Explore the best river 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.

This is a breathtaking trail! We went 12/31/16-1/1/17. We made the descent to Indian Gardens and camped there for the night. we woke up early the next day to make the rest of the trek before the sun rose. The most memorable sunrise of my life. After you’ve made your descent from the canyon rim it is pretty flat the remainder of the trail from Indian gardens to Plateau Point. If you’re camping it could easily be done in one day, from the rim to the point, then camp and out the next day. Getting back up the switchbacks is quite the trek. When we did it there was snow and slush covering the trail about half way and ice at the top which just required trekking poles and crampons and paying more attention to our foot placement. The way down took a lot longer for us because we were constantly stopping to take in the scenery. We made it out in a crazy 2.5 hours. We stopped twice for no more than 5 mins. It was for speed only, not for enjoyment. I would say to expect to get out in about 4 hours depending on your pack weight and fitness level.

We did this hike mid-October. Down South Kaibab and up Bright Angel is recommended; former is shorter but steeper. Neither trail is too technical, and both are very well maintained. Took us 8 hours all in; we are 52 and pretty fit. MUSTS: Start early, wear hats and good shoes/socks, take lots of water and hi-energy snacks, and use poles if you have them. It was truly the most amazing hike we've ever done. Hubby got 42000 steps on his FitBit!!!

My husband and I hiked this on Tuesday and I'm 55 and he's 54. We left at 6:30 with a temp of 36 degrees at the top, with clear skies and a light wind. Took us 3 hrs to get to Phantom Ranch - a total of 7.4mi by my Garmin. The views are spectacular as the sun rises. We both had Camel packs with water and tailwind. Didn't drink as much on the way down. Planned snacks as I would for an ultra. Took 45 min at Phantom ranch (got lemonade, recharged everything, changed socks & added water to the packs) before heading back to and up Bright Angel. Took us 5hr 1 min to get to the top - 11 miles - for a total of 18.4miles. Much less steep than the So Kaibab and "easier" to hike but much longer. Plan on appropriate snacks in addition to hydration. There is great beer available at the Bright Angel Lodge after you finish. You won't be sorry you did this hike if you plan and train well. It is truly an incredible experience!

My husband and I hiked this on Tuesday and I'm 55 and he's 54. We left at 6:30 with a temp of 36 degrees at the top, with clear skies and a light wind. Took us 3 hrs to get to Phantom Ranch - a total of 7.4mi by my Garmin. The views are spectacular as the sun rises. We both had Camel packs with water and tailwind. Didn't drink as much on the way down. Planned snacks as I would for an ultra. Took 45 min at Phantom ranch (got lemonade, recharged everything, changed socks & added water to the packs) before heading back to and up Bright Angel. Took us 5hr 1 min to get to the top - 11 miles - for a total of 18.4miles. Much less steep than the So Kaibab and "easier" to hike but much longer. Plan on appropriate snacks in addition to hydration. There is great beer available at the Bright Angel Lodge after you finish. You won't be sorry you did this hike if you plan and train well. It is truly an incredible experience!

We did 3 days and 2 nights. Just amazing and beautiful. Looking for to do it again.

What a hike! Seemed as though every bend brought new beautiful views. This is a must do for anyone that enjoys a challenge. Planning on making this hike a yearly tradition.

10/10/2017 We hiked North Kaibab down to Phantom Ranch in about 5 hours. The weather was cool and the fall colors in the canyon were beautiful. We played too long at the beach and didn’t leave until 3 pm. Didn’t have time to see much of Indian Garden just passed right through. Had to use our cell phones for light on the trail as the sun goes down around 6:15 this time of year. Made it out at 8pm. Wasn’t planning on hiking in the dark but saw the most spectacular star show in the sky!

Great hike! Good water stops and it was key! :)

Hiking in Grand Canyon:
Growing up in India, my brother and I had done trekking to Himalayan glaciers during high school years. After coming to USA I always wanted to go hiking with my brother to some memorable spot. But the opportunity never arose until my brother turned 40 this year and wanted to do something special on his birthday. We decided to hike down the South Rim of Grand Canyon in the National Park area. But since we didn’t make our plans well in advance, finding lodging at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch was out of question. My brother suggested we hike down and up in a single day. Initially I wasn’t too excited about the idea as I felt we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I must confess that I am not in the best shape and apart from some weekend tennis I haven’t exercised regularly. Also, the weather in the month of April is not predictable. But I went along with the idea, thinking that we can always turn back midway. We settled on going down by South Kaibab trail and coming up the relatively gentler but longer Bright Angel trail. As I warmed up to the idea sufficiently, we reserved our room at Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon Village and bought our airline tickets flying in on Friday and out on Sunday.
I had planned to go on a diet and do regular exercise in preparation for the hike but never got around doing it. The fateful weekend arrived too soon. I flew from Philadelphia to Phoenix and my brother joined me there around 5 PM. We picked our rental car and started driving towards Grand Canyon. On the way we stopped in Flagstaff for dinner and bought some supplies for the hike. As we resumed on our journey it started to snow! It was past 11 PM by the time we reached Grand Canyon Village and there was an inch of snow on the ground. We headed to our lodge to get our room keys, not knowing what tomorrow had in store for us. As we checked-in the ranger at the front desk casually asked us what our plans were during our stay. We boastfully proclaimed our intentions to hike down the canyon. When he learned that we did not have reservation at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of Grand Canyon he admonished us not to attempt the hike all the way down. Instead he advised us to hike up to certain points on South Kaibab trail and do a reality-check about whether to proceed further or to turn back. We listened to him intently and were starting to have serious doubts about our plan. That night we slept nervously and just as we were beginning to catch some deep sleep it was daybreak.
We dressed in multiple layers of clothes and cautiously headed out. It was sunny outside but the roads were slippery. After a change of shuttle buses we reached the trailhead at Yaki Point little past 7 AM and were immediately struck by the beautiful scenery. It seemed surreal to be there with the vast canyon before our eyes. There was some light dusting of snow at the top of the canyon but down below it looked clear. We headed down the canyon capturing the amazing vistas with our cameras. We passed Ooh Aah Point, the first of the three turnaround points the ranger had told us about, and continued towards Cedar Ridge a little later where we stopped for refreshments before resuming on our hike. In a couple of hours we reached Skeleton Point, the last turnaround point. But we hadn’t even seen Colorado River up to that point and decided to proceed further. After a short hike down we caught our first glimpse of the river. It appeared so far below that we could barely see it. Since our hike had been relatively painless thus far, we decided to hike all the way down. We went through some amazing desert terrain and passed a mule train. After some time we could see one of the bridges over the river but our legs were shaking by this point. Traversing some steep switchbacks we finally reached Colorado River and crossed it at Silver Bridge. We munched on our power bars by the river bank, congratulating ourselves on making it this far without too much sweat. We took in the view and it seemed like we were in a mini canyon as the top of Grand Canyon was not even visible. We had no idea what we were in store for on our way back.
After a brief halt we started back up. The Bright Angel trail rose gently along the river. We reached a small waterfall on Pipe Creek and the water felt refreshing on our faces. But as we looked up we could see sheer cliffs and the enormity of the hike ahead started to sink in. Each step forward was getting laborious. Realizing that we didn’t need that many layers of clothing we peeled them off one by one. It made a big difference as we continued on, aiming to reach the half way point called Indian Garden before taking any more rest breaks. I was beginning to fall behind so we decided to go at our own pace. I managed to reach Indian Garden 15 minutes behind my brother and immediately lied down. I was beginning to have serious misgivings about the hike and had a few choice words to say to my brother (which I later rec

I hiked this on 10/12/2017. Left the North Rim about 5:45am, and made it down to the Coconino overlook just before dawn. I stopped at Phantom Ranch for a little lunch break, and water refill, and then started up the Bright Angel Trail. Indian Gardens is a nice place to rest and soak tired feet in the creek before finishing up the last few miles. I wasn't setting any speed records, but the scenery was well worth taking my time, and the fall weather was perfect. I poked my head out of the canyon at the BA trailhead about 5:45pm, and enjoyed a much deserved pizza and beer over at the pizza place near the backcountry office.

My husband and I in our mid-50s hiked the Grand Canyon as a bucket list item. We hiked in October the weather was perfect definitely layer up. We took the S. Kabab down Bright Angel up and stayed at Phantom Ranch. The S. Kabab was a tough hike down hard on the knees. Make sure you take plenty of water and snacks. There's no water available on this trail. It took us 6 hours to get down. The Phantom Ranch was awesome! We met a lot of people. There were some people that had guides going down who took care of their food and pace for them. Also, bring other comfortable shoes so you can get your hiking boots off. Some people hiked a day stayed 2 nights at Phantom Ranch then hiked out. We only did one night. We took Bright Angel up we liked this trail better it's very scenic and cooler. It took us 9 hours out. There's water on the trail and more people. Both going in and out we took a lot of breaks and just slowly paced ourselves!!! Our bodies were sore but it was worth the awesome experience!!!

Left North Rim on Oct 9, 2017 about 8:30am and arrived at Phantom Ranch about 2:30pm....gorgeous fall scenery and weather. Overnighted in one of the cabins and left the following morning at 6:30 and got to South Rim about 12:00. Temperatures were very accommodating, portions of hike were quite challenging.