Best Grand Canyon Hiking Trails

Below the Rim: Corridor Trails in the Grand Canyon

Experience Grand Canyon up close with a journey that hits these high points on its way to the Colorado River.

South Kaibab Trailhead

This 7-mile route is the most direct South Rim trail to the Colorado River (elevation change 4,860 vertical feet) but there is no water or camping along the way. No private vehicles allowed at South Kaibab trailhead; park at the Backcountry Information office and hop “Hiker Express” or park at Grand Canyon Visitor Center and take Kaibab (orange) shuttle.

Bright Angel Trailhead

Originally used by Native Americans to get down to what is now Indian Garden, this 9.5- mile rim-to-river trail (elevation change 4,460 vertical feet) is the most popular in the park for both hiking and mule rides. Several rest houses with shade and emergency phones are located along the trail. Water is available half-way at Indian Garden.

Indian Garden Campground

Located 4.8 miles from Bright Angel Trailhead, this oasis is shaded by tall cottonwood trees and has a stream running through it. A backcountry permit is required for overnight camping.

Plateau Point Trail

A 1.5 mile spur trail near Indian Garden leads to this precipice where hikers can peer 1,300 feet down to the Colorado River.

Tonto Trail

This trans-canyon route across the Tonto Platform extends from South Bass Trail in the western end of the park to Hance Creek (connecting with Escalante Route) in the east. The 4.6-mile corridor trails stretch connects Indian Garden/Bright Angel to Tip-Off Point/South Kaibab.

Bright Angel Campground

Nestled along the flowing waters of Bright Angel Creek and 1 mile north of the Colorado River, this campground is an excellent place to recover from the rigors of a steep canyon descent. Fishing is allowed in the creek with a license. Dinner (by reservation only, (888) 297-2757), cold beer and snacks are nearby at Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch

This complex of 11 stone cabins, two dormitory style bunkhouses and a dining hall is only accessible by foot, mule or raft. Lodging reservations must be made well in advance; for information and rates.

Colorado River

Although the river here may appear inviting, the water (due to Glen Canyon dam upstream) is a frigid 48 degrees F year-round and dangerously swift. Better to cool your feet in Bright Angel creek.

Mile-and-a-half Resthouse

1.6 miles from rim

Three Mile Resthouse

3 miles from rim

River Resthouse

Located along Colorado River; 1.5 miles from Bright Angel Campground

Bright Angel Silver Suspension Bridge

River Trail

Follows the Colorado River for 1.7 miles between suspension bridges leading to South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails.

Clear Creek Trail

Beginning near Phantom Ranch, this 5-mile path (one way) follows Clear Creek to Cheyava Falls. During spring snowmelt season, the falls can drop 800 feet and are the tallest in Grand Canyon.

North Kaibab Trail

This 14-mile rim to river path departs just north of Phantom Ranch and leads up to the Grand Canyon’s north rim; access to the rim is closed in winter due to snow.

Kaibab Black Suspension Bridge


Junction with Tonto Trail; 4.4 miles from rim

Skeleton Point

3 miles from rim

Cedar Ridge

1.5 miles from rim

Ooh Aah Point

1 mile from rim

Rim Trail

Paved path extends along rim edge through Grand Canyon Village to South Kaibab Trailhead.