South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

5.0
#2 of 15 in Trails in Grand Canyon National Park
Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
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Reward yourself with some of the best views Grand Canyon National Park has to offer by hiking South Kaibab Trail. From the trailhead near Yaki Point to the end of the trail at the Bright Angel Campground, the trail is 11.4 km (7.1 mi) long. With the elevation change of 1,460 m (4,780 ft), the trail is pretty steep and hiking its entirety is generally recommended only to seasoned hikers. Those who go the distance will be rewarded with breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. The trail has little shade and no access to water until you reach the Bright Angel Campground, so dehydration is a serious hazard. It's absolutely essential to bring enough water as well as water purification tablets, because even the water at the camp is not always drinkable. Our Grand Canyon National Park vacation planner makes visiting South Kaibab Trail and other Grand Canyon National Park attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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South Kaibab Trail reviews

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Google
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TripAdvisor
  • We hiked down to the second recommended stop which provided a pointed overview into the canyon. The terrain was fascinating and so amazing to be 'in the canyon' - we will definitely come again and... 
    We hiked down to the second recommended stop which provided a pointed overview into the canyon. The terrain was fascinating and so amazing to be 'in the canyon' - we will definitely come again and...  more »
  • Excellent hike for a fit person. Go early, as less prepared hikers start later. Trail gets crowded as the day progresses. We started at 7:30 am and didn’t have so many hikers that it took away... 
    Excellent hike for a fit person. Go early, as less prepared hikers start later. Trail gets crowded as the day progresses. We started at 7:30 am and didn’t have so many hikers that it took away...  more »
Google
  • I love this trail! It is well maintained, and not too terribly difficult! It is a good way to get to the Colorado river! Unfortunately today we only had time to make it to OOH AHH point, but the first part of the trail was awesome! I would highly recommend! If you are going all the way to the bottom, make sure you are prepared, and in shape, it is easy to hike down, but the hike back up is a lot harder! Don't underestimate the difficulty of getting back up the canyon, especially from the very bottom. Enjoy the trail!
  • The South Kaibab Trail was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. Snaking your way down the canyon, over ridges and down switchbacks with incredible views all around you, this hike will take your breath away, literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, you're gonna need your breath if you decide to do this hike in its entirety, because although the hike down isn't too bad, what comes down must also come back up, and the way back up is orders of magnitude harder. Hiking the entire trail all the way to the Colorado River is not for the casual hiker or people who aren't in great shape. Getting here requires a round-tip hike of nearly 14 miles, nearly all of which is hills. Doing this hike, even if you are a fast hiker, will take you at least 7-8 hours. And make no mistake, if you make it down to the river, your only options to get out are climbing back up the nearly 5,000 feet of elevation you climbed down, or being evacuated on a helicopter. If you have doubts about your ability to handle this hike, don't do it. There is a reason why the NPS recommends you stop at Skeleton Point if you are doing this as a day hike. And if you are in good enough shape to hike here, make sure you bring PLENTY of water, because you aren't going to find any on the trail. That said, if you are up for the challenge and are fit enough to handle it, this hike is incredible, with the Skeleton Point to Tipoff section my favorite part of the entire park. If you do decide to do the entire hike, I would HIGHLY recommend doing this hike as a semi-loop, climbing back up via the Bright Angel Trail. Doing it this way might add more than two miles to the hike, but the additional two miles are relatively flat, and the Bright Angel Trail hike has about 400 feet less elevation gain. I hiked all the way to the campground, and then back up the Bright Angel Trail, and completed the nearly 17 mile hike in 8 hours and 17 minutes. So doing it in a day is possible, but I would not recommend this unless you are a very experienced hiker in really good shape. If you want to do this section, seriously consider making it a two-day hike and camping in the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the Canyon. Regardless of how you try and tackle this hike, the views are absolutely worth it

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