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

Best hike ever amazing views very hard work back to the rim

Wonderful experience, something you’ll never forget. Beautiful, difficult but breathtaking.

Did this 4 or 5 years ago and can't wait to go back

Amazing hike! Beautiful.

My daughter and I hiked this amazing trail on May 22! We started at 5:45am and made it to the Colorado River at 11am. The restrooms and campground were essential in our success. We mentally broke the hike up into multiple subsections utilizing these manmade rest areas. The hike to the river was a joy! This was our first time in the Canyon and wow! I was living on adrenaline! We spent about an hour at the river watching the rafters, eating lunch and wading in the ice cold water. The work began after lunch on the hike out. We paced ourselves but the hike back to the campground was very hot! If you are not in excellent physical shape do not try this rim to river to rim one day hike. Once we made it to the campground, we rested for about 45 minutes reclining on the benches in the shade. The hike from this point to the rim became a physical and mental challenge. Luckily the clouds helped. Where my daughter and I talked a lot to this point we internalized the challenge and really focused on the climb out. At this point you see all the day hikers starting at the 3 mile restroom and then see a lot of people from the 1.5 miler to the rim. The last four miles were very difficult. When we took the last step to the rim we had accomplished something very special. A glorious day in the wild that I will never forget and will always cherish! The total time on the hike was 11.25 hours.

Great hike along the rim. Amazing photos and views!

hiking
11 days ago

Somewhere in one of the guidebooks about Grand Canyon an author once referred to Boucher as "a classic Grand Canyon beatdown of a trail." We've gone down Boucher twice (Feb '11 and May '16) and I couldn't agree more. I love that description.

A decent snow storm hit the day before our February trip, which was our first time seeing the trail. Shaded parts of the canyon still had 12-18" of snow, obscuring large portions of trail. There were no footprints to follow, either - we were the first to go down.

It became quite stressful. We simply could not find the crucial break in the wall that you need to get down to the next level of canyon safely (see pic from May '16). It took us at least a solid hour of cold, impatient hunting out on those slippery ledges before we spotted an old piece of iron hammered into the top of the chute.

By the time we reached the beach at Boucher Rapids we were in great spirits. Great beach, by the way! One of our guys was so exhausted upon arrival that he fell asleep immediately after setting up his tent. He never made it fully inside -- he just face-planted into the opening, out cold with his butt in the air. It was hilarious. It took at least 20 minutes before someone noticed his legs sticking out in the sand, which made it even funnier. We nudged him in. He was fine, just had his dinner for breakfast the next day.

So yes, Boucher is a classic Grand Canyon beatdown. We did find it much easier the second time around because there is no real guesswork (and no heavy snowfalls, hopefully). I enjoyed it the first time (minus the stressful part) and really loved it the second time. We got a late start the second time, and found a decent dry camp about halfway down.

Boucher is tough and challenging but the views are fantastic and the trail sees very little foot traffic. You could easily have the entire thing to yourself.

7th July 18, Rim to river and back. Started at 6am, should've been earlier, maybe 4 or 5 purely because of the heat we experienced once we got to the bottom and started out ascent. There were toilet and water spots every few miles down which are live savers. Took us 3 hours to get down and we were quicker than most. Took us 6 hours back up, plenty of rest and ego at the door. Incredibly beautiful.

This was our first hike on our first visit to the Grand Canyon. We intended to hike to Indian Garden but we got a late start and it was incredibly hot so we only hiked to the 3 mile station. The views were spectacular along the way. Take a lot of water, start really early and take your time on the ascent.

Paved. VIEWS

Great hike, beautiful views. hike back up challenging, many spots to rest in shade. Bring adequate water. Trail is well maintained, no issues.

Great introduction to canyon as you head down a few miles. Lots of switchbacks, but they weren't too bad and not many people on the trail, albeit it was December and it was cold.

just make sure to start early! gets so hot in the summer.

Absolutely beautiful views of the Canyon!! But we did it yesterday and it was 100f around noon and the heat made it really hard even for experienced hikers. Bring a lot of water and wet yourself (head and shirt) at the water points on the trail.

Did this as a day hike -- about 13 hrs. A long difficult hike but worth every minute. Unbelievable views, and the night sky is incredible. Don't forget to look up!

Amazing views. We completed this train on 6/22. It took us about 3.5 hours to get down and 5.75 hours to get up with 25ish lbs of gear. The hike back up was pretty rough but the views were absolutely stunning.

hiking
28 days ago

Incredible views. Easy paved pretty level walk. Fairly busy but many shops and stops to explore.

We did this trail mid June with 3 kids ages 17, 11 and 5. It was a beautiful hike down and numerous places to get amazing photos. The downside is it is VERY crowded and steep with sharp dropoffs. Sometimes this posed a challange with our group of 5. We hike quite a bit and my 5 year old daughter can complete a pretty strenuous 5 miles in the mountains where we live but we only made it to the 1.5 mile rest stop (3 miles round trip) The hike back up was over 2000 elevation change and took us almost 3 times as long and was exhausting. Glad we did it but wish we started earlier in the morning to prepare for the struggle back up. All my kids said they were glad we did it but not ready to attempt it again anytime soon. A parent tip: I kept a strap on either side of my pack with a padded large carabiner my daughter held onto as handels and helped her quite a bit catch her balance when she occasionally did slip or slide on the loose gravel. Also gave me piece of mind knowing where she was with such sharp dropoffs so I could enjoy the scenery as well.

Lucked out on cloudy weather in the middle of summer. Came down Bright Angel Trail at 6pm and managed to get to Bright Angel Campgrounds around 11pm to stay the night.
Started hiking back up at 6am with an awesome overcast and slight drizzle. Kept a good pace until Indian Gardens...then the climb began. Great views as I climbed higher and getting a clear view from where I started that morning.
So glad about the change in weather, especially when it was in the 100's in Phantom Ranch a day before.

made it to the mile 3 rest stop and turned around(with our 30 lb daughter in a backpack carrier). went in the worst time to go so it was super hot still awesome though. Definitely a good idea to start the trip early morning if you want to do the whole thing. going to try again another time but camp at the bottom next time!

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!

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.

Amazing hike, did not go to plateau point - so next time! Hiked June 7th. 8:00 am start / too late for heat, next time will do a 5-6 am start. bring two trekking poles, hydro pack 2-3 liters and give yourself time at Indian Garden to eat and digest (min 30-45 min) before hiking back in the heat, lesson learned!

Great way to explore the Grand Canyon. Some of the best views I've had while hiking. Bring a lot of water and plan for a time consuming hike as scaling the switchbacks back up to South rim after making your way out to Plateau Point can be pretty strenuous.

Slippery! Nike’s were no dice. Did this with a 10yr old that did great. Saw lots of thru hikers from the north rim, we will go all the way down next time!

hiking
1 month ago

hardest trail i ever worked on.

Did this right after Thanksgiving and there was much less people. It was perfect weather for the hike. Disappointed that we couldn't make it to the bridge but we weren't ready for an all day hike.
want to do the rim to rim next time I go.

We did this hike in early February and it was simply incredible. The best hike I’ve ever done. We went down to the river, had lunch for about 30 minutes and went back up. In total it took 8 hours. I brought hiking poles for the climb back up and thank goodness because obviously it’s just climbing up up up the entire way. The last three-four miles towards the top is the hardest because of how steep the incline is and how many short nature hikers there are that are all over the place. The hottest part of the hike was at the bottom, even in Feb. I don’t know about doing this hike in summer unless you have been training in some serious heat.

on South Bass Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a breathtaking way to experience the Canyon and miss all the crowds, but you're going to have to work for it. A wisely operated high-clearance, two-wheel drive vehicle can make access to the trailhead. Plan on spending two hours + or - 30 minutes on the dirt road heading out and back. Six hours down and seven to eight coming out are reasonable time estimates for fit, experienced backpackers with base pack weights of less than 20 lbs without water. As noted elsewhere, cache water on the Esplenade, (Immediately before dropping down toward Bass Canyon is a great place.) One gallon per person will get you back to the trailhead in hot conditions. We did this hike with daytime highs on the river of 100 degrees and are Phoenix heat-acclimated. I would NOT recommend doing this hike in 80+ degree river temps if you are not used to hiking all day in the heat, as you will find no shade during most of the day. When you get first sight of the river on the way down, start looking for an old fireplace ruin on the left side of the trail. When you reach it, turn right and drop steeply down to the river. There are several beach sites to choose from for camping. Mind the ants and the cold water, and guy out your tent to keep it from blowing into the river. 5 AM is a fine time to start heading back out if you're expecting heat. The last two hours of the hike in are the hardest of this trip. If you can make it down, you can make it out. The load on your feet and legs will feel different going uphill compared to down. Trekking poles and a light-as-you-can make it pack are a must. A practical trip plan might be to drive in and hike down to the Esplanade on the first day, hike to and camp at the river on the second day, then hike out and drive home or camp at the trailhead on the third day. Breaking up the descent would take a lot of stress off of your knees and eliminate any question of ability to make it to the river in one day. For reference: We're in our mid-40's, are reasonably fit and have a lot of backcountry experience. This hike is not for unguided beginners.

The views are indeed grand. Five stars for accurate trail naming.

Load More