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Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

Lake City, FL
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59 posts
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Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

My husband and I ( both in mid 40's and fairly active) and 12 year old son would like to do a day hike into the canyon this July. We are used to Florida heat and humidity but obviously do not frequently hike with such major elevation change. We will be starting around 5am. Would like opinions on whether to hike Bright Angel to Indian Garden or South Kaibab to Cedar Ridge or Skeleton Point.

Atascadero...
Destination Expert
for Lake Powell
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1. Re: Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

It's going to be hot either way. In general, I like the South Kaibab Trail from a pure scenic standpoint, since you're often following a ridge on the way down. It's about a 3-mile hike from trailhead to Skeleton Point, but a 2,200-foot drop. So a 6-mile round trip, with a 2,200-foot elevation gain at the end is tough, especially since there's no water on that trail. In July, that can be brutal. Count on 4 hours or so to do this round trip. If you go this way, bring lots of water, and I'd even consider leaving a bottle or two on the way down in a hiding place. Eat salty foods for the electrolytes--trail mix is fine.

Trailhead to Cedar Ridge is 1.5 miles, drop of 1,100 feet. Once you're there, and if you feel up to it and are prepared (especially if it's still early in the day), the hike to Skeleton Point is worthwhile.

Bright Angel to Indian Garden is a much longer haul--about 4.8 miles from the top, and a 3,000-foot drop. So it's nearly a 10-mile round trip, and the last 1.5 miles on the way back up to the top is a brutal series of steep switchbacks. I'm guessing it's a 6-7 hour round trip, depending on the heat and your condition. But there is water at Indian Garden, so you don't need to carry as much down. Of course, where you'll need the water--no matter what trail you choose--is on the way up.

Either way you go, do it early. Even before sunrise if you can. There is little shade, and the July sun is merciless.

Here's a handy Park Service brochure that may help:

nps.gov/grca/…Corridor_Brochure.pdf

Edited: 28 June 2013, 19:57
Lake City, FL
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59 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

Thanks for the information. I think we will do South Kabib to Skeleton Point.

South Jersey, USA
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

Make sure you are all prepared for the heat with hats and possibly light weight long sleeve shirts!

The only water you will find on South Kaibab trail is at the trail head itself. Make sure you EACH have at least 2 liters during this time of year!! Bring along some snacks as well to fuel your body for the hike both going down and especially coming up!

This trail is steeper than Bright Angel and you will have to deal with switchbacks and erosion steps while hiking! Good fitting footwear is a must!

There are toilets at Cedar Ridge (pit) and a tree!! Will find some shade there! There is nothing at Skeleton Point other than the sign!!

If you or anyone in your part gets tired before Skeleton Point do not hesitate to turn around instead of "pushing" it to Skeleton Point! Your hike up will be strenuous and if you are already tired you will have a long haul up!!

Don't forget your camera's because sunrise on South Kaibab is simply gorgeous!!

Enjoy

SJG

4. Re: Day hike on Bright Angel or South Kabib

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