South Kaibab Trail Hiking

Sharing popularity with the Bright Angel Trail, the South Kaibab Trail is the other main path down the South Rim into the depths of the canyon. Its trailhead has no parking allowed, so you’ll need to take one of the Grand Canyon’s many shuttles to reach the start and begin your descent.

Prepare properly for any trek down, because the South Kaibab lacks any water stops along the way and its rocky surface warms up quickly in the constant sun. Additionally, this trail drops 4780 feet in less than 7 miles, making it steeper, sunnier, and drier than the Bright Angel Trail. Don’t let these challenges turn you away from it though, as the South Kaibab has its own breathtaking views of the canyon that you’ll never see from the rim.

If you’re not looking to hike the full length, there are a few good turn around points at Ooh-Aah-Point (1 mile down), Cedar Ridge (1.5 miles), and Skeleton Point (3 miles) which also gives your first peek at the Colorado River far below. For trekkers looking to camp or lodge at the bottom of the canyon, we’d recommend taking the South Kaibab down and the Bright Angel back up— as the shaded Indian Gardens and water points along the way are a boon to anyone making the steep ascent out of the canyon. The variety of scenery you’ll see from taking both trails doesn’t hurt either.

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