Explore the best backpacking trails in Arizona with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We did 3 days and 2 nights. Just amazing and beautiful. Looking for to do it again.

What a hike! Seemed as though every bend brought new beautiful views. This is a must do for anyone that enjoys a challenge. Planning on making this hike a yearly tradition.

October. Good shade well past 7 Fall, started 0615. I don't know about 7 hrs, my 10yo and I did it in 11.5 leisurely, about 16.5 miles from viz center and back. Beautiful scenery you don't see from common trails. no real water yet, pack 200oz+ to be safe. Did not see a sole until hitting tram 9, someone coming from the pool followed. Good hike, not for beginners, my boy is well versed hiker.

This is a very cool place, but there are a few things to be aware of. First, NO 4x4 or high-clearance vehicle is required to reach the trailhead. I did it in my Prius, we just had to go very slowly and carefully in some parts. Second, this trail should not be rated as difficult. It is almost all flat and well-marked, except at the end (which I’ll get to). The drop into the canyon from the trail head (maybe 1/5 of a mile?) is really the only incline you have. Third, there are places for backpackers to spend the night, but they are very limited, to the point that I’d be a little nervous to go during a “peak time” for fear of not finding a suitable camp site. Only at the end of the 3.7 mike hike is camping allowed, and once we reached that point we found 2 (maybe 3 if you take up very little space) places to pitch a tent. I guess there could be more, but the trail sure look like it ended to me. One of those sites is a beautiful, huge, riverside sandy beach area that was AMAZING. It was also occupied, leaving us the only other site. The other site is a little patch removed from the river with no views. We didn’t want to have to haul water up the bank to the trail, and then up the trail to the campsite, and luckily the gentlemen at the riverside camp were willing to give us a portion of their space.

Basically, this place is really cool, but maybe better for a day hike than backpacking. We had a nice time, but the campground situation almost upended our trip. Also, the majority of the beautiful views are in the first half of the trip. The trail gets much harder to follow at the end, with more river crossing as well. So, it may be more enjoyable to do the first 2/3rds and not stay the night.

However, the views are stunning, the water is crystal clear and beautiful, and we saw a river otter right where the trail first meets the river! We heard of rattlesnakes from other hikers, but didn’t see any. We went in on Oct 10th, and the colors hadn’t quite changed. The weather was still quite warm, but not summer hot. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead and no fee. Apparently there are panfish in the river, so maybe bring a pole? The majority of the hike is shaded and really nice. Take a camera!

10/10/2017 We hiked North Kaibab down to Phantom Ranch in about 5 hours. The weather was cool and the fall colors in the canyon were beautiful. We played too long at the beach and didn’t leave until 3 pm. Didn’t have time to see much of Indian Garden just passed right through. Had to use our cell phones for light on the trail as the sun goes down around 6:15 this time of year. Made it out at 8pm. Wasn’t planning on hiking in the dark but saw the most spectacular star show in the sky!

The new alignment of segment 6 is much easier than the old alignment. The views are much better two. The downside is that the longest segment of the circle trail is now about one mile longer than the old alignment..

Great hike! Good water stops and it was key! :)

Hiking in Grand Canyon:
Growing up in India, my brother and I had done trekking to Himalayan glaciers during high school years. After coming to USA I always wanted to go hiking with my brother to some memorable spot. But the opportunity never arose until my brother turned 40 this year and wanted to do something special on his birthday. We decided to hike down the South Rim of Grand Canyon in the National Park area. But since we didn’t make our plans well in advance, finding lodging at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch was out of question. My brother suggested we hike down and up in a single day. Initially I wasn’t too excited about the idea as I felt we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I must confess that I am not in the best shape and apart from some weekend tennis I haven’t exercised regularly. Also, the weather in the month of April is not predictable. But I went along with the idea, thinking that we can always turn back midway. We settled on going down by South Kaibab trail and coming up the relatively gentler but longer Bright Angel trail. As I warmed up to the idea sufficiently, we reserved our room at Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon Village and bought our airline tickets flying in on Friday and out on Sunday.
I had planned to go on a diet and do regular exercise in preparation for the hike but never got around doing it. The fateful weekend arrived too soon. I flew from Philadelphia to Phoenix and my brother joined me there around 5 PM. We picked our rental car and started driving towards Grand Canyon. On the way we stopped in Flagstaff for dinner and bought some supplies for the hike. As we resumed on our journey it started to snow! It was past 11 PM by the time we reached Grand Canyon Village and there was an inch of snow on the ground. We headed to our lodge to get our room keys, not knowing what tomorrow had in store for us. As we checked-in the ranger at the front desk casually asked us what our plans were during our stay. We boastfully proclaimed our intentions to hike down the canyon. When he learned that we did not have reservation at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of Grand Canyon he admonished us not to attempt the hike all the way down. Instead he advised us to hike up to certain points on South Kaibab trail and do a reality-check about whether to proceed further or to turn back. We listened to him intently and were starting to have serious doubts about our plan. That night we slept nervously and just as we were beginning to catch some deep sleep it was daybreak.
We dressed in multiple layers of clothes and cautiously headed out. It was sunny outside but the roads were slippery. After a change of shuttle buses we reached the trailhead at Yaki Point little past 7 AM and were immediately struck by the beautiful scenery. It seemed surreal to be there with the vast canyon before our eyes. There was some light dusting of snow at the top of the canyon but down below it looked clear. We headed down the canyon capturing the amazing vistas with our cameras. We passed Ooh Aah Point, the first of the three turnaround points the ranger had told us about, and continued towards Cedar Ridge a little later where we stopped for refreshments before resuming on our hike. In a couple of hours we reached Skeleton Point, the last turnaround point. But we hadn’t even seen Colorado River up to that point and decided to proceed further. After a short hike down we caught our first glimpse of the river. It appeared so far below that we could barely see it. Since our hike had been relatively painless thus far, we decided to hike all the way down. We went through some amazing desert terrain and passed a mule train. After some time we could see one of the bridges over the river but our legs were shaking by this point. Traversing some steep switchbacks we finally reached Colorado River and crossed it at Silver Bridge. We munched on our power bars by the river bank, congratulating ourselves on making it this far without too much sweat. We took in the view and it seemed like we were in a mini canyon as the top of Grand Canyon was not even visible. We had no idea what we were in store for on our way back.
After a brief halt we started back up. The Bright Angel trail rose gently along the river. We reached a small waterfall on Pipe Creek and the water felt refreshing on our faces. But as we looked up we could see sheer cliffs and the enormity of the hike ahead started to sink in. Each step forward was getting laborious. Realizing that we didn’t need that many layers of clothing we peeled them off one by one. It made a big difference as we continued on, aiming to reach the half way point called Indian Garden before taking any more rest breaks. I was beginning to fall behind so we decided to go at our own pace. I managed to reach Indian Garden 15 minutes behind my brother and immediately lied down. I was beginning to have serious misgivings about the hike and had a few choice words to say to my brother (which I later rec

I hiked this on 10/12/2017. Left the North Rim about 5:45am, and made it down to the Coconino overlook just before dawn. I stopped at Phantom Ranch for a little lunch break, and water refill, and then started up the Bright Angel Trail. Indian Gardens is a nice place to rest and soak tired feet in the creek before finishing up the last few miles. I wasn't setting any speed records, but the scenery was well worth taking my time, and the fall weather was perfect. I poked my head out of the canyon at the BA trailhead about 5:45pm, and enjoyed a much deserved pizza and beer over at the pizza place near the backcountry office.

I planned on doing a day hike of maybe 10-15 miles with my daughter being that this had a rating of easy. I was fooled... quicksand is a real thing and it went up to my hip (my phone flew out as I tried to escape too... so make sure you keep that in a secure place and waterproof it). I would definitely like to go back better prepared for the situation. Please note that if you are entering from Lee’s Ferry ...that you should account for about a 1 mile hike between the parking lot til you get to the Paria Trail. I say take your time on this trail to enjoy the scenery and plan on spending the night so you don’t feel rushed!