Trails in the Grand Canyon!
Never hiked in the Canyon? Here are the best dayhikes to get you started:
|Don't forget your ten essentials!
Take plenty of water, snacks, and fruit. Wear a hat and sturdy shoes. Don't forget the sunscreen, flashlight, map and compass, matches, first aid kit, signal mirror and knife. Always allow twice as much time to get out of the canyon as you needed to descend.
Why am I so thirsty?
Can I drink the Water?
How to avoid Blisters!
The Norwalk Virus
trace of your visit!
1. Be well prepared. Know the route and area in which you are planning to hike.
2. Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site should not be necessary.
3. Stay on main trails; do not shortcut switchbacks.
4. Pack out what you bring in. This includes used toilet paper and all trash.
5. Fires are prohibited below the rim. Do not burn toilet paper pack it out!
6. Bury solid human waste at least 200' from water in a shallow cat hole 4-6" deep and 4-6" in diameter.
7. To wash yourself or your dishes, always carry water 200' away from creeks and potholes. Scatter strained dishwater.
8. Let nature's sounds prevail. Keep loud voices and noises to a minimum.
9. Leave what you find. This is particularly important when it comes to cultural resources of any kind, including artifacts and archeological remains. Leave them as you find them.
Are you ready for an overnighter? All the trails below require prior backpacking experience and special equipment. All of the trails below need multi-days to complete! The trail below are very difficult, with lots of elevation gain (5,000'). Don't over pack and travel as light as possible. Consider leaving the cell phone, gps, radio, hairdryer, and other luxuries at home! Start out with a trip to Bright Angel Campground at the Colorado River. This is one of the best trips in the world! As you develop experience in the Canyon, you can try the other trails such as Hermit, Grandview, New Hance, and Tanner.
Overnight permits are now $10 plus $5 per day per person. For twenty-five bucks a trip leader can get unlimited hikes for a year saving the $10 each time. Reasonable, and hopefully they will use the money for something constructive! The Backcountry Office is now in the Maswik Transportation Center and open from 8 to 12 and 1 to 5.
You can call between 1 and 5 Monday through Friday at 1-520-638-7875. T
The fax number is 1-928-638-2125. They will take
a check or credit card.
The address is Backcountry Office, GCNP, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ, 86023.
Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Information.
Want to know what the temperature might be? Or the chance of rain? Average Temperatures and Precipitation at Grand Canyon!
Crampons might be needed for the upper section of the South Rim Trails in the winter
Instep Crampons are available for sale or rent at the South. Rim General Store (Delaware
North now, formerly Babbitts)
Buy: In step crampons, either $8.98 or $10.98 a pair (the difference appears to be the material that straps around the boot, one is a little more sturdy)
Rent: In step crampons, $4 first day, $2 a day thereafter with $35 deposit (the have four "prongs" are adjustable with "prongs" about 1.5" and only available if there is 4" or more snow/ice)
Norm Kern's 7Days6Nights Blog
Mike Hanneman's The Best from both Rims
Richard Perry's Allhikers.com
Bill Hubbard's South Kaibab Trail in a day!
Josh Case's South Canyon!
Joe Heywood's South Bass/ Copper Canyon!
South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop
Jeff Owens' Havasu Canyon and Supai
Cheech Calenti's Hikes
Joseph Heywood's Royal Arch
Paul Le Pain's Tatahatso Point
Sean Dupre's Rim to Rim
|South Rim Trails||The South Rim Trails are generally accessible all year except during periods of heavy winter snows.|
||The trail begins on the South Rim near Yaki Point, and descends to the Colorado River. Elevation change from rim to river is 4620 ft, along a 6 mile trail. There is no water available and little shade on this trail. Most people hike down the Kaibab and up the Bright Angel.|
||The trail has little elevation variation and follows the Colorado River for 1.7 miles between the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. The Kaibab Suspension Bridge and the Silver Bridge permit access to the north side of the Colorado River, Bright Angel Campground, and Phantom Ranch.|
||First constructed in 1891, the trail begins on the South Rim just west of Kolb Studio, behind the Bright Angel Lodge and descends to the Colorado River via Indian Garden. Elevation change from rim to river is 4420 ft, along the 9.5 mile trail to Bright Angel Campground at the River. Usually there is water at the 1.5 Mile Rest House and the 3 Mile Rest House. There is a campground and water at Indian Garden.|
|Tonto Trail||This trail crosses the Tonto Platform approximately 3000 ft below the South Rim, intersecting both the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. It begins west of the South Bass Trail at Garnet Canyon and continues all the way to the New Hance Trail below the East Rim, a total of 72 miles! A worthy goal is to hike it all. Water is found at Boucher, Hermit, Monument, Indian Gardens, Grapevine, and Hance. Seasonal water may be found at Slate, Pipe, Cottonwood, and other washes, after monsoon and winter rains.|
|Tanner Trail||The Tanner Trail begins near Lipan Point, close to Desert View. An old Indian route, Seth Tanner improved the trail to access mining claims. This is one of the longest tails to the River, at 9 miles, but seems even longer. There is no water along the trail so most people cache some water above the Redwall for the trip up.|
|Beamer Trail||This trail continues from Tanner Rapid to the mouth of the Little Colorado, a distance of 6 miles. Initially following the River, past Pallisades Creek the trail rises into the Tapeats. Sometimes hard to follow. Camping is not allowed at the mouth of the Little Colorado River. A great trip!|
|New Hance Trail||The trailhead is about 1 mile from Moran Point on the East Rim. Park at Moran Point. It's 8 miles and 4,400 feet to the Colorado River at Hance Rapids and the only water. Sometimes called the Red Canyon Trail, the New Hance was built by Captain John Hance. The eastern end of the Tonto Trail begins here.|
|Old Hance Trail||The Old Hance Trail was originally and old Indian Route improved by John Hance after his arrival in 1882. The Trailhead is the first pullout east of the Buggeln Hill Picnic Area. It is not much of a trail anymore, the route basically follows the wash down to Sockdolager Rapid.|
|Grandview Trail||It's 3.0 miles and a 2,600 feet descent to the mines on Horseshoe Mesa. The trail begins on Grandview Point, midway to Desert View. Lately, lots of people are hiking to Horseshoe Mesa for the day. There is no water, and some exposure, but wonderful views! A campsite is located on the Mesa and trails go off the front, east, and west sides of the Mesa. The closest water is Miner's Spring, off the East side below the Redwall.|
|Hermit Trail||The Hermit trail begins at the end of the service road behind Hermit's Rest. It descends to the Colorado River in 8.5 miles. There is water at Santa Maria Spring, Hermit Creek, and the Colorado River. Many people hike the Hermit Trail after completing both the Bright Angel and Kaibab Trails. A nice dayhike is down to Dripping Springs, about 1.5 miles each way.|
|Boucher Trail||Originally built by the Hermit, Louis Boucher, the Trail now begins at Hermit's Rest and eventually reaches the Colorado River at Boucher Rapids in 10 miles. Boucher's old trail started above Dripping Springs on Eremita Mesa. Access is now questionable due to the closure of the Boundary Road by the Park Service. The only water besides the River is at Dripping Springs, very useful on the way up.|
|South Bass Trail||The South Bass Trail, originally called the Mystic Springs Trail, is 7 miles and 4,400 feet to the Colorado River. The trailhead is 4 miles north of Pasture Wash Ranger Station. After rains there might be water in potholes on the Esplanade, but as usual, the only sure water is the River. With the closing of the Boundary Road by the Park Service, the only way to the trailhead is through the South Kaibab National Forest and the Havasupai Reservation. Parties might be asked to pay a $25 per car entrance fee to the Reservation. Bring Cash!|
|Hualapai Trail (to Supai)||The trail on the Havasupai Reservation to Supai! The trail begins at Hualapai Hilltop, north of Peach Springs, off old Highway 66. It is the main access for the village of Supai, and the wondrous waterfalls of Havasu and Mooney The trail is well traveled to the village and the campground near the falls. River parties come up from the Colorado River for the day to swim. Life Magazine once called this the best swimming hole in North America! The village of Supai boasts a grocery store, cafe, and lodge. There is also a small museum in the village. Some less hardy types book mules to ride or carry their gear, but the trail is not too hard or too long. Reservations are required, call the Havasupai Tourist Office at 1-520-448-2141 or 1-520-448-2111.|
|North Rim Trails||The North Rim Trails are accessible May to November in normal weather years. The rest of the time the trailheads are closed due to heavy snows.|
|North Kaibab Trail||The trail begins on the North Rim at the head of Roaring Springs Canyon and descends via Bright Angel Creek to the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch. Elevation from rim to river is 5841 ft, along the 14.5 mile trail. This trail is maintained and well marked. The North Rim is usually open from mid-May to November, depending on the snow. Water is available at Cottonwood and Bright Angel Campground, and the trail follow the Bright Angel Creek. The North Kaibab is used for rim to rim adventures.|
|Old Bright Angel Trail||An old, rarely used trail that joins the North Kaibab Trail 7.8 miles from the North Rim, just north of Cottonwood Campground. It is not recommended except by seasoned Canyon hikers with route finding experience. This Trail was the original route down from the North Rim.|
|Clear Creek Trail||It is 8.7 miles to Clear Creek from Phantom Ranch. The trail was build by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 and is easy to follow. Clear Creek has a good perennial flow. Access down creek is to the Colorado River, and up creek to Cheyava Falls (when flowing in the spring). the is no water between Phantom Ranch and Clear Creek.|
|North Bass Trail||The North Bass is one of the longest and most difficult trails. It is 14 miles from Swamp Point to the Colorado River. Water is found at Mauv Saddle in a little spring, White Creek, and Shinumo Creek. There are historical artifacts from William Wallace Bass along Shinumo Creek, as well as some Anazasi ruins.|
|Nankoweap Trail||The Nankoweap Trail
descends 5,240 feet from Saddle Mountain to the Colorado River in 14 long, hot, exhausting
miles. Considered to be the hardest of the trails in the Canyon, many parties turn around,
and there has even been some deaths from heat exhaustion. Definitely cache water for the
return trip as there is none until Nankoweap Creek. Often rated as extremely difficult,
the Nankoweap Trail turns many unprepared hikers around long before the first water.
There are two Trailheads. The first is a 3.5 mile hike from House Rock Valley near the Saddle Mountain Wilderness. This is at the end of a 40 mile dirt road that is okay for most cars. This Trailhead is usually accessible year round, but of course the trail itself will be buried in snow in most winters. The second is a 3 mile trail down from the Kaibab Plateau. This is used in the summer and fall when the snow is clear and the Plateau is accessible.
Originally an old historic Indian trail the Nankoweap Trail was first developed
under the supervision of John Wesley Powell in 1882 as a means to allow geologists access
to the area. Later it was all but forgotten until Harvey Butchart wrote his Treks I guide.
In recent years the trail has seen maintenance and improvement from the boots of thousands
|Thunder River Trail||It's 12 miles from Indian Hollow to the Colorado River, 5,200 feet below the rim. This old horse trail will take you to Surprise Valley where you can head for Deer Creek Falls or Thunder River and Tapeats Creek. There is no water until Thunder River. Thunder River, one of the worlds shortest rivers, flows only for .5 miles before it empties into Tapeats Creek.|
|Bill Hall Trail||Located West of Big Saddle Camp and Crazy Jug Point the Bill Hall Trail begins near Monument Point and is a much shorter trail to Deer Creek Falls, Thunder River, or Tapeats Creek, than the Thunder River Trail. It joins the Thunder River Trail soon after the descent to the Esplanade. Hikers often make a multi-day loop to visit all the scenic highlights of this area.|
|Lava Trail||The Lava Falls Trail is the
shortest trail to the River, giving access to one of the most exciting and spectacular of
the rapids, Lava Falls. The trail begins at Vulcan's Throne and although
it is only 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the Colorado River, the descent is an amazing
2,500. Legend says that the NPS ranger at Toroweap from 1942-1980, John Riffey,
built the trail down the crumbly ancient lava flow, but it is probably an ancient Anasazi
route. Steep and extremely rough in the bottom half.
|Phamous Phantom Ranch Stew Jimmy Lee digs out and dusts off the original recipe from the early 70's when most of us weren't born!|
The activities described in this web site are potentially dangerous. Canyoneering, rock climbing, and mountaineering involve unavoidable risks including the risk of serious bodily injury and death. All forms of wilderness recreation have a higher level of risk than most ordinary activities. The owner and publisher of this web site do not assume any responsibility or liability for your safety. Those who use this information, and those who venture onto mountainous terrain, do so at their own risk. Disclaimer
Recent Trip Reports!
Much of Treks is a
compilation of various contributors!