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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

North Kaibab Trail, AZ

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1.4k 215 10
Guide 215 Triplogs  10 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 45
 
21
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 13.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,238 feet
Elevation Gain -5,790 feet
Avg Time One Way 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.35
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
57  2019-07-04
AZT Utah to South Rim Grand Canyon
BiFrost
17  2019-05-25
Rim to Rim
desertchild
13  2019-05-25
Rim to Rim
sbkelley
46  2019-05-18
Rim to Rim
Grimey
6  2019-05-16
GC: North Rim 2 South Rim
DixieFlyer
25  2019-05-15
GC: South Rim 2 North Rim
DixieFlyer
16  2018-11-24
Humphreys Summit Trail #151
adrenna
34  2018-10-16
Rim to Rim
DixieFlyer
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:31pm
Official Route
 
40 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
True Experience
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
History
The North Kaibab Trail is the least visited but most difficult of the three maintained trails at Grand Canyon National Park. Almost a thousand feet higher at the trailhead than South Rim trails, hikers on the North Kaibab Trail pass through every ecosystem to be found between Canada and Mexico. At the rim, hikers will glimpse the vast maw of Bright Angel Canyon through fir trees and aspen, ferns and wildflowers. The trail as it descends through the Redwall Limestone is blasted directly into the cliff, "literally hewn from solid rock in half-tunnel sections." Farther down, the ecology progresses so that hikers look up at the surrounding canyon walls through a blend of riparian and desert vegetation. Along the way, Roaring Springs and Ribbon Falls both offer rewarding side trips that are wonderfully juxtaposed to the often hot conditions of the main trail.


Built throughout the 1920s to match the quality and grade of the South Kaibab Trail, the present-day North Kaibab Trail replaced an older route infamous for crossing Bright Angel Creek 94 times (the present-day trail crosses only 6 times). Even though it is masterfully constructed and is a maintained trail, don't be deceived by the apparent ease and convenience of hiking it; from beginning to end, the North Kaibab Trail has its challenges.

Hike
Resembling the Bright Angel Trail more than the South Kaibab Trail, the North Kaibab initially descends steeply down the head of a valley via a series of numerous switchbacks. After the lush verdancy and impressive views below the trailhead, the trail reaches the distinctive Supai Tunnel, where hikers will find potable water (mid-May to mid-October) and pit toilets, but no emergency phone. Switchbacks continue to the massive cliffs of Redwall Limestone, where for long stretches the trail has been blasted out of the cliff in a half tunnel. The Redwall section is awe-inspiring in every way; fantastic exposure and views mingle with a reminiscence of an age when engineering marvels were commonplace.

Where the bulk of the trail's descent meets the flatter bottom of Bright Angel Canyon, Roaring Springs is a worthwhile side trip. Here, water gushes forth directly out of the cliffs, cascading over moss and fern to form Bright Angel Creek (which will be a constant companion all the way to the Colorado River). This giant spring provides drinking water for every visitor and resident within Grand Canyon National Park. The water is delivered to the South Rim via a pipeline buried beneath the North Kaibab Trail (installed 1965- 1970). You can see this amazing pipeline as it stretches across the Colorado River on the underside of the Bright Angel Trail's Silver Bridge.

At mile 5.4 an unexpected house comes into view. The Pumphouse Residence, also known as the Aiken Residence, is where artist and park employee Bruce Aiken lived and painted for decades. In years past the lucky hiker could get a refreshing cup of lemonade from one of the Aiken kids who were raised at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Passing the Pumphouse Residence is a welcome sign for the descending backpacker for it signals the approach of Cottonwood Campground. Those fortunate to overnight at Cottonwood Campground will have the time to explore a beautiful oasis located 1.6 miles down-creek from the campground: Ribbon Falls is a true gem of the North Kaibab Trail. The waterfall is located in a grotto on the west side of Bright Angel Creek, so reaching it is a short but extremely rewarding side trip. Hikers caught in the heat of the day should consider taking a siesta here from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Between Cottonwood Campground and Bright Angel Campground the trail enters the Inner Gorge, a narrow canyon within the canyon where the trail is boxed in on either side by 1.7 billion year old Vishnu Schist (the contact between the top of the Vishnu Schist and the overlying Tapeats Sandstone marks the Great Unconformity where over 1 billion years of geology is missing). Though the trail here is not challenging from the perspective of elevation profile, be aware that this is a particularly dangerous stretch of trail during summer months. Because the entire 7.2 mile stretch is at low elevation, it becomes extremely hot from early morning to late afternoon. The gorge of black rock through which the trail passes becomes like an oven and can be compared to walking through a parking lot in Phoenix or Las Vegas in summertime. Always plan on reaching Bright Angel Campground before ten in the morning. Important Notes

Grand Canyon is, above all else, a place of extremes. It is necessary to take appropriate precautions depending on seasonal variations in trail conditions. During the deep winter months, the upper section of trail in Roaring Springs Canyon can be ice-covered and perpetually snowbound. On the North Rim, hikers need to be prepared for extreme winter conditions. During the hotter months, which can begin as early as May and last through September, it is critical that hikers have the discipline to begin their hike well before dawn or after 3 p.m. Success and enjoyment really depends on the amount of time spent in the Plan Ahead and Prepare stage (Leave No Trace). Success in the summer can be as simple as staying off the trail and out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Hiking the entire North Kaibab Trail in a single day is not recommended, particularly in summer, as it is nearly impossible to avoid hiking in the heat of the day.

Water Sources
Potable water is available at the trailhead, Supai Tunnel, Roaring Springs, the Pumphouse Residence, Cottonwood Campground and Bright Angel Campground. All except Bright Angel Campground are seasonal only and are turned off in the fall (exact dates vary; because each station's dates depend on temperatures, the rim and Supai Tunnel are turned off first). Please note that due to random acts of erosion causing pipeline breaks, potable water stations should be considered a gift and not relied upon. Check trailhead signage prior to descending and always bring an alternative and lightweight form of water treatment. From Roaring Springs to the Colorado River the trail is never far from water that can be filtered or treated with chemicals.

Campsites
At-large camping is not permitted on the North Kaibab Trail; visitors must camp in designated campgrounds: Cottonwood Campground (CCG) located near the trail's halfway point 7 miles from the North Kaibab trailhead, or Bright Angel Campground (CBG) located immediately adjacent to the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon and 14 miles from the North Kaibab trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-03-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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  • 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.

Most recent of 50 deeper Triplog Reviews
North Kaibab Trail
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Day 1: First in line for the hikers' express shuttle at the Bright Angel Lodge by 3:45 am! One other person ended up showing at that stop. :lol: Different experience from the past (maybe because it's August). On SK trail by 4:40 am. Sunrise, around an hour later, was indescribable. Got to Phantom Ranch around 9 am and took a quick snack break. First time up North Kaibab and we were immediately blown away with the extreme beauty when we entered "the box". It was warm but actually a pretty perfect temperature at that time. We took another break at one of the creek crossings to filter cold creek water and cool down. Met the 2nd park ranger of the day who was giving hikers heat-hiking advice. Those rangers must deal with a lot. :-k We continued on and hit the Ribbon Falls creek trail sign around 11:30 am. It was getting pretty darn hot at that point and Ribbon Falls was the PERFECT oasis to cool down at. The hike to the falls took us about a half-hour. The distance is super short but there are many trails and some are more reasonable than others to follow. Ribbon Falls is out of this world beautiful! We had the place completely to ourselves for two hours while we played in the little cave and relaxed behind the falls. With our water bladders filled and our body temps cooled, we decided to head out and break at each of the (approximately) mile and a half spaced campgrounds ahead. There were a couple other waterfalls we stopped at to make use of the cold water and one with a great freezing cold pool close to the Manzanita Ranger Station. Waived hello to Roaring Springs falls around 5 pm and kept plugging away up the ever increasing grade. From here the side canyon we were heading up, paralleling the rock outcropping the north rim lodge sits on, kept getting prettier and prettier. As the sun went down the colors reflected in the canyon seemed to continuously change. The final few miles of N Kaibab are RELENTLESS! :sweat: Holy moly! Darkness was lovely and I had little bat friends flitting around to keep me company as the vegetation turned to forest forest. I made it to the top around 8:30 pm thinking my two friends were close behind. It was freeeeezing at the top and I immediately put on every piece of clothing I had. My friends arrived about a half hour later and one was feeling pretty bad & ended up throwing up. Unfortunately she had stopped consuming electrolytes once the sun went behind the canyon walls and didn't think about how much she was still sweating. I convinced her to eat some of my saltstick chewables and we made it to the lodge. :y:

Day 2: Woke up in our adorable little cabin feeling surprisingly good! We spent the day leisurely walking around the north rim and of course hitting up the lodge for food food and more food. Loved all the delicious vegan options offered for all three meals at the lodge! :DANCE: Our one friend who experienced heat exhaustion the previous evening ended up securing a spot on the shuttle for the return trip the next day instead of hiking back with us. We were grateful she had that option at the last minute and happy she was feeling better.

Day 3: We got to the N Kaibab TH at 4 am and started our decent. It was cool but more pleasant than the evening of our arrival. We got to the bridge around 5:30 am and light was starting to really expose the canyon colors. Stopped briefly to appreciate the colors in the caves area but no breaks this time around. I'm not going to lie...my calves were tight and my knees were screaming pretty loudly during the entire decent. Up is definitely my preference! We entered "the box" around 10 am (an hour later than our way in) and felt the heavy humid air sucking the energy out of me fo sho. Got to Phantom Ranch around 11:30 am and bought some cups of ice to add to our bladders and took our first break. Stayed for about a half hour and headed out with the intention of stopping at each resthouse area to cool down. Next stop was the beautiful little beach near the Colorado River Resthouse. We met a large family who hiked down just for the day to cook out & hang. They had multiple grills, leftover onions, potatoes, etc. They had packed it in and they were packing it all out (as we all should but unfortunately people don't always). Impressive! Now for the final stretch. We stopped at Indian Gardens around 3 pm and filtered cold water for the last time and cooled down. Heading up Bright Angel...I will never get over that view with the light streaming in and illuminating the angel. No words. The Bright Angel switchbacks feel like cake compared to the North Kaibab switchbacks. Still, our bodies were pretty exhausted at this point and we were moving pretty slowly. It's fun encountering tourists who have only hiked down a mile and a half and don't seem to understand they are blocking the entire trail for exhausted hikers who can't deal with navigating them right now. :lol: My friend made it to the top just before me and was treated to the sight of two mountain goats standing on a rock with a ray of light shinning on them! I saw the picture but missed the goats. Still, I was extremely happy for her to have had such a special treat!
North Kaibab Trail
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Another winter assent of a popular summer hiking trail. I used microspikes the entire trail as the meadow had man made snow and much if the trail had hard ice after the first rock slide. The trail was easily passable to the saddle. There wasn’t much of a trail from the saddle to the peak, only foot prints. There were often two sets of tracks and the the game became picking the right one. Temps started out at 21 in the parking lot to 30 at top, according to my thermometer. Lots of wind on the ridge to the peak. Not many others the trail.... photos in photoset #2
North Kaibab Trail
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N to S Rim
Incredible experience. First time at canyon. Weather was good. Most memorable thing is climbing up out of south rim, and looking back to north rim. Looks impassable, yet I had just walked that entire way myself! At times looking up the canyon walls and not seeing how we could get out, as it appeared the way forward wasn't anything besides sheer cliffs. Looking forward to doing again.
North Kaibab Trail
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Spontaneous Rim to Rim trip with one night spent at Phantom Ranch.

This trip came together at the last possible minute. I was working on plans that ultimately fell through and had to look for a backup option. I had the Grand Canyon on my mind. The highs at Phantom were forecasted at 110 and I was questioning if this is a good idea. I thought about it and decided to go for it. I booked a seat on the 8am Trans Canyon Shuttle and drove to the south rim on Friday night and slept in my jeep. I woke on Saturday morning and headed over to the Bright Angel Lodge to check into the shuttle. Once there, I asked if there were any Phantom cancellations. They said yes, there are two private cabins and three bunks in the men’s dorm. I thought this sounded fun so I booked a bunk in the men’s dorm and paid for the 6:30pm dinner of Beef Stew. From there, I loaded up into the shuttle and made the long drive around the canyon.

The shuttle dropped me off at the North Kaibab Trailhead around 12:15pm and I got myself situated. I topped off my water and geared up and started in. Right away I could feel the heat. Direct sunlight was hot and shade was limited. I knew I had to be careful on the hike down. I continued on and the crowds thinned as I worked my way down. I kept a modest pace and took short breaks in the shade. I looked forward to the creek down below.

With some effort I passed Roaring Springs and I stopped for water just above Cottonwood. I soaked my bandana and poured water down my back. I feel good overall and I’m drinking plenty of water. I continued on and passed Cottonwood and I headed for Ribbon Falls where I took a short break by standing directly in the pour over. I was soaked head to toe and felt great! After I had my fill I continued south and had about two miles in constant sunlight. It beat down on me. I wore a long sleeve UPF shirt and I wore sunscreen and my bandana over my neck. All is well. I eventually hit The Box and had mostly shade the rest of the way. It was around 4:30pm and the sun was too low for this canyon. I cruised through this final stretch and arrived at Phantom Ranch around 5:30pm.

I checked in and headed into the men’s dorm. I have just under an hour to dinner so I took a shower and relaxed. The men’s dorm can sleep up to ten and includes a bathroom and a shower. The shower at Phantom Ranch was a first for me and was a real treat! It helped cool me off and brought me back to life. I eventually headed over to the canteena and was herded to a community table for dinner. This dinner is another first and was well worth the 36 bucks! There was plenty of food and the conversation was fun. I enjoyed myself! After dinner, I made the easy loop around the Silver Bridge & Black Bridge. I finished right as nightfall set in. I made a quick stop at the canteena where I paged through Death in the Grand Canyon. Someone has made minor changes & also added home towns for many people. It was interesting to see. From there, I went back to the dorm and turned in for the night.

I slept well all night with ear plugs I bought in the canteena. Guys were getting up at various times throughout the night but I didn’t hear a thing. I woke at 5:30am and was surprised to see I was the last one up. Most of the guys left and others were having breakfast. I geared up and topped off water and then started the hike out at 5:45am. The hike out went well. I set a moderate pace and took lots of short breaks in shade. I topped off my water at Indian Garden and took a short break. From there I climbed out. The sun was hot but tolerable. I topped out around 9:45am and headed back to Phoenix.

This was a hell of a hike and I’m glad I took the time and spent the money to make it happen. The spontaneity was the best part. The heat was brutal but tolerable. The key is avoiding direct sunlight whenever possible. And I'm calling this a backpack.

North Kaibab Trail
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Rim to Rim to Rim
For whatever reason, I had been craving another R2R2R since my last one in October and I finally got it out of my system yesterday. Perhaps against my better judgement, I decided to start the run at midnight. After forgetting my hat in the car and making the cab driver loop back to get it (by the way, the recent construction in Canyon village sucks), I didn't officially get started down S. Kaibab until 12:22 am. I knew the next few hours were going to test my nerves, and they did just that! Running in the dark is a challenge in and of itself, but doing so with a gaping hole next to you and bats swarming around your head really ups the ante. By the time I started my climb up N. Kaibab trail, I was more comfortable with the dark and was kind of enjoying it. Running next to Bright Angel creek and hearing nothing but the sound of the water flowing and my footsteps pounding was one of the most peaceful experiences I've had. The climb out of Cottonwood Campground to the top of the North Rim didn't feel too bad and I was making great time. The toughest part of the hike, in my opinion, is the ~1-1.5 miles before you hit the Supai Tunnel, which marks 1.7 miles to the top. My eyes were playing tricks on me and I was POSITIVE that I saw the tunnel around every turn. Ten or so switchbacks later, I finally did see it, and the next couple miles were smooth sailing. I made it to the North Rim in 5 hrs 40 min, 20 min faster than last time. I only spent ~4-5 minutes on top of the rim because it was so chilly, and wanted to catch the best part of the sunrise from the Coconino Overlook a little ways back down the trail.

The run down N. Kaibab to Phantom Ranch was really enjoyable. I felt great and was able to run 100% of the way (last time I mostly hiked this part because it was hot and my legs were pretty dead on the downhills). The trail was thankfully in the shade of the canyon for this whole stretch, and the early morning colors were magical. I probably wasted a little too much time taking photos, but I made up for it by keeping a 9-9:30 min pace the whole way down. The trail was totally empty until about a mile or so outside Phantom Ranch, and I knew I would miss this solitude on my hike out BA. As expected, the hike out BA was sunny, hot, crowded, and generally a slog. The tourists were worse than usual yesterday and I had to throw a couple elbows to people not following proper trail etiquette (hikers coming up get right of way!!). I was motivated to finish strong and win a bet with @friendofThundergod, and managed to average 20 min miles from Indian Garden to the top. After finishing, I stopped at the General Store for my usual: turkey, carrots, and coffee ice cream :), and started the long drive home. I'm so happy that I smoked my last R3 time, and I think my thirst for this run has finally been quenched.

NOTE: Water is ON at Phantom Ranch, Manzanita, North Rim, and Indian Garden.
North Kaibab Trail
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I headed to the Grand Canyon with @carriejane over the New Years weekend. The goals were: Hippie Camp in Upper Phantom, a recon of the Shiva exit route, a quick trip up Haunted Canyon and then Cheops Pyramid. The trip was also a test run on my surgically repaired shoulder, which is nearing its fourth month of recovery and long awaited end to its five pound limitation/restriction.

Day one included a late start and then an extra trip down the road to the trailhead to go back and grab some containers we had forgotten that would be needed to haul the water for our dry camp on day two. South Kaibab was a bit of a zoo, but the hiking was quick and the views were nice as usual. The Utah Flats Route was the rugged steep little climb we expected, but it went well. The stretch from the top to Phantom Canyon was a real treat, some great clouds and big views. The scramble down to Phantom was a little tedious, but that initial stretch of canyon makes it worthwhile. Initially, we had planned to hike into Hippie camp on the first night, but the attractiveness of the overhang camp and taking off the heavy packs won over.

On day two we day hiked up to Hippie camp and did a quick recon of the Shiva Exit Route, which I have to admit looks pretty intense, but I would still like to utilize it on a future ambitious trip. Although Hippie camp was a minor let down, the area intrigued both of us and we discussed a potential future return during snow melt. There was no time for Haunted Canyon with Cheops Pyramid still on the slate, so we returned to camp, packed up and made our way down stream. After a quick visit to the rope and falls that mark the upper and lower divide of Phantom, we filtered and stocked up on water for Cheops and our upcoming dry camp. Then it was the brisk climb back up U.F.R. and a quick stroll across the Tonto. We dropped the heavy packs and started off for Cheops at about 2:10 p.m. The off trail contour to the pyramid is a bit of a slog, but it seemed to go by quickly and before we knew it we were at the base of the “steps.” This part went a little smoother for me than the last time and we located the little climbs and the cairns marking them with relative ease. On the summit before 3:30 p.m. and after a ten minute break or so we were heading back down. The hike back to our packs was a little slow, but we were still able to retrieve our packs and make our way down trail to a nice campsite just before nightfall.

Day three consisted of slipping and sliding down Utah Flats into Phantom Ranch and then the River Trail to Bright Angel. We detoured off BA to do some of the Old Bright Angel and made the obligatory stop at the archeological site along the way. The last three miles of BA were a major slog for me, but Carrie was unfazed and left me in the dust a little.

North Kaibab Trail
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Grand Canyon R2R - N Kaibab to Bright Angel
I survived my first Rim-to-Rim :D

The North Rim Lodge is a real treat! It is not crowded, and the building is far more stunning than the South Rim buildings.

Due to some misunderstandings on my part, I was scrambling around the North Rim Lodge looking for the trailhead and got separated from my group. Somehow I had convinced myself the trail at the back of the North Rim Lodge would connect to a rim-traversible path. It didn't. I ended up catching a complimentary shuttle to the trailhead and ended up running the first several miles of the North Kaibab to catch up with my group. It was a mite chilly at the trailhead: low 30's. I caught up some of the group members, and it seemed like they were following an every-man-for-himself type of trip style (they didn't even realize they had left me back at the lodge), so I followed suit.

The pack-animals at Phantom Ranch looked rougher than any I've seen in Havasupai, btw.

I wasn't able to run much after Phantom Ranch. The Devil's corkscrew really kicked my patootie, too! The pathway I took was North Kaibab directly to the Bright Angel. I wonder if perhaps North Kaibab :next: South Kaibab :next: Tonto East :next: Bright Angel is more pleasant :-k

I was having a hard time keeping from ralphing near to Phantom Ranch and then again at the last 3 miles of the Bright Angel--from over-exertion due to the running, I gather (as opposed to sunstroke or heat exhaustion).

I left an hour after my group, and I still ended up beating all but 4 of the 25 to the top (would've only been beaten by two of them had I just tossed my cookies and kept moving near the end, too).

I took the shuttle over to Mather's campground to take a shower after, and then I headed back to Bright Angel Lodge for some ginger ale for my poor tumtum, but I ran into my group in the parking lot: "Get in the van, Nathan." Fortunately, they hadn't been waiting too long, and I smelled wonderful. :)
North Kaibab Trail
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Day hike with 5 great Canyon hiker companions, Jamie Compos, Doug Nering, Erik Baldwin, Frank Feagans and Adrian Jantzi. (Somehow they all managed to keep up with me ;) :lol: )

Started on "the old road" that heads down the small drainage that leads to Kendrick Trail's Ice Box Meadow. This old road can be found at the junction of the Point Imperial and Cape Royal turnoffs. (Check a map)

We then followed Kendrick just about a mile to the Old BA Trailhead.

Lots or fresh lion sign and scat on Kendrick and multiple more signal below along OBA

The top 50ft of Old BA are Probably the most "difficult" part of the old trail.
There is however a switch back at the very top (on the rim) hidden by gambel oak...if you can find that hidden switchback you can easily follow it along a gentle slope for that "difficult 50ft".

We didn't so that...so we slipped and slid and hooted and hollered for 50ft until the next incredibly obvious section of trail.

From there on out it was smooth sailing all the way to Roaring Springs!
The sign says 7 miles... we're not sure it's that much but hey, that's what the sign says ;)
We were guessing maybe 5.5 miles at the most it was a long steep route but definitely not 7mi...or is it?!?

The Redwall rim has a sweet clear "stream" in it right now and we enjoyed cooling off in that by splashing like children from the edge..

The Redwall rim traverse was my favorite part, very very easy to follow (I'll post pics of that later) but absolutely gorgeous views, wonderful day and such great company!

Sneaking through the Muave was fun and led us to a "secret stream" I heard some folks call it Emmett Creek?
Any HAZzers ever heard of that?

Winding out along the east wall in Muave ls and BA Shalethe power lines came into view and the dull roar of roaring Springs was finally clear.

We leapt across Tapeats ledges to get to a large sunny flat of Tapeats for lunch break and water fun. We then headed to the pumphouse where Jamie presented the 12 beers he'd stashed in his pack early that morning.

It wasn't until the Redwall along North Kaibab Trail that we pulled out the 32oz Refuge IPA and celebrated the day properly!

From the pumphouse was saw deer at Roaring Springs and danced on the helipad and got nauseated by the chlorine gas from the filtration station we were near.
After beers we crawled up a slope (not the trail of course) and somehow managed to reach NK trail and up up we went.

Ended the day with pizza and beer and wine at the North Rim Employee Pub.
North Kaibab Trail
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Down S. Kaibab, across Clear Creek Trail, then bushwhack to the base of Cheyava Falls. Clear Creek was running higher and browner than usual. Had to walk through it quite a few times. Returned to the rim via Bright Angel Trail. There was a large rock slide along the River Trail last week but NPS already cleared it.
North Kaibab Trail
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Ribbon Falls
Alex and I scored some walk-in permits at the Canyon on our way to Utah to visit our families for Christmas. The forecast called for rain all day, and it had rained all night at our campsite just outside Tusayan.

There was no snow in the village, but about an inch of snow at the SK TH when we got started. No ice on the trail, just lots of mud. Most of the canyon was hidden from us on the way down.

I had a few options in mind, but kept the itinerary loose until we set up camp at Bright Angel Campground. Alex hadn't seen Ribbon Falls yet and since the weather wasn't conducive to anything "extreme" we decided to take that option. It was a dreary walk along North Kaibab because we still couldn't see much of anything due to the rain and low clouds.

We made great time reaching Ribbon Falls in about 2 hours from Bright Angel Campground. We explored around the falls a little bit, ate some snacks, snapped a few photos and headed back to BAC. The sky was growing considerably dark by this point, and I knew we were in for some serious downpour. So far it was mostly just drizzling to light rain. Alex had left his poncho at the campground and I was a little worried with the cold that he might get into a bad situation.

When we joined back up with North Kaibab and started heading back, we could see the wall of dark clouds making its way up the canyon. I wished Alex good luck, and pulled out my umbrella to prepare for the downpour. About 10 minutes later we were running down the trail getting soaked. I managed to keep my upper body pretty dry because of the umbrella but my legs were soaking and freezing cold.

The rain eventually let up, and the sun finally made its appearance. There were rainbows, and numerous waterfalls along The Box. The canyon was shining like a jewel! It was actually a rather magical moment for such a "casual" canyon trip. The sun not only warmed our bones, but also our souls. :lol:

The next morning we broke camp and headed out via Bright Angel. I hadn't been on the lower stretch from BAC to IGC. We tagged Plateau Point on the way out before the true slog up BA from IGC to the top. The clouds had finally cleared enough that we could see snow on the South Rim, Brahma, Isis, and the very tops of many of the other Grand Canyon summits. The North Rim was still hidden from view, though. We kept a pretty nice pace on the ascent after Plateau Point, and never had to stop. We made it out in around 4.5 hours, from camp to rim, including the PP detour.

Yet another enjoyable Grand Canyon trip.

Foliage
Past peak at Phantom, and most trees are leaf less elsewhere.

Permit $$
no fees or permits reported

if incorrect tell us about it


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To North Kaibab Trailhead
The North Kaibab trailhead is located 41 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67 (1.5 miles north of Grand Canyon Lodge). A small parking area offers limited parking. Transportation is available from the Grand Canyon Lodge (twice each morning; check at the lodge for times and fares) or, for those staying at North Rim Campground, it is a half-mile walk to the trailhead. Hikers on a rim-to-rim hike and who have only one vehicle often use the private Trans-Canyon Shuttle (928-638-2820), which provides service between the North Rim (departs around 6 a.m.) and the South Rim (departs around 1 p.m.) daily from May 15 to October 15. North Rim park facilities (lodge, store, gas station) close on October 15, but Highway 67 remains open to vehicle traffic until winter conditions preclude access. Visitors should be prepared for road closure anytime after October 15, but often Highway 67 remains open into November. Once closed Highway 67 remains so until May 15. It is not possible to reach the trailhead by vehicle before May 15.

Bright Angel Point Trailhead: This trailhead is somewhere around the Grand Canyon Lodge. Trail takes off southward. HAZ needs more information on the exact location. Looks like the a spur trail goes around the cabins to the parking lot too.

Transept Trailhead: North Rim Campground near the General Store

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 354 mi - about 6 hours 25 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 459 mi - about 7 hours 55 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 208 mi - about 4 hours 18 mins
3 pack - loud whistle
safety first
help comment issue

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