South Kaibab Trail

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 86023

Distance6.7mi
Elevation Gain7,811ft
Trailhead Elevation7,190ft
Top7,207ft
Elevation Min/Max2444/7207ft
Elevation Start/End7190/7190ft

South Kaibab Trail

South Kaibab Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Coconino County, Arizona. It is within Grand Canyon National Park. It is 6.7 miles long and begins at 7,190 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 7,811 feet. The South Kaibab Trailhead information guidepost is near the trailhead. There is also drinking water. The Tipoff (elevation 3,947 feet), the Cedar Ridge, Ooh Aah Point, and Skeleton Point attractions, and the Yaki Point (elevation 7,260 feet) viewpoint can be seen along the trail. There is also an emergency phone along the trail. Near the end of the trail is a bench. This trail connects with the following: River Trail and North Kaibab Trail.

South Kaibab Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A backpack of two or more days, following one of the most popular trails in the Grand Canyon."

"A view-packed half-day out-and-back hike below the South Rim follows one of the most popular—and more challenging— trails in the Grand Canyon. The South Kaibab Trail is a must-do for Grand Canyon visitors wishing to see the Canyon from the inside out.

Hikers flock to this excellent trail in a steady stream for much of the year, and the majority of trail users are day hikers making the rewarding trip to Cedar Ridge. A continuum of tremendous vistas unfold with every step of the way. The trail, one of the most popular day hikes in the park, is moderately steep and shadeless."

South Kaibab Trail Reviews

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6/5/2011
Had visited the GC twice prior, but never hiked below the rim. Used the SK as my trip down to stay at the Bright Angel Campground for a quick solo overnight and then back up via the Bright Angel Trail. The SK was an excellent trail down. I started at 5am to avoid the heat, took a few photos - but being solo - I didn't have a lot of chatting time obviously - made it down at a relatively easy pace....and was at the campground by 7:30am.
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5/14/2011
Hiked from Bright Angle Campground up the Kaibab to the Rim. Camp overnight, outstanding!
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8/20/2010
Did this as part of a rim to rim hike over 5 days total. Stayed in the Bright Angel Campground 2 days. Lots of people, but the views were wonderfull. Hiked 40 miles total in 5 days.
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7/10/2010
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11/15/2009
The South Kaibab trail is very short and has some magical views. I hiked the trail during mid November. However, probably better to hike during the spring or fall, when the landscaping is more lively. The trail is pretty short, so I decided to go past the trail and hike all the way down the river/phantom ranch. If you decide to do this, hiking sticks are a must! I saw a new hiker without a stick passed out from exhaustion, which is very dangerous in zero degree temperature. Although it is not recommended to hike to the river and back in one day. It is not too bad if you use sticks, you can hike to the river and back 2x in one day if you're in decent shape. But again, with hiking sticks... It's almost suicide trying to do it without. Back to the trail, if you're bringing family and want a quick trail with great views this is the one. Just be sure to turn back when you see the end sign, or you will be carrying your family back up the canyon ;) Honestly, I enjoyed the south kaibab trail more than the river. When i went past the kaibab trail, it wasn't very pretty, you won't see anything spectacular after the trail just lots of dirt. The river might disappoint some. To describe it, don't expect a "river" when you go down, expect a stream. But it's very quiet and relaxing, and past the river, phantom ranch is a nice reward for the overachiever. To get to the trail, you need to take the south kaibab bus, which runs pretty often, and is easy to access. Not as many people hike this one, so you won't have to push past crowds during the trail.
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10/12/2009
Are you kidding me? This trail is an absolute off-the-charts jaw dropper. Best desert trail I've ever hiked, seen, or heard of. If you haven't hiked the SK into the canyon put it on your bucket list. Right away! Beautifully constructed, easy to follow, difficult but not outrageous (at least not going down...). Like the guides say, this is a ridge trail that provides unparalleled views of the Grand Canyon. It has plenty of landmarks so you always know which part of the trail you are on and what the next checkpoint is. Composting toilets are conveniently located. NO WATER ON THIS TRAIL! Fill up at the trailhead because the next water source is the Colorado River 7 miles away. Once you reach Skeleton Point the river is in view and after the Tipoff you can see the bridges, campground, and boat beach. The last hour feels like you are right on top of black bridge as you descend the switchbacks. Just an amazing experience - one that we'll never forget and will certainly revisit soon!
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5/17/2009
I only went 1 1/2 miles down because I got started late in the afternoon and it was HOT!! My husband went down to Ooh-Ahh!Point which is the 1/2 way point of the trail, he called me to come join him about 3:00 pm and I'm SO GLAD I DID!!!! I'm not in as good of shape as I want to be but I DID IT!!! Next time I want to go further into the canyon.The Grand Canyon is truly an awesome work of God !!!!
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12/13/2008
In anticipation of a full-moon, the hike began late in the day so to view the sunset, and moon-rise from the canyon floor. A fantastic reverse hike. Would only recommend for those hikers who are in good shape and acclimated to the 7000 altitude.
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8/17/2008
This is the second trip down along the Kaibab Trail...what a blast!!! The hike of a lifetime...August is the perfect time of year for this hike.
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8/14/2008
Fantastic trail. Incredible views as you decend into the Grand Canyon
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Trail Information

Grand Canyon National Park
Nearby City
Grand Canyon National Park
Parks
Difficult
Skill Level
USGS Phantom Ranch; Trails Illustrated Grand Canyon National Park; Earthwalk Grand Canyon National Park
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018