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.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, super easy and quick. A great view at the end and well worth it.

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
1 day 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 took the kids with us 13 and 8 years old, camped at the bottom in Phantom Ranch, then hiked back up half way to Indian Garden the next day and then back up to the top the last day. I feel like “Indian Garden” to “Bright Angel” trail head is harder than “Phantom Ranch” to “Indian Garden”.
Also, there’s cold beer and snacks down at Phantom Ranch!

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!

We finished this hike on Oct 13, 2018. We have a group of 5 people from N2S and a group of 3 from S2N. We started from the north kaibab trailhead at 5 am and finished at bright angel trailhead at 5:30pm.
Downhill with a lot of people, a wall of headlights zigzagging, at a beautiful starry sky background. Detoured for ribbon falls, but did not went too close. Meet our friend around 10:30 and did a funny ‘car key exchange ceremony’. Arrived at phantom ranch at 11:10 am and took a 1.5-hour break, including sending postcard with ‘transfer by mule’ stamp. Arrived at Indian garden at 2:30 pm. The final 3 piece of 1.5mi were difficult as we felt really tired. Not very steep with a lot of switchbacks, but seams endless. Our three other friends arrived around 7pm, caught the heavy rain started around 6:30pm T^T. Our opposite direction S2N friends finished their hiking in just 10 hours!
The scenery along the trail were astonishing. Pushing ourselves to the limit was amazing too!

Amazing! Last 3 miles are no joke!

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

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!

We hiked it in 1 day, sunrise to sunset. 10/10 recommend if your in good shape and up for a challenge. Going down is easy but hard on your knees. Going up was the hard part but the views made it worth it.

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 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.

Hiked down North Kaibab trail to Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel on Oct 7th, 2018. I have hiked the GC before but this was my first time doing Rim to Rim. The entire hike had amazing views!!!The best hike so far! The hardest part is the last 5 plus miles out. I carried too much in my back pack (clothes) fearing rain that was in the forecast. We had hardly any rain leaving a heavy backpack. We had a group of 15 hikers and started in the dark at 5:30am. The first one out was at 1:20pm and the last two out was at 7pm. I got out at 3:20pm. Only stopped twice, once at Phantom Ranch for only 15 min and once at Indian Gardens for 10 min. I think if I rested a little longer and ate more I would have felt better coming out. For most of the hike I felt pretty good, but somewhat worn out for the climb out. I am 53 and plan do do it every year as long as I am able. It is a must do for every serious hiker!!!!

Was a great hike
Very crowded the first few miles but then the crowds thin out the deeper you go , around the 3 mile mark
I disagree with a lot of. Reviews here about it’s difficulty , I exercise but am by no means in great condition and found the hike relatively easy
Just enjoy you’re surroundings and take it all in , the miles will pass by before you know it !!
Enjoy

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 husband and I started at the North Kaibab trailhead at 7 am on Saturday Sept 30. We felt great the first 18 miles but the last five were brutal. We took about two hours worth of breaks along the trail and ended at Bright Angel Trailhead at 8 pm. I would say it’s essential that you take hiking poles, they honestly saved us. The views are incredible and it’s so interesting to see how the vegetation and rock formations change as you travel through the canyon. It’s rewarding to see how far you’ve come! Incredibly hard but beautiful day.

Definitely worth the extra half mile to check out Ribbon Falls!

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!

Fantastic but tough hike! I felt pretty confident going in, however the elevation change kicked my butt big time. At the 3 mile rest stop I felt slightly dizzy and could tell my hands were a bit swollen. Miles later, it was so much worse obviously as the elevation continuously changes throughout. I had to stop for awhile as my arms were so swollen I thought they would burst. A good rest and elevating my arms helped me snap out of it and continue on to make it 15 of the 17 miles.

The trail is well maintained, there are plenty of rest stops along the way, the weather was perfect when we went. I think it’s more the length of the trail, not being properly prepared, hiking during hotter times of day, and of course the elevation that can make this hike extremely difficult rather than the actual trail itself. It definitely is nerve wracking being all the way in the canyon knowing it’s up to you to get yourself back out!

When I go again, I will bring hiking poles to elevate my arms a bit, and pace myself more just to allow my body to properly acclimate so I don’t have the same issue! Otherwise it was amazing and I can’t wait to go back!

I went with my 11 year old son and my 63 year old dad. We stayed at Cottonwood, Bright Angel, and Indian Gardens. The trail was well maintained and wide enough that I never felt it was unsafe for my son. However, bring a filtration system because the pipe line breaks constantly. This was very exhausting for us because we are not in shape but it was do able and would recommend to anyone. We will never forget our trip here. Despite all the blisters and pain we are already planning our next trip via South Kaibab.

Beautiful trail. We started at 0710 and finished at 2215 with a couple of stops to dip in the stream and stare at ribbon falls.

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.

Hard but very rewarding when you finish it!

hiking
25 days ago

We hiked Rim to Rim (N to S) over 2 days the week of July 4th, 2017. In preparation for the trip, the starting point is to get a resv @ phantom ranch (PR) - they have private cabins and dorms (male vs female); we were in the dorm. I think 2018 they started a lottery, so you will need to investigate that. We left our car on the S side of the rim, spent the nite on the rim in a GC Park lodge and then took a shuttle (private shuttle that picked up a group right at one of the lodges on the rim) to the N rim - it’s ~4 hr drive. We spent the nite at the N rim in the only GC park lodge (very rustic cabins, but have bathrooms). And then the morning of our hike, the same shuttle that drove us to the N rim came and picked up the same group for $5 per person and drove us to the trailhead (about 2m from the cabins). He picked us up @ 4:30am and we were on the trail by 5am. Needed headlamps then. Would recommend trekking poles. 14m down N Kabob Trail (took us 7 hours) to PR and then I think 9 m up Bright Angel Trail (took us 9 hours) (this was the killer; constantly stepping up over logged steps.). Going down, the last part before reaching PR is what is called ‘the box’ which is 7 m long. It is the lowest level of canyon rock, is black rock, and the canyon is very narrow in The Box. Heats up with the sun and can be very dangerous. Supposed to get thru it by 11am; which we were not, and knew we wouldn’t be. We got to PR around noon. We then sat on a rock in the river and cooled off. We had reserved dinner at PR (there are a couple of seatings to choose from; would recommend the early seating since you arrive at PR around noon.) We also reserved a packed lunch for the next day (we also bought early bfast, but left around 4:30am before it was served @ 6am; we did this to beat the heat.) We hiked 4th of July week; crazy hot. It’s a great experience, but need to research the trail (can be a little confusing at a couple of points and not a lot of hikers on the trails) and be prepared as people have died on the trail. We passed a couple of girls in their late 20s and one had been sick on the trail and they spent a very cold nite on the floor of a bathroom on the trail. Have to know about water consumption and not to drink too much or it throws your chemicals off and can become sick. Lots of research. When we got to the S rim, we had lunch and our car was right there. It’s absolutely beautiful seeing the sun come up in the GC. We carried very little with us, ea had a hydration pack, large brim sunhat, cooling cloth, electrolytes , snacks, emergency kit, chg of underware /socks, toothbrush, slept in our shorts and sports bras, ... Some people were doing the R2R in one day (not spending the nite) - wouldn’t recommend unless all are in excellent condition.

Beautiful way to experience the Grand Canyon. Spend 2 nights at Phantom Ranch if you can as there are great side trails and a creekside area

Load More