South Kaibab to North Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail is a 43.5 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Generally an early morning start and a late finish with an amazing sunrise on the way down the South Kaibab and depending on your speed, a beautiful sunset as you hike back toward (or up) Bright Angel. You will love or hate the Grand Canyon, and you will never be the same again. South Kaibab to North Kaibab Trail back to Bright Angel Trail: 44 miles with with an elevation change of 20,000 feet. One thing is certain if you hike R2R2R. There are two main trails down from the south rim, which converge at Phantom Ranch Ranger Station in the bottom of the canyon (where the North Kaibab trail runs the rest of the way to the north rim): The shorter and steeper South Kaibab trail, and the longer, more gradual Bright Angel trail. The South rim sits around 7,200 feet higher than Colorados Front Range and the North rim is over 8,200 feet. Down on the bottom, the Colorado River is at about 2,400 feet. That means hiking gets a lot easier as youre descending but it gets a lot harder as you climb. Ascending nearly 5,000 feet after a long day is already a stout challenge; dont forget to account for the thinning air as well. The longest but least-challenging route is to descend and later return up Bright Angel (roughly 46 miles); the shortest but most challenging is to descend and later climb South Kaibab (42 miles). Or, mix it up, descending down South Kaibab but opting for the more forgiving Bright Angel on the return (44 miles).
Great backpacking trip rim to rim to rim. Each trail offered beautiful views and challenges. This is a must hike for anyone wanting to experience something as remarkable as the Grand Canyon.
Amazing hike love the canyon done many hike there but none that compares the this!!
The last 4 miles were the toughest of the trip. Other than that, it was to spectacular to really feel the fatigue.
I did this hike/run for the first time in 2013. I'm a runner but had never really done much hiking before this. It took a little over 18 hours but was the most gratifying experience. Have been going back each year since. Prefer September timeframe as water is still available but it is not too chilly yet!
@Sam Smith, the water falls and fountains are glorious this time year!
The trail is SPECTACULAR ... We're planning my third R2R2R run in 12 short days! Can anyone please confirm that water supplies are currently active and plentiful at:
- On South Kaibab: Skeleton Point, and Tonto Crossing
- Phantom Ranch / South Kaibab bridge
- On North Kaibab: Cottonwood, Mule tie-ups (after the tunnel)
- On Bright Angel: Indian Gardens, and the Lookout
Thanks in advance! Sam
One of the coolest experiences of my hiking career. So many wonderful photo spots. A Bucket List item checked off.
You better be prepared for this one!