Explore the most popular Waterfall 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 didn’t go to Phantom Ranch on this trip. I just dropped into the water, restroom, and picnic table near the river. Standard Grand Canyon conditions. Trail gaiters help keep the dust and rocks out of your shoe. South Kaibab descent is rocky but manageable. Some of the areas along the river are very sandy. It’s a pretty long stretch to Indian Gardens but after that it’s about 45 minutes to an hour between water stops on the ascent. As always, the Riff-Raff gets heavy above the 3-mile house. Lots of people who don’t know trail right-of-way rules. Other than that, the Bright Angel ascent is moderate to easy if you manage pace and rest breaks accordingly.

Here some feedback on the day hike of the trail loop South Kaibab (down) - Phantom Ranch junction - Bright Angel (up), yesterday July 11, 2019. Certainly it’s the hottest time of the year, with daily peak temps of 88F at the top and about 106F at the bottom. Took the 5:00 am bus, arriving at the South Kaibab trailhead at 5:10 am. With 64F at 7200feet it was a bit warmer than normal for the early morning. Around 5:30 great sunrise lighting a bit below Ooh Aah point. Passed the Cedar ridge at 5:40 am, Skeleton Point at 5:55 am and the Tip Off hut at 6:25 am. Crossed the first bridge over the Colorado River at 7:00 am and the second bridge at 7:10 am. Temperature at the bottom was pleasant, probably around 75F. Took a 10’min cooling foot bath in the Colorado River at the lovely River Resthouse beach, which was very enjoyable. Reached Indian Gardens at 9:05 am. Until here 70% of the time I was in the shade of cliffs. Until here, drank 1.5 liters of water and 12oz cranberry for a refreshing mix with water. Also ate 2 apricots and 4oz of walnuts. After a 30 min rest at the Garden, slowed my pace down to deal with the temperatures rising to about 90F and now being mostly in the sun. Drank 2 liters of water and ate 2 apples for this last 4.5 mile section of the hike. Reached the top at the Bright Angel lodge at 12:05 noon where it was 87F. Total hiking time was 5h 55min, plus overall 60 min for little stops to take pics & clips, to change shirt, apply sun lotion, toss out gravel dirt from the shoes, to snack and drink. The key is to start the hike early and move fast, then it is an awesome experience. I had a total of 6 liters in the backpack and used 4 liters (enough for a 150 lbs person). After 10:00 am in the deep valley it’ll get close to 100F or more and one shouldn’t be there to suffer that heat. You also got to have the leg stamina to do at least 5000 feet vertical down and up without any (!) problem. Regardless, my legs were somewhat tired at the end because of racing a bit against the heat clock.

First time doing this was a night hike. 6pm to 2am, AWESOME trail. 2nd time was a solo hike, 6 hrs total. Amazing hike, great views complete solitude. Bright Angel was a bit more crowded. There are 3 water spots on the way up. The last 3 miles are a BITCH! HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you trained.

Fabulous hike. Abundant beauty.

Stayed at the Phantom Ranch. Great Rim to Rim hike!!

Completed this trail over a three day period just to enjoy the views. The climb out was very strenuous. We went May 2018 and weather at phantom ranch reached 100. So needless to say you don’t need “cold weather clothing” at the bottom.

I did this trail in March a few years ago. I did it in under 30 hours. All the way down to the Colorado river and back up. It was one of the hardest, most grueling things I’ve ever done in my life. It was actually a mistake! I thought that I would just be hiking for a few hours, but I had misinformation from someone how far the trail went down, by the time I got home from Midway, I am most had no water. So I had to go back down for water.i took the bright angel trail down. It was a spiritual experience. You will find your God on this trail. Amazing.

Did this hike with 2 of my closest university buddies, back on May 29th. Definitely a bucket list item, it took us just under 14 hours, Started from North rim at 5:15am and ended just after 7pm. Wet on the way down yes it was raining the day before. Trail was well groomed plenty of traffic, great to meet up with people along the way. The second part of the hike was very difficult and seem never ending. A must to get it off your list.

My boyfriend and I are both 25 years old. Enthusiast hikers and always up for a good challenge. We came prepared to hike the entire 16.7, but decided to officially do it all once we got to Skeleton Ridge on South Kaibob Trail. Rangers will of course never suggest doing it in a day but we came prepared! It took us 2.5 hours to get down to Phantom Ranch, we filled up with water and cooled off for about 15 minutes. We then headed back up. It took us about 4 hours to ascend to the very top of the rim via Bright Angel Trail. Up to Indian Gardens was not too terrible, there was a few switch backs -I believe called Devils Corkscrew- the real hard part was after Indian Gardens. From 3 mile house and up was even harder and from 1.5 mile house and up was the hardest. It was 6.7 down to phantom ranch and roughly 9 miles up via Bright Angel. Total 16.7 miles and we completed in 6 hours and 50 minutes. Bring lots of water. There are no water stops down South Kaibob, but Bright Angel has a few stops, which is nice. I suggest filling up at Phantom Ranch before heading back up via Bright Angel. Definitely hott out being summer time and I suggest starting no later than sunrise. We started at 5 am and it was perfect time.

My hiking partner and I picked up dorm cancellations at Phantom Ranch for 6/28. We also got a Bright Angel hiker's room cancellation for 6/27, which was more convenient than camping. We took the 5 am shuttle to South Kaibab Trail and were on trail by 5:30 am. My partner, an experienced hiker, developed knee issues on the way down, so our progress was not as fast as expected. He also became heat sick just as we reached the black bridge at Colorado River. We enjoyed the charming Phantom Ranch, laid in Bright Angel Creek (so cold, clear, and refreshing), and had a great steak dinner and breakfast. All hikers were delightful, helpful, and quite the mix of personalities. Partner recovered fairly well overnight at Phantom Ranch, and we started our hike up Bright Angel at 5:30 am. There were plenty of water stops at this time of the year, but going was slower than we anticipated, due to partner's knee issues and illness from the previous day. However, he was a champ and made it all the way on his own. It's a beautiful hike, both ways, and there's no need to rush unless it's some kind of timed event for a person. I am looking forward to doing this hike again this year.

My husband and I did this trail in one day. The views were amazing! It was easy going down but challenging going up due to the heat. We stopped at Phantom ranch for some lemonade and spend about 20 min there, then headed back up. I recommend if you’re going to do this hike take water, hiking sticks, extra socks, snacks and DON’T do it in the summer. We learned our lesson

did this with 14h15m on May31, 2019. phantom ranch was upper 80 a little hot. overall was perfect very tough and slow after Indian garden.

North to South. Left North rim at 4:00 a.m., great temp around 60 which dropped quickly to about 45 once in the rim. Carried 2 liters in bladder and one in bottle. I’m a heavy sweater and this worked well. Turned off headlamp at about 5:15 am and made Roaring Springs by 5:45 and Cottonwood by 6:30 and Phantom Ranch at 8:15 - stayed 30 minutes. First direct sun at a Phantom. Made Indian Garden by 10:45 - stayed 20 minutes. Averaged 40 minutes each (plus 10 minute breaks) to 3 mile, 1.5 mile, and finally South Rim at 1:45 pm. I’m 6’3”, 205 lbs, 60 years old, pack weight 15 lbs ( including 3 liters). Jog/shuffle downhill - tough on knees but speedier. Experienced high mountain climber. Altitude out will get you if you aren’t acclimated. Hope this helps - great challenge!

BEAUTIFUL! Much less touristy and crowded than the south rim trails. The views from the top are also nothing like south rim, you can barely see the canyon, it’s like you’re just hiking in the woods when you first start. The first half of the trail is hardly covering any ground, you’re just going down, down, down. The last half of the trail is pretty flat and the canyon gets narrow and windy (my favorite part). Be sure to check out ribbon falls on the way down! Definitely worth the little detour. And train train train for this trail!! It is ROUGH! But of course, AMAZING!!

June 12, 2019. - Took about 9 hrs 50 min. - Started at 3:15AM from North Kaibab. - Headlamps are required for descent at this time (some say moonlight suffices, but you’re on a cliff in the dark so you decide). - Got to Phantom by 8:05AM. - Temp in The Box was pleasant before 8AM. - Ascent was hot, soaked our bodies/heads/clothes in creeks and at water stops. You can also do this at Phantom before you ascend. - Last 3 mi suck, lots of people from the South Rim not following trail etiquette. Also it’s hot as balls and not flat. Took about 40-50min/mile for last three miles. Bring electrolyte tabs/gels and drink lots of water. Soak your body/head as you ascend out of the canyon, keeps you moving quick and you don’t roast. Temp in the box today was 110, but we barely felt it until the end. Awesome hike.

My 16 year old son and I did this route June 5th with plans to stay the night at the south rim and hike back the next day. We listened to our bodies and decided to take the shuttle the next morning. The last two water stops on the North were off as well. We started at 4:30 am and temps were 33 degrees. Temps were in the 90s at the river. Our actual walking time was 8 hours. As many have stated, the mileage on the map is off. We logged 26.3 on our Garmin. This is an awesome trail! We plan to go back and do a rim2rim2rim

Great challenging day hike! When from South Kaibab to North Kaibab. 100+ degrees at Manzanita. Felt like 110 on the last post out. No shade on North Kaibab when we went through. It’s the Grand Canyon... it was amazing!

This was actually an official South Rim to North Rim back to South Rim trek. We started down the S. Kaibab Trail on Thursday 6/6 hiked to Cottonwood Campground for the night. The following day we hiked from Cottonwood Campground to the N. Kaibab Trailhead on the North Rim and back to Cottonwood Campground. On Saturday 6/8 we hiked down to Bright Angel Campground just short of the Colorado River and finally hiked up the Bright Angel Trail on Sunday 6/9 exiting at the Bright Angel Trailhead. Total hiking time was actually just over 28 hours but I forgot to pause the recording a couple times. I did this trip with my 16 year old son who hikes with me on weekends. This by far was one of my best achievements and to do it with him was all I could ever ask. All I would say is watch as many YouTube videos on doing this hike, seriously trail and stop along the way to experience one the natural Wonders of the World up close and personal

Awesome hike but certainly strenuous. We actually had to rescue a woman on the way down South Kaibab, she was dehydrated and could hardly stand. So lesson is: bring tons of water on the way down => South Kaibab has no water source unlike all the other parts of the hike. We slept at bright angel, cottonwood and indian garden. Highly recommend but would probably not recommend doing this in June, the heat was crippling... I will say I was slighly dissapointed by the hike up North Kaibab, it was long and not as spectacular as the south sides (then again I'm being a little precious here... it is still gorgeous) All in all this was quite the adventure!

I just did this hike yesterday as a day hike. I'm 53, and by my estimate about 15 lbs overweight. But, I hike 1-2 times a week for 3-9 miles with 1,000 foot or so elevation change on every hike and I push it hard for my age. There is a loop hike by my house that is 3 miles and 900 foot elevation change and I hike it in 53 minutes when I'm taking it easy and when I run it I can do it in 43 minutes. Not impressive by trail runner standards but few people my age on the route are keeping up. I didn't attempt to run any portion of the trail as i didn't want to take the risk of sore joints on the final miles. It took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to Phantom and I lost 5-10 minutes behind a mule train. My legs felt fresh at the bottom. For someone doing flat hikes, though, it would be hard on the legs because it is a lot of downhill. If you do downhill frequently, this hike will not be a problem but you must train for downhill. It is a specific movement that flat hiking and a stair master cannot emulate. I spent about twenty minutes at Phantom and headed out. The hike to Indian Gardens was fairly easy and I got there in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I did some maintenance cleaning out my boots, changing socks out, etc. and spent about 15 minutes preparing for the final push up. Then, IT GOT HARD. The final 4.6 miles of this hike took me 3 hours and I gave it absolutely everything I had. I was totally spent by the time I got to the top. Two years ago before when I was a 1x month hiker I suspect it would have taken 6 hours for that final push. You laugh and say it is only 4.6 miles - well, understand this review is for doing all 17 miles as a day hike. The final 4.6 miles is a 3,000 foot elevation gain going from 4,000 to 7,000 foot elevation so the lack of oxygen really starts hitting you at about 5,000 feet. Plus, you have already covered more than 12 miles. Lastly, this isn't a regular trail. They put bracing logs in the trail for the mules and you are high stepping over thousands of these things which adds extra work and fatigue. My advice, if you are a weekly hiker and 45+ years old this is a hard hike but doable in a reasonable timeframe. If you are younger and a weekly hiker, this hike is more a mental challenge than a physical one. However, if you hike 1x month or less, you should be prepared to spend over 12 hours of effort on this hike and it will be a real challenge. Do yourself a favor, in the two months prior, put in a good 6-10 hikes of 5 plus miles with at around 1,000 foot or more elevation change up and down on every hike. The change in your ability to handle this hike will be substantially better and you will enjoy it much more. I ran into many "hikers" at Indian Gardens, 3 mile house, etc. that were pretty messed up and they were only coming up from Phantom after overnighting there. They were not enjoying the hike. With a little bit of real training in the prior months they would have enjoyed the hike much more. If you only hike a couple times a year, no matter what age, you really shouldn't attempt to do this as a day hike unless you can put in some training hikes. Just my opinion. This is a frequently traveled trail with several emergency telephones along the way. Plus coming up Bright Angel, there should be plenty of water (check first at the lodge to make sure the water is on). Since I usually hike in remote areas and haven't been on this trail before I carried too much safety gear, food and extra water that I will not take next time saving about 10 lbs. Don't get me wrong, bring appropriate safety gear, but I brought enough stuff to spend a couple of nights as nature can be a challenge if your body breaks and will not get you to food and lodging. But, in reality, on this hike if you stay on the trail and have a problem, someone will be along in 15 minutes and they will not be more than 30 minutes from an emergency phone. If you have a serious problem you should not need to overnight on the trail. In October, I'm doing North Kaibab to Bright Angel which is 23 miles assuming my 53 year old body doesn't come up with a reason not to. Happy Trails!!

Rim-to-rim north kaibab to bright angel trail. we were up to the Challenge!

This trail is wonderful and leads to a beautiful creek called Deer creek. I only went from the Bill Hall trailhead to deer creek because my partner and I had a late start and got off track for a bit and had to wait out the sun. I would definitely do it again but it should be rated hard because it went on for quite a while and we didn’t even finish the whole hike!

Hiked it June 1st and had perfect conditions with no precipitation and pleasant temps most of the hike. Started a little after 5am heading southbound and had shade for about half of the hike. Took 8.5 hours but the last 3 miles were pretty tough as others have mentioned. Trail is very well maintained, travels through varied and beautiful areas of the canyon. I brought a water filter but never used it with numerous water spigots along the trail. The upper most water spigot on the north Kaibab trail wasn’t working as of June 1st.

I did this hike back in April. The views were incredible, and ever changing on the way down.

I did this gem double time, rim to rim to rim, last July. I absolutely loved it! Dont underestimate the descents, they take a toll on your knees and refill your water at every available stop. try not to hike the portion between cottonwood campground and phatmon ranch between 12 and 4pm because the canyon heat and sun exposure is exhausting. Im excited for a repeat hike in June. :)

3 stars and here's why. I wouldn't do this trail again, nor would I recommend it. After completing this trail, I would tell people to either: 1) Go all in and do Rim-2-Rim or 2) Do Bright Angel to Indian Garden out & back. South Kaibab didn’t add much to the experience, because you already get excellent views from the rim. If you want to check it out on a day hike, you can stop at Skeleton Point. Phantom Ranch wasn't the best canyon oasis I’ve seen in Arizona, making it more of a nice resting spot than a “must see” destination. In training for this hike, we hiked other challenging trails we liked more. Siphon Draw, Mt Wrightson, and “The Window” all rank better than this hike in my book. That being said, Bright Angel was great, and the North rim experience you get from rim-2-rim would make either of those options a 5 star hike. Trails are in excellent condition with great footing.

Did this on May 26th 2019. Weather was perfect, not too hot and breezy. Going down was harder than expected and the last 3 miles was tough. My GPS clocked in 27 miles vs. 24 miles for the trail. Make sure you refill water at most stops. I drank 5 liters that day!

Bucket list one day rim-to-rim ... check! Great hike. Cool, cloudy day was perfect. Mileage closer to 25 miles.

Load More