Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Grand Canyon National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

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.

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.

Beautiful day hike. Plenty of rest stops and water stations along the way. Highly recommend if at the South Rim and you're looking for a great and challenging day hike.

Difficult but fun hike, make sure to have plenty of water.

Excellent hike. Started at 8:30am with the rim temperature around 65° (it was morning!) and by the time we got down to Indian Garden at 11:00am it was 94°. Extremely difficult hike on the way back. I am from Florida so despite my being "in shape" this hike was tough with the elevation change and dry heat. We left Indian Garden around 11:45am and got back to the top of the trail just shy of 3:00pm where the temperature was in the 80s. I drank probably over 100oz of water both ways and ate a big cliff bar at the bottom. I don't do well with activities on a full stomach.

We passed a lot/saw a lot of people going down AT NOON. No. Even 8:30am was a bit of a late start and because of it we couldn't manage the heat to get to the plateau. Start at sunrise. Otherwise go at like 2/3pm and settle for a nice 3 miler. It's just too hot in August and risking heat exhaustion is a terrible idea.

Really great hike. Next time I'll go in September and start by 6am.

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!

Amazing hike! I did this hike in its entirety to the Bright Angle campground at the river ten years ago with my father for his 55th birthday. Ten years later I went back with my wife and three kids (two teenagers and one early 20’s) and hiked to the three mile rest house they loved it, it’s challenging but worth it! Make sure you have water and containers to hold water and proper hiking boots. Recommend starting early because it gets warm fast! There are a lot of people on the trail which can be good and bad, between breaks you get time to chat with people from all over the world.

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!

Absolutely life changing!! Trail is very narrow at points, but this is a must!! Start early because it gets extremely hot.

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

great views. leave early, the hike up is step and hot. mules dont go past the tunnel.

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.

It's tempting to go this far and back up in a day hike but please note there is hardly shade and no water whatsoever on this trail. Even if you start before the sun rises, the hike back from Tip Off back to the trailhead will be extremely hot and exhausting. There is no shame in turning around at Skeleton Point or any time before you're halfway out of water to make sure you get out safely! Plus, Tip Off is mostly just a bathroom and the connection to the Tonto trail, not really too much of a "destination", per say. Still amazing though!

Hiked from the South to North Rim spending 2 nights at Bright Angel Campground and 1 night at Cottonwood CG. I found the S. Kaibab trail to be steep and by the time I reached Bright Angel CG I was beat.There are restrooms and water on the way down. A dip in Bright Angel Creek cooled me off and was very soothing. Temperature on the thermometer at the CG was 105....Steak dinner at Phantom Ranch is money well spent. Cottonwood CG is a pleasant hike from Bright Angel CG and toilets and water are available. The hike from Cottonwood CG to the North Rim is very pleasant for the first few miles and then turns into what I found to be a grueling accent. Overall, I would rate hiking the Grand Canyon a tough but spectacular experience with breathtaking views.

Only hiked down to the 3 mile and back up. That up is rough on you.

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.

Great hike and definitely worth it! Started about 45 minutes before sunrise and I highly recommend this during the summer time. We started hiking around 4:15 and made it back up around 10:30. Was just starting to get hot as we finished. There are water spouts 1.5 miles and 3 miles into the route and also one down in Indian Garden (about 5.5 miles in). Indian garden is way cooler than the unshaded area around it. Be prepared for the sun and heat because there is no shade the rest of the way to Plateau Point

Pretty easy going down but hard coming back up

hiking
26 days ago

my brother (16) and I (18) did this trail a couple days ago when it was 100 degrees. We only went to the 1.5 mile house due to time restrictions and a park ranger telling us we didn’t have enough salty snacks, but it was probably a smart idea to turn around there anyway as the hike up is definitely more challenging. There were many people on the trail, but the number diminished as we continued farther. It took us about 2 hours to do the hike. Great views and good exercise! None of it is too too difficult to climb up - I definitely recommend this hike!

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.

Best hike ever amazing views very hard work back to the rim

Wonderful experience, something you’ll never forget. Beautiful, difficult but breathtaking.

Did this 4 or 5 years ago and can't wait to go back

I did this on July 12. I was hiking up from Phantom Ranch. It was very difficult due to the heat and elevation. An early start is recommended.

backpacking
1 month ago

steep down, bring poles to save knees if doingrim to rim...glorious.

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