We hiked the South Kaibab Trail during the first week of April. We took the 8:00am bus from the visitor's center to the trail. The elk were out that morning and we saw them at the visitors center, on our bus ride, and at the trailhead. We had the trail all to ourselves as we descended the trail, and it was awesome to feel like we had the canyon all to ourselves. We made quite a few stops on the way to Cedar Ridge to enjoy the views and take pictures.
We headed back up the trail after stopping at Cedar Ridge. At first, we were hiking at a pretty fast pace and got winded after a few switchbacks. We stopped to catch our breath, then continued at a slower pace and had no problem after that. I was actually surprised by how easy it was to hike up after I just slowed down. The trail was quite busy as we made our way back to the rim, especially by the time we got back to Ooh Aah Point. Begin this hike early to avoid the crowds.
Be sure to dress in layers for this hike. The temperature was very cool when we started our hike, especially because the trail was shaded on the way to Cedar Ridge. However, the temperature warmed up quickly and it was pretty warm by the time we started heading back up the trail.
Bring lots of water with you for this hike. We always take 2 liters per person for a three hour hike, and we used all of it. There is a bottle filling station at the trailhead, but no place to get water once you head into the canyon.
You also need to bring snacks or a small meal with you. We took cliff bars, apples, chips, and quinoa clusters. Cedar Ridge was a perfect spot to rest and have a snack.
There were toilets at the trailhead and Cedar Ridge. There are no sinks, so be sure to bring wet wipes or hand sanitizer with you.
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