South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trail

HARD 191 reviews

South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trail is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Grand Canyon Village, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
16.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4685 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

no dogs

It's the Grand Canyon just breath taking

hiking
3 days ago

Amazing experience. Kaibab in rough shape.

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike, but definitely no walk in the park. Took us a little under 7 1/2 hrs, including stops.

hiking
9 days ago

10 days ago

backpacking
11 days ago

12 days ago

15 days ago

Words cannot describe the wonder of hiking the Grand Canyon. I keep coming back for more. I initially did Rim to river to rim in a day ( the “do not do rim and back in a day” warning sign in the Bright Angel gift store challenged me) a few time when I was younger (about age 62 or 63). Now I spend a night at Phantom Ranch (69 now). Just remember that you never have too much water.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

All I can say is wow, this took me and 7 of my friends/ co- workers about 9 hours to complete we went on oct 21 2017 , stayed in Williams az the night before so we could get a early start since we’re all from Phoenix area well worth ! You will wake up sore make sure you pack Accordingly, it was rough don’t get me wrong but worth the pain

hiking
21 days ago

First thing first, do not do this hike in one day if you are not conditioned enough, nor do you do extreme activities or active daily in anyway. I learned the hard way, but I made it out, and because of that it was a hike well worth it.

I am 28 years old, and my friend is 29. We aren't your daily gym rats, nor do we regularly do any outside physical activities. We attempted to condition one month before the hike not taking it too seriously or too lightly. One month was not enough! So heed my warning, if you are similar where you don't condition enough, this hike is not for you if you want to do it ONE day. If you are like me, plan ahead and get a reservation at Phantom Ranch and do the hike in 2 days.

We started the hike around 6:30 a.m. going down South Kaibab. It took us 4-5 hours to hike down the trail to Phantom Ranch. It will be a constant of going downhill, so it may take a toll on your knees and/or ankles, cause it did mine. Plus, the trail going down South Kaibab is not nicely paved. It has a lot of rocks, sand, holes in the ground. It is important to bring walking sticks to help ease the landing when taking steps down. Some steps were steeper than others (off topic but we saw a lady who was jogging down the Kaibab trail and we were in utter shock and amazement!), so be well prepared. Also, there is no water along the Kaibab trail. I had two water bottles and a large gatorade bottle which was sufficient enough for me down...going up was a different story, but that'll be explained later.

Took an hour break and lunch at the Phantom Ranch. Don't even think about asking them for another way out of the canyons cause they will just refer you to the Bright Angel trail. And if you don't have reservations there you will not be able to sleep in the lodges. Campsites weren't full when we got there, but we didn't bring our camping gear so we had no choice but to continue upward.

We continued forward to the Bright Angel trail around 12 p.m. By this time the sun was high in the sky and it was HOT. We rested so much going up that I lost count. We eventually ran out of water by this time, but luckily along the trail there is water. However, it took us 3-4 hours to get to the first water stop at the Indian campgrounds. Moving forward, as we got closer to the rim it got steeper which caused for more resting. Around 8-9 p.m. we exerted our bodies so heavily we almost felt like we weren't going to make it. By this time it was pitched black and extremely cold as well. So around this time of the year, pack a jacket. Luckily we also had our head light gears (Off topic again, but I actually came across three ring-tailed cats! They're nocturnal animals). As we continued forward, we finally made it to the top around 11 p.m. We were cold, scared, body exhausted, mentally drained, but proud and felt accomplished the next day. However...our bodies were in so much pain and soreness for the remaining 2-3 days.

But as we look back at our adventure, we would always remember what an epic hike it was. The sights. The beauty of the canyon. The experience was all worth it! However, we will never do it again.

hiking
25 days ago

What an incredible experience! I'm so glad I did this hike! But make no doubt about it, it's a tough, but very doable, day hike (if you're in good condition and a strong hiker). Doing it in late Oct helped too. The temps at the bottom were still in the 80's but there was a cool breeze most of the day. I took 8 hours to complete but stopped for 2 hours between lunch, pictures (too many) and stopping to fill water bottles. So my actual hike time was a few minutes under 6 hours end-to-end.

There is an express shuttle that runs 6, 7 and 8 AM from the Bright Angel lodge and drops you at the South Kaibab trailhead (there is no public parking at that trailhead). It's a steep, 7 mile descent to Phantom Ranch but so beautiful. Went to Phantom Ranch just to see it but there really isn't much there to see. I actually liked the Indian Garden area much more. But I did love the river and the suspension bridges at the bottom.

The toughest part of the Bright Angel trail is the first half of the last mile near the top. But having two water stops (3 mile and 1 1/2 mile rests) helps.

While not my favorite hike ever it is one of those hikes you have to do at least once (if you're a hiker) just for the experience and to say you have.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked down South Kaibab on Oct 19th, stayed at Phantom Ranch that night and hiked up on Bright Angel on Oct 20th. Loved the whole experience of hiking/staying at Phantom Ranch. Looks like October is the perfect time for this hike.

hiking
27 days ago

29 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

Very difficult scaling the 1 mile vertical from the river but the views on the way down are absolutely spectacular. It’s worth the effort. Start right and sunrise and you will be rewarded with some of the most magnificent scenery you could possibly see.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I hiked this on Tuesday and I'm 55 and he's 54. We left at 6:30 with a temp of 36 degrees at the top, with clear skies and a light wind. Took us 3 hrs to get to Phantom Ranch - a total of 7.4mi by my Garmin. The views are spectacular as the sun rises. We both had Camel packs with water and tailwind. Didn't drink as much on the way down. Planned snacks as I would for an ultra. Took 45 min at Phantom ranch (got lemonade, recharged everything, changed socks & added water to the packs) before heading back to and up Bright Angel. Took us 5hr 1 min to get to the top - 11 miles - for a total of 18.4miles. Much less steep than the So Kaibab and "easier" to hike but much longer. Plan on appropriate snacks in addition to hydration. There is great beer available at the Bright Angel Lodge after you finish. You won't be sorry you did this hike if you plan and train well. It is truly an incredible experience!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

My husband and I in our mid-50s hiked the Grand Canyon as a bucket list item. We hiked in October the weather was perfect definitely layer up. We took the S. Kabab down Bright Angel up and stayed at Phantom Ranch. The S. Kabab was a tough hike down hard on the knees. Make sure you take plenty of water and snacks. There's no water available on this trail. It took us 6 hours to get down. The Phantom Ranch was awesome! We met a lot of people. There were some people that had guides going down who took care of their food and pace for them. Also, bring other comfortable shoes so you can get your hiking boots off. Some people hiked a day stayed 2 nights at Phantom Ranch then hiked out. We only did one night. We took Bright Angel up we liked this trail better it's very scenic and cooler. It took us 9 hours out. There's water on the trail and more people. Both going in and out we took a lot of breaks and just slowly paced ourselves!!! Our bodies were sore but it was worth the awesome experience!!!

hiking
1 month ago