Best Grand Canyon Hiking Trails
Grand Canyon Hikes from the South Rim
The majority of Grand Canyon trails are found on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, most of which have access year-round. Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road and Desert View Drive all have great trails for every kind of hiker.
Bright Angel Trail
- Bright Angel Trail (Mileage/Elevation/Water)
- 1.5 Mile Resthouse: 1.5 miles/5720 ft/Water May-Sept (potable)
- 3 Mile Resthouse: 3 miles/4920 ft/Water May-Sept (potable)
- Indian Gardens: 4.5 miles/3,800 ft/Year-Round Water (potable)
- Bright Angel Campground: 9.3 miles/2,400 ft/Year-Round Water (potable)
- Phantom Ranch: 9.6 miles/2,546 ft/ Year-Round
The Bright Angel is the Grand Canyons most popular hiking trail and has been used to hike below the rim since the Ancestral Puebloans inhabited the area thousands of years ago. The Bright Angel Trail starts on the South Rim next to the Bright Angel Lodge and is a popular trail for short day hikes, as well as multi-day backpacking trips to Bright Angel and Indian Gardens Campgrounds. From the trailhead there are several stops with water and restrooms, including: 1.5 Mile Rest House, 3 Mile Rest House and Indian Gardens. Indian Gardens is where most Grand Canyon day hikers turn around, especially in the summer heat. After Indian Gardens you can take an extended day hike to Plateau Point, hop on the Tonto Trail, or continue on the BA Trail to Bright Angel Campground. The next 5 miles of trail will take you through some beautiful narrows, down steep switchbacks, and along the Colorado River to the suspension bridges that cross it. The Bright Angel has several pictographs along the trail, and offers a good chance to see California Condors and Big Horn Sheep.
South Kaibab Trail
- South Kaibab Trail (Mileage/Elevation/Water)
- Trailhead: 0 miles/7,200 ft/Water Mat-Sept (potable)
- Ooh Aah Point: .5 miles/6,320 ft/No Water
- Cedar Ridge: 1.5 miles/5,200 ft/No Water
- The Tipoff: 4.4 miles/4,000 ft/No Water
- Bright Angel Campground: 6.8 miles/2,400 ft/Year-Round (potable)
- Phantom Ranch: 7.2 miles/2,546 ft/ Year-Round (potable)
The South Kaibab Trail was built for expansive vistas, and its these vistas that make it one of the most popular and most beautiful trails in the Park. The trailhead is located east of Grand Canyon Village, and is typically accessed via the Parks free shuttle system. This steep and rugged path is named after the Paiute Indian word for the Grand Canyon: Kaibab, meaning "A mountain turned upside down". The trailhead is located at an elevation over 7,000 feet, and you’ll descend seven miles through the Canyon en route to the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the Canyon. Ooh Ah Point, Cedar Ridge, Skeleton Point and "The Tipoff" are some major stops along the trail before you reach the Black Bridge, and cross the Colorado River. After crossing the bridge, its’ a short hike to reach Bright Angel Campground or Phantom Ranch.
Grand Canyon Hikes from the North Rim
The North Rim has some awesome hikes and a lot less visitation compared to the South Rim. Rim to Rim hikers will either start or finish their trip on the North Rim and day hikers will enjoy walking a few miles along the North Kaibab Trail. The North Rim only has seasonal access from mid-May until the first snow falls. There are also quite a few trails around the Marble Canyon area.
North Kaibab Trail
- North Kaibab Trail (Mileage/Elevation/Water)
- Trailhead: 0 miles/6,860ft/Water Not Available
- Supai Tunnel: 2.0/ 6800/Occasional Seasonal Water (potable)
- Roaring Springs: 4.7 miles/ 5200 ft/Water May-Sept (potable)
- Cottonwood Campground: 6.8 miles/ 4,080 ft/Year Round Water (purification needed Oct 15-May15)
- Ribbon Falls: 8.3 miles/ 3720 ft/Year Round Water (purification needed)
- Phantom Ranch: 13.7 miles/2,546 ft/ Year Round (potable)
- Bright Angel Campground: 14.1 miles/2,400 ft/Year Round Water (potable)
The North Kaibab Trail starts from the Grand Canyons North Rim, an area of Aspen groves, Alpine meadows, and solitude - a very different experience from the South Rim National Megalopolis. The North Kaibab is also the trail Canyon hikers use when setting out on a Rim to Rim hike. The trailhead is a short hike or drive from the North Rim Lodge and North Rim Campground. A pay shuttle from the South Rim to North Rim is available from mid-May until mid-October for hikers doing a Rim to Rim. The first good views are a mile and a half down the trail at Coconino Overlook. Another half mile down the Kaibab is the Supai Tunnel rest stop. From Supai Tunnel its 2.7 miles to Roaring Springs and an additional 2.2 miles from here to Cottonwood Campground, the only campground on the North Kaibab trail. Heading down Canyon from Cottonwood is a beautiful stop called Ribbon Falls before you walk the next six miles to Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground.