Most amazing hike. I am not a “serious hiker,” however I did train for 3 months to do this hike. We did Rim to Rim in one day, from North to South Rim via Bright Angel on October 20. Weather was PERFECT! Chilly in the morning (started a little after 6am in the dark), but warmed up very quickly. We took 30 hikers with us, from 16 years old to 60, but didn’t all stay together. A few things to note:
* It’s actually 23.9 miles. I verified with a Park Ranger.
* Water is available often, but I always kept at least 3 liters on me at all times, and that was during the fall. If you hike in the heat, you will need MUCH more! I would not do this hike in the summer.
* Electrolytes are not optional.
* You need to snack the entire way down the rim. Then stop to eat your packed lunch at Phantom Ranch. You won’t feel like eating much after that (even though you should) so almost all your calories & electrolytes needs to be in the morning. Salty tastes way better than sweet.
* There are NO garbage cans...you will need to pack out every tiny bit of garbage with you.
* I finished in just over 12 hours. It’s doable for the most physically fit in about 8-10 hours. The last of our group finished in 15 1/2 hours with a knee injury.
* The switchbacks on Bright Angel are not as steep as I expected. They are just extremely relentless and never ending. The last 3 miles will take FOREVER.
* Have a head lamp with you.
* Use every bathroom you pass. There are no “hidden areas” to squat behind. No matter where you go, you will be seen!
* This is not a loop, nor an out and back. You will need a driver waiting for you at the Rim you finish on. We met some people who didn’t think that through, and were trying to figure out how to get back to their car on the North Rim, which was about a 4 hour drive away!
* I was terrified to do this hike, but am so glad I did! You will not regret doing it, as long as you are PREPARED! Hike a few times each week, walk a lot, and do the stair stepper as often as possible.