South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge

moderate 582 reviews

South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge is a 5.0 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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: 5.0 km Elevation Gain: 359 m Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

cave

forest

partially paved

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
6 hours ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this trail. Hiked to Cedar Ridge and had lunch. Once we returned, we took the Ridge trail back to the visitor center. Weather was perfect. Would love to come back to Phantom Ranch

hiking
icy
13 days ago

Premiers 200m glacés, ensuite bonne condition de sentier. Nous reviendrons pour descendre jusqu’a la rivière !

hiking
icy
muddy
19 days ago

Hiked 1.28.20. Beautiful!! We even got passed by mules - loved it! Trail was icy for the first .3 miles then got muddy at times. My favorite trail.

hiking
icy
1 month ago

Beautiful trail completed on 12/29/2019 Use microspikes and enjoy.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail with beautiful views. Done in July very early and was still very hot. Come prepared with lots of water.

1 month ago

Dung ...dung...dung...dung......dung.... beautiful panoramic views and a good workout. slippery slopes on the way down and exertional on the way back. Full of you guessed it...mule dung.

icy
muddy
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Great trail with beautiful views. We used crampons and I highly recommend using them- we saw other hikers without them and they were struggling. There is a “bathroom” at Cedar Ridge. Some areas are very steep. Amazing hike, highly recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

The views on this one are spectacular. Enjoy them on the way down because you might be too focused on breathing on the way back up. We are two moderately fit individuals and it took us about 40 minutes to get down and around 50 minutes to get back up with no stops.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Did this trail with my family, none of us with alot of recent experience or overly fit but taking our time managed it with ease. We took lots of water and food and stoped for a 45min lunch break at Cedar Ridge. The views the whole way down and up were breathtaking I would absolutely recommend this hike, I plan on coming back and making it all the way to the Colorado river next time.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

I am a moderate hiker, not new to the game and this was a tough one. The beginning of the hike (or end) is the toughest part with the switch back. Beautiful hike down though. Very high traffic. We went off season and still passed probably 45-50 people. It is a popular route in a popular place to hike, so cannot be surprised. Excellent views at Ooh Ahh, but even better down the trail at the next point in my opinion. Overall excellent trail.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike!

hiking
3 months ago

A must do if you do not have time or energy to go to the Colorado river. 2h return + 1h to take picture and hang out at Cedar ridge which offer a magnificent view at 180

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail! I can highly recommend it. Definitely go all the way down to Cedar Ridge - it’s worth it. The views are amazing. It took us 1 hour to go down and a little bit more than 1 hour to walk back.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a great hike. We hike at sunrise to beat the heat. Trail was rocky but manageable with poles - awesome views.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

This was my favorite hike of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The entire trip the views were amazing. It took us about 3.5 hours, even with many pauses along the way. Good rule of thumb: it takes twice as long to get back up as it did to go down. Cedar Ridge has an outhouse. You change over 1000 feet of elevation on this hike. Moderate hike but well worth it! We used hiking poles which were very helpful although it is possible to do without.

hiking
4 months ago

Just finished a Grand Canyon trip where we hiked this section of the South Kaibab. Next day we went on the mule trip overnight to Phantom. This hike was perfect. It was enough that my lack of training to do anything significant was not an issue. It only took 75 minutes down and about the same back up. I think, in hindsight, we could have gone to Skeleton Point, but we saved our legs for the mule ride. (and we did need our legs on the way down, even in a saddle). Weekday so the traffic on the trail was modest at best. This is possibly my favorite National Park, but Yosemite is very close.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail! Bring a lot of water and good shoes.

Done!

hiking
4 months ago

Rad. Busy. The grade is rough but the worst bit is from Ooh Ah Point down to Cedar Ridge so once you get that out of the way, the way back is manageable. I’m deathly scared of heights and there is at least one part where you cross a ridge with nothing to protect you from the wind which was terrifying... but thrilling in the end LOL. Once you get to Cedar Ridge the view is phenomenal and you can get an inkling of just how damn big that canyon actually is. Phenomenal.

hiking
4 months ago

amazing. a good footing down and of course harder on the way up. No water. come prepared when get to Cedar Ridge to rest, bathroom and snack before hiking back up. go early to avoid sun. awesome views. worth it to go beyond Ooh Ahh.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked just a small portion of this trail. Such an amazing view.

hiking
4 months ago

Loved this hike! Much better views than from the top and fewer people. We had fun exploring around the area and taking in the canyon’s magnificence. Definitely a must do if you’ve planned properly. You’ll need plenty of water and then a few extras. The climb back should be for someone who is in decent shape.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing trail with great views of the canyon. We started very early and the morning light on the canyon was just amazing. There was a restroom at Cedar Ridge. The uphill was quite hard for us as we were out of shape after not hiking (or doing any sports) for a year, but overall really recommended. If you feel comfortable hiking while you're on the trail, don't stop at the Ooh Ah point - the view is so much better down at Cedar Ridge (even though the path is harder to walk). Took us 40 minutes to descend to Cedar Ridge and 50 minutes to climb up.

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