South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point

MODERATE 130 reviews
#10 of 93 trails in

South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and horses. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,978 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

rocky

no dogs

1 month ago

Great views, and an awesome hike. Got on the trail at 7:45 am. Cool trip down to Cedarridge by nine. We felt fine so we went another 30 min. The heat was building so we headed up. It took three hours to get up to the top. You got to bring plenty of h2o. I took 75 ounces and only had a sip left. I got to the top and saw a bobcat grab a squirrel, so hold on to your little ones.

hiking
1 month ago

Started hiking on the 05/30 at 0425 am (catching the Hikers Express from the Visitor Center) with headlamps on. Only two other hikers starting with us. Arrived at Skeleton Point at about 0555. We took a 30 minute break to enjoy the scenery and have a small breakfast. Started the ascend at about 0630. On the way up, we took countless photos and another break (30 minutes or so) at Cedar Ridge. We eventually arrived at the South Kaibab trailhead at 0930.

The hike was well maintained and provided scenic views all the time. In order you really get to enjoy the hike, I'd recommend starting (very) early as a) it heats up quickly (90°+ even at 1000 am) and b) you'll meet only a handful of people up until 0730.

Please remember to bring plenty of water/snacks/electrolytes, prepare for a strenuous ascend and to take your time.

hiking
1 month ago

Started the trail today (6/5) at 10am which was a mistake. As we came down it is a breeze, smooth sailing with much of it shaded as the sun was behind the canyon wall. We originally intended to stop at Cedar Ridge, but felt good enough to continue. The way back was strenuous. The temperature jumped to about 100 in the canyon and the sun was beating. My brother began showing signs of heat exhaustion and we had to take many stops and eventually ran out of water about .7 miles from the top, which includes the tough switchbacks that you start on and think nothing of. All said I would definitely do it again, but much earlier, like 7am, and with much more water. The views are solid, but I felt like it would have been much more worth it to buckle down and go to the river and stay the night to return the next day.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail today starting at 10:00 AM. The sky was cloudy the whole time, so heat wasn’t an issue.
As promised, a variety of amazing views. The way up was a bit challenging. Keep in mind I have not exercised for months...
I would love to go back and next time go all the way down to the river for a night and then hike up the next day.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail, but be warned to bring plenty of water and food to snack on. Would recommend definitely leaving as early as possible because once that sun is out the ascend back up the canyon can become quite strenuous. If you decide to go past skeleton point, be prepared to have some pretty steep points, upon returning. Overall would do this again, but would plan to leave earlier than 9am.

2 months ago

Amazing views the entire hike! My girlfriend and I did it in about 3 hours (including photo stops and a snack break at skeleton point). Going down is easy. Up was a different story! Great hike though, one of my favorites.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with fantastic views at every turn. Total hiking time for my wife and I was 4.5 hours which included many stops for pictures and a light snack/photo/water break at Cedar Ridge and Skeleton Point.

I'd say it's very busy at OohAhh Point, a few less people at Cedar Ridge (also more space to spread out) and only a few people continue all the way to Skeleton Point or beyond.

hiking
2 months ago

Arrive half an hour before sunset so you can reach ooh aah point. Spectacular views. Also cooler to hike back up in mostly shade. Hiked to skeleton point (1h24m) and back up (1h45m). Few hikers in the morning. Bring lots of snacks and 3l of water each. A truly spectacular hike.

2 months ago

We are 62 and live in Asheville NC. This hike is very demanding on the return. Make sure you stop frequently and have plenty of fluids and food. The views were worth the post suffering.

hiking
2 months ago

The view the whole way is amazing! The hike itself is not long to what I’m used to. Going down hill is super easy, it’s going back up to the top that you have to worry about!!! When you’re going back up I suggest taking it easy and taking your time. The view is amazing so take your breaks and take some good pictures. I say bring water and bring snack to eat. Overall it was fun and definitely an experience you don’t get everyday!

hiking
2 months ago

Really nice short trail. The views are amazing and it's not very tough, just perfect hike for half a day. It'd have been so much better if there were no mules on the trail.

2 months ago

did this three times before. While it is challenging, the views you get to see down at the skeleton point worth the effort. On average , it took me about 3.5-4 hours round trip. Lots of water needed

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike into the canyon! The views were tremendous. My husband and I started around 11 and ended at 2:30. We brought 3 liters of water and lots of trail mix and fruit. Winds were about 30 mph but wasn’t a hazard. Highly recommend this trail to anyone visiting the GC. The orange shuttle takes you about 1/4 mile from the trailhead.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail to see the Grand Canyon. It could get very windy and kick up a lot of dust at times. Overall it was a very fun challenge.

hiking
3 months ago

A bit crowded with people, but awesome views of the canyon. Going back up is pretty tough, particularly when the wind kicks up dust and sand. Trail maintenance is excellent.
We had 4 L of water for 2 people in early April, but ran out on the ascent. Definitely bring 3L/person and some trail mix with your lunch, and enjoy it!

hiking
3 months ago

This is the trail that made me and my family proud of ourselves, the one that allowed us to realize that maybe we could start considering trails labeled as "difficult" despite that we thought of ourselves as only novice hikers. That being said, it doesn't mean that it's easy, but I think the difficulty really just comes from the length and elevation increase of coming back up. We went in the beginning of September, so the great weather (70s) was such a blessing for us and lifted off a burdensome stressor. My parents are just two average adults in their late 40s (neither fit nor unhealthy haha) and with all of us, we were able to make it down to Skeleton Point in ~2.5 hours and back up in ~3 hours.
It's a popular trail, so it's very smooth terrain and beautiful red pathways lined with rocks. The height may be a little scary at first but you get used to it! (I'm sort of scared of heights but I still enjoyed it and I enjoy hiking).

So with all of this being said, I think it's a great trail for beginners to challenge yourself with :)

3 months ago

Amazing hike!! Views are stunning from all parts of trail. We did Kaibab to Skeleton Pass (out and back trail). 6.5 miles, 3.75 hours moving time, total time about 4.5 hours. Took 8 am hiker bus to get to the trail (about 30 min ride). Steep but well maintained trails. Great to have water. Nice to have packed lunch at Skeleton Pass. Aggressive squirrels. Out house toilet along the way. Didn’t see any place to refill for water. For those of you wondering if there was snow - there was no snow on the trail - just a little wet mud in very few spots. Lots of people on the trail towards the afternoon. When we got back (about 1 pm) some storm clouds rolled in and it started to snow quite a lot. Cold at top - great to have a hat and warm jacket. At the bottom could have been in shorts and a long t shirt. To get back to the village after the hike we took the orange line bus from the trail to the visitor center and switched onto the blue line bus to the village area. FYI - we waited about 20 minutes (during the snow) for the blue line bus - very very long line. We did pass a few horses along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

Hike back up during Sunset - watch sunset from Ooh Ahh point; it's amazing. Not too strenuous if you're in in decent shape.

hiking
3 months ago

I found this to be a slightly easier and more enjoyable hike that Bright Angel. South Kaibab has fewer repetitive switchbacks, more trail variety throughout the hike and more panoramic views. Cedar Ridge and Skeleton Point both provide expansive plateau areas that allow crowds to spread out and have some individual space, and the views are spectacular throughout. Extraordinary and unforgettable hike that is challenging without being greuling.

hiking
4 months ago

This Trail has spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. As you progress down the trail the canyon opens up for panoramic views. The trail itself is not technically challenging but since your ascent is following the descent it adds a level of difficulty.

It is heavily trafficked by the mules during certain times of the day.

hiking
4 months ago

I like the Bright Angel Trail better, but this trail is also stupendous! Plenty of switchbacks, lots of sheer drops to the side of the trail, and quite a few pack mules. Met a few very friendly elk at the trail head and parking area. Took me 3 hours round trip to Skeleton Point and back.

4 months ago

Little ice at the top but not a problem getting round it. Those worst part was the smell from the mules. Would highly recommend it. The views are beautiful. My 7yr old son and 10yr daughter also traveled on this hike. It took us 5 1/2 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice hike. My friend and I started early afternoon around 130. We took our time descending and stopped multiple times to take pictures. Made it all the way to skeleton point. Sat there and took some more pictures. We started our ascend back up at 3:20 and we were at the top by 5 PM. I have to say this was difficult. I was huffing and buffing the whole time. While we were able to carry conversation normally going down, This was not an option climbing back up except when we stopped for break.

The first hundred or so feet of the top had some snow and ice and it was slippery. But this was easy to navigate around.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Was initially a little concerned based on the notice at the top that the trail was icy and crampons were recommended (since I didn’t have mine), but there was really not very much ice, and only at the top at that. Any spots with ice were still fairly easily navigable. Had my poles but ended up putting them away pretty quickly and had no issues. Agree with recent reviewer that hiking into the canyon made me appreciate it more and completely enhanced the experience.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views of the Grand Canyon the entire hike. Hiking into the canyon helped me appreciate the canyon more. We had great weather, and there were no icy parts on the trail. Lots of switchbacks and elevation changes, but the views are worth it!

6 months ago

Beautiful scenery along the entire hike. Breathtaking views into the Grand Canyon. The further you hike the fewer people you see.

6 months ago

Loved this hike! Not as hard as we thought it would be but glad it wasn't hot. At the Skeleton Point sign, go to the left to see the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch. Great place to have lunch or a snack. The pack mules passed which was cool to see.

6 months ago

not understanding why this app lists cedar ridge as being a longer distance hike than this? this is about a mile past cedar ridge?
anyways, a beautiful hike. did it in under three hours. not rushed and took breaks. pace yourself.. going back up between cedar ridge and ooh aah point can be tough.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I loved the views!! it's a steep start down but worth it...if you go to Cedars Ridge you may as well go to Skeleton point as it's not a hard hike from there. just went end of November 2017 and it was cool in early am but hot by the time I got to the campground...bring layers

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