Explore the most popular birding 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.

I did this trail in reverse (Bright Angel to Kaibab). It took about 7 hours. I brought three liters of water and ran out with three miles to go. Not good! I'd bring four next time. You can probably get away with three going the opposite direction because there is a fill up station at the Indian Garden campground before the last uphill push to Bright Angel trailhead. The weather is beautiful in mid-October. The scenery is the most consistently spectacular of any hike I've done. Enjoy!

Kinda boring, it was the only trail that was dog friendly. Was able to see some beautiful views, wish we could have seen more though! It was freezing, raining and snowing. Definitely need to give the grand canyon another try!

I did it on 14th October. started at 9am from south Kaibab trail and reached Phantom ranch at 1pm. Again returned back at 1:45pm from Bright Angel trail and reached south rim at 7:10pm. It's hectic especially last 3miles but worth it. Overall its amazing experience.

backpacking
4 days ago

This was our 3rd day on our backpacking trip and assent. We started just above Papago Falls because we lost daylight and didn’t make it to Hance Rapids. It started raining just as we were packing up the tent and continued all day. I would have rated this a nicer hiker if it wasn’t for the weather. The trail was nice and gradual up the creek bed and then an uphill battle. I never felt any of the sections of the trail were dangerous even tho they looked it, it was pretty well marked with cairns. It started snowing heavily as we approached the rim which after being soaked from rain the snow killed our moral and made it difficult and dangerous to see the trail. It seemed like we would never make it to the top and were so happy to see the Trail marker. We parked on the side of the road near the trail head so it wasn’t a far walk out. This is a very difficult uphill do not underestimate the climb or the weather.

Breathtaking views throughout. This trail takes you through some different terrain unlike South Kaibab and Bright Angel. I did Grandview to Cottonwood Creek to Tonto to Hance Creek and back up Grandview. Started about 6AM and finished about 2:30 PM with plenty of photo stops and snack breaks. It did rain in the beginning causing the route down to Horseshoe Mesa to be quit slippery. Bring plenty of water. I consumed 4L. Also brings pants....lots of brush/cactus especially on the Tonto over hanging onto the trail. Not super populated, I saw 2 rangers and about 10 hikers all around. The trail itself was relatively easy to follow and I did not feel the need to use GPS.

What an amazing hike. More scenic and diverse than I imagined. Hiked this with 7 boys scouts (ages 12 and 13) and three adults (ages 45 to 57). Started at 7:00 AM on the South Kaibab Trail in cool and humid conditions. We took our time getting down, resting for about 10 minutes every hour, taking about 4 hours to get to the river. Crossed the black bridge and made our way to Phantom Ranch. Ate lunch on a shaded park bench, bought some lemonade ($5.00 but worth every cent), and rested for a bit before we started back up the Bright Angel Trail. Made very good time to Indian Garden, got there just before 3:00. The rest of the hike was very intense climb. At one point you see the switchbacks in front of you and it looks as steep as the Price Is Right Mountain Climber Game. We kept a good pace, kept looking back at our progress, and rested for 10 minutes at 3 mile and 1.5 mile Resthouses. Completed the hike just before 6 PM.
A few recommendations for those planning this hike. First, trekking poles are very helpful. Second, pack light. I think everyone in our party carried 2-5 pounds of food that was never touched. Third, packing a frozen water/sport drink bottle will be 90% thawed by Indian Garden and very refreshiing. Fourth, use moleskin liberally, as soon as you feel any burn on your feet.

We were flooded with emotions when we reached the top of North Rim after 10.5 hours of trekking through the most magnificent canyon. A must do for pain seekers!

hiking
7 days ago

Not too much scenery. Frequent open areas. Lots of elk.

Amazing! Last 3 miles are no joke!

Awesome trail!! It can be very rocky and steep at times, but nothing too crazy. Th views are amazing. Very different than the views from the canyon rim. There's some cool ruins at the bottom too.

This trail is less crowded than many other trails in the park. The day I was there, the main Village had thousands of people walking around, and this trail head had 50-100 people at the viewpoint. My entire hike I saw about 5-6 other groups of hikers.

I took the down hill as part hike, part trail run. Rim to campground was about 45 minutes. the hike back up was about 1.5 hours at a good clip. This trail is doable in 2.5 hours, but you have to have decent weather and be ready to hustle.

100% recommend this trail.

Wife and I hiked South Kaibab down to the river, then back up via Bright Angel on Sat, 10/6. We definitely enjoyed the hike and lucked out having an overcast day and a little rain drizzle on the final 4 miles up Bright Angel. Here were our stats in case you are trying to do some planning for your own trip.

South Kaibab to Cedar Ridge - 42 min (we were stuck behind mules at the start of the hike and stopped to take off clothing layers)
Cedar Ridge to Skeleton Point - 30 min
Skeleton Point to Tip Off - 32 min
Tip Off to Silver Bridge - 1hr 3min
Silver Bridge to Indian Garden - 1hr 47min
Indian Garden to 3 Mile House - 39 min
3 Mile House to 1.5 Mile Rest House - 38 min
1.5 Mile Rest House to Bright Angel Trailhead - 40 min

Strava Stats
16.5mi - Distance
6:13:33 - Moving Time
7:17 - Elapsed Time
4,791ft - Elevation Gain
22:32/mi - Average Pace

hiking
8 days ago

This trail is easy and beautiful with glimpses of the valley below. I hiked Segment 36. The directions do not go with this segment.

hiked from North rim to South rim on the AZT in a day

Beautiful hike with beautiful views! Took us a little over two hours round trip, with a lunch break at the bottom. Easy going down, so don't let that fool you. Coming up will have your heart pumping and your thighs burning!

10/9/18
Amazing: 14 miles in 6.24 miles with very few stops. Lightly packed with trail running vest and 2.5 L water. Days prior and morning of was rain and cold . Began around 1200 and finished 6:24.

Relatively easy hike. Climbed down a few rocks to get to a more secluded spot, but there are some great spots out on the ledge to sit and have lunch, very peaceful with nice views.

This trail is really beautiful but it wouldn’t be my first trail to recommend if you only have a couple days in the canyon and want wide open views of the canyon. This trail is great if you’ve seen the most common trails and want something a little different. Fairly easy with most elevation gain on your way back out. The only shade is around dripping springs and that’s the only source of water as well. If you don’t have anything to sterilize the water you need to pack enough for yourself.

This hike is a simple walk through the woods but oh my gosh is it amazing when you reach the point! This hike is suitable for pretty much everyone young kids, inexperienced hikers, etc. but oh man, the view at the end.. I’d hike MILES for that. It’s one of the few easy lookout points that don’t have a paved walkway right up to it so you are likely to find yourself with some alone time to take on the views. Sunrise would be incredible from this point. I witnessed a wedding on this point one evening at sunset. It’s just so perfect!

This hike is amazing. You get to see so many amazing features of the canyon. While amazing, this hike is also tough! I did this hike the weekend of July 6th. Hiked down SK in about 4 hours starting at 5am. Spent the night at phantom which was a whopping 112 degrees F. Woke up at 3:30 and hiked back out. Make sure to grab some world famous lemonade at Phantom Ranch! The hike up was not that bad but I had been preparing all summer for it. I highly, highly recommend preparing by running and using a stairclimber/ incline treadmill. The hike up BA is absolutely gorgeous. Once you hit Indian Gardens, the last ~4 miles are pretty tough but doable if you take your time. Savor your time at Indian Gardens, there is nothing quite like it!

One of my favorite trails in the park! Hiked it multiple times while at the canyon. Please please if you pan to do it bring water! There is NO water access on this trail. Bring at least a liter per person, more if it’s during the summer. Beautiful views and once you get to the ridge it opens up and you can see all around the canyon. Difficult but doable if you take your time. Wear proper footwear, I don’t recommend sandals.

wow. amazing hike. best kept secret.

Rainy day road trip to the North Rim, weather was decent, so we decided to trek below the rim on the Kaibab trail, this was our first experience at the Grand Canyon. We easily made it to the Coconino Overlook and decided to go on to the Supai tunnel, really great views, it’s easy to understand why people get down too deep and have trouble getting back up! Love the quote we heard, “going down is optional, but coming back up is mandatory!“ The canyon keeps calling you to go deeper! We started to get a pretty steady rain but we were prepared, have rain gear and appreciate clothing. We had a snack break under an overhang near the tunnel, and headed back up. We saw many trail runners who were running the entire Kaibab trail South Rim to North Rim then back to the South Rim, all in a day! Made our climb out in the rain and hail seem pretty easy! I failed to do a recording, but took us about three hours or so at a leisurely pace.

This is an amazing hike for sure. We did it in one day, but we had some surprises.
I am 47, non-runner, in reasonable shape but no active training. My son is 19 and in reasonable shape, again, no training.
We picked this hike because we had one day to see it all. We surely did see it all, this is an indescribably beautiful hike through varied conditions and terrain that leaves nothing out. I highly recommend it, but I would not do it again in a single day. Plan ahead and stay the night at Phantom Ranch. Seriously.
First surprise was that this hike isn't actually 15.5 miles as stated. We logged 18.7 miles, 5200 vertical feet and a total time of 11 hours.
We started early but by the time we got in the park, parked, found the right shuttle to S.K. trailhead and started off, it was 8 am. Way later than we had hoped.

We were surprised by the condition of the trail. We have hiked much lesser trails that are much less improved. Both S.K. and B.A. are very well maintained. Conditions vary from dirt, primitive cobble stone, loose sand, and loose rock. Lots of log and stone steps, but no boulder scrambles or such.

The S.K. trail down is steep and the vistas are continuously changing. There is no water and shade is very rare. We made it down to the river in about 3.5 hours. It was getting to be the hottest part of the day and at the bottom it is like an oven. So we made it to Phantom Ranch and chilled for about 30 minutes before soaking in a creek as we started up B.A. trail.

B.A. trail is a totally different animal. It primarily winds it's way through a single large canyon and the terrain varies from cliffs along the river to semi-dense forest. There is lots of creek and drinkable water along the way which we took advantage of at every opportunity.
We emerged from B.A. in the dark (not the plan) at about 7pm.

One the way down we saw many other hikers, probably 30. On the way up from Phantom up to Indian Garden we saw only 1 other person. After Indian Garden there were about a dozen of us that periodically passed each other on the way up.

We each had a 2L camelback and carried a 1L for Nunn tabs which we refilled along the way. On the way down we went through about 2.5L each. Temp was 80ish with total sun.
On the way up we started with our 3L each. Refilled 2L along the way. There are three water stops in the last 4.5 miles so we weren't likely to run out, but we went through a lot of it. Lots of Cliff bars, jerky and such throughout the day.

With 4 miles to go I was thinking we might do the hike in a total of 10 hours, but as others have said, the last two miles or so are pretty tough. Nothing crazy, just a non-stop grind after a very long day. We were doing 26-27 minute miles typical. The last 3.5 were 35+.

My son was totally spent and the down and back left him in rough shape. I have bad ITB knees which I started to feel at about mile 3 and got really bad with about 4 miles to go. In the last two I was practically using my trekking poles as extra legs. I had ITB wraps and we both had poles. I would say poles are a must.

Loved this hike! We did it in March, and got up early to do it so it was pretty cool for our whole hike. We did down and back to Cedar Ridge in 2 hours, but it was a challenge! Getting up early to beat the spring break crowds was definitely worth it, and we were able to catch views of some mountain goat hiking the trail next to us!

I have hiked the canyon 5 times in 5 years. I’ve done this hike twice this year, one on May 18th, the other on Sep 29th. The weather was similar both times 80 day & 45 night. The second time we had a little less daylight to work with so carry a head light. It took a little longer the second time because waterlines were broken at the bottom and had to walk into Phantom Ranch to use restrooms and get water. One could carry a filter and water up in the streams but I wouldn’t recommend the Colorado River.
There is something about hiking this Canyon that is addicting. Being at the bottom and working your way up is taxing but the shear majesty of this work of art is beyond breathtaking. The challenge of the climb is also something to brag about.
I’m 67 & had a total knee replacement at 61, I will hike this trail until my body won’t let me.

My friend and I age 27, and 30 just completed this hike 9/30. Trekking down S.Kaibab at 10am arriving at Phantom Ranch around 4 and hiking up Bright Angel the next day in. Both of us not novice but still beginner hikers who found it easy going down, quite a bit tougher on the return. One of us has bad knees and hiking poles were a life saver. Toilets along the way were nice, only one water refuel station on S.kaibab. We narrowly missed a pipe breakage, where no water was available for a good amount of time, bringing a filteration system, water pump or life straw for backup is a good idea. We also had 25-30lb packs with the food, water, camera gear. If I had the chance to repeat, I'd cut weight by half with the exception of water and get a much earlier start to beat the heat. You'll need all that you think and then some. We brought 2.5L each, ran into 2 gals who were doing rim to rim in one day and ran out 3/4 the way, asking passerbys for any spare. So better to err on the side of caution and bring extra. Salt tablets also helped and dense nutritious snacks. It is incredibly worth the trip especially if you get a chance to stay and wander along the bottom. Take your time and enjoy these amazing views!

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon (south rim) a few times and hiked Bright Angel and South Kaibab trail. Those views are absolutely beautiful, but this trail’s view is my favorite and is truly breathtaking. HIGHLY recommend this short trail!

My girlfriend and I did this hike in one day, even though it’s not recommended. We have done tougher hikes before, but we hadn’t taken the brutal weather into consideration since the reports stated only 86-87 degrees. But in retrospect, maybe we shouldn’t have, at least not in these conditions. It was over 100 degrees (max 103 at Indian Garden) that day and we had just flown in from the Netherlands the day before being jetlagged. The elevation difference made it more difficult for us since our country is flat. Anyhow, going down South Kaibab is really easy, especially if you have long legs, you can almost run it down. Took us 2.5 hours, had a pit stop next to the Colorado river and the small creeks after that. When we were going back up, it was extremely hot when we reached Indian Garden. You can refill your water bottles there, which is much needed. After that the fun starts, you’re already worn out and then the steepest part begins. The steps become bigger making it tough to reach the end. We did it on willpower, just under 12 hours, being totally exhausted. We met a ranger at the 3 mile resthouse who told us that 2 people died of heat stroke in the past months, so if you are no avid hiker, this is not the day hike for you, at least not in extreme weather conditions. Camping for 1 night before making your way up is recommended in that case. Even though this turned out to be the most strenuous hike, we loved the magical views and how majestic only the grand canyon can be.

Beautiful hike! We started around 0630 and ended around 1545. Park at Bright Angel and took the early morning hiker's bus to the South Kaibab TH. We only saw one other person on the Tonto trail as we crossed over. As others have said, bring plenty of water. There are a few stations on the Bright Angel Trail but none coming down on the South Kaibab or Tonto Trail.

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