North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs

HARD 63 reviews
#18 of 99 trails in

North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Rim, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,517 feet Route Type: Out & Back



nature trips

trail running

bird watching



wild flowers



no dogs

10 days ago

Go Early. We started at 5am and were able to see the sunrise. Great views on the way down. Hike can be strenuous going up. Definitely assess your fitness level. Glad I did it

12 days ago

personally I didn't get all the way to the "spring", and I'm not sad about that. I needed to get back. so maybe had I planned a nice lunch and longer day I would have. I am not in shape but am tough, did it in 5.25 hours with a 20 min lunch break at the tunnel. I highly recommend getting past the bridge because there is a section you are walking the ridge and it's amazing. there is some up and down after the bridge. i tapped out before the last big drop into the canyon.start early. there are plenty of spots to find a scrap of shade and just pace yourself on the way out. hurry down, take pics on way back up when you need breaks anyway. hiking poles huge plus. too Sandy for chacos. I didn't drink any water on the way down, drank about 2 L on way out... most would probably drink 4.

24 days ago

I was glad to complete this hike and say that I completed it. The views on the way down were pretty amazing, but I was a little disappointed by the “Roaring Springs” at the bottom that was actually more like a trickling runoff. Also have to note the decent amount of Mule dung along the trail above Supai Tunnel.

1 month ago

great hike tough coming back up. pace yourself.

1 month ago

amazing!!! beautiful hike! harder on way up for sure. be prepared for weather, rain or shine be sure to have plenty of water and snacks. we got snowed on, on our way up. inside the canyon was warmer than on rim. some of the water stops were shut off

8 months ago

Going down the canyon is by far the best. The thing is that the north rim is so far, it's hard to reach. That's a good start. Know your limits, but I'd suggest going deeper, it gets much better

10 months ago

Very challenging hike. Agree with others that there was lots of mule dung, but it didn’t really bother myself or my husband. However, we both grew up near farms in the country. The sand was difficult to hike up. Every aspect of the trail was beautiful. We especially liked the trail past the bridge because it was cliff side hiking which made it even more fun. The spring was a trickle and the restrooms were closed which was unfortunate. We both loved all parts of this trail. Wish we could have went further and camped.

11 months ago

great views. leave early, the hike up is step and hot. mules dont go past the tunnel.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

steep down, bring poles to save knees if doingrim to rim...glorious.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

This trail wasn’t fun at all. There is a constant smell of mule crap and urine the whole way, basically you’re hiking on sand and in a petting zoo. I took someone’s recommendation and stopped at the tunnel and I’m really glad I did. The way back up is more difficult because of that sand but I wouldn’t say it any worse than moderate. The overwhelming stench from the mules is the biggest problem with this trail and I don’t feel like the views are worth it. It took me 87 minutes to go down to the tunnel, take a picture and then climb back up. Bottom line I would not recommend this trail.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Completed June 11, 2017. Went all the way to Manzanita Rest Area and then back up to the North Rim. Joined by two backpackers who we picked up a few days before and became friends with. My longest day hike ever up until that point.

Friday, October 06, 2017

This is hard. Two groups of mule travelers I met going down and one group going up (hikers have to give way to the mule groups). The mules go as far as Supai tunnel and have turned the trail into soft powder plus manure and mule urine. Makes walking much harder than it otherwise would be. After Supai tunnel trail becomes firm. There never is any let up in terrain - you are either going down or climbing up. No places to catch your breath. The views are amazing but you better be in very good shape to go this far down the trail and back up as a day hike. Thought hike was harder than the distance and elevation gain would suggest. consumed 6 liters of water on this hike. You can refill at Supai tunnel.

Monday, September 25, 2017

I went to the bridge and back, not to the camp. Great hike, not too crowded and be sure to watch out for the mule poo!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just did this trail in early August - but I only went to Redwall Bridge as it was my second hike of the day and I didn't want to start back too late. It's pretty strenuous but a really nice way to get the vibe of the canyon, as opposed to wood trails and overlooks. One thing that you must know is that for the first mile, two miles, there is so much mule poop that it is occasionally overwhelming. Literally the whole length and width of the trail, for sections as long as 10-20meters, as completely covered in mule crap and urine. like literal cesspools. you will get muile crap on your shoes. you can not avoid it. when you're descending, you can kind of scamper past these sections quickly, but on the ascent back up, gasping for air from the elevation change, it's really unpleasant. Hard to dock a star from an otherwise amazing experience, but it was that bad.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

It was a nice view of the canyon, but the roaring springs were a little underwhelming. The group expected something more from such a long hike. There was also so much mule poop! If I were to go again, I may just go right past Supai tunnel to where you can see the bridge and the canyon and come back.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I would rate this as difficult just because of the climb back up to the rim in hot weather. Great trail; took us a bit to find the water at Roaring Springs, someone yelled at us and we turned a hard right and walked further down to the bathroom area.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Such a beautiful way to see the Grand Canyon! Very special to be IN it instead of just observing from above. In my opinion, downhill can be the hardest, since there is so much control required, so it's nice to get that out of the way first. But man is the uphill a killer! Bring PLENTY of water, and snacks for a nice lunch break at one of the outlooks.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Views are good but there was way too much Mule poop everywhere to enjoy the hike! Maybe we went immediately right after the mule tour since there were a lot of steamy surprises

Monday, June 12, 2017

I started the hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and the mules (mules have right of way on the trail). Descending the canyon is easy and won't take much time. The canyon views are amazing. The falls at roaring springs were pretty but no drinking water was available on the day I hiked. Ascending the canyon was strenuous but I was lucky that the clouds provided ample shade that day. Definitely felt the altitude climbing up. Would highly recommend this trail.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lovely way to get impressed by the immense Grand Canyon. Start really really early on warm days and take the return trip seriously: not only the heat and the endless steep climb, but also the altitude will get at you. Going down is really treacherously easy, and it's so beautiful that you'll want to round another bend again and again and again... Keep your head cool and stick to what you can physically accomplish. The waterfalls near Roaring Springs were impressive, very loud & large. There was NO drinking water at Roaring Springs (there was at Supai Tunnel however). On the trail from North Kaibab to Roaring Springs I nearly stepped on a large rattler, that was heating up on the trail. It's the very venomous Grand Canyon Rattlesnake, so keep your eyes open here.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Absolutely beautiful! A must do !!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Had a great time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

We got to see the beautiful fall colors. Going down the canyon was harder than going up. There was a spring fed drinking fountain and bathroom 1.7 miles in and another at the bottom. Lots of other hikers as well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

It was done as part of a much larger backpacking trip. The only downside to hiking the main trails on the south side of the Canyon is what's left behind by the mules as well as the smells in some areas but quite simply you get use to it and enjoy the journey. The last trip in started at the south rim and went rim-rim-rim-rim along with a few side trips for somewhere between 50-60 miles. The north side of Phantom is better simply because all the mules are on the south side of the canyon!!! There are also much less people.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The trail was beautiful, loved all the scenery, but the smell was almost unbearable. It's also used as a mule trail for people who want to take mule rides into the canyon. It pretty much ruined the trail for me. I spent the majority of the time staring at my feet trying to avoid stepping in knee high piles of mule sh*t. And of course trying to determine if that upcoming puddle is from the recent rain, or from the mules. It's a pretty easy trail going down, but coming up was tough.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Good way to spend July 4th weekend :) Amazing trail. Crushes Bright Angel IMO. Also, way less people. Easy day hike.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Very awesome descend into the canyon but also a very challenging hike back up. Beginning of the hike has a lot of donkey dookie, tread carefully!

Monday, July 04, 2016

It was an awesome hike overall, the only thing I don't like about it is the beginning of north kaibab trail- it's very sandy and it smells really bad because of mule's poop everywhere in the trail, after that the views are breathtaking

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

We left down the trail at 7am. Start earlier than that. We hiked up between 10 and 3 so it was very very hot. I would also recommend going about three quarters of a mile further to Manzanita Rest Area. Also bring lots of water. There are stops but they're further apart than you realize.

Monday, June 06, 2016

You go downhill all the way, then finally the fun is coming back. Awesome views, a must do hike in grand canyon.

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