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

HARD 189 reviews

Rim-to-Rim: North Kaibab to Grand Canyon Village is a 21.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near North Rim, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 21.6 miles Elevation Gain: 5,298 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

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
18 days ago

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

hiking
18 days ago

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.

hiking
20 days ago

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.

hiking
26 days ago

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.

hiking
28 days ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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. :)

hiking
1 month ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike!!! Did it on 5/20/19. 4” of snow on the NR. After a couple of miles the trail was clear and nice. Started at 5:45 AM, stopped for an hour at Phantom Ranch, topped out at the SR at alittle before 5:30 PM. EPIC hike!!! We had 28° when we started at the NR and it was in the 60’s going across the bottom, and 40° when we finished. The GC is so beautiful, so impressive, so vast, so very impressive!!! What a marvelous creation that our Lord provided us here!! This was our first R2R. I want to do it again!!!

hiking
1 month ago

The perfect way to experience the canyon. Obviously not for the inexperienced but if you're up for the challenge, go for it. There's plenty of water along the way on both sides so you don't have to carry too much water weight on the hike. The longest you'll have to go is the 7 miles between cottonwood campground and phantom ranch without water. (it's flat though). This is a 24-mile hike, not 21. Wouldn't advise doing this between at least June and August as the temps at the bottom will reach triple digits. Took me 10:30 overall to walk across including breaks.

1 month ago

Well that is pretty beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike yesterday, May 18. It took my just under 12 hours to complete it. The hike was closer to 24 miles. The consensus of the group I traveled with indicated that we climbed 380 flights and walked around 60,000 steps. The weather was perfect. Roaring Springs is awe inspiring! The hike across the Colorado River via Silver Bridge is thrilling! And the excitement when you finally reach the Bright Angel trailhead can’t be described! I look forward to doing this again soon!

hiking
2 months ago

Both God and the Devil live in this Canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike in mid-May 2013. I was 62 and had a total knee replacement just 15 months earlier. I don’t recommend anyone doing this hike without being totally recovered from this kind of surgery. I wasn’t and by the time I reached Indian Gardens Campground I was done, but being the badass that I am I rested for about 40 min then continued the climb. We had started on the north rim at 5:45 am and I was at Indian Gardens about 2:00 am. With a lot of stops it took me until 9:45am to make it to the top. Some people might say why or I’d never do that, I say it was worth it. I’ve been back 4 more times over the past 5.5 years. In June 2014 we went South to North that one took me 23 hrs but I needed to stop to treat an early onset of heat exhaustion, then it rained for about an hour when we were coming into Cottonwood Campground, I also got a little bit of altitude sickness after the Supi tunnel. The in May 2015 I went down the S Kaibab to Tip off then took the Tonto trail to Bright Angel then up.15 hours for that one. I couldn’t hike the following year in 2017 due to needing hand surgery. So I made up for it last year in 2018 did South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel once in May and once in September. I had just turned 67 on the last hike and when we were at Tip off one young lady asked me how old I was and when I told her she said aren’t you afraid something will happen to you. I said look around and tell me what you think of this place. She said it was beautiful and breathtaking. I said what a place to go. One day when I’m old I may need to spend the night in each of the campgrounds to make it across, but until then I’ll keep going back.

hiking
8 months ago

Most amazing hike. I am not a “serious hiker,” however I did train for 3 months to do this hike. We did Rim to Rim in one day, from North to South Rim via Bright Angel on October 20. Weather was PERFECT! Chilly in the morning (started a little after 6am in the dark), but warmed up very quickly. We took 30 hikers with us, from 16 years old to 60, but didn’t all stay together. A few things to note: * It’s actually 23.9 miles. I verified with a Park Ranger. * Water is available often, but I always kept at least 3 liters on me at all times, and that was during the fall. If you hike in the heat, you will need MUCH more! I would not do this hike in the summer. * Electrolytes are not optional. * You need to snack the entire way down the rim. Then stop to eat your packed lunch at Phantom Ranch. You won’t feel like eating much after that (even though you should) so almost all your calories & electrolytes needs to be in the morning. Salty tastes way better than sweet. * There are NO garbage cans...you will need to pack out every tiny bit of garbage with you. * I finished in just over 12 hours. It’s doable for the most physically fit in about 8-10 hours. The last of our group finished in 15 1/2 hours with a knee injury. * The switchbacks on Bright Angel are not as steep as I expected. They are just extremely relentless and never ending. The last 3 miles will take FOREVER. * Have a head lamp with you. * Use every bathroom you pass. There are no “hidden areas” to squat behind. No matter where you go, you will be seen! * This is not a loop, nor an out and back. You will need a driver waiting for you at the Rim you finish on. We met some people who didn’t think that through, and were trying to figure out how to get back to their car on the North Rim, which was about a 4 hour drive away! * I was terrified to do this hike, but am so glad I did! You will not regret doing it, as long as you are PREPARED! Hike a few times each week, walk a lot, and do the stair stepper as often as possible.

8 months ago

Absolutely amazing hike. We went slow purposefully to stay 1 nite at each of the 3 campgrounds and soak it all in. The views and stars at nite are exceptional. I recommend hiking it in October as the heat isn't brutal. 23.9 miles starting at north rim and using BA trail to reach the south rim. A must do for all serious backpackers. Highly recommended.

backpacking
8 months ago

What can be said about this trail that hasn't been said a thousand times already? The Rim to Rim experience through the Grand Canyon was a physically demanding, refreshingly emotional adventure. If you have the means and the ability, there are few greater short-term backpacking experiences to be found in the US. My friend and I completed the trail in September of 2018 and both came away from the experience exhausted and inspired. From the cliff face trail at the north rim to the lush and vibrant Phantom Ranch, Indian Garden and the village, this trail allows you to see so much in only a handful of miles. The detour to the Canyon overlook is a must. The short side trail to the waterfall is also a must. Cracking a beer at Phantom is a must and so is their world famous family-style breakfast. Only one percent of visitors make it down into the canyon itself and an even smaller percentage actually traverse the entire thing by foot. To be among that group is an honor and a welcome addition to my memories of adventuring.

8 months ago

Closer to 24 Miles

hiking
8 months ago

An epic journey to celebrate the two year anniversary of my double knee replacement! Two of my kids joined me for this 15 hour adventure which made it even better. I'll definitely do it again, preferrably earlier or later in the season. September is still pretty warm at PR (96F), and broken water lines on the NK added an extra challenge. Best 'audible' we called was to spend more time than planned at Phantom Ranch. Leaving there to head up at 3:00 pm provided welcome shade on the Bright Angel trail. A fabulous inner canyon sunset, mule deer feeding on the trail, and the last 4 miles under the stars were ample rewards for a long day's walk.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Great epic hike. Very VERY doable in a single day - but you have to organize transport, which is annoying. And I'd highly suggest leaving before sunrise.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing. I wasn’t expecting the vegetation, streams, and overall beauty of the canyon. We did it straight though in 13.5 hours, which included our breaks and lunch at Phantom Ranch.

8 months ago

October 16, 2018 11 hours 45 minutes

hiking
9 months ago

We finished this hike on Oct 13, 2018. We have a group of 5 people from N2S and a group of 3 from S2N. We started from the north kaibab trailhead at 5 am and finished at bright angel trailhead at 5:30pm. Downhill with a lot of people, a wall of headlights zigzagging, at a beautiful starry sky background. Detoured for ribbon falls, but did not went too close. Meet our friend around 10:30 and did a funny ‘car key exchange ceremony’. Arrived at phantom ranch at 11:10 am and took a 1.5-hour break, including sending postcard with ‘transfer by mule’ stamp. Arrived at Indian garden at 2:30 pm. The final 3 piece of 1.5mi were difficult as we felt really tired. Not very steep with a lot of switchbacks, but seams endless. Our three other friends arrived around 7pm, caught the heavy rain started around 6:30pm T^T. Our opposite direction S2N friends finished their hiking in just 10 hours! The scenery along the trail were astonishing. Pushing ourselves to the limit was amazing too!

9 months ago

Hiked down North Kaibab trail to Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel on Oct 7th, 2018. I have hiked the GC before but this was my first time doing Rim to Rim. The entire hike had amazing views!!!The best hike so far! The hardest part is the last 5 plus miles out. I carried too much in my back pack (clothes) fearing rain that was in the forecast. We had hardly any rain leaving a heavy backpack. We had a group of 15 hikers and started in the dark at 5:30am. The first one out was at 1:20pm and the last two out was at 7pm. I got out at 3:20pm. Only stopped twice, once at Phantom Ranch for only 15 min and once at Indian Gardens for 10 min. I think if I rested a little longer and ate more I would have felt better coming out. For most of the hike I felt pretty good, but somewhat worn out for the climb out. I am 53 and plan do do it every year as long as I am able. It is a must do for every serious hiker!!!!

hiking
9 months ago

My husband and I started at the North Kaibab trailhead at 7 am on Saturday Sept 30. We felt great the first 18 miles but the last five were brutal. We took about two hours worth of breaks along the trail and ended at Bright Angel Trailhead at 8 pm. I would say it’s essential that you take hiking poles, they honestly saved us. The views are incredible and it’s so interesting to see how the vegetation and rock formations change as you travel through the canyon. It’s rewarding to see how far you’ve come! Incredibly hard but beautiful day. Definitely worth the extra half mile to check out Ribbon Falls!

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