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Upper Ribbon Falls, AZ

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Guide 10 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
4.3 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.85 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,717 feet
Elevation Gain 472 feet
Accumulated Gain 534 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.63
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
21  2018-09-21
Rim to Rim
19  2017-09-23
Rim to Rim and Upper Ribbon Falls
14  2016-12-25
Ribbon - Upper Ribbon Falls
29  2014-09-19
North Kaibab Trail
12  2013-07-20 Hansenaz
15  2010-05-16
Rim to Rim
14  2006-10-24 Al_HikesAZ
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   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct
Sun  6:14am - 6:30pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
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This hike is listed as One-Way.

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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 Triplog Reviews
Upper Ribbon Falls
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First off... Bagged it!!!

Day 1: Jamie and I left South Kaibab TH around 7:30am made it to Phantom by 10am.
Up North Kaibab with a stop at Phantom Creek and the pretty falls there. (Note: don't drink from phantom creek untreated!! Bleh!)
Continued on to Ribbon Falls and Upper Ribbon Falls. I climbed up into Upper Ribbon and tested the depth of the pool quickly finding it to be half a hippy deep!! Set up at Cottonwood Camp well before sunset. Watched the moon rise over One night short of being Full!

Day 2: loaded up with 6 liters of water EACH then Jamie led the way back down almost to the Ribbon Falls bridge. Not far up trail from there we took a sharp left and plowed our way up a steep ridge of shale-y hell!! The initial 300ft of this ridge made me want to vomit especially with the extra water in my pack!
After what felt like a full transformation into a bighorn sheep we began a rather "easy" traverse deep into this side canyon. Shortly in you'll come across some cairns that cross the drainage and lead you up up up closer to the redwall! Almost there!!

The redwall break was boulders and trees and a few itty chimneys. Basically even with the bulky backpack I was having the time of my life! Very last little up climb Jamie went first and we hauled our packs up then I scrambled up smiling like a fool.
Up through the Supai to a GORGEOUS false saddle contour toward a very obvious supai break on the other side of this bowl up up up and BAM!! The most stunning campsite EVER. We arrived with 3 hours left until sunset on Brahma-Deva Saddle. Full Moon rose tonight...oh man...I might've cried. Watching the moon light up the entire canyon from way up there tucked away in this saddle between giants...

Day 3: we were lazy yesterday so opted to pack up camp and summit our Temple this morning. A scramble up the Supai the usual slip n slide up the Coconino,across a boulder field of bitey kaibab limestone then through a very convenient little coco chute with a happy beckoning pinyon pine shading our way then poof! Youre up!

A few minutes walk north into the trees and you find yourself at the least impressive summit register ever...
This was Jamie's first temple back in 2012 the register he signed has since been removed. A nalgene bottle with a crappy little notebook has replaced it. Only one other signature from 2014. Nothing exciting but oh the views were insane!!! We signed the book, cracked open our IPA (which I managed to spill shortly thereafter...luckily we both had a few swigs and he's still talking to me!) Then we were off are completing my usual exploratory summit circuit, more sliding down, rearranged our gear and packs (which we had cached near the supai break near the saddle this was our exit point toward Clear Creek.)
Down the Supai, traverse the redwall rim to another awesome redwall break on the east ish side of Brahma!! Have any of you been here?? Cuz you really should go. Its a blast! Boulders and chimneys and rabbit holes and chutes and pack lowering. Oh my!
The descent went by fast. We were in a sweet drainage that ended above Clear Creek camp in a massive Tapeats pouroff! We backtracked and followed a sheep route IP and over right onto the Clear Creek Trail. Sun had set by now but we walked on west in the last glow of daylight. We set up camp in the dark in the arms of Zoroaster Canyon. Did I mention time of my life?? Moon rise sneaking over Wotan's Throne. :)

Day 4: late start at 10am!! Made it to Phantom by 1pm. Almost 2 hours of coffee and lemonade and tons of junk food!! Ohmygod summer sausages tasted like heaven. Oh yeah remember those 6L each of water we had? Down to 1/4 liter when we got to phantom! Perfect!
Up and out bright angel followed by showers clean clothes and lots of beer tequila and burritos at Plaza Bonita!

To summarize: BAGGED MY FIRST TEMPLE WHOOOO! And best canyon trip ever by far.
Upper Ribbon Falls
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It's been about 6 weeks since Brad and I did this awesome two day hike to celebrate his 42nd birthday, but I haven't been able to post the triplog until now. I wrote about the man who lost his life on the HAZ Forum, and I still pray nightly for his surviving kids. But for this triplog, I am going to celebrate the two days that we had on our canyon adventure.

We started planning a year ahead of time and are lucky that his parents are healthy enough to fly to stay with the kids while we were gone. Brad started calling Phantom Ranch and he would call every Saturday and every Sunday for months. He wanted to hike from the NRim down to PR - spend the night - then back out. But without PR reservation we were going to go to Roaring Springs like we did in 2005. Brad was on some kind of mid-life crisis type of mission to get to PR before our knees or some other ailment kept us from going "one more time". Neither one of us is sick in any way - so I'm not sure why he felt such pressure - but his persistence paid off!! Two weeks before the trip there was a cancellation and we got a night in a CABIN for goodness sakes.

The hike down N Kaibab was beautiful and some of the maples were changing. Our pace was reasonable and we were predicted to get to PR by around 4pm. I had been doing Tom's Thumb all summer long to train and I felt like all that work paid off. We are not R2R kind of people - so our goals for the hike were to enjoy the view and soak it all in. The joggers are a new thing compared to the last time we hiked to the bottom in 2004 - - moving to the side for them over and over gets old pretty fast.

We did a side trip over to Ribbon Falls - WOW! Gorgeous! Although Brad napped while I went up behind the waterfall. If I was a college aged kid with a person of the opposite sex . . . holy moley that place is begging for a good make out session. As I walked back down there was a pack of young French guys ripping their clothes off to get in the water and it looked like the beginning of a racy NC-17 movie with subtitles. I averted my eyes and got back on the trail. :whistle:

About another mile later was the very sad 2.5 hour attempted rescue of the 46 year old hiker from Indiana. After we had given our report to the investigators, we were the only people at the scene who were headed to PR. Now we were definitely going to miss dinner and I had it stuck in my head that they were going to give away our cabin and we wouldn't have anywhere to stay. I was sobbing for a while just rehashing the events as I walked as fast as my body could go to avoid hiking in the dark. I don't even really remember much of that next hour or so.

We did make it to PR about 6:30pm - and our cabin was fine - and they had saved dinner for us but we had to come back at the 8pm opening to get it. So we showered and popped ibuprofen and talked about the day. The dinner was great but a little weird to have everyone else staring at us eating it who was there for beer and snacks.

Next day after inhaling breakfast we took off back up North Kaibab. I am very proud that I did not have ANY blisters in the two day trek. Lots of stops, mole skin, and pouring water on each other. My brain was over it all after taking pics at Coconino Overlook and that last little bit to the top just felt like forever.

Back to the Grand Lodge for one night before driving home the next day - we got a fantastic pizza dinner at the Deli in the Pines. We had dinner reservations but used them to just have birthday dessert. Mice in the cabin kept us from sleeping very well but all in all was a great end to a great trip. I hope our knees hold up to do this trip again with the kids in 10 years - or maybe we'll have new titanium knees by then ;)

cottonwoods still green, but few maples close to Coconino Overlook were red
Upper Ribbon Falls
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Took the "less popular" detour to Upper Ribbon Falls while travelling from the North Rim to Phantom Ranch. The trail is faint as it leaves the bridge to the north but can't be missed as it diagonals back up the hill. Near the top leave the trail to get a great view of Ribbon Falls.

It's a nice walk up the valley to a beautiful falls. I sat in the pool at the bottom to cool off! That welcome effect in mid-July wore off by the time we made it back to the N.Kaibab Trail.
Upper Ribbon Falls
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Upper Ribbon Falls
Leaving Phantom Ranch we were greeted by a small herd of Bighorn. They rocketed back up the hill. Amazing how they can climb. We huddled close to the hill to avoid the cascade of rocks. A little bit farther into The Box, we chatted with several men fishing for trout. They said they were catching some Rainbows and Brownies.

From Phantom Ranch we hiked the 3 miles through The Box then about 2 1/2 miles to the cut-off over the creek. This cut-off avoids the up & down over the appropriately named Assinine Hill. We crossed the creek but did not find the trail so we continued up the creek to Ribbon Falls. Enjoyed Ribbon Falls then went looking for the route to Upper Ribbon Falls.

To find Upper Ribbon Falls, we went to the Footbridge and then started looking to the north for a faint trail. Found this faint trail and we were surprised that it turned to the north-northwest. After about 50 yds it turned west toward the hill. The trail is actually a constructed trail that scrambles up the hill to the face of the wall and then climbs southerly just below this wall about 1/3 mile and about 300 feet. One switchback and we were at the crest of the saddle. The trail flattened out along a wall to the north of the creek and opened into a big valley with lots of cottonwoods and scrub oak. We were really surprised to see the beauty of this valley. We did not explore down to look at Ribbon Falls from above, I'll do that some trip in the future. Continued about 1/2 mile to the first creek crossing. We did not find a trail from this point. Worked our way up the creek about another 1/8 mile to the falls crossing the creek a couple of times. We think we saw the Ruins to the south by the falls, but we did not have time to explore and confirm. We had to get back to Phantom Ranch for dinner.

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