Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Grand Canyon Village with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Top notch and rewarding at every turn. Difficult to do in one day but I've done it twice and will do it again. I think most people do this in a few days but I had no overnight permits. I love this place, it is magical. I would highly recommend hiking down kaibab and up bright angel because water refill stops are only on bright angel trail and you will need it especially if it's warm outside.

Went with my wife to see the grand canyon. decided to hike it. Left at 1030 am with one water bottle apiece. Got to phantom ranch around 130. Had some lemonade. Put our feet in the Colorado. Got back to the top around 5. Heat wasnt too bad. There was still snow on the ground. Ate tons of cheese balls and oreos on the way home.

I did this on July 12. I was hiking up from Phantom Ranch. It was very difficult due to the heat and elevation. An early start is recommended.

Jun 25 early morning I hiked down to phantom ranch. 3 hr down and some beautiful sights . I carried 2 l of water and had no problem reaching the bottom. I stayed in a cabin with my family that was on mules that night and made the choice to clime back out Kaibab. I left camp at 4:00 and reach the top 5 hr later with legs that felt like Jello.
This is a hard uphill clim ! I don’t train hell I didn’t even plan to make it to the bottom! Lol so !
If I had it to do it again I’d bring 3 liters of water
Both ways ,Walking stick, and a lot of mental strain. Well worth the trip !

no water currently available on this trail.

Did this hike with my (62 y/o in September) father over the course of 2 days. Both days, we started hiking at 4 am in an effort to beat the heat as much as possible. With sunrise just after 5 am, an early start time is essential, especially when hiking up from Bright Angel camp where the temps at night can still be triple digits, so be sure to bring a good headlamp. Do not underestimate anything about this trail! The Grand Canyon is epic and every trail/hike should be respected as such. Many people are capable with training and preparation; my dad is a perfect example. He crushed it. It took 4 hours to hike down Kaibab and about 6.5 hours to hike up Bright Angel. The rest of the day after hiking down was spent mostly in the creek (a necessity to stay relatively cool in 115 degree temps) and on short hikes down to Boat Beach (AMAZING), the ruins, and along the creek past Phantom Ranch (very nice and shaded). You can purchase cool drinks in Phantom Canteen and have a short escape from the heat. Bright Angel will have potable water every 1.5 mile starting at Indian Gardens seasonally in the summer months, so bring extra water starting out (maybe 2-3 liters). Drink and eat every time you stop to rest, which should be often. A hat makes a big difference providing at least a little shade for your face. The last 3 miles of switchbacks are the most challenging, so be prepared. Try the burgers at Harvey House when you make it out!

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.

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.

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.

This was my first big hike. Did this with a friend in 1 day. Started at 6 am and didn’t finish until 11 pm. It’s a hard trail to do in 1 day. A lot of switch backs on Bright Angel. We ran out of water also, but there are water stations along Bright Angel. Ended up hiking a good portion at night in the cold late Oct night.

Having said all of that, this trail is so worth it! Beautiful views. Amazing adventure. And you might like us make a few new friends along the way. The nights in late Oct are cold and the days can get really hot. So dress accordingly.

I definitely recommend this hike. Just not in 1 day. Do it with a friend because you’ll need the support. She made the difference.

This is the best hike I ever did in my life. The trail hike is simply amazing and stunning. This hike should be on the bucket list of every hiker. It provides you with the best scenic and breathtaking views while testing the fitness and endurance level. I am an average 28 year old hiker, I don’t have much of an active personality, but i took this task in order to test myself.

So we (me and my 2 friends) started a little late at 8:00 am from south Kaibab trailhead upto the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. It’s a 7.5 mile hike. This trail does not have a single water station, shade or restroom till you reach the bottommost point of the canyon.

So we started with 6 of 500ml water bottles, 2 protein bars, 1 sandwich and 2 small bag of nuts. From the starting it was a steep descent with a temperature at 80F, with no flat surface and sun all over the face. The first point we came across was ooh aah point with amazing views. You can actually as far as your eyes can manage. It feels like you are on an alien planet probably Mars with giant canyons and mountains. We spend some time there, about 10 mins for pics and all. Then we start descending again and passed cedar ridge. The river was visible as we descent and yet it was afar. With 3 stops, 2 bottles of water, and a protein bar, we were able to reach the Colorado River by passing black bridge at 11 am. The temperature was fine at 85 F. Although the river was really cold. We took a break of an hr. and fed ourselves there. We did not proceed to the phantom ranch as it was another 1.5 miles from black bridge.

At noon, we prepared ourselves for the return journey via bright angel trailhead. After crossing the silver bridge, at the entrance of the bright angel trail there was a water station. I filled my empty bottles and wet my towel to cool my head off as it started to get hot. The return hike was about 8.5 miles all the way to the top with three stops, one at Indian garden 4 miles and two water stops at 1.5 miles each.

The hike to the Indian garden was not that challenging (not that steep ascent) and you will be able to see the Colorado River roaring on with people rafting. It took us about 3 hrs. to cover those 4 miles with an elevation gain of about 1000-1500 ft. There were no clouds in sky and it was raining hellfire. We reached Indian gardens at 3:30 pm. It had shades, restroom, and water stations. We took a break of 30 mins there. A word of caution, squirrels at Indian garden are notorious. If you are not careful, they tend to open the zip of the bag and steal your food or worse they might have fleas. You have to be on your toes regarding that.

After break, we started for the next water stop at 4:00 pm which was about 1.5 miles from garden. The first 0.5 miles were wonderful but the next 1 mile, the actual climb started with steep ascent. It started taking toll on my knees and calves. But we reached to the water stop around 5:00 pm with 2 breaks. While enjoying the wilderness, beauty of the nature and taking pics, be careful of your surroundings, as there might be rattlesnakes in the bushes one of which i came across. It slithered suddenly just past me and my whole body froze in fear. Rattlesnakes generally travel in pair, so I was kind of looking for other one (haha).

We took a break of 10 mins, filled my bottles, talked to some of the people who were also hiking up, some jolly moments. It is really important to keep yourself hydrated because you lose water way faster and imbalance of electrolytes can make you really tired, and that’s when you start to feel drowsy.
We started climbing again for the next water stop at 1.5 mile at 5:15pm. That 1.5 mile hike was steep and as I was looking at the standing canyon over me and I wondered if I would be able to complete it or not. My knees and calves were wearing me down, but we reached there at 6:15 pm with an elevation gain of roughly about 1500 ft. The view from that water stop was stunningly beautiful. You can gaze all the way down as well where you came from and as far as you can see forward with no obstruction. It was majestic, I have no other words to describe that. You simply have to go there.

We were prepared for the last 1.5 mile stretch as we saw the mountain standing majestically over us waiting for us to conquer it. After a break of 15 mins, we started at 6:30 pm. As we were climbing we saw ourselves climbing over the canyon and trails that we left behind. With 2 breaks, we were able to see the top of the canyon and noise of the bus engines and people cheering. We reached to the top at 7:30 pm.
I was not able to believe myself that we measure the whole canyon in 11:30 hrs. made it all the way to the top. But I believe now that aside from physical fitness, the excitement, determination and motivation from my friends were the factors that led me and my friends to complete this hike in a single day.

Unbelieveably amazing trail! Everywhere you look is a postcard picture scene worthy of grabbing a pic. The challenge was juuuuuust right and was able to complete it in about 10 1/2 hours, including many photo stops and lunch down by the river. The day I went it was about 105' in the Canyon and speaking for myself, that's about as hot as I could handle safely. Luckily there are a few water stations on the way up Bright Angel.

If I could I'd rate this a 6 or 7 out of 5, simply spectacular and I didn't want it to end.

We did this the loop in 11 hours Starting around 7:am South Kaibab Trailhead, we had thunder and lightning in the bottom, it was very scary . We stayed in Indian Gardens at least for an hour waiting the rain to stop . Park ranger told us be careful because trees down and some mud slides, in every turn amazing views and our prize a beautiful rainbow It was of the best hikes that I had done. Prepare physically and mentally and do it.

What a great trail! Beautiful scenery everywhere! The hike out is challenging for sure but worth it! The heat made things very difficult for awhile. Be sure to hydrate REALLY well!

Holy.... this was a very very hard hike. It didn’t help that the temperature got to 114 degrees, but it was insanely rewarding coming out of bright angel 13:35 hours later. Please train for this hike, no one will be able to help you if you can’t make it back out. Bring ample water and bring hiking poles. This isn’t a hike to take lightly. But it is an amazing hike and you will love it.

In late November/early December my grandmother, two cousins, and I hiked Bright Angel Trail. We hiked down, stayed two nights, and hiked back up. My cousins did the extra 14-ish miles to and from Ribbon Falls and speak very highly of it (their pictures are amazing). I was unable to go with them, as they were of better physical ability than I, so I did some small adventuring around Phantom Ranch. On the way back up my grandmother quickly took ill. She became dehydrated, couldn't eat, couldn't get up after we had sat for a break at Indian Gardens (half way), and then began vomiting. One cousin stayed with her while the other and I raced to the top to get help. After a long evening of essentially no communication, we ended up having to go back down ourselves to help get the other two out. We got to the point of having to tie a rope around her waist and pull her up the switchbacks ourselves, but even that proved too much. I ran to the emergency phone at the mile and a half house. We waited there against the face of the canyon, she no longer able to move or stand at that point. We waited for about two hours in the near-freezing temperatures with a bright moon shining onto the Canyon below us and the stars gleaming above us. When the EMT arrived he radioed for another ranger to come down to assist in our emergency, and two of us were sent back up to the top while my grandmother and cousin waited for a helicopter to lift her out of the canyon at dawn.

And despite all of this near-tragedy, I can honestly say hiking Bright Angel Trail was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I repeated this journey from 35 years earlier when I was in high school with a round trip hike down South Kaibab and back up Bright Angel on the south rim. This time though we did it on a full moon night hike. Started at 7:30p while the sun was setting and made it out at 5:30a with a beautiful sun rise. I've been to the bottom of the canyon multiple times before so I was looking for a different experience, hence the night hike. Obviously you can't see as much but it was a unique in experience.

Hiked down to Indian Garden and back. Was 100 degrees at Indian Garden so decided not to do Plateau Point. Was first time hiking a canyon and loved it. The last mile out was the easiest of the entire hike. I hate hiking downhill and the sun was setting so the canyon was mostly in shade below the rim. Water was on. Packed 4 liters in and drank 6-7 total.

hard trail, but so worth it.

Stayed at South Rim the night prior to starting the early morning descent to Phantom Ranch via the 7.4 mile waterless South Kaibab Tr. We were able to leave our rental car at the the hotel parking lot (free of charge) and catch the free shuttle bus to the South Kaibab TH. Nice weather at the Rim (76*) but at the bottom, one can always expect the temp to be around 10-20* hotter, which was the case on our April 23, 2018 hike! Phantom Ranch was 98* when we reached it just a short 4 hours later!

The trail is well marked an maintained, so we never had to worry about losing the trail. There are at least 2 solar latrines that was impressively kept clean, HOWEVER, you will NOT have any available water (like you will on the Bright Angel Trail). Your first available water will be at the Colorado River at the very bottom, so make sure to bring at LEAST 3L of water and maybe even more if you tend to drink a lot. The lady at the Rim's visitor's center suggested 5-6L but for me (who tends to ration and drink less) I thought that was overkill and once at the bottom, I ended up barley drinking the 3L that I carried.

A must on this trail are:
1. Hiking poles. its at least a 4500 foot descent, which can be tough on your knees, so bring hiking poles to distribute the weight and save your knees so you'll have more years to hike.
2. Bring your camera - or at least make sure your camera phone has a descent camera and make sure your lens is clean! Every step of this descent will have magnificent views to take it all in but be careful not to hike an take photos or you could twist and ankle - something I witnessed when I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail!

On the return trip up 9 a few days later) via the Bright Angel Tr - it is not as steep as this trail is 2.5 miles longer - but still goes up at least 4500 feet. Great views as well, many areas you can filter water as well as 2-3 latrines (again well kept) and with potable water sources. This trail is frequented by mules and their lakers, which carry people and/or supplies to/from Phantom Ranch and the Rim. When they approach, you are REQUIRED to pull off to the side to let them pass - and make sure your poles are out of the way - their packers say that hiking sticks can spook them.


...SIDE NOTE and PUBLIC RELATIONS NOTE FOR THE DAY:

Please know trail ETIQUETTE!!!! - there is such a thing as trail etiquette.
1. Horses and mules ALWAYS have the trail right of way! Step far off the trail as safety will allow and GET OUT of their way or bad things can happen!!! IF you spook the animal, he can hurt itself or the rider and/or you as well. If the animal hurts itself and cannot be healed, they must put the animal down!

2. The UPHILL hiker has the next right of way! Many people do not know this nor adhere to this etiquette and its disappointing! The uphill hiker has the more difficult hike and it makes it more difficult for him/her to constantly stop to get out the way of the downhill hiker who has the easer hike.

3. Sad to day but Mountain bikers have the least right of way...they are suppose to yield to animals, uphill and downhill hikers, but often I witness no etiquette here...they may not know, but if your are reading this please use etiquette...if you can't, then the NEXT BEST THING you can do is to call ahead and ALERT anyone up ahead on the trail!


Thanks for anyone willing to use trail etiquette!...Now get out there and enjoy our beautiful trails!!!

just amazing, did it in the winter and hiked through snow and ice

Details: Began at South Kaibab, descended to River, crossed Black Bridge, followed River trail to Silver Bridge, crossed back over and ascended to rim via the Bright Angel trail. Did not actually go to Phantom Ranch.

Began our hike at 6:06 AM on 4/28. I was quite surprised that there was a few other groups starting out as well. We took our time going down the trail, stopping to take pictures and admire the gorgeous scenery. Hiking down this trail is like being on a alien planet. There were a fair amount of people trying to shove past us to run down, some more polite then others. There are two rest stops with vault toilets on the way down, one is Cedar Ridge and the other is The Tipoff. Made it to the black bridge at 9:24, early, but already getting hot outside. There is a water station that was open that is between the Black and Silver Bridges, so we were able to refill there. I am not sure its open year round, so check before planning your hike. After crossing the Silver Bridge, we sat in the shade for snack time, again just marveling at the mountains and river. Lots of rafts going down and even a few kayaks and paddle boards ! The River trail is short, but flat, so it was a nice break, but from Pipe Creek beach you begin ascending to reach Indian Garden. I have never quite understood or appreciated the meaning of "oasis" until I experienced reaching Indian Garden after trekking in the boiling hot sun. Its a beautiful little area with water, vault bathrooms, and tons of shady picnic spots. Spent a leisure hour eating, relaxing, and preparing for the hike up. The hike up is NOT easy, especially in the sun. The heat and dust really start to dry you out, so we took several breaks along the way, to drink water and eat something salty or a protein snack. We ended up passing several runners we had seen in the beginning of the day, I suppose they did not properly prepare. I would recommend bringing a hat and bandanna that you can drench in water and then wear. There are areas between Indian Gardens and the river trail that depending on the time of year, you cross a stream, and nothing feels better on your noggin then a cool bandanna. Do not underestimate this hike- bring water, food, and be prepared for a challenge. That being said, it has been the most rewarding hike I have accomplished thus far. The perspective it gives you on the canyon is too great for words. It is absolutely stunning up and down, but I really must say the hike down the Kaibab was more scenic in my opinion.

I have included my times below for anyone who may be concerned about going up and down in one day. Take it with a grain of salt, as my pace may be faster or slower then yours ! I would consider myself in above average physical condition, I am not an athlete by any means, but I am very used to backpacking, hiking, and running in the outdoors.

Begin: 6:06 AM
Oh Ah Pt- 6:28
Cedar Ridge - 6:45 to 6:55
Skeleton Pt- 7:29
The Tipoff- 8:10
Cross Black Bridge- 9:24
Crossed Silver Bridge to begin ascent- 10:38
Sat down at Indian Gardens - 1:09 to 2:19 PM
Indian Gardens to 3 mile resthouse - 2:19 to 3:15
3 mile resthouse to 1.5 mile resthouse - 3:15 to 4:16

End at Bright Angel trailhead- 5:26

Total time- 11 hrs and 20 minutes , apprx 20 miles

I do not have the total break time, but a family members GPS said we were active for about 8 hrs 46min, and the rest was breaks.

I hope this helps ! Do the hike if you are confident in your abilities, you will have the experience of a lifetime !

Serious hike to the bottom, especially with a 35lb pack. Varied terrain and grade, from sand to jagged rocks and in between. Awesome challenge and rewarding. Phantom Ranch offers a nice respite at the bottom. Be sure to send your loved one a postcard by mule! We finished faster than most at just over 3.5 hours.

Easily two of the most breathtaking trails I've ever had the chance to travel. A few things you should know before starting -- 1. You're in for a huge treat; 2. South Kaibab has very little shade; if you are starting anytime after 10am (unfortunately, I personally couldn't begin until noon and I highly recommend against doing the same), be prepared for a really hot hike, even in late April/early May. On the day I visited, it was an estimated 110F at Phantom Ranch (remember, it gets hotter as you go down), and it definitely felt that way during descent. 3. You need a ton of water AND electrolytes. Do not underestimate the importance of electrolytes; get some dissolvable tablets and put them in your hydropack/water bottles, or bring tons of sport drink. I learned this the hard way and, despite having enough water, definitely suffered from some dehydration complications, to which I was extremely fortunate to have some hikers at Phantom help me out with their tablets. 4. Bright Angel is longer, but has a lesser grade and offers more shade; I would highly suggest using this route for ascent (start early!); 5. I personally highly suggest hiking poles. They will save your knees during descend, and help you a ton during ascent.

These two trails gave an incredible experience that you'll never forget. Less than 1% of the GC's visitors each year actually descend into the Canyon and the Colorado River, and although you'll have to earn every step, there's a whole different world down there waiting to be explored. Be prepared, hike smart, pace yourself, and listen to your body.

Ran down bright angel and up south Kaibab. It is a very hard run especially if you start late (like I did). 96F at the bottom and no water on the way back up South Kaibab. Be prepared and have the right clothing as the sun is brutal. I am lucky enough to have ran in many places around the world but this is definitively in the top 3! AMAZING! Not for everyone but well worth the effort. It took me 4hours and a half for the whole loop and the milage from start to finish at 21.9miles. Enjoy responsibly !

Great trail run to be pushed physically. Start early. We decent run and allowed time for walking the ascent. Know your physical limitations and climbing altitude. I’m fit but ascent and elevation- I know my limits. It’s okay to hike your pace. You still get it done. I brought 64 ounces of water and one Gatorade. Best thing was ibuprofen. Take time to enjoy the view. Bring long shirt for morning and afternoon.

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