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Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

Four days across the Grand Canyon you will never forget!
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 22.9 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview:  There is a secret to a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike: Take four days to do it, even if you can do it in one. I have friends who go... more »

Tips:  Take the Trans-Canyon Shuttle from the South Rim to the North Rim and stay at the NorthRim Lodge or the North Rim campground the night... more »

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Points of Interest

1. North Rim to Cottonwood Camp

The hike starts in Roaring Springs Canyon, which begins as an evergreen forest that will remind you of Colorado. It will continue that way until you reach the Supai Tunnel, about two miles into the hike. Pass through the tunnel, and you will emerge into a desert environment. The descent on this first day is very steep; you will drop about a mile... More

2. Cottonwood Camp

Cottonwood Camp is the first night's campground. There is not a lot here; just the campground, tap water (in addition to Bright Angel Creek), and a ranger station that is only sometimes manned. Many of the campsites have no shade, but there are plenty of shady spots over by the Ranger station, and Bright Angel Creek is a welcome relief for feet... More

3. Cottonwood Camp to Bright Angel Campground

The second day's hike to Bright Angel Campground is relatively flat, but it has its challenges. Not the least of these is 'The Box', a deep canyon that turns into an inferno in the midday heat. So get an early start; we typically break camp at about 5:00 AM, just after first light. You will be walking along Bright Angel Creek the entire way, so... More

4. Bright Angel Campground

 Bright Angel Campground is about a half-mile past Phantom Ranch, and if an afternoon at the cantina isn't your cup of tea, there is a beach just beyond the campground, at the Colorado River. Either way, stay cool until after sunset, and turn in early! You will want to get an early start the next morning. The campground has tap water and... More

5. Bright Angel Campground to Indian Garden Campground

It's best to get a very early start; we generally hit the trail about 5:00 AM. You will see why in a minute. The trail starts out across the Colorado River on the Silver Bridge, then follows the Colorado River on a fairly easy up-and-down slope for a couple of miles. At Pipe Creek, the trail turns inland and heads up Pipe Creek Canyon. A... More

6. Indian Garden Campground

Indian Garden is a delightful spot. It is well shaded, with a creek at its lower end. Hikers climbing out in a day often rest here until the midday heat subsides, then finish their hike out. That's kind of a shame, because they miss one of the most amazing sites on the planet--sunset at Plateau Point.   The Point is about a mile-and-a-quarter... More

This is the part of the hike that intimidates a lot of people, but it really isn't bad at all. The keys to an enjoyable climb out are first, hit the trail early. As you probably guessed, we usually get going about 5:00 AM. And as you hike out, don't push it unless you really want to. Our motto is "hike a little, rest a little." We generally hike... More