DISTANCE
40.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
11,742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

snow

no dogs

backpacking
1 month ago

Completed this hike in April 2018 and I don’t think anything can compare to the feeling of reaching Bright Angel Trailhead after hiking for 50 miles. We did a lot of research leading up to it with the help of the park rangers and the resources on the NPS website.

We got very lucky with the weather in April, but it’s important to know that it’s technically off-season so the water is shut off in certain places. Having a filter is a must! Our itinerary was South Kaibab trailhead to Cottonwood campground (Day 1, ~15 miles), Cottonwood to North Rim to Cottonwood (Day 2, ~15 miles), and Cottonwood to Bright Angel Trailhead (Day 3, ~16 miles). I also highly recommend hiking the extra distance (~4 miles there and back) to Bright Angel Point once you reach the North Rim trailhead. It will reward you with incomparable views of the canyon and it will be worth it, I promise!

Also, park your car at your finishing point (in this case, Bright Angel trailhead) or bring 2 cars. The last thing you’ll want to do is take a shuttle when you’re tired and sweaty!