South Kaibab Trail
South Kaibab Trail
5
About
One of the two superhighways into the Canyon, the other being the Bright Angel Trail, this path runs along a ridge offering stunning views. During the summer, visitors are advised to bring at least two quarts of water along because it can get very hot and the trail offers no shade.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
1,748 reviews
Excellent
1,521
Very good
208
Average
12
Poor
6
Terrible
1

travelingfamily4Ma
MA707 contributions
Oct 2022
We took the 6:00am hikers shuttle from Bright Angel Lodge to South Kaibab trailhead. The bus was so full after the second stop that they didn’t even have any room for hikers at the third stop. We saw an elk when we got off the shuttle. Many people on this shuttle appeared to have plans beyond Skeleton Point (maybe Phantom Ranch or the other rim). It was very crowded at the beginning of the hike. My husband and I were trying to take a relaxing, slower pace and we were getting passed by runners and people who seemed to be trying to make it to Ooo Ahh Point for sunrise. Our plan was to hike to Skeleton Point and back for the 6 mile round trip. We stopped for lots of pictures and a bathroom break at Cedar Ridge. It took us about an hour and 50 minutes to make the 3 miles down. At Skeleton Point we went to the left and were able to see the Colorado River and admire the views. After Cedar Ridge the crowds really cleared out and we had that 1.5 miles almost to ourselves. People were either way beyond us or turning around at Cedar Ridge. The hike back up was tough, but it was not as bad as we were expecting. Maybe we over prepared, but we had plenty of water, snacks and took very frequent breaks to catch our breath. It only took us 2:45 to get back up with quite a lot of breaks. All told we got in the trail at 6:30 and were back up by 11:30. One of our favorite hikes we’ve done! Some tips- bring lots of water, snacks, hiking poles, plan for an early start so you are back before noon if at all possible, and know your limitations before you head out.
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SFKAT3
London, UK294 contributions
Sep 2022
This is a wonderful hike with spectacular views that can be as long or short as you are capable of. It's quite steep on the way back as numerous other reviewers point out. We've done some challenging hikes in the past, but many years ago when younger & more fit. So we thought it best to take a guided hike but the one we booked cancelled us, which turned out to best. There is so much info online that tells you everything you need to know about the South Kaibab, including tutorials on how to use poles.. We bought our own (highly recommend) which we've now used on other hikes and water bladders for our backpacks, then lunch & snacks at the village market deli in the south rim. The trail was not too crowded and we turned back after about 1.5 miles. In retrospect we could have gone further but better safe than sorry. If you are prepared with adequate footwear, water and snacks, there is really no need for a guide, just keep in mind the hike back up is a lot more strenuous.
Written November 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

crystalp82705
106 contributions
Jun 2022
We hiked this trail as a family of 4, ages ranging from 12 to 65. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must! This is definitely a moderately challenging trail. The elevation is steep, and the loose rocks and gravel add additional challenges. We made it down to "ooh ahh" point which was incredible and beautiful. You must take the park's shuttle bus service to the trailhead - you cannot drive your own vehicle. Don't overestimate your ability, the climb back up takes 2-3 times longer than the way down!
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noemie S
New York City, NY94 contributions
Mar 2021 • Solo
Despite being spring break, there was no traffic at the park entrance at 9am, plenty of parking spots at the visitor center and the shuttle bus was fairly empty. You have to take the shuttle to the trailhead. There are a few spots at the lookout, but buses run every 8 minutes so not really worth the extra hike you'll have to do to the trailhead. I decided to hike all the way to skeleton point. I thought the hike down from the start of the trailhead to cedar point was slightly challenging because it's pretty steep. The wind was also very strong - one hiker's hat flew away! I thought the hike from cedar point to skeleton point was easier and a lot less windy. Saw a few mule trains go by as well. Once you get to skeleton point, turn left and you'll see the Colorado River. It took me about 1.5 hours to hike all the way down, with multiple photo stops and snacks. Hiking up was no joke. It took me an hour more. Don't underestimate the ascent: take breaks when necessary and drink plenty of water. Trail wasn't as busy as I'd thought it would be, but when I was hiking up I saw a lot more people hiking down. Caught the first shuttle and there were barely anyone on it. Overall great experience with breathtaking views!
Written March 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristyn S
Hemet, CA176 contributions
Jul 2021
We took a short hike down to Ooh Aah Point. Our hike was only a small fraction of the trail (about 0.9 mile one way), but with amazing views around every corner, we were still able to appreciate the grandeur of the canyon as we made out brief descent.

Having started our hike shortly before 7am, we were able to enjoy the hike before the sun and the crowds were out in full force. As this segment of the trail only took about 2 hours roundtrip (with kids--probably much quicker without), we also had most of the day remaining to enjoy more of the South Rim.

I would love to hike more of South Kaibab in the future, but the 1.8 mile roundtrip to Ooh Aah Point was perfect for a one-day trip to the Canyon.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Justa Travlr
Loveland, OH18 contributions
Nov 2020
Please, please take your time on this trail! Enjoy what you are experiencing! We were passed by so many people that looked like they were in a rush. WHY? On the way back up, we were passed by people grumbling at each other because they were exhausted, but for some reason, never took a break. I hate to tell you this, but there is no trophy waiting for you at the top.
We are in very good shape, and still took out time to enjoy the view, take water/snack breaks, pictures, etc. We stayed in Cedar Ridge and sprawled out on the rock ledge and took in the sun before the climb back up. On the climb up (and yes, it will kick your butt) we again rested, water/snack break etc. and the whole family was still in good spirits the whole climb. TAKE YOUR TIME. (We were dropped off at 11am and boarded again at 3pm, so yeah...4 hours) making sweet positive family memories- not yelling and rushing
Written December 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jadepanda
Alexandria, VA116 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
We hiked down to Cedar Ridge and back. It was about 3 miles round trip and took us (with our 11 year old) about 3.5 hours. This was a highlight of our trip! The views were extraordinary. Everyone on the trail was friendly… however, it got busy. We were on the trail by about 8am. A lot of people seemed to be getting started at 11am.

Bring more water than you think you need and just take the shuttle… parking was scarce and the shuttle is really convenient.
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN2,789 contributions
Oct 2020
This was an incredible experience although really strenuous for this middle aged guy in only moderate shape. I took an empty shuttle from the Visitor Center shortly after sunrise on a 27 F morning to the trailhead. Pretty cool as I didn't see another soul on the trail during the first 30 minutes and even after that only encountered 15-20 other hikers on my way down to Tip Off Point. Temperature quickly warmed and I was shedding my layers after only 1 hour on the trail. High temp at the Rim was 42 F that day and it was comfortable in the 60s in the Canyon. Actually walked about 10 min past Tip Off for a spectacular view of the Colorado River. You are close enough to hear the rushing of the river at this point. It took me about 3 hours to hike to just past Tip Off with plenty of time spent taking photos. Probably could have made it in under 2.5 hrs without stopping. As it was still just 10am in the morning, I was so tempted to hike all the way down to the Phantom Ranch but this was another 2000 ft descent. More importantly, this would have made for a 5000 ft ascent. I would never have made it back up. I was exhausted during the final hour of the hike having to stop for a breather every 1-2 minutes. With that said, I did make the climb back to the Rim in 4.5 hrs. Many more people were encountered on the hike back up especially between Cedar Ridge and the trailhead. Even got to see the mule train passing by which was pretty cool. The best part of the hike was the stretch between Cedar Ridge and Skeleton Point. Even though it was cool to see the Colorado River, unless you are hiking all the way down to the Phantom Ranch, I'm not sure if hiking beyond Skeleton Point to Tip Off is worth the extra effort. This section is made up of very steep steps and multiple switch backs. Really exhausting coming back up. Next time I will plan well in advance and try to stay in the canyon overnight allowing me to hike down one day and out the next. This is the only sane way to do this.
Written November 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fenway1977
Greendale, WI17 contributions
May 2023
This hike is no joke and should be taken seriously, but what a hike! The scenery is incredible. The trail is well maintained, but be careful - there is no water along the way. You need to fill up at the trailhead. It does get steeper as you head down and I would not recommend when it's too hot as there is little to no shade. That said, if you're in good enough shape and you're prepared (water, hiking shoes, etc.) it's well worth the effort. Just be careful.
Written May 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Autumn G
290 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
We waited until about 5:30 pm to do the 0.9 mile hike down to Ooh Aah Point. The temperature was perfect at this time even in August, following a thunderstorm. They hike down seemed further than a mile and I started to worry that the lookout point was unmarked- don’t worry, you can’t miss it! Breathtaking vista over the canyon in evening light was amazing. We took turns taking family photos with another group that was there at the same time and got some amazing shots. The hike back up was a bit strenuous with a lot of stairs- make sure to bring water and take it easy.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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South Kaibab Trail (Grand Canyon National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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