• South Kaibab Trailhead to North Kaibab Trailhead


  • 21.8 miles

Southern Trailhead: South Kaibab Trailhead


There is no overnight parking or camping at the trailhead. You must take a shuttle from Grand Canyon Village, near the intersection of US 180 and AZ 64. Information is available within the Park Guide you’ll receive at the entrance kiosk, and also at the Visitor Center.

Northern Trailhead: North Kaibab Trailhead


The parking area is on the east side of AZ 67, 41 miles south of Jacob Lake and 2.3 miles north of Grand Canyon Lodge. The trailhead is at the south end of the parking lot.

Trail Route Description

This passage begins at the South Kaibab Trailhead on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The trail descends through switchbacks, runs north below Yaki Point, along Cedar Ridge and then reaches the Cedar Ridge rest area. The trail continues down along Cedar Ridge, passes on the east side of O’Neill Butte and then switchbacks down the east side of a large butte and curves back around to the north. It comes to the Tonto Trail junction and continues across the Tonto Plateau to the edge at a place called The Tipoff. The trail now drops into the inner gorge and switchbacks all the way down to a tunnel and then a suspension bridge across the Colorado River. On the other side the trail heads downstream, passing the boat beach. It leaves the river, turns north at Bright Angel Creek and passes Bright Angel Campground. After passing through Phantom Ranch the trail becomes the North Kaibab Trail and it continues following Bright Angel Creek. It passes the junction with the Clear Creek Trail, enters the narrows of Bright Angel Creek and passes Phantom Canyon. The trail crosses the creek several times on footbridges, and then reaches the junction with the trail to Ribbon Falls. From the falls the trail continues up along the creek and reaches Cottonwood Camp. Further upstream the trail crosses the creek for the last time and comes to a rest house. It passes the turnoff to Roaring Springs and then begins climbing up along Roaring Springs Canyon. There is a bridge over this creek and then a tunnel. A final set of switchbacks are passed through and then the trail reaches the North Kaibab Trailhead.


  • Difficult


All year. Snow may be present after winter storms


Water can be found at the Colorado River, Bright Angel Campground, Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Creek, Cottonwood Camp and Roaring Springs.  Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.


  • All water found in creeks and springs should be purified prior to use.
  • Mountain bikes are prohibited from being ridden in the canyon. You may carry your bike on your back but the wheels must never touch the ground. You can also send your bike to the other side of the canyon on the TransCanyon Shuttle while you hike across.
  • Horses are not recommended in the canyon. Please contact the Backcountry Office for more information.
  • A reservation and permit are required to spend a night below the rim. Day hiking does not require a permit. For more details on this, go to the Permits page.
  • North Rim facilities are closed from mid-October to mid-May.


  • Map of Passage 38
  • USGS Topographic Maps: Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Point.
  • Grand Canyon National Park map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information

Current Passage Info

Water Treatment Advisory Within Grand Canyon National Park

Due to loss of chlorination at Roaring Springs, visitors traveling within the Inner Canyon north of the Colorado River need to treat all potable water sources with a water filtration system. This includes: Bright Angel Campground Phantom Ranch Cottonwood Campground Manzanita Rest Area Roaring Springs Supai Tunnel North Kaibab Trailhead In addition, waterline issues between Roaring Springs and the North Rim have caused a water scarcity issue and the following services are impacted: NO laundry or shower facilities on the North Rim Disposable utensils and plates within North Rim Lodge and other facilities
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Essay: Hot, Thirsty, Anxious … And Blessed

East Greenwich News (January 31, 2021) by Jonathan Malone It was hot, it was dry, and I was afraid that I was running out of water. I had been hiking through the high plateau desert in Arizona for three days and I had seen only a handful of people, lots of cows, and a few horses. I had heard elk and coyotes, but had not yet seen any of them. I was deep in the wilderness, there were few people, and my water supply was worrisome. I chose to be in this place. In September I backpacked for approximately 100 miles of the wilderness of Arizona. Hiking and backpacking are things  I love to do, and I have gone on many solo and group trips in the Adirondack Mountains in New York and the White Mountains in New Hampshire as well as other areas of the Northeast. I love taking time to be in the forest, by the streams and lakes, and surrounded by the mountains. This year I opted for something completely new to me; I decided to hike one small portion of the 800-mile Arizona Trail. I started just north of Flagstaff and headed to the North Rim of the...
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