South Bass Trailhead

Tusayan, Arizona

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This trip probably isn’t practical if you just want to sightsee for an afternoon. People who come here are usually serious backpackers who plan to spend a while in the Grand Canyon. It’s a long drive through remote country. In addition, the Havasupai Indian Reservation charges a not-so-insignificant $25 per vehicle to cross its land. Be prepared to pay cash either at the entry gate or anywhere along the route inside the reservation. Someday a route may be established that does not require crossing the reservation. Check with the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office for changes in the status of this trail. If you plan to camp overnight inside Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll need a permit from the Backcountry Office. Fortunately, the majority of this trip is in Kaibab National Forest where dispersed camping is allowed and no permit is required. When dry, this road is fairly easy to negotiate with a high-clearance, two-wheel-drive vehicle. After heavy rains, the road may be impassable even with four-wheel drive. The worst section is across Pasture Wash before and after the ranger station. Help is a long way away so don’t take any chances.

South Bass Trailhead Professional Review and Guide

"This trip probably isn’t practical if you just want to sightsee for an afternoon. People who come here are usually serious backpackers who plan to spend a while in the Grand Canyon. It’s a long drive through remote country. In addition, the Havasupai Indian Reservation charges a not-so-insignificant $25 per vehicle to cross its land. Be prepared to pay cash either at the entry gate or anywhere along the route inside the reservation. Someday a route may be established that does not require crossing the reservation. Check with the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office for changes in the status of this trail.

If you plan to camp overnight inside Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll need a permit from the Backcountry Office. Fortunately, the majority of this trip is in Kaibab National Forest where dispersed camping is allowed and no permit is required. When dry, this road is fairly easy to negotiate with a high-clearance, two-wheel-drive vehicle. After heavy rains, the road may be impassable even with four-wheel drive. The worst section is across Pasture Wash before and after the ranger station. Help is a long way away so don’t take any chances."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Tusayan
Distance: 60
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 4 hours or more
Local Contacts: Kaibab National Forest; Grand Canyon National Park
Local Maps: Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer; Kaibab National Forest, Tusayan, Williams, and Chalender Ranger Districts; USGS Grand Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to South Bass Trailhead

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May 2018