Tanner Trail

HARD 7 reviews
#37 of 93 trails in

Tanner Trail is a 13.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

13.6 miles
5298 feet
Out & Back




trail running






no dogs

A rigorous rim-to-river backpack of three or more days, following one of the South Rim's more difficult trails. The unmaintained trail, recommended only for seasoned hikers, is relentlessly steep, rocky, shadeless, and waterless until you reach the Colorado river. The tread is well worn and generally easy to follow, and the route offers access in one long day to one of the most scenic beach campsites in the canyon.

2 months ago

Our last hike in Grand Canyon. We did it as a day hike, but it was november so probably easier. We were a bit tired from two previous day hikes down the river but it was very manageable. Unlike South-Kaibab-to-bright-angel and Hermit-trail, we were exposed to the sun for most of the hike. Still, being november and having planned accordingly, that was not a big problem. You see the tower for almost all the hike which is funny. The view on the river is very different than closer to the village - it's worth going. Also, I suggest you try to find some vintage point as you go back up - the best views were actually not from down at the beach but before (close to the end on a butte, and also about halfway - sorry it's hard to describe where exactly). At the trailhead, it said you need to do some pathfinding, that the trail is not well marked and not well maintained. I have no clue why they say that - sure it's not a "highway" like bright angel, but it is very easy to follow.
Despite doing these other hikes that I mentionned, I felt this was still worth it!

3 months ago

I'm an intermediate hiker, so this is the most intense hike I've done. The views are insanely gorgeous. Going downhill really took a toll on my knees because I thought I was too cool to pull them out. Cold at the top, much warmer at the bottom. First steep section is very shady, once it flattens out is pretty much continual exposure nearly all the way to the end. One really cool thing is that you're able to see the desert tower for the majority of the hike, it's a great land mark to see how far you have gotten.

The second day we went up on the escalante trail in search for the "Indian fort ruins" we had heard about from passerbys. I believe we missed it we went too far into the hills when the trail to it splits off early into the hills. I've tried my best googling pictures of it and now I know it might just be the most ruined ruin I've ever seen. If you look at it you can be forgiven for thinking it's just a pile of rocks.

Heading back up was a strong lesson teaching me about my in experience. With just 1 day of rest my body had not fully recovered from the trek down. (You'll want to get more than a days rest while down there). We got an incredibly late start. 10am at the entrance to the trailhead at the river. Like I said there's no shade anywhere in the lower parts which is why you want to get this done really early if you're going up. At noon we crawled under a rock for lunch. Any shade you do see you'll probably find someone else resting there because they are so few and far in-between.

We reached the final flat area before the final steep segment at the top at 5pm. I unfortunately was the one slowing our group down with my breaks. If you are going up you should reach this area much much earlier. It was getting dark (sun gets blocked from our position much earlier than dusk due to being the canyon ) so we decided (against park rules) to camp a little ways off trail.

The next day we up and ready at 6am to finish off the last leg of the trail but my exhaustion was really getting to me. The climb up was so slow that I really feel it was the correct decision to camp midway. We had 3/4th of a mile left on the trail when a park ranger caught up to us was able to immediately deduce that we camped on the trail. We were chastised for our overly aggressive hiking plan (listed as against recommendation in our file) and then properly fined for the extra day camping.

Reaching the top felt really great. You see tourists all over by the desert tower but they'll never to get the views that you get on the tanner trail. There's nothing like that first time we climbed around one the cliffs and then suddenly the Colorado river comes into view in its full glory. So stunning. Stop by the binoculars on the desert tower and take a look at trail you just finished and check out where the hikers who are going down hill while you are ascending are now.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Hiked on our way in before continuing on the Escalante Route and finally up Grandview Trail. The Tanner is an excellent trail and very easy to follow. I would still bring a map and pay attention to the topography as other unnamed trails spur off at points however it is clear which is the main trail. Great views the entire was to the Colorado.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

amazing hike.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Excellent trail. Do not attempt if unprepared. Many parts of the trail are difficult to follow to the inexperienced. Weather can change drastically because of the elevation changes and the topography. You go approximately half a mile down into the hot canyon (desert) from a snowy rim. The vistas are bewitching, the evenings and sunsets are spectacular and exotic. A full moon from inside the Canyon, setting over the buttes or the rim will leave an indelible mark in your memory and your heart. Plan carefully and make sure that you are light enough on the way out, you will have to climb that same route back without running out of water. Therefore strongly consider caching (hiding) water on the way out. If you needed me to clarify caching, you probably will need help someone to help you on this one. Do not attempt alone, unless you are very experienced AND prepared. You will traverse portions of the trail fully exposed to cliffs that may land you on the river, with a narrow trail slanting outwards. You will exert yourself physically on the way out and look at the beauty around you to incessantly remind you: that's why I chose to do this, isn't it?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tough but excellent backpacking trip. Camping by the Colorado river is beautiful and the scenery on the entire trip was amazing! We spent one night on the trail on the way down to the river, two nights at the river, and one night on the trail on the way back to the rim. There is no water anywhere on the trail other than the river, and it is very silty. A good filtration system is a must.

5 months ago