River Trail - Grand Canyon, AZ | HikeArizona
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  This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

River Trail - Grand Canyon, AZ

Guide 122 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.1 of 5 
568 122 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.68 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,655 feet
Elevation Gain -208 feet
Accumulated Gain 348 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.84
 Interest Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
 Backpack Connecting Only
 Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
45  2022-12-28
Clear Creek
17  2022-02-19
South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel
22  2021-11-20
Rim to Rim - South Kaibab & Bright Angel Trail
8  2021-05-16
Grand Canyon Corridor Loop
15  2020-12-05
Bright Angel - River - South Kaibab
24  2020-09-26
Rim to Rim
14  2020-08-11
South Rim - Colorado River Loop
37  2020-03-04
Grand Canyon: South Rim-River-South Rim
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author avatar Guides 64
Routes 74
Photos 9,059
Trips 2,065 map ( 12,526 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Arizona, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Northwest Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Nov, Feb, Mar, Jan → 3 PM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:47am - 6:31pm
Official Route
20 Alternative

Classy Connector
by Jim_H

  Likely In-Season!
This is a connecting trail in the Grand Canyon. It is primarily used to connect the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails, but with the Anasazi ruins on the north side of the river it can be used to connect with the North Kaibab as well.

Both ends of this trail start at bridges over the Colorado River. Both have some history, I am sure, but I don't know it. The western bridge carries the water pipeline for the South Rim, and probably the water to Phantom Ranch as well. Just east of the trail and it's eastern bridge there is an old cable and hand cart kind of device that goes across the river. I recall reading that it was a historical means of transportation over the Colorado River, but I didn't note the significance. Sorry. Either way, this is a trail with some history to it, and really the bridges are the least of it.

Though the trail runs on the south side of the river, the action is on the north side of it. Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Creek, the Anasazi ruins, and Bright Angel Campground are all on the north side. If you are just passing through or down for the day, you really ought to stop in at one of those locations. Odds are, you'll need to for some water. If you cross the river to access water and you are entering and leaving via the same trail, as was the case for me, the River Trail provides a nice alternative to the trail you already hiked, and it makes an excellent opportunity for a loop when combined with another trail.

Hike: The trail from east to west is as follows. After the bridge there is a short tunnel, and then a series of switchbacks which ascend the canyon walls and gain roughly 150 feet. From there you traverse along the river for some time to make the total length approximately one mile in length. You lose some elevation as you drop down to the junction with the western bridge over the river, and the Bright Angel Trail. The trail is maintained for mules and humans, and is in excellent shape. If down in the Canyon on any of the feeder trails, it is worth hiking this trail. I know I liked it.

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2010-09-06 Jim_H
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

 Permit $$

Grand Canyon National Park
Details for each are occasionaly below numerous alerts
Entrance Fee
Overnight/Backpacking Permits
Grand Canyon Use Areas Map
Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run

Connector trail - Not Applicable

To hike
The trailheads for either the South Kaibab, North Kaibab or Bright Angel Trails, which are the primary means of accessing this trail, are paved and easily accessible. Please see those trail descriptions for access.
page created by Jim_H on Sep 06 2010 10:54 am

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