DISTANCE: 16.5 MILES
STARTING POINT: SOUTH KAIBAB TRAILHEAD
ENDING: BRIGHT ANGEL TRAILHEAD
DURATION: 8 - 12 hours (took me 7 hours and 15 minutes)
TIME: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm
This is an insanely beautiful and crazy hike, It's the best day hike I have ever done.The Grand Canyon is filled with beauty and unique landscape, I absolutely recommend doing this hike! It's very long and over 4,000 feet of elevation up. There are 2 ways to do this hike.
1. Day Hike
- start close to sunrise for day hike.
- This is not an easy hike, it will take a large amount of the day to complete.
2. Backpack to the valley and camp. YOU WILL NEED A PERMIT
- Go over to the backcountry office center to get a permit
Backcountry Information Center - 1 Backcountry Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
How to get to trail head
Park your car at The Grand Canyon Visitor Center and take the bus to South Kaibab trail head, It's a free bus that runs from 5 or 6am to 9pm. It's 2 stops and wont take very long. They run every half hour until the afternoon so 6, 6:30, 7 ETC.....
DAY PACK: Gregory Citro 30 h20
Make sure to have a 3 liter bladder of water!
Bottle + hydration salts:
I bring a 16 oz bottle for hydration pills.
Nunn hydrating pills
Protein bars, trail mix, nut butter sandwhich, fig bars, dehydrated fruit, paleo bars. Bring plenty of food, 16.5 miles is long!
Get a hiking map from the visitor center!
Starting The Hike
South Kaibab Trailhead
The start of the hike is an immediate downhill descend and trust me when I say the views at the start are absolutely amazing! Right away I was blown away by the colors and formations of the rocks.
Ooh Ahh Point
This was by far my favorite part of the whole hike and its near the start. This wonderful view is called Ooh Ahh point for the reason that it sounds, you will go OOOOOHHH AHHHH!
Really trippy looking rock shortly after Ooh Ahh. Looking at the trail go down it is insane!
Shortly after this is just a lot of descending with some amazing views!
These formations are really unique at this part of the descent, as you get a little lower you start to see the river at the bottom. This makes for another great place to stop and enjoy the views.
You enter a cave and go over the first bridge. turn left and keep going down the trail. You will pass a little picnic area and a little housing for people who work there and keeping live stock. This is a really great place to stop for lunch, even though the run off made the water brown it was still an amazing scene. Go over the second bridge, this one is really cool because the floor isnt covered so you can see the river under you. Turn right to go to Bright Angel trail at the end of the bridge or turn left to go back to Kaibab but go right and do the whole hike!
BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL
I didnt take as many photos as I should have on the Bright Angel trail but it was a long day of hiking and having the camera around your neck for 16.5 miles is a little much. But, I got a few! It starts off relatively flat for awhile and it turns more into a back-country kind of feel. There are a few little stops I recommend. There is a little spring before Indian garden I recommend taking another little break.
I enjoyed this area, there is a little campground and you can fill up on water here if your running low. Lots of pretty scenery and this is another great place to relax because after this is brutal, literally 5 miles of switchbacks, its not only physically draining but mentally to push through is rough. I started losing it on the last 3 miles but the scenery made it worth it!
3 MILE AND 1.5 MILE HOUSE TO THE END!
This was so brutal! The last few miles as I said above are really rough if you do this all in one day. It seems to just keep going and the mile markers don't really help because its uphill and slow, this was more mentally draining than anything. seeing the top with the famous cave was beyond exciting, I was ready to end this 16.5 mile hike! It was literally amazing and I'm glad I did it. If you're feeling adventurous I highly recommend this hike! thanks for reading and following my travels, I'll have more soon!