Backbone of S. Kaibab trail
This is part of the S. Kaibab Trail. It is a good day hike to Skeleton Point. There is an excellent view of the Colorado River and a hitching rail where the mules rest. This trail is used less than Bright Angel Trail for mules so isn't as bad. It is steeper and has no water along the trail. There is a restroom at Cedar Ridge. The trail winds down from the top with very steep switch backs in the first 0.5 miles or so.
Then it goes out along a steep dropping canyon. There are many fossil footprints in the sandstones before Cedar Ridge in the big rocks along the trail after Ohh Ahh point. These are mammal like reptiles. Then the trail goes down from Cedar Ridge. In this area there are also some plant fossils around the rest area. The trail goes off from Cedar Ridge all the way across the flat area and keep to the right after the restroom.
It then goes past O'Neill Butte and there is some nice views of Plateau Point in the east. We have done some nice full moon hikes on this trail in the early summer. Since it doesn't go down in the canyon like Bright Angel does the moon can light up the trail and no flashlights are needed. Then along trail from Cedar Ridge to Skeleton Point there are many flat rocks along the area with all kinds of fossil tracks of mammal like reptiles and spiders.
The view from Skeleton Point is awesome and on a clear and not hazy or smoky day in the canyon can be quite colorful. You can see all the layers of the canyon from the Kaibab limestone on the top to the Vishnu schist in the bottom of the canyon with the Colorado River. In the winter time there is many times where crampons are needed as the trail can be quite slick with ice and snow. It is a steep trail and has very little shade so is not suggested to do in the summer time. - Feb 16 2008 Dschur