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Grand Canyon National Park pretty much speaks for itself; anyone who has been there will know this. For those yet to go, the spectacular views of 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. If you have 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) and be sure to stop at Grandview point - the southernmost point on Grand Canyon's south rim. The North Rim is often less crowded and has more solitary hiking trips. If you are feeling the need to get some light exercise, just walk along the Rim Trail as long as you want before turning around or taking a free shuttle bus back to the visitor center 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 Rrail. DO NOT attempt a round 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 along the steep trail. 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 about natural history where you can attend ranger talks about the formation of this immense canyon, the history of its first inhabitants, and how the area is still changing today. Bring hiking boots, ample water, sunscreen, a hat, and check for info on backcountry permits if you plan to camp overnight.

Tanner has several steep grades interspersed by more moderate sections. The last two miles of the trail descend at a middling decline to the river. Overall, not as steep as South Kaibab but steeper than Bright Angel. The switch to Beamer from Tanner at Tanner Rapids is noticeable in that the trail switches from well-trodden to primitive. If traveling all the way to the LRC, I recommend camping the first night in one of the campsites next to the river on Beamer.

The first few miles of Beamer meander along the side of the river until you reach Palisades creek. From there, you ascend the Tapeats Sandstone and hike along the side of a cliff all the way to the LRC. This part of Beamer is difficult and unforgiving. Don't underestimate how long it will take you to complete. I decided to do this section, there and back, during a single day. I got back after sundown even though I started hiking from roughly a mile up Beamer at 7am.

Consider bringing a friend and pack extra water for the Tapeats section. You can't drink from the LRC, and water from the Colorado is inaccessible while you're on the cliffs. Consider making the hike a 3-night, 4-day trip. I only allocated two nights, and I felt like I was pushing it by doing most of Beamer in one day.

Great views, and an awesome hike. Got on the trail at 7:45 am. Cool trip down to Cedarridge by nine. We felt fine so we went another 30 min. The heat was building so we headed up. It took three hours to get up to the top. You got to bring plenty of h2o. I took 75 ounces and only had a sip left. I got to the top and saw a bobcat grab a squirrel, so hold on to your little ones.

This is a MUST. We hiked this trail with 2 (fearless) kids (7 and 10) at the end of February, first thing in the morning. It was still snowy, icy, slippery most of the way down to the rest house— BUT it wasn’t crowded at all. Trail is narrow and you’re definitely walking down the canyon (could make some parents feel nervous especially with the snow and ice- umm, not me, no way, LOL). Plan on the hike up taking about twice as long as the way down. We will never forget this trail, this trip, the whole experience- highly recommended for those who want a little taste of going into the canyon.

Amazing hike, did not go to plateau point - so next time! Hiked June 7th. 8:00 am start / too late for heat, next time will do a 5-6 am start. bring two trekking poles, hydro pack 2-3 liters and give yourself time at Indian Garden to eat and digest (min 30-45 min) before hiking back in the heat, lesson learned!

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.

Challenging and rewarding hike! It was my first time descending a Canyon, and it was nearly 15-20 degrees hotter at Indian Gardens than at the top.

We started at Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek Campgrounds for 1 night then Hermits creek to Granite Rapids Campground for 1 night, then from Granite Rapids Campground to Monument Creek Campground for a night before the hike out. You do need permits far in advance for any overnight camping. We booked the permits in January for our trip starting April 20-25th.

Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek is an AMAZING hike and the views are something words can’t even express. You truly have to see this in person to grasp how incredible the Grand Canyon really is. When we started at the rim it was snowing and pretty cold with rain clouds to cover us with shade thank god! The trail was well marked with heavy traffic for the first 2 miles. Following Santa Maria Springs there is almost no one on the trail which is what we wanted. The snow stopped and it quickly got warmer the feather we got down, making us stop to take off all our layers, I was down to a tank top and warm leggings.

The rain clouds gave the Canyon a very mystical magical, eerie look which was incredible. There is almost no shade on this trail so we got very lucky on the hike down. About half way to our campsite at Hermits Creek a massive rain storm came through making us have to creep between two huge boulders to hurry up and cover our packs. We pushed through the rain and keep trekking as there was no cover. After a what I would call fun hike in the rain we got to our camp site and it stopped raining as we walking in, 3 hours later. It took us about 5 hours total from Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek.

Great campground with a new bathroom hut that was surprisingly nice! If you get to the Campground early enough there is a huge cliff overlooking the waterfall and spring we would have loved to have! After we hung everything out to dry and set up camp we went down to the waterfall and explored a bit! Great pools to swim in that are very cold but awesome! Views are incredible and all in all great Campground.

Only problem was we were soaking wet and so were out packs so when we hung it out to dry over night the temperature dropped and everything froze, and since it’s in a Canyon there was no sun until almost 10AM to help dry it out before our next hike to Granite Rapids over the Tonto Trail. So we got a late start and it was very hard due to the sun at that time with no shade or water before hitting Granite Rapids.

Great way to explore the Grand Canyon. Some of the best views I've had while hiking. Bring a lot of water and plan for a time consuming hike as scaling the switchbacks back up to South rim after making your way out to Plateau Point can be pretty strenuous.

Started hiking on the 05/30 at 0425 am (catching the Hikers Express from the Visitor Center) with headlamps on. Only two other hikers starting with us. Arrived at Skeleton Point at about 0555. We took a 30 minute break to enjoy the scenery and have a small breakfast. Started the ascend at about 0630. On the way up, we took countless photos and another break (30 minutes or so) at Cedar Ridge. We eventually arrived at the South Kaibab trailhead at 0930.

The hike was well maintained and provided scenic views all the time. In order you really get to enjoy the hike, I'd recommend starting (very) early as a) it heats up quickly (90°+ even at 1000 am) and b) you'll meet only a handful of people up until 0730.

Please remember to bring plenty of water/snacks/electrolytes, prepare for a strenuous ascend and to take your time.

Matt, Maria and I did South Kaibab to Ooh Ahh Pt. Maria and I on a later day went to Cedar Ridge. Thin trails, with no railing, can be intimidating but beautiful views of the Canyon

Started cold with snow, ended with jumping in the Colorado river to escape the heat!

My daughter and I did this hike today and we both agree it was moderate in difficulty, crowded, and worth every step. We started at 11:00 AM and did the round trip in about five hours. Views are stunning, but be prepared for lots of direct sun. Take your time coming up and remember to enjoy one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Cooler on the rim. Not unreasonably hot below. Four litres of water between the two of us and we had enough energy when we finished to walk the 2.3 miles on the paved path back to the visitor center.

hiking
11 days ago

hardest trail i ever worked on.

Started the trail today (6/5) at 10am which was a mistake. As we came down it is a breeze, smooth sailing with much of it shaded as the sun was behind the canyon wall. We originally intended to stop at Cedar Ridge, but felt good enough to continue. The way back was strenuous. The temperature jumped to about 100 in the canyon and the sun was beating. My brother began showing signs of heat exhaustion and we had to take many stops and eventually ran out of water about .7 miles from the top, which includes the tough switchbacks that you start on and think nothing of. All said I would definitely do it again, but much earlier, like 7am, and with much more water. The views are solid, but I felt like it would have been much more worth it to buckle down and go to the river and stay the night to return the next day.

Incredible views. Being plenty of water and start early.

Absolutely amazing!! The hike is extremely simple & flat but then you get to the end it’s the most stunning view. The view from the picnic tables is great but nothing like walking out to the ledge. When my husband and I got to the end (10:15am) we were the only people there. Never have I been in such a quiet place. It was so quiet we heard a birds wings flapping as it flew past us. Slowly about ten people came out, which was nice cause we needed some photos. As we left we passed about 15 people. As with most hikes the earlier the better.

Did this right after Thanksgiving and there was much less people. It was perfect weather for the hike. Disappointed that we couldn't make it to the bridge but we weren't ready for an all day hike.
want to do the rim to rim next time I go.

We did this hike in early February and it was simply incredible. The best hike I’ve ever done. We went down to the river, had lunch for about 30 minutes and went back up. In total it took 8 hours. I brought hiking poles for the climb back up and thank goodness because obviously it’s just climbing up up up the entire way. The last three-four miles towards the top is the hardest because of how steep the incline is and how many short nature hikers there are that are all over the place. The hottest part of the hike was at the bottom, even in Feb. I don’t know about doing this hike in summer unless you have been training in some serious heat.

walking
14 days ago

Love this trail! Easy enough for my mom with a bad knee to do, while still seeing beautiful views of the canyon!

Good hike. We walked from the visitors center to the trail head so that added a couple of miles but great views along the rim. The day we were there it was very crowded up and down the trail but there was plenty of room to pass.

on Cape Royal Trail

hiking
14 days ago

Great views after a winding drive on pavement. Two great walkouts. It got my vertigo going, but it was worth it to push thru it.

This was my first big hike. Did this with a friend in 1 day. Started at 6 am and didn’t finish until 11 pm. It’s a hard trail to do in 1 day. A lot of switch backs on Bright Angel. We ran out of water also, but there are water stations along Bright Angel. Ended up hiking a good portion at night in the cold late Oct night.

Having said all of that, this trail is so worth it! Beautiful views. Amazing adventure. And you might like us make a few new friends along the way. The nights in late Oct are cold and the days can get really hot. So dress accordingly.

I definitely recommend this hike. Just not in 1 day. Do it with a friend because you’ll need the support. She made the difference.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful

on South Bass Trail

backpacking
16 days ago

This is a breathtaking way to experience the Canyon and miss all the crowds, but you're going to have to work for it. A wisely operated high-clearance, two-wheel drive vehicle can make access to the trailhead. Plan on spending two hours + or - 30 minutes on the dirt road heading out and back. Six hours down and seven to eight coming out are reasonable time estimates for fit, experienced backpackers with base pack weights of less than 20 lbs without water. As noted elsewhere, cache water on the Esplenade, (Immediately before dropping down toward Bass Canyon is a great place.) One gallon per person will get you back to the trailhead in hot conditions. We did this hike with daytime highs on the river of 100 degrees and are Phoenix heat-acclimated. I would NOT recommend doing this hike in 80+ degree river temps if you are not used to hiking all day in the heat, as you will find no shade during most of the day. When you get first sight of the river on the way down, start looking for an old fireplace ruin on the left side of the trail. When you reach it, turn right and drop steeply down to the river. There are several beach sites to choose from for camping. Mind the ants and the cold water, and guy out your tent to keep it from blowing into the river. 5 AM is a fine time to start heading back out if you're expecting heat. The last two hours of the hike in are the hardest of this trip. If you can make it down, you can make it out. The load on your feet and legs will feel different going uphill compared to down. Trekking poles and a light-as-you-can make it pack are a must. A practical trip plan might be to drive in and hike down to the Esplanade on the first day, hike to and camp at the river on the second day, then hike out and drive home or camp at the trailhead on the third day. Breaking up the descent would take a lot of stress off of your knees and eliminate any question of ability to make it to the river in one day. For reference: We're in our mid-40's, are reasonably fit and have a lot of backcountry experience. This hike is not for unguided beginners.

not a hard hike at all. we did it during the hottest part of the day in early June. very cool views much better than the rim walk. just bring water and your camera!

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!

This is the best hike I ever did in my life. The trail hike is simply amazing and stunning. This hike should be on the bucket list of every hiker. It provides you with the best scenic and breathtaking views while testing the fitness and endurance level. I am an average 28 year old hiker, I don’t have much of an active personality, but i took this task in order to test myself.

So we (me and my 2 friends) started a little late at 8:00 am from south Kaibab trailhead upto the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. It’s a 7.5 mile hike. This trail does not have a single water station, shade or restroom till you reach the bottommost point of the canyon.

So we started with 6 of 500ml water bottles, 2 protein bars, 1 sandwich and 2 small bag of nuts. From the starting it was a steep descent with a temperature at 80F, with no flat surface and sun all over the face. The first point we came across was ooh aah point with amazing views. You can actually as far as your eyes can manage. It feels like you are on an alien planet probably Mars with giant canyons and mountains. We spend some time there, about 10 mins for pics and all. Then we start descending again and passed cedar ridge. The river was visible as we descent and yet it was afar. With 3 stops, 2 bottles of water, and a protein bar, we were able to reach the Colorado River by passing black bridge at 11 am. The temperature was fine at 85 F. Although the river was really cold. We took a break of an hr. and fed ourselves there. We did not proceed to the phantom ranch as it was another 1.5 miles from black bridge.

At noon, we prepared ourselves for the return journey via bright angel trailhead. After crossing the silver bridge, at the entrance of the bright angel trail there was a water station. I filled my empty bottles and wet my towel to cool my head off as it started to get hot. The return hike was about 8.5 miles all the way to the top with three stops, one at Indian garden 4 miles and two water stops at 1.5 miles each.

The hike to the Indian garden was not that challenging (not that steep ascent) and you will be able to see the Colorado River roaring on with people rafting. It took us about 3 hrs. to cover those 4 miles with an elevation gain of about 1000-1500 ft. There were no clouds in sky and it was raining hellfire. We reached Indian gardens at 3:30 pm. It had shades, restroom, and water stations. We took a break of 30 mins there. A word of caution, squirrels at Indian garden are notorious. If you are not careful, they tend to open the zip of the bag and steal your food or worse they might have fleas. You have to be on your toes regarding that.

After break, we started for the next water stop at 4:00 pm which was about 1.5 miles from garden. The first 0.5 miles were wonderful but the next 1 mile, the actual climb started with steep ascent. It started taking toll on my knees and calves. But we reached to the water stop around 5:00 pm with 2 breaks. While enjoying the wilderness, beauty of the nature and taking pics, be careful of your surroundings, as there might be rattlesnakes in the bushes one of which i came across. It slithered suddenly just past me and my whole body froze in fear. Rattlesnakes generally travel in pair, so I was kind of looking for other one (haha).

We took a break of 10 mins, filled my bottles, talked to some of the people who were also hiking up, some jolly moments. It is really important to keep yourself hydrated because you lose water way faster and imbalance of electrolytes can make you really tired, and that’s when you start to feel drowsy.
We started climbing again for the next water stop at 1.5 mile at 5:15pm. That 1.5 mile hike was steep and as I was looking at the standing canyon over me and I wondered if I would be able to complete it or not. My knees and calves were wearing me down, but we reached there at 6:15 pm with an elevation gain of roughly about 1500 ft. The view from that water stop was stunningly beautiful. You can gaze all the way down as well where you came from and as far as you can see forward with no obstruction. It was majestic, I have no other words to describe that. You simply have to go there.

We were prepared for the last 1.5 mile stretch as we saw the mountain standing majestically over us waiting for us to conquer it. After a break of 15 mins, we started at 6:30 pm. As we were climbing we saw ourselves climbing over the canyon and trails that we left behind. With 2 breaks, we were able to see the top of the canyon and noise of the bus engines and people cheering. We reached to the top at 7:30 pm.
I was not able to believe myself that we measure the whole canyon in 11:30 hrs. made it all the way to the top. But I believe now that aside from physical fitness, the excitement, determination and motivation from my friends were the factors that led me and my friends to complete this hike in a single day.

Unbelieveably amazing trail! Everywhere you look is a postcard picture scene worthy of grabbing a pic. The challenge was juuuuuust right and was able to complete it in about 10 1/2 hours, including many photo stops and lunch down by the river. The day I went it was about 105' in the Canyon and speaking for myself, that's about as hot as I could handle safely. Luckily there are a few water stations on the way up Bright Angel.

If I could I'd rate this a 6 or 7 out of 5, simply spectacular and I didn't want it to end.

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