However, there is something very special about starting on the rim, hiking down to the Colorado River, and then working your way back up to the rim. Since you will need the water more on the climb up than on the hike down, it’s a very good idea to finish the hike on the Bright Angel Trail. Both have toilets at 1.5 miles. Elevation Gain:  4380 feet There is potable water on the Bright Angel Trail but I have heard that it is not always available. Nov 25, 2020 - One of the two superhighways into the Canyon, the other being the Bright Angel Trail, this path runs along a ridge offering stunning views. Location: 36.09984, -112.09397. A series of steep switchbacks begin immediately after Skeleton Point, offering the most extreme exposure found on this route. If you plan to do this hike, you need to be in great physical shape. Overnight options in this area of the canyon floor are limited to the Bright Angel Campground and the historic Phantom Ranch. The Bright Angel Campground is another 0.5 miles following a level grade along the Colorado River and Bright Angel Creek. You’re welcome! We never got hot and we didn’t sweat very much, which meant that our demands for water were low. Temperatures can soar, and with the heat, this can be a dangerous hike. Once you're below the rim, there are such variable views of the impressive canyon walls. This is one of my favorite gadgets. But not Tyler. My bucket list stay at Phantom Ranch this May was cancelled due to Covid – so bummed. It was an incredible experience. It is the only trail at Grand Canyon National Park that so dramatically holds true to a ridgeline descent. Additionally, the steepness of the trail is very misleading on the way down. The Grand Canyon is among these, and so much more. Your water demands will be very high and you run the risk of getting heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The second article covers the logistics such as what to pack, how to train, how to arrange the shuttle, doing the hike in one day or in multiple days, and more. This saves a little bit of walking. Zion Narrows: Hiking the Top-Down Route in One Day, Angels Landing Survival Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go, How to Day Hike the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park, Climbing the Half Dome Cables: A Journey in 18 Photos, Hiking Bryce Canyon: Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop Trails, Hiking the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, Hiking to Emory Peak in Big Bend National Park, 16 Amazing South Rim Viewpoints in the Grand Canyon, 14 Amazing Hikes in Norway for Your Bucket List, 20 Amazing Things to do in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, Hiking Jiankou to Mutianyu on the Great Wall of China, Hiking to Rysy in the High Tatras of Slovakia, One Day in the Grand Canyon: Best Things to Do, Best Things to do on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The final four miles on the Bright Angel Trail take the longest. Tyler and I ate a snack roughly every hour to hour and a half while hiking. Hikers seeking panoramic views unparalleled on any other trail at Grand Canyon will want to consider a hike down the South Kaibab Trail. Fall and spring are ideal. The hours of operation change throughout the year, but in general, the first shuttle is 5 am during the summer months and 7 am during the winter months. It’s a wide, easy, and flat trail where you can enjoy the views without breaking a sweat. In the summer, the canyon floor is sweltering, even if rim conditions are less extreme. This well worn path leads thousands of travelers down the steep canyon walls and onto the canyon floor where it meets the mighty Colorado River. In 2017, we hiked Half Dome in Yosemite as a day hike. Congrats on the hike! Cameron, who owned the Bright Angel Trail and charged a toll to those using it, fought dozens of legal battles over several decades to maintain his personal business rights. Conditions: The Kaibab Rim is the Orange Route –they’re colored coded and maps are posted by the lines and at each boarding point so you can verify where you’re going. Distance: 7 miles The South Kaibab Trail is red and the Bright Angel Trail is blue. Ending elevation (at Bright Angel Campground): 2480 feet Before we go any farther, you should know that the National Park Service does not recommend doing this as a day hike. At the campground, a side trip to Plateau Point presents itself. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you. The best months to do this are in the Spring and Fall. We have two articles about the rim-to-rim hike. Elevation profile of the hike. That gave us about 10 hours of daylight. Without the shuttle service, it is tricky getting to the trailhead. 3 hours from trailhead to the Colorado River. Trailhead to 1½-Mile Resthouse 1,131 feet (345 m) 1.6 miles (2.6 km) 1½-Mile Resthouse to 3-Mile Resthouse 981 feet (299 m) 1.5 miles (2.4 km) There is no water along the trail (except at the very beginning and end), and little shade. There are no technical sections and the trail is so well marked that it would be almost impossible to lose your way, but it helps to have experience doing big climbs and big descents. Date of experience: November 2020. The shuttle is called the Hiker’s Express Shuttle Bus. However, you still cannot see the Colorado River. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. The halfway-point in both elevation change and distance is the Mile-and-a-half Resthouse at 5,729 feet and 7.9 miles from Bright Angel Campground). Here are their elevations and distances from the South Kaibab Trailhead. Despite what the growing number of trail runners in the canyon might tell you, these trails were originally built with mules and for mules. This post covers hiking to Cedar Ridge and back for a total of 3 miles. South Kaibab Trail. Those same muscles now have to get you back up to the rim. The South Kaibab Trail is a modern route, having been constructed as a means by which park visitors could bypass Ralph Cameron's Bright Angel Trail. Point Name: GTR018: Cross the Colorado River on the Silver Bridge, a suspension bridge with views of the raging water below. Good luck! Groves of cottonwood trees and an eastbound junction with the Tonto Trail signal an impending arrival at the oasis of Indian Garden. Bright Angel Campground:  2480 feet, 7 miles. The early goings of the Bright Angel route are relatively relaxing compared to the latter portion. Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Even though Grand Canyon is imagined as a hot and dry park, the day before this hike it snowed. Tyler and I did the entire hike in 6:48, including time to take photos, eat, and use the restroom. Elevation Change: 4780 feet loss (to the Colorado River) and 4380 elevation gain (Bright Angel Campground to the South Rim on the Bright Angel Trail). Cell phones (we had service on the final 4 miles of the Bright Angel Trail). The south rim-to-rim hike has several advantages that make it a nice option for many people. South Kaibab trail is a route to go down and into Grand Canyon National Park. About Our Experience Curious about what it is like to hike rim-to-rim? Ending elevation: 6860 feet Pro Travel Tip: If you are doing this as a day hike, we recommend starting the hike no later than sunrise. By now, you’re most likely feeling wiped out and those last, steep switchbacks really slow you down. South Kaibab Trail technically goes all the way down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and crosses the Colorado River. to read our Guide to Grand Canyon National Park. Get important travel planning tips, sample itineraries, advice on when to go, where to stay, and more. Yes, there are park shuttles that connect these two places. The South Kaibab Trail is the fastest route to the river, descending 4,780 feet in 7 miles. From here, it is roughly a half-mile walk to get to the trailhead. This final push will terminate at the Bright Angel Trailhead on the western side of Grand Canyon Village, very near Kolb Studio. Eat frequently. The views keep changing as you hike to Skeleton Point. Grand Canyon National Park officials said 23-year-old Jaiquan Carter was hiking along the South Kaibab Trail when he fell. The first section of the South Kaibab Trail is the steepest and most strenuous. Tips to Have the Best Experience For one mile, a series of steep switchbacks descend below the level of the rim. As displayed in the map overview below, the Rim to River trek classically descends on the South Kaibab Trail all the way to the Colorado River for 6.3 miles, goes along the Colorado River for almost 2 miles, then re-ascends the Bright Angel Trail for almost 8 miles. Even so, I say that this hike is slightly more difficult. All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Our fastest section was on the Bright Angel Trail along the Colorado River and up to Indian Garden. During this adventure it snowed on the rim while the weather at the floor was exceedingly comfortable, with daytime temperatures around 70 degrees. Note: This post contains affiliate links. The South Kaibab Trail is a stunning Grand Canyon hiking trail that descends an exposed ridge all the way to the Colorado River. Imagine doing that almost 9 times. I had this weird combination of excitement and dread for what was still to come. Bright Angel is more of a "ramp" near the top, so most will find is easier to walk, rather than the "steps" built into South Kaibab. Author: 12 News, Colleen Sikora Published: 6:52 AM … The climb out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail ascends 4,380 feet in 9.5 miles. The hiking distances and elevation data in this article were taken from the National Park website. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you will reach the top of the Bright Angel Trail. By the time you get to the Colorado River your legs are already feeling fatigued. When we did this in December, there was some snow and ice on the first section of the South Kaibab Trail. I wrote up my own trip report for this hike and included a bunch of pictures. It's difficult to articulate the feeling of first laying eyes on this cavernous abyss high on the Colorado Plateau. Once you get to 3 Mile Resthouse, appropriately named since it is just 3 miles from the end of the Bright Angel Trail, you are really feeling the climb. Our original plan was to do this hike on Christmas day as a family. Here are their elevations and distances from the Bright Angel Campground. The website says only 15 people per bus so we are concerned that buses will be full. But with less elevation gain over a longer distance, it is slightly less strenuous than the South Kaibab Trail. Don’t forget that later in the day you will need to get back to your car. Indian Garden:  3800 feet, 4.7 miles Wow, you were cruising!! You cannot drive to the trailhead. River Resthouse:  2480 feet, 1.5 miles There are numerous warnings on the Grand Canyon National Park website telling people not to hike the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trail as a day hike. Cross over the river at the Bright Angel Suspension Bridge. Hiking poles can help on these slippery surfaces and we saw some people using crampons. Curious about what it is like to hike rim-to-rim? Phoenix man dies while hiking the Grand Canyon Jai'quan Carter was hiking the South Kaibab Trail when it's believe he fell and died. 1.5 hours including stop at the Ranch canteen. You need a hearty sandwich for when you get to Phantom Ranch for the hike out on Bright Angel. Bright Angel Trailhead:  6860 feet, 9.5 miles. You need to be prepared for lots of elevation change and if you are doing this from May to September, you also need to be prepared to hike in temperatures reaching over 100°F. Jaiquan Carter, of Phoenix, was hiking along the South Kaibab Trail above the Black Bridge at the famed national park early Tuesday when he fell to his death, the National Park Service said. Endless routes for exploration. Bring plenty of drinking water!!! Thank you so much for this information, it is extremely helpful. If you have questions or want to share your experience, comment below! So, there’s no need to march along the sandy River Trail that hikers on the Bright Angel Trail endure. By starting on the South Kaibab Trail, you eliminate a nice chunk of climbing from the hike. Note that both trails also function as routes for mules carrying passengers and supplies to and from the canyon rim. A very popular long day hike or backpack is to descend the South Kaibab and ascend the Bright Angel Trail. It can get well over 100°F in the bottom of the canyon during the summer months. The Bright Angel Trail is longer than the South Kaibab Trail. There is potable water on the Bright Angel Trail but I have heard that it is not always available.You can get updated information about the available water sources in the Visitor Center the day before your hike. The South Kaibab Trail is a hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Arizona.Unlike the Bright Angel Trail which also begins at the south rim of the Grand Canyon and leads to the Colorado River, the South Kaibab Trail follows a ridge out to Skeleton Point allowing for 360-degree views of the canyon. We were moving fairly fast but I also stopped a lot to take photos. Temperatures are pleasant and just as long as you are not here on a holiday weekend, crowds should be low. By now, you have already started winding your way up the switchbacks. For more information about Grand Canyon National Park. There are also a lot of people so be patient as you hike out and back. You have to descend a series of switchbacks again, but the sweeping views across the Grand Canyon are some of the best of the day. 3 Mile Resthouse:  4748 feet, 6.5 miles This geological marvel, the foundation of which began some 2 billion years ago, also possesses rich mining and tourism history that is well worth exploring. You should be able to walk 10 miles while wearing a backpack with little difficulty. Note that just prior to The Tipoff you'll find the east-west junction with the Tonto Trail, and beyond The Tipoff the trail leads behind the Tonto Plateau and descends into the inner gorge of the canyon following the route of the earlier Cable Trail that was built it 1907. Departing Big Pan, another series of switchbacks descends 1,120 feet in 1.5 miles and passes the junction with the river trail before arriving at the southern side of the Kaibab Suspension Bridge. In another hour or two, midway through the upper Bright Angel switchback circuit, one may revisit the soundness of such logic, but the views from Plateau Point are undoubtedly spectacular. Take your pick from 50 of the world's best travel adventures. Never under estimate Mother Nature, not even in warm months of May-June. However, for most the year, the river is usually brown from sediment in the water. I hope everything works out with the shuttle. Starting elevation: 2480 feet Bridge hikes are equal parts heart-stopping and breathtaking, and South Kaibab Trail is no exception. We believe good things come from people spending time outside. As a day hike, the average amount of time is 9 to 10 hours, although this can vary quite a bit depending on your level of fitness From the River Resthouse to Indian Garden, it is a 3.2-mile walk. Honestly, I struggled to keep up with him. South Kaibab drops 1,100 feet in the first 1.5 miles while Bright Angel drops 1,000 feet in the same distance. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. Lots of stairs so a walking stick would be helpful. Enjoy the one-mile, almost flat walk until you get to the River Resthouse. And I hope you have a great hike! The Best Winter Adventures in North America. You can hike these trails in either order, but there are several good reasons to hike down the South Kaibab Trail and up the Bright Angel Trail. I completed it yesterday in 8 hours! While hiking, I had instant access to all kinds of numbers like altitude, heart rate, time and distance. The first article covers the hike from start to finish. Doing this as a Day Hike. Ooh Aah Point sits at 6660 feet, which is 600 feet under the rim. A slow, almost 8 hour, hike from the Ranch to the South Rim. South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point Trail Maps. Since it is a lot for the viewpoint. There will be a few, brief sections where you walk uphill, but honestly, this gives your legs a nice break from the constant downhill pounding they take. Packing List The South Kaibab Trail is the second most popular trail after the Bright Angel. Eventually, you come to your first series of switchbacks. Your email address will not be published. My family and I hiked this trail during the last week of December. Difficulty: Strenuous Distance: 14.6 miles, round-trip Hiking Time: 2 Days Elevation Change: 4,700 feet Steep and strenuous, the South Kaibab Trail is the South Rim’s most direct route to the bottom of Grand Canyon. But I do recommend making sure you are allowed to leave your car there all day. My wife and I did this hike on 29 September. Distance: 9.5 miles Definitely a must for any visitor to the Grand Canyon. See first hand the beauty of the Grand Canyon on this Rim to River run down South Kaibab Trail. Distance: 16.5 miles It is possible to do it as one mega day hike if you are extremely fit and fast. The trail departs near Yaki Point at an elevation of 7,260 feet and immediately descends through a series of tight switchbacks known as The Chimney. There is parking on Desert View Drive, near Pipe Creek Vista. I think you might need to take 2 shuttles: one to the visitor center and a second shuttle to Yaki Point. Sure, walking downhill can be fast, but it really does tire out your legs. I hope this helps. It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. Since it is all down hill, it is easy to keep a fast pace. I also recommend spending some time on a Stairmaster. If you are planning to do it soon, check the NPS website because the shuttle might not be in operation because of Covid (although this can change). It looks nearly impossible to hike up it. With less elevation gain and a slightly longer trail, the hike up Bright Angel is easier than South Kaibab. Planning a trip to Arizona? It’s a pretty walk but since you are in a canyon, you do not have the same sweeping views like you get on the South Kaibab Trail. Sunrise was 7:30 am and sunset was at 5:15 pm. Bright Angel Trail This Rim Trail hike starts right at the Visitor’s Center and takes you eastward to the legendary South Kaibab Trailhead. Don’t be one of these statistics! This information is for the hike on the South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground to the Bright Angel Trail. Head up the well signposted trail to the canteen at Phantom Ranch to grab a snack or a cold drink (with ice! It was a full moon so it was really cool to finish under the moonlight! Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. Cheers, Julie, Your email address will not be published. Ending elevation (at Bright Angel Campground): Bright Angel Campground to Indian Garden (5 miles): If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our. Later in the day, the high temperature reached 52°F in Grand Canyon Village. At this point, the trail turns away from the river and now the real fun begins. The South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails are two of the Grand Canyon’s classic hiking trails. This is a true test of your endurance and you need to come prepared. With its long distance and nearly a mile of elevation gain, this is a beast of a hike. Cheers, Julie. Crowds will be low (aside from the days around Thanksgiving). On Booking.com it is listed as a 5-star hotel but it looks and feels a lot more like a 3 to 4 star hotel. Visitors should prepare for drastic temperature differentials throughout the trip. Take frequent breaks and even though you might not care anymore, try to enjoy the view across the Grand Canyon. Then, walk the Rim Trail to the South Kaibab Trailhead. Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim It’s an uphill walk but not overly steep so we kept the same pace as on the South Kaibab Trail. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. By the time we reached the Colorado River, I was thrilled to finally walk on level ground again. Cheers, Julie, The closest place to park, that I know of, is along Desert View Drive before you get to Yaki Point Road. This trail is the daily descent route for passenger mules, so once again, encounters on the trail are likely. During the summer months, this early starts allows you to hike a portion of the trail before temperatures really heat up. Read all of our articles in our. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Once at Indian Garden, you have access to potable water and restrooms. For 3.2 miles the trail leads over varied terrain that includes an abandoned mine and a switchbacks known as the Devil's Corkscrew before reaching Indian Garden Campground, where you'll find toilets and water. South Kaibab trail: 4,740 ft descent, 6.3 miles. Start early in the day. 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