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South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge Professional Review and Guide
"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."
--Ron Adkison and Ben Adkison, Best Easy Day Hikes Grand Canyon (Falcon Guides).
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 !!!!
This was our second hike during a very busy week at the canyon. I had expected many more people on this trail so I was pleased that it was only moderately crowded. Compared to many other trails into the canyon, this one is probably one of the easiest. Just remember that what goes down must come back up. Going down is extremely easy. It is a good workout on the climb back up. We encountered mule trains numerous times as they were working on the trail itself. This really didn't create much of a problem though. The views at Cedar Ridge are quite nice and there was thankfully a wonderful breeze. We wish we had left a bit earlier. There is a great deal more shade in the early morning hours. They are not kidding about taking plenty of water. There is no water available anywhere on this hike except at the trailhead itself. Plan accordingly. Wear appropriate hiking shoes. We saw folks wearing sandles and regretting it (go figure). Not a trail I would recommend for small children due to the steepness, heat, and drop offs. Otherwise, it's a great way to experience the canyon.
The descent was not taxing at all on this well worn trail. The first half, to "Ooh Aah" Point, is not very steep, while the second half to Cedar Ridge is a little more challenging. The return trip made for a good work out, especially on the lower half. The views are awesome along the entire trail and make it well worth the effort. Take adequate water and rest as needed and you'll be glad you went. I'd rate this trail as "moderate" on the stress level.
If you are looking for a hike that will give you the most spectacular views as you descend into the Grand Canyon, the South Kaibob Trail is it! Starting out on steep switchbacks, you immediately descend among huge white walls, down into the Grand Canyon. The switchbacks become less severe as you approach the 3/4 mile mark and Ooh Aah point. As you descend further, you come up to a sidewalk in the sky, that takes you from the Canyon wall out onto the butte that descends further into the Canyon. You can see both sides of the Canyon, dropping hundreds of feet on either side of this big, wide trail. As you descend into Cedar Ridge, you can walk out onto the tip of a butte and get a good look at the Canyon and the trail, as it descends further down towards the Colorado River.
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