Grand Canyon South Rim Epic
Location: Grand Canyon NP, AZ
Distance: ~18 miles
Vert. climb: 4,780 ft
Summary: Brave the 100+ degree heat because this hike is worth every drop of sweat. Start down the South Kaibab, hike along the Colorado River, and then up the Bright Angel Trail. Bring plenty of water! Despite the numerous warnings, a reasonably fit hiker can do this in a long day.
Route: Park at the Park HQ and take the 'Kaibab Trail Route' shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead. Be sure to get an early bus (7:00am at the extreme latest) to start out before the heat gets rough. There's no water on the South Kaibab Trail, so bring enough to last. Cross the suspension bridge over the Colorado River and proceed past the Phantom Ranch Campground. Here recross the Colorado on another suspension bridge and join the River Trail. Follow downstream until reaching the Bright Angel Trail. Proceed up the Bright Angel Trail back to the South Rim and walk back to the Park HQ.
Approx. Cumulative Mileage:
Start: S. Rim, South Kaibab Trail 0.0 mi
Colorado River: 6.3 mi
Junction with Bright Angel Trail: 8.0 mi
Finish: S. Rim, Bright Angel Trail: 17.7 mi
Tips: Views are better on S. Kaibab than Bright Angel. No shade or water on S. Kaibab but plenty of shade and water on Bright Angel, so better to go down the S. Kaibab and then up the Bright Angel. Be prepared for intense heat on the River Trail.