Phantom Ranch to Ribbon Falls via North Kaibab Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#24 of 96 trails in

Phantom Ranch to Ribbon Falls via North Kaibab Trail is a 11.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near North Rim, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from October until May.

Distance: 11.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,945 feet Route Type: Out & Back







wild flowers


no shade

no dogs

Note: Users report that the bridge is closed. Please be cautious when hiking and refer to the park page for updates. This trail begins from Phantom Ranch. You will need to hike into Phantom Ranch. The walk to Phantom Ranch is approximately 7.5 miles down the South Kaibab Trail (average hiking time is 4-5 hours down) and 10 miles on the Bright Angel Trail (average hiking time down is 4-6 hours, average hiking time up is 6-10 hours).

This is a great hike. The trail goes through a canyon while paralleling the creek, alternating sides with bridges to cross over. It is fairly level with some sections of rolling hills. I hiked November 11, 2019 and the bridge is out to the falls. There is a sign that points to a trail that takes you to the creek where you cross. From there it is not always clear which direction to go but you can see/hear the falls in the distance which helps. I would rate this hike as moderate.

bridge out
9 days ago

bridge is still out and looks like it may be for a while however the detour while narrow is certainly passable. Creek crossing was knee deep. worth the trip, spectacular stop!

bridge out
off trail
over grown
1 month ago

Took the "via creek" route because of the notice that the bridge was out. was a tough to follow trail but the falls were well worth it!

bridge out
off trail
6 months ago

A group of us hiked from phantom ranch to ribbon falls and back on April 11, 2019. The bridge was technically closed but we managed time cross it one at a time while holding the good railing. No, this was definitely not smart and risky for ourselves and potentially any rescue personnel. Therefore, I do not advise it. However, since there is a lot of snow melt the creek was roaring - other hikers should NEVER try to cross a rushing creek. Wait until it slows and the water level is down, but even then you should still exercise caution. I'm not sure why this hike is rated hard. While it is long it's a doable inner canyon day hike and is actually relatively flat. After you exit the box the trail begins to gradually roll with two moderate hills. It's nothing like the hike out of the canyon. Since it was April and not too hot yet, we left just after 7am and returned to phantom around 3:30pm. We spent almost two hours at the falls and Hiking back we took a lot let time because we didn't stop for pictures. Great hike! Moderately easy. NPS really need to construct a new bridge and not just fix the sad wooden one.

9 months ago

À Nice trail along the river with smooth but certain slope. No difficulty. A nice falls at arrival

10 months ago

Loved this hike!

Wed Oct 24 2018

This was a casual hike compared to the rim ascent/descent. The signs basically say it's a 12 mile RT from Phantom Ranch. We had 3 different GPS watches in our group and they all came in around 18-19 miles round trip. It's a pretty cruise-y trail so there are not a lot of elevation changes, so we were able to maintain a pretty good pace and even then it took us about 6 hours round trip, not including the hour we spent at the falls. 3 mph+ for 6 hours is at least 18 miles RT. Falls were worth it though. Heading north, you come to a sign that says 'Ribbon Falls via Bridge" that points straight/right. It will take you up a decent hill before coming down to the bridge. I guess they purposely steer people that way because you are able to go left at that sign, but there is a water crossing (at least as of 10/21) that required you to take off your shoes or get submerged.

Tue Oct 23 2018

Doable in a single day - it's practical to go back because of transport. I did it in 10.5 hours. It's smart to leave before sunrise. Think about bringing water, not every water source was open when I went. Anyway, it's a great hike. Going down the canyon is THE thing to do over there. Hiking on the rim isn't the same - you'll get the full experience of the size of the canyon! Also, if you have to choose south rim vs north rim...I'd vote for south rim because it's closer to the colorado river. You also have more decent choices (hermit, britgth angel, tanner)

Wed May 16 2018

This was my favorite part of the Canyon, the hike was not difficult and the falls was worth the walk, gorgeous spot!

Tue Nov 01 2016

This was doable after coming down south kaibab and spending nights at phantom ranch. Relatively flat but new stunning scenery around every bend. Spent a very refreshing few hours at the falls to recharge before returning.

Fri Sep 23 2016

Beautiful portion of the trail. Did it as part of a rim to rim and back again... The most awesome hike I've done to date.

Tue Mar 29 2016

Mostly shaded and relatively flat. Ends at a beautiful and cold waterfall with moss covered cone rock.

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