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The Grand Canyon: Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail

Experience the Grand Canyon like few others with this unforgettable 2-3 day trip down into the canyon.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 16 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  If you are looking for the perfect hike in the Grand Canyon, this is it. The 2 (or 3) day hike will take you down into the canyon to ... more »

Tips:  Bring LOTS of water, the air is very dry and you may not see visible sweat but you will be losing water very quickly.
It is hotter... more »

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Points of Interest

1. South Kaibab Trailhead

Start your journey by taking one of the free NPS shuttles to the trailhead (you can't park overnight). In the Summer, you should start very early (4-5) to ensure that you make it to the Bright Angel campground by the time the midday heat starts to take its toll (11am-3pm). DO NOT attempt this as a 1-day hike in the Summer months. While there... More

2. Ohh Ahh Point

Appropriately named, this point will make you audibly mutter "oohs" and "ahhs", especially if you are around here for sunrise, when the red rock is almost surreal. It is about 1 mile from the top, and a popular turnaround for those looking for just a taste of the canyon. Below you will see the next couple of miles of the trail and even a resting... More

3. Cedar Ridge

1.5 Miles, and 940 vertical feet from the start you can take a break to use the provided restrooms or just to let your knees rest (it's fairly steep up to this point). Being on a ridge definitely has its perks: you will have great views on both sides of the ridge, and can see the next mile or so of the trail's switchbacks winding back and forth... More

4. Skeleton Point

After 3 miles from the start of the hike you will arrive at Skeleton Point. Don't let the name turn you away just yet, as this is this the first place along the train where you will be able to see the Colorado River below. The switchbacks get a bit steeper after this point, so make sure you are rested before moving further. Note: DO NOT go past... More

5. Kaibab Suspension Bridge

With about a mile left to go you will have some spectacular views of the Colorado river winding through the canyon below. After walking through a tunnel through the rock you will walk across the river on a suspension bridge, and you're almost there. A few moments later you should arrive at Bright Angel campground where you can rest and fill up... More

6. Bright Angel Campground

If you are backpacking down (which you should be in the Summer months, because it would be too hot to attempt a hike back up at this point), you will likely stay here. You are free to pick any available spot (try the ones on the river bank for quick access). There are boxes for food to keep the animals out, a picnic table, and often somewhere to... More

7. Phantom Ranch

Another alternative to Bright Angel Campground is Phantom Ranch, where you can stay in individual cabins. It is likely that you will run into a group arriving on Mule back (make sure to impress them with your stories of hiking down), and there are often Ranger led talks about the nearby area. You can sign up for dinner at the restaurant if you... More

8. Indian Garden

4.7 miles from Bright Angel, and 4.9 miles from the Rim, this campground is a great place to stop if you want to extend your trek into 3 days. You can also hike our to Plateau point (it's fairly flat) for some more views and another perspective of the canyon. For those hiking through, there are restrooms and water (the next rest house is 1.9... More

9. Plateau Point (detour)

From Indian Garden, you can take an optional detour to Plateau point. It's a fairly level hike and will give you yet another perspective of the amazing canyon. It may be a bit much if you are hiking from Bright Angel to the Rim, but a nice add-on if you are staying at Indian Garden for the night.

10. Three Mile Resthouse

Appropriately named, this rest house is 3 miles from the Rim and has restrooms as well as stations to refill your water. It is pretty steep the rest of the way up, so make sure you have enough water, but don't weigh yourself down too much, as there will be another stop in just 1.5 miles.

11. Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse

Conveniently located 1.5 miles from the Rim, you can fill up on water, use the restrooms, or just sit down as you save up enough energy for the final push up to the top. But don't forget to take a second to take in the view, its amazing as always.

Back at the top you can take a final picture overlooking the canyons and join the group of people who have hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Reward yourself with some refreshments at the top before taking the shuttle back to your next destination (which may likely be a cold shower and a long nap).