Grand Canyon Rim-River-Rim Day/Night Hike

on Chris Martin's Blog

Public transit opens up many trip options that otherwise require shuttling two cars, hitching, or a long road walk. Night hiking opens up trips that are otherwise too hot or crowded, which is especially useful in a place like Grand Canyon.

Andrew staring at the river just before we leave it

This strenuous but very rewarding walk is a spectacular descent to the Colorado River, a nice respite at the bottom with two suspension bridge crossings, and a sustained-yet-cool evening climb along verdant creeks. I recommend it if you want to hike a BIG slice of the Grand Canyon without the bureaucratic permit acquisition hassle associated with backpacking, provided that you're an experienced hiker at a good fitness level and you aren't scared of the dark1.

Two friends and I planned this hike on very short notice (basically on the car ride to the park) but it worked out great. Many others have written about this and similar walks, I have just a few things to add. (Scroll down if you just want to see more photos.)

South Kaibab and Bright Angel are very different trails: the former tends to hug ridges, and the latter mostly follows creek drainages. Each is wonderful on its own, but walking both is a richer experience still. You can park at either of the two trailheads2 and take a free shuttle bus to the other trailhead to start your hike, descending via one trail and ascending back to the rim (and your vehicle) via another. This makes for a nice loop without retracing your steps.

A mid-day (rather than early morning) start carries three advantages3. First, we lost the day hiker crowds at a landing just a few miles in. We had the trail to ourselves for the rest of the day, save for a passing mule train and a handful of backpackers. Second, we stayed much cooler by arriving at the river in mid-afternoon, and beginning the ascent around 5 PM. This didn't really matter in March, but it would make the difference between doable and awful/dangerous if we hiked in the summer, when canyon floor temperatures at mid-day exceed 110 Fahrenheit.

Unless you're quite fast, an early afternoon start also means finishing the ascent to the rim in darkness, and this was half the appeal for us. A crescent moon was enough illumination for the very well-constructed Bright Angel trail; I only needed a headlamp when we hit a few ice patches near the top. Take breaks for some of the best dark-sky stargazing to be found anywhere.

Route and Stats

route map

  • South Kaibab to Bright Angel trails (North Kaibab trail used briefly as a connector)
  • Parked at Bright Angel trailhead, rode free GCNP shuttle buses to begin hike at South Kaibab trailhead
  • 17 miles, ~5000 feet lost then 5000 feet gained
  • 6 hours moving time, 8:42 elapsed (12:25 to 21:07)
  • About 4 liters of water consumed, refilled at Phantom Ranch
  • Link to Strava GPS recording

More Photos

Really nice drive up from Flagstaff. Perfect March day with a few clouds.

Really nice drive up from Flagstaff. Perfect March day with a few clouds.

Colorado River is hidden from most of the rim

Andrew at the start of the hike. No sight of the river which lies below within nested inner canyons.

Just below the top, I don't know what these are but I call them buttresses.

Just below the top, I don't know what these are but I call them buttresses.

Beautiful ridge descent on South Kaibab Trail.

South Kaibab trail has lots of switchbacks and erosion control features

With lots of foot and mule traffic, South Kaibab trail has many switchbacks and erosion control features.

South Kaibab trail has lots of switchbacks and erosion control features

One hour in, looking back at the rim.

One hour in, looking back at the rim.

Stopping for a snack two hours in. Saw less than a dozen people on the trail after this.

Stopping for a snack. Saw less than a dozen people on the trail after this.

First glimpse of the Colorado, now only 1350 feet above it

The Grand Canyon feels like a series of nested canyons, with the river only visible a couple of levels from the bottom. Here is our first glimpse of the Colorado, now only 1350 feet below.

We stopped a lot to take photos.

We stopped a lot to take photos.

Last few switchbacks to the river. Check out all the chlorophyll in that creek valley!

Last few switchbacks to the river.

Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River

Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River. Check out all the chlorophyll in that creek valley.

You can shorten the route by taking the river trail to Bright Angel, or you can cross two suspension bridges and hang out at (WHAT IS THAT PLACE?)

You can shorten the route by taking the River Trail directly to Bright Angel. For an extra couple of miles, you can cross the river on a suspension bridge, hang out at Phantom Ranch, then cross again using another bridge. We chose the longer route and were not disappointed.

tunnel before bridge

The entrance to this bridge is tunneled through the rock.

crossing the colorado

Crossing the colorado, which was actually the color brown.

mule train crossing the bridge

Mule train crossing the bridge.

Andrew and Collin enjoying the luxury of a picnic table near Phantom Ranch.

Andrew and Collin enjoying the luxury of a picnic table near Phantom Ranch. Here you can fill up your water from the potable spigot near the bathrooms, no treatment required.

mules at Phantom Ranch

Mules at Phantom Ranch, the trucks of the Grand Canyon.

second suspension bridge

Second bridge takes us back to the south bank of the river. This bridge is newer and carries the trans-canyon pipeline (below bridge deck), which supplies water to the village one vertical mile above.

beginning the ascent back to the rim

Beginning our ascent back to the rim at 5 PM. Falling temperatures make for comfortable, non-sweaty climbing.

Collin rounding a switchback

Collin rounding a switchback.

Pretty clear view of the rim now, though it's still far above

Clear view of the rim now, though it's still far above.

One thing we did not expect were beautiful deciduous trees along the creekbeds

We did not expect to see big, healthy deciduous trees in the middle of Arizona.

Waterfalls along the creek

Waterfalls along the creek.

Deciduous trees in the desert!

What a happy tree.

Dusk setting in. Still a few thousand more feet to climb.

Dusk setting in. Still many more feet to climb, but we're fed, hydrated, and still feeling good.

stargazing in Grand Canyon

What I mean by "some of the best stargazing to be found anywhere". Photo credit to Collin Weigel (also on the hike).

Almost at the top, ruined my companions' night vision in a cool archway. Sorry guys.

Almost at the top, I ruined my companions' night vision in a cool archway. Sorry guys!


  1. GCNP will warn you not to do this or any other day hike that descends all the way to the river and then back to the rim, but we did anyway. Not for the inexperienced, life is dangerous, research the conditions and plan accordingly, YMMV/YOLO.

  2. We chose to hike out at night via Bright Angel rather than South Kaibab, assuming that it would be the wider and less-exposed of the two trails. I think S. Kaibab had more ruts and rocks to trip over, but like Bright Angel, it felt like a four-lane highway by hiking trail standards and was mostly not exposed. You could hike this route in reverse and still have a great time.

  3. Third, you don't need to wake up early, and you can camp for free on national forest land outside the national park.


Comments

<a href="https://escitalopraminfo24.com/">citalopram vs escitalopram</a>

<a href="https://escitalopraminfo24.com/">is citalopram the same as escitalopram</a>

<a href="https://amoxicillininfo24.com/">amoxicillin for chlamydia</a>

<a href="https://amoxicillininfo24.com/">can i drink alcohol while taking amoxicillin</a>

<a href="https://gabapentininfo24.com/">long-term effects of gabapentin on the brain</a>

<a href="https://cephalexininfo24.com/">cephalexin medicine</a>

<a href="https://lasixan.com/">lasix 40 mg</a>

<a href="https://zithromaxeng.com/">zithromax generic name</a>

<a href="https://gabapentinyou.com/">can i take gabapentin with ibuprofen</a>

<a href="https://glucophagecan.com/">glucophage medications</a>

<a href="https://glucophagecan.com/">glucophage biegunka</a>

<a href="https://zithromaxeng.com/">sinus infection zithromax</a>

<a href="https://lasixan.com/">lasix 12.5 mg for dogs</a>

<a href="https://gabapentinyou.com/">can you drink alcohol with gabapentin</a>

<a href="https://furosemidenext.com/">can i stop giving my dog furosemide</a>

<a href="https://lisinoprilone.com/">what time of day should i take lisinopril</a>

<a href="https://flagylcheck.com/">alternative for flagyl</a>

<a href="https://zoloftnew.com/">zoloft and prozac</a>

<a href="https://zoloftnew.com/">how to taper off zoloft 50 mg</a>

<a href="https://flagylcheck.com/">flagyl c.diff</a>

<a href="https://lisinoprilone.com/">can lisinopril raise blood pressure</a>

<a href="https://furosemidenext.com/">salix furosemide tablets</a>

<a href="https://metforminvip.com/">metformin belly fat</a>

<a href="https://metforminvip.com/">how long for metformin to work</a>

<a href="https://zithromaxeng.com/">buy zithromax online</a>

<a href="https://zithromaxeng.com/">zithromax sinus infection</a>

<a href=http://dapoxetin.sbs>priligy pills</a> Should I keep trying to have my general doctor refer me to a more sympathetic doctor in my insurance network

Media human IL 6 was higher in hypoxic proximal tubules versus normoxic proximal tubules P 0 <a href=http://buycialis.skin>cialis online</a> Alternate meds should be discussed with the prescribing practitioner at the first sign of toxicity

Alvesco Indelningen i låg, medelhög och hög dos baseras huvudsakligen på klinisk erfarenhet, ej optimala dosresponsstudier <a href=http://viagr.mom>taking half a viagra for fun</a>

PMID 21197188 <a href=https://sildenafi.cfd>normal dose of viagra</a> divalproex is it ok to take tylenol during your first trimester We need more massive public backlash against the Republicans this time, as in 96 when they also shut things down

My husband is at the end of his rope with me, I have no sex drive and I hate to see us going through this, my kids are almost afraid of me when I start my mood swings <a href=https://propec.homes>is propecia safe</a> The fasting state activates a certain gene expression found in the pancreas, Ngn3 expression Currently, evidence is limited and largely focused on animal studies, however this does maintain potential for future studies These issues happen because hyperglycemia increases glycation, resulting in the production of harmful particles that impair glycated substances functions As a result, a sequence of reactions happens, that results in issues with blood circulate, irritation, and gradual wound healing It is significant that an individual doesn t use an excessive amount of alcohol if they are diabetic

Truly when someone doesn't understand then its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it takes place.

Here is my homepage ... cialis online

<a href=http://acialis.sbs>best place to buy generic cialis online</a> Stomach cancer survival rates generally decrease with advancing age

117 LDH catalyzes the intraconversion of lactate and pyruvate and is found in most of the tissues of the body <a href=https://buycialis.homes>generic name for cialis</a> It sounds pretty artery- clogging, but buttermilk is in fact far healthier than its name implies

The best testosterone booster for muscle gain is without a doubt Testofuel <a href=http://buycialis.homes>buy cialis online prescription</a> The incidence of breast cancer how many women are getting it is steadily rising, and the numbers are appalling According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer incidence rates have increased by more than 40 percent from 1973 to 1998

The low PPV of liver lesions on breast MR images may in part be explained by incomplete hepatic imaging on breast MR images and by a high prevalence of benign hepatic lesions such as cysts or hemangiomas, which are not only common but also particularly prevalent among women 23, 24 <a href=https://nolvadex.pics>nolvadex during cycle</a> False negative pregnancy tests are almost always caused by timing, meaning the user is testing too soon, according to Dr

<a href=https://lasix.mom>lasix 40 mg</a> Kessing and C

Next u s is Monday June 25th to see how things are progressing <a href=http://priligy.skin>priligy review youtube</a>

<a href=https://cialis.makeup>viagra and cialis online</a> They also help assist with Read full

Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA <a href=http://cialis.autos>cialis generic buy</a> Although Cre recombinases have been widely utilized for inducing genomic recombination, several reports associated Cre expression with genotoxic and or anti proliferative effects 2, 27, 32, 34, 37

the program will deepen nursing knowledge, leadership skills and evidence based practice to better serve patients and the community <a href=http://zithromax.buzz>can you buy zithromax without a prescription</a>

<a href=http://propecia.skin>dr reddy finasteride buy</a> Selection of Patients for ACE Inhibition Renography

<a href=http://stromectol.skin>ivermectin side effects</a> Instead, look up tables are needed to provide physicians information about the functional impact of any possible genetic variant

We interpreted the model and the relative importance of the variants in each star allele for the predicted function using DeepLIFT from the DeepExplain package 66, 67 <a href=https://aviagra.best>sex viagra tablets for female</a>

<a href=http://clomid.beauty>clomiphene citrate 50 mg for male</a> peginterferon alfa 2b decreases levels of indomethacin by affecting hepatic enzyme CYP2C9 10 metabolism

Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing revealed no global difference in methylation between Dnmt3a wild type and null HSC s 93 <a href=http://clomid.beauty>over the counter fertility drugs</a> Tamoxifen Sandoz tamoxifen citrate is effective in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer in women and men

<a href=https://lasix.buzz>Kjop lasix</a> Xarelto Lawsuit Drug Caused Severe Internal Bleeding

<a href=https://doxycycline.buzz>doxycycline dosage for rosacea</a> Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on sperm quality, spermatogenic cell density, antioxidant activity and testosterone level in male rats

<a href=http://cialis.mom>best generic cialis</a> Cells were seeded at 40, 000 cells per well on Seahorse XF24 tissue culture plates Seahorse Bioscience Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark the day before the assay

The invention also provides combinations based on a crystal of 1 cyclopropyl 3 3 5 morpholin 4 ylmethyl 1H benzoimidazol 2 yl 1H pyrazol 4 yl urea free base, which shows an X ray powder diffraction pattern having characteristic peaks at a diffraction angle 2Оё 1 <a href=http://bestcialis20mg.com/>cialis for sale online</a>

<a href="http://blueboard.co.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_table=catalogue&wr_id=11526">sieben HГјgel Frauengesundheitszentrum</a>

The TetO and EF1О± tTA portions are in opposite orientation indicated by upside down text to minimize steric hindrance between the two promoters, as well as potential cross activation of the TetO by the EF1О± promoter <a href=https://priligy.homes>priligy alternative</a>

Like FQNs, new macrolides constitute another crucial antibiotic class administered for NTM infection <a href=http://propecia.one>propecia hair growth</a>

Presenting Author Owen Shearer <a href=https://stromectol.pics>stromectol side effects</a>

<a href="http://hautaerzte.com.de/handewitt">Kosmig GmbH</a>

allopurinol price <a href="https://allopurinol5.com/">allopurinol over the counter</a> allopurinol united states

amoxicillin without prescription <a href="https://amoxicillintabs.com/">where to buy amoxicillin</a> amoxicillin over the counter

<a href="http://gymnasium.com.de/ebern">Gymnasium Ebern</a>

loratadine canada https://loratadinen.com/# - loratadine nz loratadine prices

<a href="http://www.lanapengarnu.org/lana-9000-kr">Lana 9000 kr</a>

x 1 Paclitaxel TAXOL 30 mg <a href=http://priligy.me/>cronadyn vs priligy</a>

<a href=http://stromectol.autos/>stromectol buy canada</a> Serious Use Alternative 1 indinavir will increase the level or effect of romidepsin by affecting hepatic intestinal enzyme CYP3A4 metabolism

You’ve made your point. dapoxetine tablets online <a href="https://priligydon.net/">dapoxetine for pe</a> dapoxetine tablet

Wow a lot of valuable tips. buy kamagra online india <a href="https://goldkamagra.com/ ">cvs kamagra oral jelly</a> kamagra Amazing tons of very good data.

priligy and viagra <a href="https://dapoxe.com/ ">priligy review</a> super avana 160 mg buy priligy

  • erectile dysfunction drugs <a href="https://greatmedcenter.com/ ">best erectile dysfunction medication for diabetics</a> levitra dysfunction medication uses.

priligy mexico precio priligy tablets review <a href="https://dapoxe.com/ ">priligy 60 mg price in india</a> wikipedia priligy

<a href="https://kamagra.beauty/ ">medication kamagra buy online</a> kamagra

  • erectile dysfunction pills <a href="https://greatmedcenter.com/ ">cialis dysfunction medication over the counter equivalent</a> viagra dysfunction medication for sale.

cialis price per pill http://cialis.beauty/ where to buy cialis

  • viagra for men in australia <a href="https://viagrabrsm.com/ ">mens viagra pills</a> buy cheap viagra cialis.

<a href="https://kamagra.beauty/ ">kamagra 100mg oral jelly for sale</a> buy cheap viagra online next day delivery

dr pierre kory ivermectin stromectol canada <a href="https://stromectol.beauty/ ">stromectol</a> stromectol 3mg tablets dosage

<a href="https://combivent.golf/ ">combivent respimat</a> combivent inhaler price

  • stromectol germany <a href="https://stromectoltb.com/ ">invermechtin prescription drug</a> ivermectin human dosage.

fildena <a href="https://fildena.beauty/ ">where is fildena made in india?</a> fildena vs viagra fildena reviews

I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It's lovely price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

Look into my web site - cialis online

Cialis Tablets For Sale <a href=http://iverstromectol.com/>buy stromectol europe</a> Keflex Swime Flu

Offerta Levitra <a href=http://iverstromectol.com/>ivermectin 3mg price</a> Pfizer Free Samples

buy finasteride no rx <a href="https://finasteride.blog/ ">propecia tablet</a> buy propecia us propecia medicine

fildena 100 vs viagra 100 <a href="https://fildena.beauty/# ">fildena fruit chew</a>

finasteride <a href="https://finasteride.blog/ ">propecia 5mg tablets</a>

anti parasitic medicine for humans <a href="https://stromectolgl.com/ ">ivermectin for humans amazon</a>

finasteride 5mg <a href="https://finasteride.blog/# ">cheapest generic propecia</a>

stromectol <a href="https://stromectolgl.com/ ">ivermectin tablets for sale walmart</a>

Ofloxacin Vs Ciprofloxacin <a href=http://buycialikonline.com>online cialis</a> Como Tomar Propecia

<a href="https://stromectol.beauty/ ">medicine for parasite in humans</a> ivermectin

<a href="https://otcalbuterol.net/ ">albuterol sulfate inhaler price</a> inhaler brands

proventil dosage <a href="https://otcalbuterol.net/ ">albuterol cheapest price</a>

arbitrary meaning <a href="https://albuterol.sbs/# ">ventolin hfa inhaler dosage</a>

where to buy ivermectin in phoenix <a href="https://stromectoltb.com/ ">ivermectin tablets</a>

azithromycin 250 mg treatment <a href="https://zpack.beauty/ ">generic z pack cost</a>

<a href="https://dostromectolit.com/">stromectol 3mg tablets</a> stromectol 3mg tablets buy online

lasix tablet http://furosemide.directory lasix water pill substitute

best site to order viagra http://bluethshop.com viagra ice cream to go on sale at selfridges

<a href="https://medsmir.com/">online pharmacies</a> online medication store

cheapest viagra buy cheap viagra <a href="https://lviagral.com/ ">how do you get viagra pills</a>

alternatives to albuterol inhaler <a href="https://ventolin.club/">ventolin tablet</a>

<a href=https://stromectolgf.com/#>stromectol</a> ivermectin generic name

ivermectin 3mg <a href=" https://stromectolgf.online/# ">stromectol over the counter</a>

https://stromectolgf.online/# ivermectin 3 mg tabs

<a href=https://stromectolgf.com/#>stromectol 3 mg tablets price</a> ivermectin buy australia

where can i get cialis overnite <a href=" https://tadalafilusi.com/# ">tadalafil</a>

https://stromectolgf.online/# ivermectin australia

ivermectin nz <a href=" https://stromectolgf.com/# ">generic ivermectin</a>

Misoprostol Effets Tzvisk https://newfasttadalafil.com/ - cialis 20 mg Oochom B Lyme disease Lyme arthritis Disorder marked by arthritis myalgia and malaise cause is a bacterium carried by a tick. <a href=https://newfasttadalafil.com/>Cialis</a> Lbgxpz Dxfjng https://newfasttadalafil.com/ - Cialis

too much lasix can cause <a href="https://furosemidevs.com/">furosemide 20 mg tabs</a> furosemide oral 40 mg <a href=https://furosemidevs.com/>furosemide</a> furosemide tab 40mg

does cialis make you last longer <a href=" https://tadalafilusi.com/# ">best price for daily cialis</a>

ivermectin rezeptfrei <a href="https://stromectolik.com/ ">ivermectin 12 mg tablets for sale</a>

azithromycin <a href="https://azithromycinfest.com/ ">azithromycin over counter cvs</a> azithromycin pack

z pak antibiotic medication <a href="https://azithromycinfest.com/">how long for azithromycin to take effect</a> zpack <a href="https://azithromycinfest.com/">azithromycin over counter substitute</a> zpack

The Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike is a very tough hike. Its narrowest point is 600 yards across in Marble Canyon.

Best Laminate Floor Installation Services Riverside CA

viagra shipping overnight <a href="https://mrviadoc.com/ ">viagra pharmacy coupon</a>

discount over the counter medications <a href="https://faqpharm.com/ ">buy online prescription medication quickly</a> online pharmacies legitimate <a href="https://faqpharm.com/">overseas pharmacies that deliver to usa</a>

rpg sex games <a href=https://sexgamesx.net/?>zootopia sex games</a> sex games sister

http://gcialisk.com/ - cialis prices

Zithromax Purchase <a href=https://apcialisle.com/#>safe cialis online</a> Kamagra Nachnahme <a href=https://apcialisle.com/#>canadian cialis</a> Discovering Amoxil

I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

Take a look at my blog :: cialis

Amoxicillin And Ear Infections <a href=http://buysildenaf.com>buy viagra</a> Buy Minocycline I Line On Line Amoxicillin 500 Clav K 125mg Treats Doxycycline Buy Online Reviews

Keflex 125 Mg Wirkungszeit Levitra <a href=http://achetercialisfr.com>quand prendre le cialis</a> How To Make Female Cialis discount free shipping cheapeast isotretinoin worldwide amex