The Best Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park

4,943 Triplog Reviews in the Grand Canyon National Park
Most recent of 1,565 deeper Triplog Reviews
35 mi • 8,000 ft aeg
Rain two weeks before, provided lots of pools after dropping into the drainage at the Esplanade Route junction (36.16399, -112.43436). Pools continued through Royal Arch Creek. Did not do 'ledge of death' and took bypass. Looking at ledge route from the other side, it appears a boulder has fallen just past the ledge. Not sure if it is obstructing the route or not. Some pools nearing the Royal Arch required bypasses or swimming. Campsites at arch high on East and West walls. Rappel was a mess of anchors and ropes left behind. Removed old webbing and 1 rope before building new anchor. Pools too salty at 36.20404, -112.42526. Campsites high against wall before dropping into Garnett Canyon. Large pools in Garnett. Tonto mostly dry, a few small pools along the way (did not test for salinity). Overall loop and South Bass were thick with brush. Wash outs along Tonto and South Bass. Would recommend wagbags for camping in Royal Arch Drainage and light weight gloves for protection from rocks while rock hopping for hours. The drive is still closed.
16.2 mi • 4,523 ft aeg
Celina has been wanting to do a hike in the Grand Canyon for years now, and we finally made it happen. Got started at 0500, temps at 36 degrees, and snowing like crazy, but luckily not much wind as soon as we dropped below the rim. Somewhat heavy snow for the first two miles, then light snow and graupel for the next mile. Talked to a guy at the three mile rest house who had spent a very cold night huddled in the stone building due to overestimating his hiking abilities the day prior. He was in a surprisingly good mood, considering his circumstances.

Finally got to the river at Pipe Creek Beach around 1030. Celina wanted to continue to Phantom Ranch, but I talked her out of it, telling her that at the pace she was currently going, she was already looking at a 5pm finish and adding on Phantom would have her finishing in the dark. She wasn’t thrilled, but knew I was not going to Phantom, so we headed back uphill after a nice break.

As expected, slow but steady pace back uphill. Celina was running out of steam after Indian Garden but she kept moving. The final three miles were her toughest, and she agreed that skipping Phantom was the right call. We finished up shortly after 1630 and the rim was only two degrees warmer than when we had started. I don’t think temps exceeded 60 for us at all throughout the hike. Overall a gorgeous weather day, and there were far less people on the trail, even at the top, than I expected to see on a Sunday.

Foliage
The cottonwoods are still green, but a few of the smaller ones are just barely starting to turn.
45 mi • 7,500 ft aeg
Deer / Kanab loop
This one had been on the list since I first visited Deer Creek years ago, and finally decided to give it a go. The original plan was to go to Deer Creek, then do two aggressive days to get to Showerbath, and then take it easy on the way out, with an extra night in the Kanab Creek Wilderness. But I hadn't communicated that intent clearly to a couple of the participants, and they were planning on 4 days. I communicated better with my other friends, who planned for up to five nights, so we just figured we could split up after Showerbath.

Camped at a nice campsite a mile from Sowats, dropped a couple cars in the morning, then headed to Indian Hollow, since most of us had already seen Bill Hall trail.

Friday - Indian Hollow to Deer Creek - ~12.5 miles

The first part of this was new to me. Nothing particularly noteworthy, although it was nice getting views of the area from a different angle. Cranberry Canyon really stuck out. Once on the esplanade, the walking was easy, and before we knew it, we were at the Bill Hall junction, where it becomes a superhighway. Got a little hot down in Surprise Valley. One member of our party was struggling a little bit by the descent into Deer Creek, which we had chalked up to lack of sleep, or the heat (they didn't get to Sowats until 3am due to a closure on 89 which required a significant detour). A group of 3 beat us to the campsite and took the nice big area, although they were cool enough and I set my tent up in one of the outlying parts of the big site. Talked to them a little about various canyon adventures we've done. This would be the only day when we would have any amount of "chill" time in the afternoon.

Saturday - Deer Creek to Kanab Creek - ~9.5 miles

Woke up at 5:30am because we knew we'd need all day for the hike to Kanab Creek. NPS insists this stretch is 11 miles, but my GPS had it right at 9.5, and we all know GPS tends to overestimate in canyons. In reality it's probably about 9.

We bypassed the narrows, although nobody in my group seemed to like my decision to do that. Why would we do something harder than necessary? I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to narrow shelves with a heavy pack.

Once off the main trail, things started getting rough. The path away from the overlook is pretty rough, but not too bad until we got to the river and started picking our way through rocks. Then under a cliff band, and out where we could see the tapeats cliff we'd have to traverse over. At this point, our guy who was struggling yesterday started cramping up. Other friend suggested they turn around (which was the right decision, as we still had about 7 hours of hiking left), so it was down to three of us, and I'd now be doing this trip in four days.

The traverse across the top of the tapeats was by far the easiest stretch of the day, and it was over too soon. After Fishtail it got downright miserable, and I never thought I'd appreciate walking on sand so much. Fortunately it was also mostly shady after Fishtail, on account of the sun being below the opposite cliffs. "Peak BS" occurred about a mile and a half before Kanab, when I narrowly avoided falling into the river thanks to some impossibly strong grass. Would've gone above the cliff had I known what awaited us down there. After that gem of a stretch, the walking got a lot easier the rest of the way to Kanab, which took us a full nine hours from Deer Creek.

It started getting really gusty right before Kanab, so we wanted to find a more sheltered location than right at the confluence. Around the first bend, dropped packs to scout around, and we were getting a bit discouraged, when I found a nice bench at the 2nd bend with some grassy clearings that could easily accommodate our tents, with some mesquites that could maybe provide some meager protection. I declared this our best option, and it actually turned out to be a spot the strongest winds largely avoided. When we went to bed, I discovered my new sleeping pad is garbage, and managed to pop on nothing sharp at all.

Sunday - Lower Kanab to Showerbath Spring - ~10 miles

Gave ourselves an extra half hour until alarm time this morning, which was nice because the drizzle was just ending. We knew this would be another hard day, but we saw the creek in the morning and the prospects were worse. It was several inches higher, and silty. That meant the 100 or so creek crossings would be deeper and require us to check every step. Fun.

The nice thing is it was a heck of a lot more enjoyable than the nonsense along the Colorado.

Stopped at the Whispering Falls grotto for a break, and I took advantage of its clear water for filtering. Kanab had some stretches of easy hiking, and then a few stretches of utter nonsense that let us know that a serious injury could be just one bad step away. Getting to Scotty's Hollow seemed to take forever, and by the time we did, it was almost 4pm, so we didn't have a lot of time to explore it. Just went up to the falls for a quick look.

The rest of the way to Showerbath wasn't too bad compared to earlier in the day, and we got to camp with a good hour of sunlight left. Found the nice campsite a little ways upstream from Showerbath. It was considerably colder this evening than previous nights, but we were happy to have the hard stuff out of the way, and presumably easier walking the next day. Still, we were so tired that we didn't stay up super late, and the three of us couldn't even manage to kill the full 12oz of high proof bourbon I had left.

Monday - Sowats Point via Jumpup and Kwangunk Hollow - ~13 miles

We woke up early again (5:30am) since they had to drive home after, and of course the creek was nice and clear again now that we had the hard stuff out of the way. Barely had to get my feet wet the rest of the way, and the rest of Kanab Creek felt like a dream. Got to Jumpup before 9am.

Jumpup was really impressive, and one of my favorite parts of the trip. There were several flowing springs - not sure if they're all reliable, or if it was just because of the rain. Got to Indian Hollow, but didn't really explore it since we were on a schedule.

Kwangunk started out a little messy, and I was starting to dread it, but once at the bypass to the large pour-offs, things got more interesting. There was a really nice campsite between the two large pouroffs, and then a third (smaller) pouroff where we got to do our only real wall climb of the trip. Great handholds, so a novice climber like myself had no issues, although I'd probably consider lowering the pack if I were going the other direction. I actually really enjoyed Kwangunk Hollow overall, despite slightly less easy walking than Jumpup (but easier than lower Kanab).

Before we knew it, we were at the cottonwood thicket, and back on official trail. The climb out was a grind, but over quickly. Got to the cars at around 2:30pm, and I decided I may as well just drive home since I could get there at a reasonable hour (plus it was freezing up there at this point, and I had no sleeping pad). The muddy road back from Sowats Point provided a bonus adventure, fortunately nobody got stuck.

This was a ridiculously hard route, one that I'm glad I did, but won't do again. The Kanab Creek Wilderness definitely warrants some future exploration, however. The last leg of this trip was by far the most enjoyable (even though the mileage was highest and it had the most climbing).
45 mi • 8,000 ft aeg
I originally got this permit for a Salt-Tanner trip but couldn't find a ride after some last-minute changes. Instead I went in and out Tanner, which was still nice.

Day 1: Met lots of folks on their ways down Tanner. The camps in the lower Supai and above the Redwall are nice but I've never taken the time to stay in one. I had a quick break at Tanner beach before continuing onto Beamer.

The river was very low and new sandbars were showing. I spent a nice hour playing in the water below Palisades and waiting out the heat of the day. Nevertheless, I was still hot climbing onto the Tapeats around 3:30pm (I swear, 3pm is the hottest part of the day for me! But the park only emphasizes 10-2).

After a couple of miles shade from Temple/ Chuar buttes fell over the Beamer trail and I felt better. As the sun was setting I saw it glint off the desert view tower. It's fun looking back at how far you've come in just one day. I reached the beach below the confluence just before I would have needed my headlamp. My company was friendly and we chatted a bit about canyon routes and watched the stars.

Day 2: I hiked to the viewpoint above the confluence early and watched the "alpenglow" on the buttes/ rim opposite. After a while I continued upstream - after all, I still had a permit for the salt trail. I found the Beamer cabin (*cough* something's waiting for a Brooks inside). There was a decent bootpath for a few miles, probably helped by all the USGS research folks. There was a lot of debris and trash from recent flashing upstream. I found tracks that look like mountain lion, which is surprising because I didn't know they got down to the river.

I returned and packed up my camp around 11. A raven had attacked my rat sack - it didn't get food but it ripped my ziplocks and left me with a real mess. Beamer was hot again but there were shady spots in the ravines. It's all well and good where you're walking above the river and have a nice breeze, but when you turn into the drainages the direct angle of the sun fries you. I overdid things a little and ended up retching after one of the bigger ravines. I also drank water much faster than usual. I was happy to return to my sandbar below Palisades. Then I made the quick hike back to Tanner just before dark. Tanner beach was crowded.... I suspect some parties were meant to be in Cardenas but overlooked that detail on their maps.

Day 3: I started up Tanner trail just after sunrise. After the previous two days, I didn't want to be caught in the heat again. I was in the Muav by the time the sun hit me. I saw several runners heading down to do Escalante, which didn't seem the safest in that weather or with that relatively late start (I'd also start at New Hance if pushing Escalante). I took my sweet time once above the redwall. The climb through the Coconino sucked - big surprise.

I need to stop taking all my favorite snacks into the canyon and expecting to still be able to eat them on the drive home. I was craving more popcorn but stuck with regular ol nuts :(
29 mi • 7,300 ft aeg
We headed back to the Escalante Route to complete some unfinished business from the Spring, Solomon Temple.

We started late Thursday morning from Lipan Point. The hike down Tanner felt a little warm at times and I felt a little out of shape, but we made it to the bottom nevertheless. After reaching the river, we made our way down stream along the Escalante Route and then crossed the river and floated a short stretch to reach Rattlesnake Camp, a popular stop for rafters. The river was running brown, but we had a solid system for drinking the mud water and it did not prove to be the pain we thought it might be.

Solomon went pretty smoothly on the second day, as we had done most of the approach already when we did The Tabernacle in the spring, and the summit proved pretty straightforward. Although, we did take different routes to and from the summit. I think it makes the most sense to utilize the nicely defined use trail to summit the Tabernacle and then make your way down the obvious ridgeline from Tabernacle's summit to the saddle and ridgeline system connecting the two summits. A narrow "use" trail takes you along the steep slopes of Solomon to the obvious break/steep slope that divides the two summits of the Temple. From there, a short traverse to an easy chimney takes you to a series of limestone shelves with a little exposure here and there that lead you to the highest, northern most point of Solomon. We spent a considerable time on the summit taking in the big views up river into the Unkar area and beyond to the Palisades. We replaced the old "register," which consisted of a rusted metal can and a cracked film case, and then headed back down to the river.

We spent our last day getting back across the river and completing the short climb up New Hance. Solomon Temple was my 56th Grand Canyon summit.
21 mi • 4,700 ft aeg
JJ started from the south and I started almost 4hrs later from the north. We did not follow the hide-a-key wisdom, instead electing the fob-for-all approach.

Aspens were lighting up the Kaibab plateau in foliage color. A third to half of the plateau is toast but a healthy dose of medium aspen are scattered through the burn. Foliage seekers or end of rim season'rs had the area packed. A few maples were in the mix, very few.

Several mule trains in the first mile. I passed jj at 5.3 miles down. The creek between the bridges on North Kaibab still holds up as one of my favorite sections of trail anywhere.

Jonny Mogul steps on the South Kaibab are pretty much as I recall.

Fauna
5-year-old rattlesnake on the trail, one duck in the creek, an elephant on my back

Synopsis
Held 3.2mph to the river jogging the flats. I still love the mean ascent of the South Kaibab. Gave it my all, just average. Unlikely an R3 is in my future but never say never. Still great to get back on the N & S Kaibab after an eight-year absence. Jeneve is serious about conserving water.

Foliage
None on the hike. The North rim was blazing bright aspen and maple colors.
21 mi • 6,000 ft aeg
Today marks the 25th anniversary of my Dads passing doing the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim. This year I decided somewhat last minute to go up and hike it again to commemorate his passing. I'm not currently trained up or conditioned to do a R2R2R so decided to just do Rim 2 Rim. I was able to talk Joe into going with me and we worked out a good plan. We drove up early this morning and I would go from South to North. Joe then drove around to the North Rim and would hike in the opposite direction. Then when I finished I came back and picked him up. We finished the hike with a Ceasar salad and a large pizza at Oregano's in Flagstaff and we were back in Phoenix by 10:30PM. Total miles driven was a little over 900 plus a Rim to Rim and back all in the same day. That makes for a full day.

As for the hike the weather was beautiful and there is some nice Fall color over on the North side. It was a bit of a slog coming out the last mile and a half but all in all just a great hike and solid day! Thanks for going and thanks for the assist with the car shuttle Joe. It worked out perfect!
24 mi • 6,000 ft aeg
Took a group out for a nice weekend on Boucher and Hermit. Boucher trail is in decent shape - it is a trail :) The section to dripping springs may have had the worst exposure. Otherwise, Boucher isn't nearly as bad as it looks from the Hermit trail.

NPS reported a big ("football-field size") washout at the supai descent. There was a notable ~40ft section at the start of the supai descent but I have no idea where this huge slide was. The walk along the top of the redwall was pleasant and I was charmed by how natural the redwall descent was. We soaked our feet in the creek before heading to the beach. I located the Boucher cabin and noted lots of piles of little rocks on another terrace - possibly Boucher's old veggie garden.

I'm not sure where boaters pull into the Boucher beach - perhaps it used to be bigger? We had a nice warm evening on the sand then were awoken by the near-full moon later. Once the moon set on our beach the shadows on the opposite side of the river were very cool. We also saw headlamps all the way over on the hermit trail just below cathedral steps.

On Sunday I led part of the group over to Hermit creek because I like loops. We spent a nice hour+ relaxing in the tapeats narrows. We paid later because the ascent through the bright angel shale was in the hottest part of the day. But we made it out at a decent hour and watched a spectacular sunset from a lookout above Monument cr. Bumble bee was on the tonto near Monument and we watched them fly out... that impressed the scale of the canyon on me more than hiking has.
10.9 mi • 4,310 ft aeg
Trial hike to estimate how long it would take to hike both Humphreys & Bright Angel down to the river & back up in one day (driving between the two). And the verdict is it will be a much more pleasant experience if I get into better hiking shape again before doing both in one day!

The Bright Angel Trail is always an experience with so many different people from all over the world gathered together on one trail. I tried to start BA based on when I thought we would arrive after hypothetically hiking Humphreys & driving up to the GC & it was especially interesting hiking down in the afternoon. The GC Rangers certainly have their hands full & I can't even imagine how challenging their job must be with the number of people who hike down without being prepared. Even on such a busy trail, I fall more & more in love with the canyon every time I visit and the afternoon/evening color show was spectacular! The further down I went, people became fewer and farther between and I had the beach all to myself. The hike back up felt good after all the steep down. Lots of people gathered at Havasupai Gardens Campground water refill area & I'm guessing a few who were not able to continue up from there. The hike up the switchbacks in the dark felt so good and I appreciated the cool air as rivers of sweat poured off my body. I offered electrolyte chews to a few folks that were swaying & shuffling but I guess nobody wanted to take candy from a stranger. It's an odd juxposition...all that beauty and calm with the anxiety of so many people visibly not doing ok. Hopefully everyone hiked out just fine & got to truly enjoy the beauty we all are lucky enough to visit.
2 mi • 1,165 ft aeg
Belated post. Following day hike (after R2) with wife along the Rim Trail. I wasn’t looking for a lot and my wife is not a big hiker so we only did a short section, picking up from where we left off from last year. We took the red shuttle out to Mojave Point and walked to Monument Creek Vista. This is probably one of the nicer sections of the Rim Trail. Unpaved, and relatively secluded with some great views of the Canyon. Wife got some great photo ops with some elk and javelina. Weather was great with clouds and light sprinkle.
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