Explore the most popular camping 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.

Difficult trail with built in steps. Pretty steep inclines. Legs/knees started tiring at about 5 miles. Would train on stairs for this trail in the future. A great way to see other views of the Canyon for sure. Glad I did it.

Exposed and susceptible to wind gusts so be prepared with sun production.

backpacking
4 days ago

My group of 3 hiked to Hermit Creek in April and camped for two nights before returning. The creek is lovely and we enjoyed lunching by the rapids. The campground is basic, with two composting toilets and a bar for hanging packs. You can quickly access the creek below for water; be sure to use a filter. Hermit Trail is just as tough as advertised. We knew it would be steep and rough. We didn’t expect the areas that felt quite dangerous, as we tried to get over slide areas or sections that has mostly loose rock on the incline. If you are afraid of heights, this isn’t a trail for you. The views are stunning, however, and there is little traffic on the trail. I’m glad I did it, but won’t repeat this adventure.

Amazing! Definitely a “bucket list” thing! It was a hard hike out, fairly easy down though.

This was my 1st big hike of the year, I had been training for what I thought would be enough preparation for this big 9 mile hike. Hiking is nothing new to me, but these larger distance hikes are; although, I had been power walking and doing light jogging for 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week, for 2 months. It was tough the last 2.2 miles of the trail going back up to bright angel trail. My gps said i was keeping a pace on 1.5mph going down and then coming up I was 0.91 mph and then the last couple miles I dropped down to 0.75-0.80, of course I took more breaks going up.

So we began our hike at 6:30 in the morning, and arrived at Indian gardens at 10:30 that same morning, rested and had our lunch, then started our way back up around 11:22 p.m. and after much strenuous pushing, we arrived back to the top of bright angel trailhead and 8pm that evening. This was a challenge for me but I accomplished it, I am not to thrilled with my time but I know with more training I can cut that time down. Now I know to increase my jogging pace a little longer and maybe a little harder and start working out my legs. With that being said, it was a beautiful hike and despite my minor meltdowns, I would do this hike again. For me, there is something about working out with a hike, you make your way to the destination and you have to make your way back, and with treadmill workout or gym workouts, it is so easy and tempting to just stop and not continue.

Going down I drank about 107 oz of water, about 32 oz of that was vitamin water.
Going up 132oz of water.
I ate 1 bag of store bought jerky, one of the smaller bags, and packed myself 3 granola bars and had 2 cans of Vienna sausage, and finished a store bought trail mix, and 2 sneakers. (apologies for the lack of measurement information). keep in mind I ate hearty the night before and hydrated all week, I was averaging about a gallon a day for 5 days before my hike. This is definitely in the books for another hike. I hope my information was helpful.

I am 5' 1'', and 265 lbs. with about 2 months of jogging.

Total time was about 13.5 hrs, about 8 hrs of that was going back up from Indian Gardens to Bright angel trailhead.

It was a beautiful hike, with such vibrant scenery. Majority of the hikers were kind and had good hikers etiquette.

Hardest run I’ve ever done. Ended up clocking 20 miles total in 5:35 from South Kaibib to the bottom in just under 2 hours . Phantom Ranch was a nice leg but the climb back up was rough. I’m a FL runner and not used to the elevation but hammered thru . 3 hours + back up and found out it’s well over the 15.5 claimed. Would be an awesome 2 day hike but unless you are well prepared (nutrition, water , training) don’t try to do in a single day (as many of the signs pointed out)

We did the hike only up to the 1.5 mile point plus a little bit further, before turning back. The views are amazing, lots of switchbacks to drink up the views and you’ll be able to get some great pictures

As noted by others, the view doesn’t change that much all the way through but it is such a breath taking view so I personally really enjoyed it

We also did the South Kaibab trail hike which had more variations of views (but not as ‘breath taking’ imho). So recommend doing South Kaibab if you can only do one, but highly recommend both

PS. Hopi Point is very close by via the red shuttle, this is rated as the best place to see sunset and can confirm it was awesome!

Started at 5:45am (just before sunrise, so it was nice and cool) and arrived at the river at 7:45am, mostly running down since the grade on the trail was perfect for running. From there I took a half hour break and ate a bunch of food and started my way back up Bright Angel Trail. I arrived at the top at 12:30pm while taking 10-15 minute breaks at each shaded rest site since there was effectively no shade on the way up at that part of the day. Be sure to bring ample supplies and if you havent hiked at this level of difficulty I strongly advise you DONT hike this trail. If you are still interested go to the Backcountry office in the park and ask them for advice about this trail since they will take into account your level of experience and plans for the hike.

I started at 10:40AM at South Kaibab TH. This trail does not offer any shade. I made it to the junction of Black Bridge and River Trail by 1:00PM and I took River Trail as I did not need to resupply my water. Hiking River Trail, I took few pictures and stopped at the river for 5-10 minutes. I started back up at 1:40 PM (from the rest station) and made it up to the top at 5:05PM. it took me 6 hours to complete this trail. Notes: I did not stop for lunch and did not eat anything while hiking except I drank 16 once of gatorade at the bottom of the canyon and at the top, I had a handful of nuts and dry fruit.
The South Kaibab trail does not offer ANY shade in the first part of the day.
Bright Angel is excellent choice for shade in the afternoon. I barely saw the sun on my way up from Canyon to the parking. 90% shade. Perfect between 1:00PM and 5:00PM. I had 64 ounces of water and 32 ounces of gatorade and I did not resupply my water; however, India Garden offered some easy and fast option.
Another note: I soaked my hiking shirt and hat in the water> that kept me cool to the top (3,5hours).
Happy hiking! be safe!

We started our hike just after 9AM and made it to the 3 mile point around 11. The way down is easy, the way up is definitely challenging! We made it back around 130PM. We brought about 3 liters of liquids (2 liters of water and 2 Gatorades). We wore layers, wore a long sleeve and vest on the way down and just wore a t-shirt on the way up. Definitely a great way to see the canyon! We went on a Sunday and there were a decent amount of people but I wouldn’t consider it really crowded, so I’m assuming the people who commented that it was too crowded went on a Saturday or are used to trails without a lot of people.

hiking
14 days ago

prepare yourself for a treat. prepare yourself for a challenge. what an awesome trail all around.

Was an Amazing experience, the views Breathtaking want to go back and hike to the Colorado River

I did just the Bright Angel the previous day (till Plateau Point), and the entire hike took me only 6 hours. Based on elevation gain and distance, I calculated South Kaibab - River - Bright Angel trail to take no more than 8 hours. However, lots of Internet reports suggested a minimum of 10-14 hours. In any case, I decided to go ahead and try the hike. A bit of bad luck and really cold morning meant I didn't start until 10:40 AM; the sunset was due at 6:40 PM. So, I had to go for the kill from the word go. I run a lot and recently prepared and ran a Full Marathon, so I was in the peak of my fitness. I like running downhill, and I found it easy to run down in some part of the South Kaibab trail. There were some parts with loose sand where I had to walk but apart from that, I was doing good speed - 1.5 miles in about 25 minutes. So, I reached Cedar Ridge at 11:05, Skeleton Point at 11:30ish, and Tip Off at about 12. There was hardly anyone after Tip Off point but the scenery started getting very pretty, and I got down to the Black Bridge by about 1 PM. I met a few rafters at the beach who were travelling across the Colorado River. Since I was hiking alone, it was good to meet some humans as that place was very desolate. My next goal was to get to Indian Garden by 4PM at the latest, so I kept going at a steady pace. My lunch was just protein bars and nuts, so I could eat them as I hike. After a while on the River Trail, there were those long switchbacks but keeping my motivation high, I could climb them without any issue. After a bit of following the stream, there was a point where there was a huge rock and no clear indication of the trail. Thankfully, once I jumped over the rock, I found the trail back, and it was easy hiking from there to India Garden. I reached there at 3PM, and I knew it would take me 2.5 hours from there to the top since I did this same part the previous day. This is also the hardest part of the hike, and it comes at a time when you are really tired. So, doing the same trail the previous day helped me with the mental confidence. I met several groups on the way up who had started very very early (6AM or so), but they were extremely tired and not in a mental state to hike up. I cheered them up and gave pointers on the remaining route and reached the top at 5:40 PM. In all, it took me only 7 hours. If you really want to do it quick, try to do the Bright Angel hike till India Garden the previous day. It serves as a good practice and also prepares me mentally for the toughest part of the Rim to River hike.

Magnificent views and easier than I expected. There are some steep sections, but the trail is well maintained and never less than 4 feet wide.
Be sure to hike to the vantage point at Cedar Ridge.

This review is for the tourist:
I did basically this same loop yesterday. I was running. I have a lot of experience. There are others like me who have trained and are experienced that can SAFELY do this or even go further. Most cannot. If you haven’t done something like this before, DON’T DO IT. Most people do this hike over TWO days, for good reason. If you try this in one it will suck and you’ll you put yourself in danger. I saw at least 5 people that I had to make sure were ok. They were NOT prepared. They did NOT have the right nutrition. They did NOT have enough water. They did NOT know what they were in for. I hope you do now! :)

Absolutely overcrowded until you pass the 1.5 mile point. It is fairly steep, I finished this hike is 3.5 hours (45 minutes stopping for lunch included). There was no water in April. It does have a temperature variation, so layers are key. I also finished 3 liters of water and was out as soon as I got back to the top, so if you’re wanting to go farther than this, pack LOTS of water. Recommend trekking poles for the way up. Also, the common tourist population has no regard for hikers- so be prepared to feel like people are pushing you off the trail from walking side by side in pairs of 3.

This map actually takes you to Skeleton Point but there are two stops before that. Ooh Ah point is about 1 mike in. Great viewpoint! Next is Cedar Creek and from there Skeleton Point. This trail is ALL incline from the start. . Definitely a strenuous hike but we enjoyed it a lot! No snow anymore. If you have poles, bring them along with sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water! Try to start early to mid morning.

Including resting and taking pictures, we made it to Cedar Creek and back in about 2.5 hours. Go the pace that works for you!

Very steep going down to the Colorado river.
Great views. Glad we were going down to spend the night. Did Bright Angels trail next day.

Great hike but hard. Covered 4580 feet of up from the river. Stop for lunch at Indian Gardens. Four hours from the bottom then another four hours to the rim. Total hike time 8 hours. Once in a life time event.

Not for the weak of heart. Lots of tourists taking kids down, not very kid friendly. The way down is deceptively easy as the route back up is much more challenging mid-day. But the views were unbeatable and an experience to remember.

This was the hardest hike I have ever done in my life. There are signs about 1 mile down that say to not to hike down to the Colorado river and back in one day unless you are an experienced hiker. Unfortunately for me, I am not an experienced hiker. However, I am slightly above average. And I did it. By the time I reached Phantom Ranch from the South Kaibab descent, I was starting to feel burn. After a break, I refilled water and started up Bright Angel. Five miles up the trail, I did not want to go any longer. Everything hurt. I was tired. But I had no option but to finish. The last 2.5 miles were the hardest because I was physically and mentally exhausted, and there were loads of switchbacks. I ended up taking frequent breaks and drinking lots of water. Slow and steady wins the race. If you are looking to hike this trail remember that 1. You need to stay hydrated
2. You will have to push yourself
Overall it was absolutely incredible. Amazing scenery and a fantastic experience. Very well worth the pain you will feel the next day.

Have to be prepared and drink extra water laced with electrolytes (Heed or Nuun are two good mixes for water) otherwise dehydration will hit you in the final 3-4 miles. Also, this mileage estimate is incorrect. All my trackers and other maps suggest this is probably 18 miles +

Bucket list hike. South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch is fast and beautiful. Coming back on Bright Angel was great along the creek. Last 3 miles of hike had the most switchbacks I have ever encountered. Not enough sleep the night before and no real hiking since last October made for a painful ascent. But it was best hike of my life so far. The hike is more like 19 miles if you add up the segments of the trails on the official Grand Canyon map.

Not my favorite hike on the South Rim. I think South Kaibab Trail is better. The trailhead is connected to the Rim Trail and is easily accessible which makes this trail crowded. I only went to the 1.5 mike resthouse. This trail is steeper than the South Kaibab Trail in my opinion. The view is all the same throughout this trail. This trail gets 3 stars because of the crowdedness.

I think this is the best hike on the South Rim (better than Bright Angel) due to the diversification of the views. It gets pretty crowded on the trail up until Cedar Ridge. The portion of the trail to Skeleton Point has less people. I think Cedar Ridge has a better view and better photo opportunities than Ooh Ahh Point. I went all the way to Skeleton Point (about 1.5 miles away from Cedar Ridge). The hike took about 4.5 hours (that is including some breaks). Going down the trail is easy. Going back up is definitely steep and will take 2x longer than when you were going down. I would bring a bandana to cover your mouth and nose for this trail. There is a portion that is a bit sandy/dusty and you don’t want to be inhaling dust while hiking.

hiking
25 days ago

It is all that. Hardly any options to camp before Marion Point, then Tilted Mesa after that--both of those spots were so windy--gusting 40+--we kept going. Good amount of exposure on that first long traverse. Nothing out of character compared to other Canyon hikes, just much more of it. Beautiful. Very challenging. Getting to the ancient structures high above the Colorado made me feel very fortunate.

Epic hike with fantastic views. Turned at the Hyde (1-ish mile short of the campgrounds) and then went out to Plateau Point on the way back. Ran most of it and took a few short hiking and snack breaks. Bring lots of water and food. As a highly active 17 year old guy (w/ a 1:33:44 half marathon PR for reference) it took me about 5 hours, 4:34 moving time.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked down a week ago in 4 in of snow. Take your time. Gorgeous hike!!

What a great trail! We did it with a 8-year old. It was tough for her, especially towards the end, but worth every step. The views are absolutely breathtaking! It took us 5 hours in total, including 30 min at the Skeleton Point: 2 hours down and 3 hours back up.

We hiked up bright angel after coming down via south kaibab

All I can say is this trail broke me I literally thought I couldn’t make it every time I looked up
The elevation gain along with my heavy backpack was enough to make me ache so much. The last 2 hours going up I was about ready to call it a day and sleep on trail lol it was that bad. It also gets pretty cold near the top so bring a jacket easy access

For us it wasn’t icy but still some scary parts of the trail with steep drops. It took us about 7 hours to reach the top from the river and luckily there was lots of shade. The trail before the steep climb was enjoyable and pretty all the way up to about Indian gardens. Don’t think I’ll ever do this one again

We took a free shuttle back to the backcountry permit office

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