South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge

HARD 322 reviews

South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2037 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The South Kaibab Trail begins south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road. Day hike to the mule hitching post at Cedar Ridge is 3 miles (round trip). Best views for a relatively short hike. Steep trail, no water, little shade. Water available seasonally at the trailhead. Upper portion of the trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring and in summer months watch out for thunderstorms. This is the only trail at Grand Canyon National Park that holds true to a ridgeline descent. This trail is also the quickest way to the bottom. The trail begins with a series of tight switchbacks. After these initial switchbacks, the trail traverses below Yaki Point to Ooh Ah Point (the first panoramic view of the canyon). From Ooh Ah Point on, the trail follows the top of a ridgeline and is consequently without shade. Several broad and steeply plunging switchbacks later, hikers reach Cedar Ridge. The South Kaibab Trail was constructed to bypass Ralph Cameron's Bright Angel Trail. Cameron, who owned the Bright Angel Trail and charged a toll to those using it, fought dozens of legal battles over several decades to maintain his personal business rights. These legal battles inspired the Santa Fe Railroad to build its own alternative trail, the Hermit Trail, beginning in 1911 before the National Park Service went on to build the South Kaibab Trail beginning in 1924. In this way, Cameron inadvertently contributed to the greater network of trails currently available for use by canyon visitors.

15 days ago

Perfect for a day hike! 3 points/landmarks on the trail to keep you motivated to keep going! We went down to skeleton point and back up which is 6 miles. You can’t see the river but it is beautiful! It took us all day but we took our sweet time. We parked down the road at one of the overlooks and walked on the paved trail to the trail head.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this the other day. Perfect weather. I found it the hardest on the way up as it got hotter. Beautiful scenery made it worth it. Probably one of the harder hikes I’ve done due to the elevation the whole way back up to the top.

hiking
18 days ago

Fantastic hike. Really gives you a sense of the scale of Grand Canyon when you hike down into it and the views on this hike do not disappoint. Fairly strenuous but not super long. Wife and I finished down and back in just over two hours with some stops to take in the views.

hiking
26 days ago

This was pretty hard for us! Well worth it tho. The hike took us about 6 hours. We took our time, rested as needed and did stop to eat twice. Give yourself time and bring plenty of water. Lots of traffic although people are courteous of one another. Hiking sticks are recommended. Be sure to wear the right boots and equipment. Enjoy and remember to stop and take it all in. Be safe.

1 month ago

This was hard, but there were kids doing it. And it was totally worth the trek. It was cold when we started, warmed up half way through. Pretty traffickied, but everyone was accommodating to each other.

hiking
1 month ago

A wonderful and beautiful trail well maintained. Make sure to bring water and sun protection.

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I hiked this trail today. We are experienced hikers, so this trail was not hard for us. We finished the hike in about 3.5 hours, with a break for lunch at Skeleton Point and many photo ops throughout . The view is gorgeous! I would say the last mile up was probably the toughest just because of the altitude gain. The temperature in mid December was about low 50s at mid day. I started and finished with my gloves on, but quickly warmed up during the middle of the hike. Pretty heavily trafficked until Cedar Ridge. You CANNOT drive to the trail head. We parked at a picnic shelter nearby and walked. Highly recommend this trail. Enjoy!!

2 months ago

This is beautiful hike. If you hike regularly or are in decent shape, it's not a difficult trail to hike. I recommend it in the morning so you can see the shades and colors of the Canyon changing as you come back up. Obviously bring plenty of water, salty and some sweet snacks and take your time coming back up.

hiking
2 months ago

I know it says it's best used in March- November, but would I be able to do it in mid-February? Is the trail closed, or what are the risks? Any info will help thanks!

2 months ago

Challenging but worth it. Non stop awesome views.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent views. Doable in a few hours.

3 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes! Unforgettable experience and views. Bring lots of water and layer clothing. It gets really warm as you hike down. Allow time to take pictures and soak the unparrareled scenery.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes ever. Warning #1 There is a reason this hike is listed as hard - a beast coming back up Warning #2 Once you experience this hike - seeing the GC from the rim is a complete let down. Pretty crowded at the start and really windy. Brings lots of water

hiking
3 months ago

I hiked this with my husband yesterday. We are in our 50’s and pretty decent shape...although I do have very bad knees.

It was a beautiful hike into the canyon! Great views everywhere! It was a little tough on my bad knees but not near as bad as I anticipated...I did have poles and a good knee sleeve. There isn’t a lot of shade on the trail, but there are a few trees here and there. I really wanted to make it down to Skeleton but I had to be realistic...basically husband talked me out of it and glad he did.

Even though it was Oct, it was still very warm. We took 2-3 liters of water each. I think we drank it all. I could not imagine doing this trail in the summer!! It can reach temps of over 120 degrees in the canyon in summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Breathtaking views. Fun trail. Stay hydrated!! suggest hiking boots and packing snacks when you reach the bottom for a quick energy lunch!

hiking
4 months ago

A great quick trail doable within 2 hours at a good pace. The views are amazing. The only downside is the crowd. If you have a bit more time I would recommend to push to Skeleton point a bit further down after Cedar Ridge.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail offers amazing views of the canyon as you descend. It's a moderate hike and you'll enjoy it if you go at your own pace. Remember it's easier to descend than come back up, so make sure to bring lots of water and rest when you get to Cedar Ridge before coming back up. I'd recommend getting there pretty early to avoid coming back up in the Arizona heat! It also gets pretty busy and some people take mule rides so arriving earlier is better.

4 months ago

It's breathtaking. We went about halfway down...the hike is as hard as you make it. If you're at the GC and want to hike downwards...it's absolutely perfect. Just remember that the easy part is hiking down...it's much harder when you decide to turn around

hiking
5 months ago

This was my first hike in the Grand Canyon and it did not disappoint! The views are spectacular, but this is definitely a hard hike. The trail is steep and the way up is a real workout! Take plenty of water.

5 months ago

We loved this hike! We started around 9.15 AM and finished 3 hours later, with plenty of breaks in between for the awesome views. It was cloudy, but when the sun gets through the clouds, it gets warm, especially if you hike upwards.
Go to Visitor Center by car, park your car there and take the orange bus, they run about every 15 min

We loved the hike, definitely recommendable!

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