleasant. Tips- Pack lots of water, be mindful of snakes!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail saguaros were great!!

Will push your limits if not prepared. Not a lot of time to appreciate the wonder if you’re moving at pace, but a whole different level of beauty when your spent and climbing out. Be ready and be sure but do this and you will be rewarded with a memory for life.

Amazing views. We completed this train on 6/22. It took us about 3.5 hours to get down and 5.75 hours to get up with 25ish lbs of gear. The hike back up was pretty rough but the views were absolutely stunning.

The hike is an established is 23.9 miles. We just did it on Friday.

We did south kaibab up north kaibab in 14 hours. Going down was easy and we got to the Colorado river in under 3 hours. Poles were helpful. Up north kaibab was long and brutal in the 107 degree weather, swimming in ribbon falls was a lifesaver that kept us from overheating. I constantly soaked my clothes in the river and that was a huge help. But oh man, the most beautiful and amazing hike ever.

Pretty descent hike. Overall I wouldn’t rate this trail as difficult, the last part of the hike going from the base of the mountain up to the top plateau is somewhat strenuous but I would consider 75% of the trail to only be moderate not difficult. Scenery wise, it’s ok, typical desert scenery. I did like the fact that past the first mile I saw no one. To avoid wandering around trying to figure out what direction you need to go to find the trail use the satellite map on the all trails app. It didn’t occur to me to do this until after I had went the wrong direction for about a mile. After parking continue to walk down the road to the area where the portable restrooms are. They will be on your right. Continue to walk straight down the road toward spur cross trail - do not go left- you will pass 2 other trailheads on your right, just continue going straight. You will stay on this road/trail for awhile until you eventually see an old cow pen on your left. Their will be a river bed on your right. The trail to the right is the one you want to follow. If you end up going through a gated area with the cow pen on your left you went the wrong way. You will eventually see a large older sign that has several trails listed on it. At the sign go to the right. You will continue on this trail which was listed as cottonwood trail, you will not actually see a sign that says skull Mesa trail for a number of miles. You will eventually see it on your left. Pay attention to make sure you stay on skull Mesa trail. It is not well taken care of and only rockpiles keep you on track. From almost the start of the skull Mesa trail you will be going uphill. Eventually you will find yourself at the base of the mountain. The trail switchbacks up this mountain up to the top. Be mindful of weather reports. I disregarded them and ended up wading back across the flooded river beds that had been bone dry only hours earlier. After finally getting back to my truck the main road was flooded out and had a line of cars. I did find out from a very nice girl that morning star road was a bypass road and not flooded to the point that it was impassable. If you find yourself in the same situation try Morningstar road. It’s much better to pay attention to the weather and not get into the situation to begin with. I hope this long winded run on review helps.

Excellent

on Butcher Jones Trail

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most surreal moments of the trip was to arrive at the trailhead (sunrise) to witness the beauty of the Salt River wild horses. Amazing. The hike is beautiful with incredible views. Be cautious as the trail is quite narrow and steep at times. The narrow part can create an issue with rattle snake encounters... as we experienced on this hike. We expect to run into all sorts of wildlife during these hikes but did get ourselves into a pickle on the trail. Our issue was upon our return to the trailhead where we encountered a coiled rattler in a covered brush area near the shore. It’s beautiful in this small patch of area but you only have one way to pass through. There is no where to climb up or around in certain areas so if your trail is blocked, it may pose additional impediments. Just be cautious and aware of your surroundings on this trail. I suggest a walking stick of sorts.

Don’t go here in June. Nothing but flies and wasps. No shade, no flowing water/waterfall. It’s tough to hike on the sand. The sand would probably be great for horses maybe in fall/spring. I’d probably go again in the spring, just because it’s so close by.

Fun short trail. Not difficult at all.

Hiked from north rim to south rim via north kaibab to bright angel campground then bright angel trailhead out. It was an incredible 3 days! We spent 2 nights at bright angel campground. We loved every day and it was truly an unforgettable adventure. It was so peaceful, relaxing and rewarding. I should have packed lighter and should have planned way earlier but it was still really amazing!

Beautiful trail. Much 10% grade. I only did from parking to elephant mountain trailhead. I started around 7:30 and should have started earlier to make the whole route. Next time

Hiked from North Rim to South Rim in a day via North Kaibab and Bright Angel. Here's what we did over 2 days (5/23/18 - 5/24/18):

Day 1:
Parked at South Rim Lot D
Used Trans Canyon shuttle to get to North Rim
Stayed overnight at Grand Canyon Lodge (motel)

Day 2:
4a - Started hike at North Kaibab TH
6a - Arrived at Cottonwood Campground (10-15 min rest)
9a - Arrived at Phantom Ranch (20-30 min rest)
11a - Arrived at Indian Garden (45 min rest)
1:30p - Arrived at South Rim

Useful Info:
Water was available at all stopping points (this varies year to year)
N. Kaibab to Phantom was almost entirely in shade based on our departure date/time; temperature was cold when we started
Last 4.5mi (from Indian Garden to S. Rim) was the most difficult by far; uphill slog the whole way in the sun
You should train for this hike, especially the downhill (tough on knees)

Gear/Food
Food: (2) Clif Bars, (2) PBJ sandwiches, jerky, fruit leathers, mixed nuts
Water: 3L bladder
Shoes: La Sportiva Wildcat
Socks: Injinji
Clothes: Patagonia R2 fleece for early morning, Columbia PFG hoodie, REI sun hat, Champion running shorts
Daypack: Camelbak Cloud Walker

Strava data:
25.98 total miles
7:56:08 moving time
18:19/mi pace
9:40 elapsed time
8,193 ft elevation
3.500 calories

Started at 5:30 on 5/26/18 and was at Phantom Ranch by 10:30. The climb down is fairly easy but taxing on the knees. Heart attack hill and then the strenuous corkscrew. Ever since leaving PR you’re in constant heat/sunshine until you come out. The last 5 miles up the Bright Angel trail is steep and brutal and it will take everything out of you. 54 year old male in good health and hike occasionally-it was on my bucket list and should be on yours as well.

I’ve done this hike numerous times and it’s always a good time. BUT! Note to self - do not go on Memorial Day Weekend - what is usually a very quiet and peaceful hike is nothing but boats, jet skis and loud music.

Made this awesome hike with my wife and daughter last week for out 36th Anniversary. Impossible to describe! We did the hike in 3 days and spent two nights at Phantom Ranch. Be sure to see Ribbon Falls it is worth the extra distance.

14 miles, not 11.5. I suggest bringing extra water. I used a 2.5L bladder and also had 2 large bottles in my backpack. I had JUST enough water. There is no shade so make sure to have plenty of sunscreen.

backpacking
3 months ago

Great trail and very close to cave creek. Didn’t complete the full thing but camped up on top of the mesa. Excellent views with a fun hike! The scenery is unforgettable and makes me proud to call Arizona home.

Watch out for snakes we hit an area about 2 miles in where we came across a constrictor on the way out and a rattler on the way back right on the trail. Almost stepped on both they were camouflaged so well !! Love this hike for interval training.

hiking
3 months ago

We had a great time. It’s my third time and my 9 year olds first time.

This was my second official hike and it was amazing! Encountered a rattlesnake but other than that the view was beautiful.

Accomplished this epic hike in one day at end of October 2017. Total time 11 hours with about 1 hour of stops, including 30 minutes for lunch.

North Rim campground was still open but not the lodge - it was the last weekend they were open. We dropped in at 6:30 am and it was 36 degrees. When we got to the tunnel we stripped down to base and kept moving. In all my prep hikes I focused on the ascent and underestimated the beating my knees would take going down and I tweaked my left knee. Could only step down with the left and up with the right so slowed pace to about 2mph going up. We stopped every two hours for protein and salt/electrolytes. Temp was a cool 80 degrees through the box and we carried 2L of water and refilled at each stop (the water was still turned on). My hiking partner missed eating protein at one stop and we had to make an unplanned stop in the box to eat (we were trying to get past PR before eating lunch). We stopped at the river house on bright Angel Trail for 30 minutes to eat and change socks. Then we started the climb out - kept a steady pace but I could really feel my knee - more on the incline then the steps. We climbed out at 5:30 to our shuttle group who set up camp. Nice shower, meal and Ice for the knee

Getting ready to do South to South in 2 days (May 2018) and will consider my lessons learned. I will take my knee stabilizers and wear them the entire trip. I will use my trekking poles the entire way. I will stay with our protein/electrolyte plan. Ultra electrolytes, pickles, almonds, tuna packs, cut veggies with full fat dressing and we will start with 4L of water since there is no water on South Kaibab and it will be close to 100 at our he bottom

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