South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge

HARD 380 reviews

South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge is a 3.1 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
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1177 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.

hiking
5 days ago

This is a hike of a lifetime, the landscape and vistas are stunning. The trial is rugged so wear a good pair of boots. Rangers on the trail stopped hikers and inquired if they had adequate water. There is no water tap on the trail. I found it challenging in the midday sun but not hard. I would recommend going beyond Cedar to Skeleton Point, it’s only another 40 minutes. If you enjoy hiking and are in the vicinity, don’t miss this trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful hike with a great view

hiking
13 days ago

Fantastic day hike. Go early to beat the traffic and enjoy more shade.

hiking
14 days ago

We hit the trail about 4:30 am hiking down in the dark with headlamps. There were a few cars already where we parked and a few showed up shortly after us. Our goal was Ooh Aah Point by sunrise which we made easily. We hiked down to Cedar Ridge and enjoyed the scenery there for an hour or so before hiking back up. Because of our early start we didn’t encounter too much direct sun or heat, it was a very comfortable hike.

21 days ago

If nothing else- go to Ooh Aah point. Beautiful. First bit of the trail is covered in donkey poo.

hiking
23 days ago

If you are considering doing a hike at the Grand Canyon, please at least hike to oh, ah point! It is incredible, and you will feel such a sense of accomplishment upon completion!

We hiked this with our 5 kids ages 5-13. We went cedar ridge ate a snack, walked all the way out to the point,and hiked back up in just under 2 hours. Our family hikes a lot though, and our youngest can easily hike 7 miles. We regret not doubling our hike and going down to skeleton point. But you just never know how difficult it will be for your family until you try it! Every person had their own camel-bak of water packed with snacks. I think that is a MUST.

25 days ago

Awesome hike so we took it further to Skeleton Point. Took 2 hrs down and 3 hours to go back up. It was very hot that day. Drank 3L of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent views at every step of the way!

1 month ago

Amazing! Definitely a “bucket list” thing! It was a hard hike out, fairly easy down though.

1 month ago

Was an Amazing experience, the views Breathtaking want to go back and hike to the Colorado River

1 month ago

Magnificent views and easier than I expected. There are some steep sections, but the trail is well maintained and never less than 4 feet wide.
Be sure to hike to the vantage point at Cedar Ridge.

hiking
1 month ago

This map actually takes you to Skeleton Point but there are two stops before that. Ooh Ah point is about 1 mike in. Great viewpoint! Next is Cedar Creek and from there Skeleton Point. This trail is ALL incline from the start. . Definitely a strenuous hike but we enjoyed it a lot! No snow anymore. If you have poles, bring them along with sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water! Try to start early to mid morning.

Including resting and taking pictures, we made it to Cedar Creek and back in about 2.5 hours. Go the pace that works for you!

1 month ago

Very steep going down to the Colorado river.
Great views. Glad we were going down to spend the night. Did Bright Angels trail next day.

1 month ago

Not for the weak of heart. Lots of tourists taking kids down, not very kid friendly. The way down is deceptively easy as the route back up is much more challenging mid-day. But the views were unbeatable and an experience to remember.

hiking
1 month ago

I think this is the best hike on the South Rim (better than Bright Angel) due to the diversification of the views. It gets pretty crowded on the trail up until Cedar Ridge. The portion of the trail to Skeleton Point has less people. I think Cedar Ridge has a better view and better photo opportunities than Ooh Ahh Point. I went all the way to Skeleton Point (about 1.5 miles away from Cedar Ridge). The hike took about 4.5 hours (that is including some breaks). Going down the trail is easy. Going back up is definitely steep and will take 2x longer than when you were going down. I would bring a bandana to cover your mouth and nose for this trail. There is a portion that is a bit sandy/dusty and you don’t want to be inhaling dust while hiking.

1 month ago

What a great trail! We did it with a 8-year old. It was tough for her, especially towards the end, but worth every step. The views are absolutely breathtaking! It took us 5 hours in total, including 30 min at the Skeleton Point: 2 hours down and 3 hours back up.

2 months ago

awesome trail! what does down must come up yes in this case its cery true. worth it though. the hike was a little stenuous but I love me some breaks made it back up in a 1 45 min not to shabby. you can see the colorado river from skeleton point.

2 months ago

Stunning hike!

Trail was carved out of a cliff side, and that alone is worth seeing. Some serious trail building work went into this one!

The river is visible at skeleton point if you walk to the left on the ridge at the end.

I’m guessing less than 20% of those on the trail actually went as far as skeleton point, but well worth it!

2 months ago

The views are amazing and much of the trail is well-maintained. Ooh-aah point is fairly crowded with people taking photos. O'neil Butte is an awesome landmark to stop at and just marvel at the canyon. The hike up is steep so save some energy for the return trip. March 22nd trail was mostly dry and no crampons needed.

hiking
2 months ago

This was my favorite trail at South Rim—gorgeous views at every step. Cedar Ridge was a perfect spot to reenergize before the trek back up. There are bathrooms at Cedar Ridge. The hike back up is tough—I needed some breaks and consider myself to be in good shape—but the experience is well-worth it.

3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
4 months 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.

4 months 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
4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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!!

5 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
5 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!

5 months ago

Challenging but worth it. Non stop awesome views.

Load More