• North Kaibab Trailhead to Kaibab National Forest boundary


  • 12.0 miles

Southern 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.

Northern Access Point: Kaibab National Forest boundary


From Jacob Lake, drive south on AZ 67 for 26 miles and turn left (east) onto FR 611 (4.5 miles north of the Grand Canyon National Park entrance station and 1 mile south of Kaibab Lodge). Drive 1.1 miles and turn right (east) onto FR 610. Wind south and then east 5.1 miles to a pullout on the north side of the road, near a brown AZT post.

Trail Route Description

Passage 39 begins at the North Kaibab Trailhead and traverses the seldom-used north side of Grand Canyon National Park. The North Rim attracts only 10% of the Grand Canyon’s annual visitors, resulting in a serene and solitary environment. Before heading north on this section, take a short walk to the rim and catch one more glimpse, through pine trees and fir, into the vast red limestone of Roaring Springs Canyon. 

The trail follows a mix of dirt roads and singletrack across a gentle terrain, with some short, steep sections through rolling, forested hills and lush meadows. This mixed conifer forest is home to aspen, spruce, fir and pines.  

This passage meanders above 8,000 feet of elevation, which causes cooler temperatures and the possibility for snow through the spring season and sometimes into early summer. 


  • Easy to Moderate



Water sources are scarce and unreliable on the Kaibab Plateau. Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.


  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • The Arizona Trail is marked with brown fiberglass posts with a Kaibab Plateau Trail decal near the top.
  • North Rim facilities are closed from mid-October to mid-May.


  • Map of Passage 39
  • USGS Topographic Maps: Bright Angel Point and Little Park Lake.
  • Kaibab National Forest map.
  • Grand Canyon National Park map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information

Current Passage Info

Hazardous Conditions at Grand Canyon North Rim

Hazardous Conditions at Grand Canyon North Rim

  The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will open on Friday, June 2 at 6 a.m. to mark the official start of the 2023 season. Following a record-setting snow season, this delayed opening is necessary to ensure the safe plowing of State Route 67 and allow staff to reopen visitor facilities on the North Rim. Key changes this 2023 season include: April 12-June 2 Closure of the North Kaibab Trail (Arizona Trail) from Cottonwood Campground to the North Kaibab Trailhead During the winter season, the North Kaibab Trail and North Rim pipeline received significant damage from rockfall and landslides, making many areas unsafe and impassable for inner canyon hikers. In order to safely rebuild and maintain the North Kaibab Trail and repair damaged sections of pipeline, there will be a continuous trail closure in effect from April 12-June 2, 2023 from Cottonwood Campground to the North Kaibab Trailhead. No hikers will be allowed to pass through this area under any circumstances. Please contact the Backcountry Information Center (928-638-7875; grca_bic@nps.gov) for additional information. Road crews will be operating heavy machinery on Highway 67 and backcountry travelers should avoid traveling and/or camping on the road surface.
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VIP Spotlight: Arizona Trail Association North Rim tree clearing project

Williams-Grand Canyon News (August 3, 2022) Over the weekend of July 16-17, Arizona Trail Association (ATA) volunteers and staff partnered with NPS Trails and Backcountry Information Center staff to remove fallen trees and clear the Arizona Trail corridor between the Widforss Trailhead and the North Rim Entrance Station. Each of the four saw teams were captained by an experienced and certified sawyer, and volunteers and participants practiced the basics of evaluating and executing a variety of cuts. At the end of the first day, only a few trees remained on the AZT. Volunteers requested more work for the second day and while one sawyer team finished on the AZT, the remainder of the team cleared another 28 downed trees and restored tread on approximately .75 miles of the Francois Matthes Trail. In total, 100 trees were cleared from North Rim trails. Grand Canyon National Park would like to thank NPS staff who helped make the project successful: Michael Barhmasel, Forest Agee, Joseph Zelman, Steve Bridgehouse, Cindy Donaldson, Dan Schweitzer and Adam Gibson. To read the article online, click here.
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Coconino & Kaibab National Forests Lift Fire Restrictions

Coconino & Kaibab National Forests Lift Fire Restrictions

Due to significant precipitation received across the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests of northern Arizona, fire restrictions and certain area closures will be lifted starting at noon on Tuesday, June 28. Fire-related area closures will remain in effect around the perimeters of the Pipeline and Haywire fires but have been reduced in size. The decision to lift fire restrictions was made based on the amount of precipitation both received and forecasted across both forests. While a ban on campfires and smoking has been lifted, visitors are reminded that fireworks are never allowed on National Forest land at any time. Please check National Forest websites before traveling and recreating to learn more about area closures and restrictions, which can change rapidly.
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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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Washout near manzanita creek impassable for equestrians

A recent washout of the North Kaibab segment of the Arizona Trail within Grand Canyon National Park has presented an insurmountable obstacle for equestrians. The hazard is located just south of the Manzanita Creek Footbridge (south of the Manzanita Rest Area) at AZT mile 706.6. This is approximately 5.7 miles south of the North Kaibab Trailhead, and 1.4 miles north of Cottonwood Campground. An erosion event has caused a portion of the Trans Canyon Waterline to fall, and is now being held in place by steel cables stretched across the trail. Pedestrians can sneak under the cables, but equines cannot, and there is no safe way around the cliff ledge. EQUESTRIANS WANTING TO RIDE BETWEEN NORTH KAIBAB TRAILHEAD AND COTTONWOOD CAMP ARE DISCOURAGED FROM RIDING UNTIL THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN RESOLVED. Please contact the Grand Canyon National Park Back Country Ranger Station for more details: (928) 638-2125
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