Rim-to-Rim: North Kaibab to Grand Canyon Village

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Grand Canyon National Park

Rim-to-Rim: North Kaibab to Grand Canyon Village is a 34.8 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near North Rim, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 34.8 km Elevation Gain: 1,615 m Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

Four days across the Grand Canyon you will never forget! There is a secret to a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike: Take four days to do it, even if you can do it in one. - Spend time at Ribbon Falls? It's a destination unto itself. - Spend a couple of hours at Phantom Ranch hanging out with other hikers - Feel the incredible night breeze at Cottonwood Camp. - See the sunset at Plateau Point, which must be seen to be believed. So, take your time--take four days for the hike. Each day's trek is six miles or so, and you have all kinds of time to actually see the Canyon and marvel at its beauty. Spend your first night at Cottonwood Camp, and marvel at the lights from the North Rim Lodge twinkling a mile above you. Spend the second at Bright Angel Campground, and enjoy a steak dinner at Phantom Ranch. Spend your third night at Indian Garden, and just relax. The fourth day's hike out is much easier, since you are already nearly halfway up the south rim.

hiking
1 month ago

A very long hike, but the trail is well maintained and there is no shortage of beautiful scenery. I think this is a must for anyone who loves hiking.

hiking
3 months ago

From the logistics, to the hike itself, this is only for the truly committed. We didn’t secure backpacking permits and had to punch it out in one day. It took us 13 hours, including closing breaks.

5 months ago

literally a trip of a lifetime! 3 nights and 4 days. trails are in great shape and very clean. all hikers seemed to be awesome and helpful!

hiking
5 months ago

Awsome hike! went with a group of 7, we completed south rim to north rim in 13 hours. 2 days later just me and a buddy hiked back, going North to South, and finished in 7h 50m. Definitely a prettier trip going slow though! stopping anf looking around was awsome for sure!!

hiking
5 months ago

I did this as a one day solo hike on 10/10/19. My app clocked about 26 miles and took me 14.5hrs to complete. The temp was 26 when I started and in the 70's at the bottom (Perfect!). This was my first time hiking the GC and was by far my longest hike to date. The hike to Phantom Ranch was amazing and not too difficult. PR is a great place to take a break in the shade, soak your feet in the cool water, and put on a new pair of socks (highly recommend). Once you cross the Colorado River, the trail starts to go up hill. It isn't very steep but somewhat constant...still not very difficult. The Bright Angel Trail seems to wind on forever. The last 5 miles of switchbacks seem to never end! Don't get discouraged, just keep walking and take breaks as needed (the last 5 miles took me 5hrs) The feeling of FINALLY making it to the end is AMAZING! Every water source was working when I went so I only carried 2 liters with me. Eat plenty of snacks and drink electrolytes along the way and you'll be fine. I drank about half plain water and half with electrolytes. I probably drank a total of 7-8 liters (it wasn't a hot day). I wasn't sure how much food to bring so I ended up bringing way more than I needed...I could have survived a week...I guess that's better than running out. If you are considering going, DO IT! You won't regret it...just try to avoid the hot months if possible. Also, the decent from the North Rim is amazing! I think you miss a lot if you do it in the dark. Only mistake I made was not bringing hiking poles. I've never used them but I wish I had bought a set for this hike. The downhill is tough on your joints and the last 5 miles up is much easier with poles. Learn from my mistake, USE POLES!

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike from the North Rim to South Rim. Took about 12 hours with lots of stops along the route to take in the journey and amazing views! Started at 4:30am at the North Rim. Very dusty and sandy trail which wasn’t expecting but it was fine. Such an incredible hike with many challenges as the last few miles is straight up and seemingly endless. But at 62 years old, it’s a must do hike for everyone. And the North Rim is a special place too.

hiking
5 months ago

First Rim to Rim hike for both of us. Completed in about 11:30 total time, 10 moving, but we had some recent injuries and illnesses that slowed us down. Departed N. Rim trailhead at approximately 5am, temperatures were much colder than at the North Rim Lodge and campground (~29F). Heat was never a big issue at the bottom, although sun cover was definitely necessary on the lower parts of bright angel heading up. A couple trail closures but detours were clearly marked. A couple spur trails were closed due to bridge work. Upper parts of bright angel were crowded, but much less than would be expected earlier in the season. No water outages on either trail.

5 months ago

Did this hike yesterday in 11:53. Started at 4:30 AM and it was 17 degrees on the North rim. I jogged a good bit of this. I hit phantom ranch by 9:30. It was 88 degrees at the bottom. The hike up bright angel was hard but beautiful. The last 4.5 miles were very steep but at least there was water every couple miles.

hiking
5 months ago

Left North Rim via North Kaibab Trail on Saturday, stayed one night and came out Bright Angel Trail on Sunday for the second time!! As amazing and challenging as the first and feel as accomplished! Temps are perfect in mid October!!

5 months ago

Did this hike yesterday in 11:53. Started at 4:30 AM and it was 17 degrees on the North rim. I jogged a good bit of this. I hit phantom ranch by 9:30. It was 88 degrees at the bottom. The hike up bright angel was hard but beautiful. The last 4.5 miles were very steep but at least there was water every couple miles.

hiking
5 months ago

Trail conditions were dusty compounded by strong winds going up the North wall. Saw a big horn/desert mountain sheep along the river.

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

Did it in two days — Camping at Bright Angel Camp Site — and finishing at bright angel trail head. Started at 3am to beat the heat the second day. Amazing views, but gets crowded the closer you get to south rim. Loved it.

hiking
5 months ago

Birdie and I finished the hike in 13.5 hours. It wasn't as hard as we thought, but that last 4.5 miles was pretty killer. We forced ourselves to drink lots of water and eat food, and just put one small step forward after another. What epic views, a wide range of wildlife, and pure beauty. What a hike! I'm glad I got to share it with Birdie.

hiking
6 months ago

We left at 5 a.m., as advised by a ranger, as the high was supposed to be 92 degrees in the shade at Phantom Ranch. There were no crowds at all, and it was very peaceful. We saw a small bunny and a mouse within the first couple of minutes. Unfortunately we missed the views for the first 1.5 hours, but once it got light enough to take off our head torches, there were plenty of photos taken. It's a nice trail, not difficult, never steep because of the switchbacks, just long. We enjoyed the box too, and were fortunate enough to be in the shade during the entire distance of the box. It took us 5 and a half hours to reach Phantom Ranch, where we had a nice break to eat, fill up with water and use the facilities. After PR, we were in the sun until about 30 minutes past the 3 Mile Rest house. Things were definitely more difficult in the heat. I did what is recommended, and soaked my cotton t-shirt and bandana when possible, ate some jerky, and drank a bunch of water. I was in shorts and a t-short, but dh wore a long sleeve cotton t-shirt and long pants, and that worked out fine for him. He soaked his bandana a couple times, but not his shirt. It's a bit odd, the sweat just evaporates without being noticed at all. At Indian Garden we filled up just enough to get to 3 Mile House. At 3 Mile Rest house the thermometer read 98 in the sun. We were both quite exhausted by the time we finished, and very happy to have completed our 1st R2R. From PR to the top took us 5 and a quarter hours. A very worthwhile endeavor if you are fit. Beware the sun! 3 days later we returned to the North Rim, which was easier (but still long) because it was cooler and a bit shorter.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. We were very fortunate to come across a snake, a scorpion and a mountain lion (while finishing at darkness).

running
6 months ago

Did this on Thursday, September 26. Started at 5 AM at the north Kaibab trailhead. Reached the South Rim at around 11. Then headed back. The return trip was more difficult with the last 3 miles being fairly painful. made it back up to the North rim at 7 PM. Conditions were perfect. The low temperature on the North rim was 47 while the high temperature in the canyon was 86. Mostly cloudy. Only about 2 hours of direct sunlight the whole trip. Had to refill my water bladder 6 times along the way. Fantastic experience despite the difficulty!

I made a wrong turn and added 6-8 more miles to the over all hike. I’m exhausted, made my fitness worry that something happened since I took longer then them to finish the trail. Major accomplishment!

backpacking
6 months ago

Bucket list item to be sure. I have a friend that is a machine and has been planning a Rim to Rim to Rim run for over a year. We booked Mather Campground as a base camp and to finally put a date on it. There were several of us going as support but then fortune smiled upon us. We were able to secure a campsite at Bright Angel for the three of us that were not going to run. We spent our first night at Mather, then the next morning four of us took the shuttle to the North Rim. Three of us were backpacking; the fourth was going to wait at the North Kaibab trailhead for our R2R2R runner and run back with him. We spent our second night at the Canyon on the North Rim. On 8AM of the third day, the backpackers headed down. We met our runner friend just north of Cottonwood, he'd been running since 5AM. After checking on him, we went our separate ways. The trip from Cottonwood to Phantom Ranch was longer and hotter than we imagined. Looking back, we should have taken a long break at Cottonwood before heading out through the box. We arrived at Phantom Ranch around 3:30 PM. The canteen closes at 4 for dinner so we took a quick peak and then headed down to our campsites. Our runners, now there were two, got to Bright Angel around 4:15 PM. We visited a bit then they headed out (we learned they finished their run at around 9:30 PM) We were exhausted so had a really good sleep and hit the trail around 6:10 AM. The river was much closer that I thought, there was the Silver Bridge I had seen so many photos of. We made it to Indian Gardens at 9AM. I felt great and thought we had it made. Then the climb started. The good news is it's just 1.5 miles, then another 1.5 miles, then a final 1.5 miles. The bad news is it's all up! My best advice is take little bites, break often, drink and eat plenty and just keep going. Before you know it, you start seeing fresh faces and smelling the cologne of day hikers. And finally, there is the Rim! If I were to do it again, I'd take four days to cross. North to Cottonwood to BA to IG and then home. There are no photos or words to describe the adventure fully.

hiking
6 months ago

Did it last Monday (September 23). Started at 550 AM at the North Rim trailhead. Got to Phantom Ranch at 11 with brisk walking and a bit of jogging. The temperature was all the time between 60 and 70 F with cloud cover all the way. Notes - we could have easily done this part without carrying any water on us, as there were sufficient water stations. but we did have 2L on us throughout. PR to SR we took the SK trail as the weather was extremely good. left PR at ~1145 and reached the trailhead at 5 pm. Sk trail haz absolutely no water, and we could do ot just because of the mild temperatures. Will not recommend going up SK if the temps at PR are in the 90s and a sunny sky! IMO - good running shoes are good enough for this trail. I used trail runners but not necessary really. Cheers! PS. This was my second time, had done it last year but did so over two days. Last year when we started on the BA trail from PR the thermometer read 103f! A lot diff than this year! but this hike offers such spectacular views that I might do it again in 2020!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice day trip. Pre-downloaded the trail map from All Trails, but still won't allow me to get started offline without cellular service.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked from north to south on Saturday, September 21st. Left at 3:15am, got to Phantom Ranch at 8:30am for a short lunch break, then up the South Rim, arriving around 1:15pm, so about 10 hours. This hike is a doozy, both in effort and in stunning scenery. It was difficult and hot at times, as expected. But, if you’ve trained and you employ the right strategery -- go in one of the fall or spring windows, get started early (but not too early), consistently hydrate and take in electrolytes, get your clothes wet in the creeks, snack along the way, and take your time on the rim climb while moving swiftly to the shaded parts-- I think it’s quite doable and don’t think this is as some say “harder than a marathon.” My question, though, is, do you really want to do it in one day? Got started at 3:00am, not because I wanted cooler temps, but because I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling of my cabin and wanted to get going. Descended alone into the darkness, about 35 degrees and super windy. Caught faint glimpses of the dropoffs with the edge of my headlamp beam. Tripped a few times. The descent was easy, just a bit slow in the dark, as this seems the rockiest part of the “How did they engineer that?” North Kaibab. Didn’t have light til past Manzanita. Was an unbelievably easy stroll to Cottonwood Camp through the Box to Phantom Ranch. The big advantage of my early shove off was that it didn’t get above the high 70s in the inner canyon. By 8:00am I felt a faint heat pumping off the rocks in the Box, but it was still downright pleasant. The inner canyon was like a world all its own. Meandering between the shaded narrow canyon walls was spooky. The sun tagged the distant South Rim and interior peaks. Short 8:30 “lunch” at Phantom Ranch, enjoyed the $5.00 lemonade, and we all laughed about how easy it was so far even though we haven’t climbed anything yet. A few folks ran by. Still cool, but dipped my shirt, cap, and bandana in Bright Angel Creek. Cold and perfect. Finally moved out into the sun on the stretch along the Colorado and began to feel some heat. The first real strain hit me at Devil’s Corkscrew. They’re typical switchbacks that would be manageable right off the bat and early in the morning. But this is where your legs finally start to feel the toll of your day. Chugged on to Indian Gardens where I met a small crowd of shell shocked hikers crowded under some tarps and staring at a spraying water faucet that wouldn’t shut off. People weren’t quite as amiable and alert as at Phantom Ranch. A few sluggish lunges toward the shaded parts of the benches. We had all shifted into a much slower gear. Fueled by Nuun tablets and drenched by creek water I pushed on. I thought I had already passed Three Mile Guesthouse when I finally got to it. Definitely a reality check. The 1.5 Mile Guesthouse is like a bad joke. You first think you’ve got just one mile, but there’s that extra half that punks you. The plodding here is slow but sure. Weaved around flip flopped tourists before finally topping out onto civilized ground. It was a Lawrence of Arabia moment. I felt like I was walking into the officers’ lounge in Cairo and announcing, “I’ve taken Aqaba!” I’m so enamored of this hike, I’m planning another go next year. But my big regret: Leaving so early and descending the North Rim in the dark. I’m there to push myself but also see a place like no other. The verdant, downright lush vertical walls of the North Rim are just stunning and different and only when that’s part of your experience do I think you appreciate how complex and magnificent the canyon truly is. And if it’s your first time and you’re at all on the fence about 1 or 2 days, I highly recommend trying to book that night at Phantom Ranch. (Or better yet, stay longer.) To me, hitting both rims in the morning light and temps is the best way to take it all in.

hiking
6 months ago

We began our hike on the North Kiabab trailhead at 5:45am and finished up Bright Angel at 6pm. We had lunch at Phantom Ranch. The day was overcast so “The Box” was in the 80’s. We were thankful we brought our raincoats as it began to rain the last 1.5 miles as we climbed out of BA. Fist rain in the canyon in 6 weeks. Beautiful day, so thankful we completed it!

hiking
6 months ago

We did this hike Friday September 27. Started at North rim at 4am and finished at the South rim via Bright Angel Trail at 4:15pm. We are not hikers by any means and this is only our second hike. We do a lot of mountain biking in the heat here in Las Vegas and I think this is what made the hike possible. This hike was physically demanding but not as bad as it is made out to be online. Plenty of good information here on AllTrails. One item to note was Ribbon Falls bridge was closed due to apparent flood damage. If you continue past the bridge area to the next sign (this would be the sign you would see coming from South to North) there is a trail that takes you down to the creek. Here you can skip across the creek on exposed rocks. Water was available at all rest areas but this can change daily so be prepared. I think there is about 2 weeks left before North rim shuts down for the winter. Get out there and have some fun! Travis

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike, well maintained trail... LONG 11 HOURS!!

hiking
6 months ago

Terrific well maintained trail. Started on the north rim and stayed the night at Phantom Ranch where we enjoyed cooling off in the creek and devouring our steak dinner. Next morning we hiked up to the south rim via Bright Angel Trail. For both days we were on the trail at 4 am, which really helped with the heat. Even though this meant hiking over the Colorado River in the dark and missing out on that view, the sunrise on the canyon walls as we hiked up Bright Angel Trail was epic.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing hike

hiking
6 months ago

Truly a spectacular hike!! I completed it in 4 days as I wanted to take my time and take in the amazing surroundings. From north to south, I stayed one night in all three campgrounds, Cottonwood, Bright Angel, Indian Garden. I''m fairly new to the backcountry scene as I've only completed a couple of trips prior to this one, but by far this is my favorite hike. I loved every second of this once in a life time experience. I consider myself to be moderately flt but I did train for the couple of months leading up to this adventure and I believe it defiantly helped me. Train, plan and enjoy the spectacular wonder that is the Grand Canyon!! :-)

hiking
6 months ago

For all hikers that want to do this in one day, here are some tips. Prepare months in advance for this hike. Run and hike and get your body used to being in hot conditions. Also, eat a lot of the right foods and the right amount. Don’t forget your sodium intake. Eating at Phantom Ranch is the worst possible thing you could do. Eat some salty snacks a couple miles before PR. Fill your water and go to the bathroom but that’s it. It is too hot there and will zap your energy. Eat lunch at the resting spot right before you turn away from the Colorado river. There is a stream you can soak in and eat in the shade. Most people have problems within the first couple miles heading up to Indian Gardens. It is steep, hot and no shade in this section. Drink plenty, you should be consuming 7-9 liters of water. Headlamps are good to take, just in case something happens and you're in the canyon longer than expected. Cooling towels, rags are great to provide extra cooling. Check the nps.gov website to make sure water stations are working. Trekking poles just might save you!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this with a friend back in September. It's awesome! The terrain as you hike changes so much with every mile. We went from North to South. Left at 4am and finished at 5pm. We stopped at Phantom Ranch for lunch at about 11am. Be careful if you plan to stop there to eat; we breezed right by without seeing it & had to back-track. Here's some video of the hike: https://youtu.be/RyXchd17nrg The weather was perfect in September for this hike. I started out in the morning wearing a long-sleeved shirt & pants, but ended the day wearing a tank-top and shorts. Both my friend and I are in decent shape (ages 39 & 49) and we found this hike challenging, yet doable with the right shoes & plenty of water and snacks.

hiking
7 months ago

Coming from an first time hiker, I was able to hike from the north rim to the south rim going up bright angel trail. It was very very hard - it took me 11 hours going down, taking breaks and soaking in the scenery and 9 hours going up. I was very sore the first day so I went to bed around 6 and stayed at Bright angel campground. Woke up and left the next morning around 7am (which was too late in my opinion) and thought I can get the 1:30 shuttle back to the N Rim. I had heat exhaustion and at the 1.5 mile rest stop, my body couldn’t move. I ended up taking an hr break before finishing. Now that I look back, I’m so glad I did it. Next time, I’ll make sure to bring electrolytes and more gum!

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