Explore the most popular 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.

Long hike but great trails and good views

2 days ago

This is a scenic and somewhat challenging hike. The Phoneline trail is not at all clearly marked once you get to the first wash. Make sure you have your app open or have a map. There was quite good cell coverage for about 75% of the hike (I use Sprint). When you are in the canyons and washes, cell service was sketchy as expected. The Phoneline trail is just a road built back in the day to install and service the power lines and poles. The road is pretty easy to follow, but really overgrown with tall grasses and thorny Palo Verde bushes. I wore shorts for this hike, YOU SHOULD NOT - big mistake on my part.

After the Phoneline Trail ended, I caught the Arizona Trail to the Windmill Trail. These trails were extremely easy to follow and clearly traveled frequently. The Windmill was very cool and iconic! I did a little research and the windmill was likely installed in or around the 1930's. It still turns (creaks a little) and moves with the wind. There were two picnic tables and a nice bench there. It was a good place for photos and a snack.

From the windmill on was quite a challenge. You hike IN THE WASH for at least a mile. Probably not a route you would want to take (or could take) during monsoon season. The regular trail resumes, but almost missed it because the homemade sign (laminated paper) was badly faded. From this point on and for all but the last 2 miles, the trail is in extremely poor condition. The trail is overgrown with grasses, Prickly Pear cactus, and Palo Verde bushes. The trail is extremely hard to follow and I made several missteps. You must look very carefully for the rock piles periodically which people were nice enough to stack so people like me did not end up bushwhacking through the high desert.

The last part of the hike was following the Arizona Trail and part of the Phoneline trail just like I had done on the way out. This would be a MUCH better hike if the trails were clearly marked and rehabbed a bit. There is stunning scenery, deer, javelina, coyotes and probably a lot more out there. It is a VERY worthwhile hike if some time would be spent trail marking. I assume the overgrowth on some of the trail is due to lack of use. Fix the signage and the traffic will follow.

Had a great time! Took two days

Absolutely stunning. We did the easy 5-7R pitch to the top. The "skateboard rock" was pretty cool too. I'm 58, so this trail in my mid twenties would have taking me half the time. Because of this we left the trailhead at 5 am, and got back at 6 pm. So 13 hours all in, lunch, rest breaks, etc... Pretty brutal approach lol. Take lots of pictures!!! Enjoy

Great trail to experience part of the canyon below the rim. Bring water! No ice on the trail mid-December. Mild weather

lovely and hard trail, I started early, well before sunrise, but could've started even later, in December sun is low, so there isn't actually a lot of direct sunlight on the trail. Took me 6:20, last 3 miles were quite difficult, but I was pushing it as well. I had wonderful weather conditions, bright skies, no snow or ice on the trail.

Came up from Phantom Ranch to the south rim via Bright Angel. This was exhausting after hiking down the day before but I made it in 7 hours. Gorgeous views. Careful with the altitude change if powering up. It sneaks up on you.

Took 3.5 hours to get down to Phantom Ranch. I’m a fast walker so I had to tell myself to stop and enjoy the phenomenal views. Slipped a few times. Definitely bring hiking poles. Amazing hike.

Awesome trial! It’s hidden a little in the beginning, but about 5 minutes into it, you’ll know you are on the trial. Amazing sunrise trail. The trail is not marked on the road, so gps is how you find it. It is a off roasting trail that turns into a horse trail.

Long hike but well worth it! Make sure you have permits, the village does not permit day hikes.