Explore the most popular camping 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 hiked this Thanksgiving 2017. 28 degrees at rim but warmed to mid 70's by the time we got down to our destination at noon (6 miles down). I had a hard time on the first 1.5 miles as that is the steepest and i was so afraid of slipping on loose rocks. I conditioned for 6 months to prepare for the hike out but was not prepared for the descent!
We totally expected to be up and out before dark but only made it back to the 1.5 mile house by dusk. What a beautiful sunset! Thank goodness we packed head lamps and flashlights for just in case!
The stars were big and bright as the sky was clear! What a view! Words cannot describe it.
Even though we could not walk right for 3 days following this hike, I would do it all again! Amazing experience!

best hike ever! yes you need a permit. they go on sale February 1st at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Maybe you can get ahold of the office and see if there's any cancellations

Definitely a difficult trail. Do not suggest doing this in one day. We started at 10am weather was perfect and we proceeded down to skeleton point before we committed to doing the full hike. Got down to Phantom ranch and made the choice to go back out Bright angel.

My wife and I hiked it yesterday morning. A rare and beautiful 55 degrees. It was an awesome hike with fantastic views the entire way up and down!

Shortest hike ever, thanks to Mother Nature amazing rain,, started lighting and thundering so that’s why I turned around,, scary!! Will come back and finish this trail soon!!

Extremely difficult trail, but well worth it! Took 4L of water and wished I had more. Make sure to keep left on the ascent. It's easy to get off trail and if you do, the dirt is very lose and it requires climbing a 15-20 foot boulder at the top.

Does someone knows if I need to pay something before I go ? Like camping or a permit to go down? Or something?

surfing
4 days ago

Good hike, did in and out in one day. It was somewhat challenging but nothing too strenuous. I’ve now done this as a day hike 5 times, I guess the reason I keep going back is that I rarely see anyone there. I don’t recommend this for anyone who is not physically fit, the sign at the beginning of the trailhead May sound ominous but it’s there for a reason, make sure you pay attention to it. If you don’t possess the physical ability then this isn’t the right trail for you. BTW- I’m not sure where the 16 mile description comes from but this is closer to 20 miles round trip.

This is a MUST. We hiked this trail with 2 (fearless) kids (7 and 10) at the end of February, first thing in the morning. It was still snowy, icy, slippery most of the way down to the rest house— BUT it wasn’t crowded at all. Trail is narrow and you’re definitely walking down the canyon (could make some parents feel nervous especially with the snow and ice- umm, not me, no way, LOL). Plan on the hike up taking about twice as long as the way down. We will never forget this trail, this trip, the whole experience- highly recommended for those who want a little taste of going into the canyon.

Sometimes a little tricky to find your way, but SO beautiful!

on Aravaipa Canyon Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Absolutely unreal and unique experience. Somewhat of a mix between Sabino Canyon of Tucson and West Fork Creek of Sedona, AZ. Outstanding backpacking opportunity. Mostly shaded and perennial stream that you walk through maybe half the time ensure its bearable even in June. Speaking of bears, yes, I did see one large reddish-colored bear. Ranger had warned me that bear activity reports were twice last year due to drought conditions in the area. Also saw lots of coatis, deer, birds, and a skunk. Outstanding campsites every mile or so.

attempted to hike this one on 6/2/2018. closed due to extreme fire restrictions.

Our group, all 14 people completed the SK-Phantom Ranch-BA route safely in mid-May.
We took the 5am bus to South Kaibab Trailhead. Because we parked at the backcountry information center around 4:55 am, and we didn't know the hikers express shuttle actually stops at the information center, we ran the hell out of us to catch the bus there.
So point one, the bus actually stops at the backcountry information center and the visitor center near SK. But giving there might be large groups(we ran into a group of 30-40, if not even more), so starting at Bright Angel Lodge may ensure a seat.
The shuttle actually only takes 20 minutes to get to the trailhead, but since we all need to use the SK trailhead restrooms (There are only 2), so we actually started hiking at 6am.
Hiking down was mostly running for me and my buddy. It took us about 2.5 hrs to reach the bridge. I slipped on a rock and bend my ankle in the middle, but luckily it didn't cause any serious damage.
My water consumption to the Bright Angel Campground was 1.5L, but brought more did give me peace in mind(I had 3L) as the weather really gets hot around 8 or 8:30 and there is no shade on South Kaibab Trail.
We relaxed a bit, refill water, used restroom at Phantom Ranch, they offer iced Lemonade, iced Beer, simple snacks, postcards with "Carried by Mule" stamps(really cool!) and some basic hot weather essentials like buff and cooling cloth, credit cards is OK to be used here.
A lot of hikers hanging out here, squirrels too. There were a lot of signs reminds hikers and visitors don't feed the squirrels, but obviously, a lot of people did before, as the squirrels are not afraid of people at all. My tracking pole felt off ground next to one and touched its fur, and this guy/gal did not care at all. I even saw one robbed one hiker's apple in front all of us while the pool hiker was just turning her head to find something in her backpack.
It was hot down at the river, I didn't check the temperature, but our group member who arrived later said it reached 110F at Phantom Ranch around 11 am.
We took about 1 hr break before my buddy “whipped" me out of the shade and we were on Bright Angel Trail at 10 am.
There was a section after crossing Silver Bridge which was all sandy surface for about half a mile, which made it really hard to walk on, I strongly suggest bring running gaiters to prevent sand and rocks to get into the shoes if you wear low ankle shoes.
It took us about 1 hr to get to Indian Garden, where we took our lunch break for an hour, the thermometer here says it is 95F.
The climb up was actually not as torturing as I expected. The rest spots are optimally arranged(Indian Garden, 3 miles, Mile and Mile Half) to be 1.5 miles apart from each other. For me and my buddies, it's about 1 hr hike from each stop, it paced us perfect so we can re-apply sunscreen, take Salt Stick tablets and eat. Besides the heat, the trail itself is moderately steep, wide, and easy to walk.
In order to achieve everybody's most comfortable hiking experience, we kind of spread out into 5 groups at the end, 1 super fast hiker arrived at 3:25 pm, taking 9 hrs only from the beginning; I and 2 others take exactly 10 hrs. Our last group arrived at 8:30 pm when it started to get cold and rained a bit. But we all made it.

The view of the canyon is stunning, and walking up Bright Angel trail I can see why most people take this route, I saw abundant rock layers, mountain formations, waterfalls, creeks, plants and living creatures. I even doubt I heard a rattle, but that might not be true. We ran into 2 mule groups, one for a guided tour, one seems like just carrying a bunch of stuff. There are trees, bushes, cactus, lizards, flies, squirrels, deer. The canyon view is always at my head turn, each time I stopped to catch my breath, I found myself turning back and looking at it. The unspeakable beauty of mother nature always touches me and always is the motivation for me to hike on.

Met a bear on the last .8 section to the parking lot. He was polite and waited until we passed

Do this hike yearly. Never a let down.

Challenging and rewarding hike! It was my first time descending a Canyon, and it was nearly 15-20 degrees hotter at Indian Gardens than at the top.

Hike from the campground to Beaver Falls is my favorite trail ever. Adventurous trail alongside stunning cascading river. Felt like paradise!

Definitely not an easy hike! Very challenging, but so worth it! The views are awesome :)

We started at Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek Campgrounds for 1 night then Hermits creek to Granite Rapids Campground for 1 night, then from Granite Rapids Campground to Monument Creek Campground for a night before the hike out. You do need permits far in advance for any overnight camping. We booked the permits in January for our trip starting April 20-25th.

Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek is an AMAZING hike and the views are something words can’t even express. You truly have to see this in person to grasp how incredible the Grand Canyon really is. When we started at the rim it was snowing and pretty cold with rain clouds to cover us with shade thank god! The trail was well marked with heavy traffic for the first 2 miles. Following Santa Maria Springs there is almost no one on the trail which is what we wanted. The snow stopped and it quickly got warmer the feather we got down, making us stop to take off all our layers, I was down to a tank top and warm leggings.

The rain clouds gave the Canyon a very mystical magical, eerie look which was incredible. There is almost no shade on this trail so we got very lucky on the hike down. About half way to our campsite at Hermits Creek a massive rain storm came through making us have to creep between two huge boulders to hurry up and cover our packs. We pushed through the rain and keep trekking as there was no cover. After a what I would call fun hike in the rain we got to our camp site and it stopped raining as we walking in, 3 hours later. It took us about 5 hours total from Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek.

Great campground with a new bathroom hut that was surprisingly nice! If you get to the Campground early enough there is a huge cliff overlooking the waterfall and spring we would have loved to have! After we hung everything out to dry and set up camp we went down to the waterfall and explored a bit! Great pools to swim in that are very cold but awesome! Views are incredible and all in all great Campground.

Only problem was we were soaking wet and so were out packs so when we hung it out to dry over night the temperature dropped and everything froze, and since it’s in a Canyon there was no sun until almost 10AM to help dry it out before our next hike to Granite Rapids over the Tonto Trail. So we got a late start and it was very hard due to the sun at that time with no shade or water before hitting Granite Rapids.

fun hike for kids and dogs it's easy, we usually hike down to the spring and go swimming there are some pretty big fish the for the area and some petroglyphs and a mine entrance or lock box area with a big explosive sign around the area and ruins. fun family hike and place to hunt not much on views bit nice walking in the canyon

We loved this trail. It was moderate. Some real pretty areas. The view of Watson lake was fabulous. We went on down and kayaked for a while. I am not sure if there is always rentals. We got lucky.

Just completed the East trail, very nice established trail, Beautiful Mountain View’s. Forest is becoming very dry and dead bark beetle infested trees are falling all the time. It was a very enjoyable hike indeed.

Matt, Maria and I did South Kaibab to Ooh Ahh Pt. Maria and I on a later day went to Cedar Ridge. Thin trails, with no railing, can be intimidating but beautiful views of the Canyon

Incredible beauty around ever turn. I camped and hike the next morning.

Started cold with snow, ended with jumping in the Colorado river to escape the heat!

First off let me just say - super rewarding hike. Really hard but definitely gives you a sense of accomplishment. The views at the top are awesome.

The bad?
- It is annoying to pay $7 to get in and then have the trail so poorly marked.


The advice?
- This trail is camelback/echo x5 in difficulty. It is super challenging and super steep. It is great but very difficult. My hike registered at a little over 8 miles on my Apple Watch.

- Once you make it to the top of the first scrambling ridge - don’t go to the right. You’ve gotta stay to the left. I did this wrong and really really paid for it. On the way down I got on the correct trail and it was substantially easier.

- The entire hike is very rocky. From scrambling to minor climbing the majority of the hike is uphill rock. Don’t wear trail runners - get something with ankle support.

- I’d really strongly recommend doing the hike early in the AM before the sun comes up. I started at 6:30 and if I had it to do over I’d go earlier.

My daughter and I did this hike today and we both agree it was moderate in difficulty, crowded, and worth every step. We started at 11:00 AM and did the round trip in about five hours. Views are stunning, but be prepared for lots of direct sun. Take your time coming up and remember to enjoy one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Cooler on the rim. Not unreasonably hot below. Four litres of water between the two of us and we had enough energy when we finished to walk the 2.3 miles on the paved path back to the visitor center.

Cheers!
Does anyone have 3 extra camping/logging permits for June 13-20, 2018. I would love to buy it back if possible. Please help if you can. My email is izabella.h.jankowski@gmail.com

Most amazing camping/hiking trip I’ve taken!

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