Explore the most popular wildlife 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
2 days ago

Sweeping views from the North Rim. Short stroll, worth a stop.

The best view!

Completed this hike in April 2018 and I don’t think anything can compare to the feeling of reaching Bright Angel Trailhead after hiking for 50 miles. We did a lot of research leading up to it with the help of the park rangers and the resources on the NPS website.

We got very lucky with the weather in April, but it’s important to know that it’s technically off-season so the water is shut off in certain places. Having a filter is a must! Our itinerary was South Kaibab trailhead to Cottonwood campground (Day 1, ~15 miles), Cottonwood to North Rim to Cottonwood (Day 2, ~15 miles), and Cottonwood to Bright Angel Trailhead (Day 3, ~16 miles). I also highly recommend hiking the extra distance (~4 miles there and back) to Bright Angel Point once you reach the North Rim trailhead. It will reward you with incomparable views of the canyon and it will be worth it, I promise!

Also, park your car at your finishing point (in this case, Bright Angel trailhead) or bring 2 cars. The last thing you’ll want to do is take a shuttle when you’re tired and sweaty!

44.7 miles completed in 29 hours 21 min. South Kaibab - North Kaibab - Bright Angel. Beautiful and very intense. Bucket list ✅

May 19 2018. Not too hot yet. About 90 degrees at the end of the plateau.
A must see. The river view like none other. You can hear the rapids. Indian Gardens was like something out of a dream. So calm and serene. Nice stream running through.
It took us about 8 1/2 hours to do the round trip. Took lots of photos on the way down. Water available every 1.5 miles. The last 3 miles up were the killer.
This trail is used by the mules so be prepared for flies and stuff on the trail.
great day hike!!!!

This is a hike of a lifetime, the landscape and vistas are stunning. The trial is rugged so wear a good pair of boots. Rangers on the trail stopped hikers and inquired if they had adequate water. There is no water tap on the trail. I found it challenging in the midday sun but not hard. I would recommend going beyond Cedar to Skeleton Point, it’s only another 40 minutes. If you enjoy hiking and are in the vicinity, don’t miss this trail.

I would recommend starting early in the morning between 6–7am. First, it can get very hot as you descend into the canyon. You want to start the return trip before the afternoon heat sets in. Second, if you leave early you can avoid the crowds from the tour buses. It’s a stunning hike. I don’t think it deserves a ‘hard’ rating but that’s relative. Bring plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen.

Beautiful hike with a great view

Amazing views the whole way down! Don’t be deceived by the short mileage, this hike can be tough on the way back especially if you don’t go early in the morning. There are water bottle filling stations every 1.5 miles though!

Incredible. Be ready for a grueling climb back to the top of Bright Angel Trail.

Beautiful!

So, so sweet. Easier than Kaibab, but you get amazing views of the Colorado River.

I repeated this journey from 35 years earlier when I was in high school with a round trip hike down South Kaibab and back up Bright Angel on the south rim. This time though we did it on a full moon night hike. Started at 7:30p while the sun was setting and made it out at 5:30a with a beautiful sun rise. I've been to the bottom of the canyon multiple times before so I was looking for a different experience, hence the night hike. Obviously you can't see as much but it was a unique in experience.

I almost done want to leave a review to keep this spot secret. It is kinda difficult to find because there are no signs of any kind, and the map the give you at the entrance center is a joke. I literally waited for the “dots” to line up on the all trials app. The trail it’s self is more forested on both sides and there are NO Canyon views along the mile or so walk, HOWEVER, when you do reach the “end,” you rewarded with an amazing view and likely will able to enjoy it to yourself.

It was my favorite place we saw at the park, granted we only had a few hours, but I feel like it would be hard to beat!

A lot of reviews say go to the “end” but never really say what the end is.. the fire road/trail will open up a bit and there will be a small lookout view before some picnic tables, keep going past them about 50 yards or so, and head out along towards a point. If you don’t see a large standing rock near the edge, your in the wrong spot.

Excellent pay off with views of the Colorado.

Fantastic day hike. Go early to beat the traffic and enjoy more shade.

We hit the trail about 4:30 am hiking down in the dark with headlamps. There were a few cars already where we parked and a few showed up shortly after us. Our goal was Ooh Aah Point by sunrise which we made easily. We hiked down to Cedar Ridge and enjoyed the scenery there for an hour or so before hiking back up. Because of our early start we didn’t encounter too much direct sun or heat, it was a very comfortable hike.

Amazing, but challenging hike. Once you make it to Plateau Point you are treated to an amazing view back towards the south of the canyon. bring plenty of water and check to see which water stations are open.

hiking
13 days ago

Very easy, flat, dog friendly trail. Though probably not wheelchair accessible, my father who uses an electric scooter was able to go on this trail, as the path is flat and hard dirt (a few rocks but easy to get around). At the end of the trail on the overlook of the canyon, there are many picnic tables and grills. Easy parking at the trailhead (I just google mapped the trail and it leads directly to the parking area).

Did this a few days ago, great way to beat the crowds! Stunning vista from the view point at the end (ensure you keep following the track past the campsite/toilet right to the end, there is no actual sign for it and i noticed a lot of people turned back early). Tough hike back out so be prepared for that and take plenty of water as you'll need it. Done in fairly good pace, just under 4 hours :)

Accomplished this epic hike in one day at end of October 2017. Total time 11 hours with about 1 hour of stops, including 30 minutes for lunch.

North Rim campground was still open but not the lodge - it was the last weekend they were open. We dropped in at 6:30 am and it was 36 degrees. When we got to the tunnel we stripped down to base and kept moving. In all my prep hikes I focused on the ascent and underestimated the beating my knees would take going down and I tweaked my left knee. Could only step down with the left and up with the right so slowed pace to about 2mph going up. We stopped every two hours for protein and salt/electrolytes. Temp was a cool 80 degrees through the box and we carried 2L of water and refilled at each stop (the water was still turned on). My hiking partner missed eating protein at one stop and we had to make an unplanned stop in the box to eat (we were trying to get past PR before eating lunch). We stopped at the river house on bright Angel Trail for 30 minutes to eat and change socks. Then we started the climb out - kept a steady pace but I could really feel my knee - more on the incline then the steps. We climbed out at 5:30 to our shuttle group who set up camp. Nice shower, meal and Ice for the knee

Getting ready to do South to South in 2 days (May 2018) and will consider my lessons learned. I will take my knee stabilizers and wear them the entire trip. I will use my trekking poles the entire way. I will stay with our protein/electrolyte plan. Ultra electrolytes, pickles, almonds, tuna packs, cut veggies with full fat dressing and we will start with 4L of water since there is no water on South Kaibab and it will be close to 100 at our he bottom

hard trail, but so worth it.

started around 8 am, incredible walls of course, very step and one heck of a work out, only went to checkpoint 3 miles in then turned around, the steep down was wearing on my knees, I climbed out by noon, what a workout. I check GC off my list.

Stayed at South Rim the night prior to starting the early morning descent to Phantom Ranch via the 7.4 mile waterless South Kaibab Tr. We were able to leave our rental car at the the hotel parking lot (free of charge) and catch the free shuttle bus to the South Kaibab TH. Nice weather at the Rim (76*) but at the bottom, one can always expect the temp to be around 10-20* hotter, which was the case on our April 23, 2018 hike! Phantom Ranch was 98* when we reached it just a short 4 hours later!

The trail is well marked an maintained, so we never had to worry about losing the trail. There are at least 2 solar latrines that was impressively kept clean, HOWEVER, you will NOT have any available water (like you will on the Bright Angel Trail). Your first available water will be at the Colorado River at the very bottom, so make sure to bring at LEAST 3L of water and maybe even more if you tend to drink a lot. The lady at the Rim's visitor's center suggested 5-6L but for me (who tends to ration and drink less) I thought that was overkill and once at the bottom, I ended up barley drinking the 3L that I carried.

A must on this trail are:
1. Hiking poles. its at least a 4500 foot descent, which can be tough on your knees, so bring hiking poles to distribute the weight and save your knees so you'll have more years to hike.
2. Bring your camera - or at least make sure your camera phone has a descent camera and make sure your lens is clean! Every step of this descent will have magnificent views to take it all in but be careful not to hike an take photos or you could twist and ankle - something I witnessed when I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail!

On the return trip up 9 a few days later) via the Bright Angel Tr - it is not as steep as this trail is 2.5 miles longer - but still goes up at least 4500 feet. Great views as well, many areas you can filter water as well as 2-3 latrines (again well kept) and with potable water sources. This trail is frequented by mules and their lakers, which carry people and/or supplies to/from Phantom Ranch and the Rim. When they approach, you are REQUIRED to pull off to the side to let them pass - and make sure your poles are out of the way - their packers say that hiking sticks can spook them.


...SIDE NOTE and PUBLIC RELATIONS NOTE FOR THE DAY:

Please know trail ETIQUETTE!!!! - there is such a thing as trail etiquette.
1. Horses and mules ALWAYS have the trail right of way! Step far off the trail as safety will allow and GET OUT of their way or bad things can happen!!! IF you spook the animal, he can hurt itself or the rider and/or you as well. If the animal hurts itself and cannot be healed, they must put the animal down!

2. The UPHILL hiker has the next right of way! Many people do not know this nor adhere to this etiquette and its disappointing! The uphill hiker has the more difficult hike and it makes it more difficult for him/her to constantly stop to get out the way of the downhill hiker who has the easer hike.

3. Sad to day but Mountain bikers have the least right of way...they are suppose to yield to animals, uphill and downhill hikers, but often I witness no etiquette here...they may not know, but if your are reading this please use etiquette...if you can't, then the NEXT BEST THING you can do is to call ahead and ALERT anyone up ahead on the trail!


Thanks for anyone willing to use trail etiquette!...Now get out there and enjoy our beautiful trails!!!

Loved, loved, loved this hike! It was a gorgeous hike! The clouds, mountains, and the squirrels were welcoming. I would like to go back there and go further. If you go to the Grand Canyon-you have to hike this trail! Don’t leave without without this wonderful experience. It’s only 80 miles from Flagstaff. You have to take a shuttle bus from the main tourist building.

Beautiful trail. Very challenging. We did it last August to phantom ranch and back up ba 2 days later. I think the moderate rating is misleading. It is very hard. The trail was in really bad shape with big puddles at the steps from the rain. Views were amazing. Bring lots of water. I drank 4 liters going down. Eat and drink lots.

My wife and I just did this hike. Amazing views. A bit challenging to go back up, yet overall experience was great. We did it in 3h20m at a very slow pace, taking lots of pics along the way.

If nothing else- go to Ooh Aah point. Beautiful. First bit of the trail is covered in donkey poo.

backpacking
19 days ago

Completed the Escalante route in late April 2018 with my son. What a wonderful trail! Regarding safety, it was quite comfortable for us in every aspect (though the Papago Wall gave me pause - more of a steep pitch than I expected). Our biggest near miss was with a rattlesnake about 18 inches away as I walked past with it unseen, sleeping under a low ledge next to the trail between Papago and Hance rapids. Hearing its loud rattle and turning to see it coiled and raised to strike was quite scary, particularly considering the rescue implications if I had been bit. We did not find the stretch from Cardenas to Papago intimidating, in spite of other trip reports. It really was quite comfortable walking. Poles are a must, but I never backpack without them on any trail. The most challenging part of the trip for me was hiking down Tanner midday in the heat – we weren’t able to get started until 9 AM and hiked until 4:00 arrival at Tanner beach with few shade opportunities. The hardest part for my son was hiking up from Horshoe Mesa the last day to the rim with a terrible sore throat. I started the trip with a terrible cold - he ended with it. So it goes! Temperatures down by the river were in the upper 80s during midday, and we carried 4-5 litres of water each, particularly important heading down the Tanner trail. Better to carry more than you need than less, as I learned last time I backpacked in the canyon! We adopted a successful strategy for beating the heat: started hiking by 5:45 AM, hiked until about 10:30, stopped to nap, read, sketch in the shade until about 4:30pm, and then hiked until dusk. Wouldn’t do it any other way - that midday heat is so depleting. We left at 9:00am on a Monday morning, and camped at Tanner Beach night 1. We hiked Tanner-Escalante Creek and rested in shade till 4:30, then hiked to Hance Rapids to camp for night 2 (thus doing the entire Escalante portion in a day). Day 3 hiked to Hance Creek, rested, then up to Horseshoe Mesa for night 3. Topped out on the rim at Grandview about 10:30 AM on day 4, Wednesday. A kind tourist couple gave us a ride back to our car at Lipan Point. My son and I both wore Altra Lone Peak trail shoes, and we’re so glad we did. They kept our feet comfortable, not too hot, handled the terrain really well, and were far preferable for us than hiking boots. The Escalante Route is definitely an expert trail, but if you are an experienced backpacker, it’s comfortable and really wonderful. Route finding skills (cairns are primary guides on this trail) and map + good trail beta printed out are a must. I’ve done a number of trails in the canyon, and this was my favorite.

If you are considering doing a hike at the Grand Canyon, please at least hike to oh, ah point! It is incredible, and you will feel such a sense of accomplishment upon completion!

We hiked this with our 5 kids ages 5-13. We went cedar ridge ate a snack, walked all the way out to the point,and hiked back up in just under 2 hours. Our family hikes a lot though, and our youngest can easily hike 7 miles. We regret not doubling our hike and going down to skeleton point. But you just never know how difficult it will be for your family until you try it! Every person had their own camel-bak of water packed with snacks. I think that is a MUST.

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