Take a Hike! Grand Canyon Edition: South Kaibab Trail

Hey, hey, hey!  Just got back from my trip to the Grand Canyon, and I thought you might like to…take a hike!  With me!  My original plan was to hike to the bottom of the canyon in one day, camp at the bottom, and hike back up a different trail the next day, but the Grand Canyon is so crowded that, even when I applied for a permit 2 months in advance, all of the camping sites at the bottom were already taken.  Even arriving at the Backcountry information center right as they opened on the day of my hike was not early enough.  That is how popular the Canyon is!

Trying not to be devastated by this hiccup in my plans, I hiked as far down as I could each day, and then back up, camping in the crowded Mather Campground on the rim.  Though I probably put more miles on my feet than I would have with my original plan, I never quite made it to the river.  I was disappointed, but I still really enjoyed this trip!

Here is the South Kaibab trail.  In a day hike, I think it would be possible to get to the bottom and back, but it is strongly advised against by the rangers, so I just went down to Skeleton Point and back to the rim, 6 miles (9.6 km) round trip and 2,040 ft (620 m) elevation change one way.


Trail head


Trail head


One thing about the Grand Canyon is that you can see the trail you’ll be hiking on for miles ahead


The gorgeous views are non-stop


Conifer waterfalls


Dusty, dusty trail


This trail is exposed…very windy and sunny with no shade or water


This is why it is crowded


A wide trail


Down below the 1.5 mile rest house


We came from up there!


The river runs through that inner canyon


Mules on the trail


Hi mule!


You can see this big rock in a lot of my photos from the rim


I thought this was a condor, but it is just a turkey vulture










Skeleton Point! I asked the ranger about this and he said it was so named because a mule fell off the trail and died and the skeleton was left there for a long time.


View from Skeleton Point


Walked a little bit beyond the point


On the way back up


As you can imagine, the trail now goes steeply uphill


I thought this cloud looked like road runner…don’t you think?

IMG_4780 IMG_4787 IMG_4866


6 thoughts on “Take a Hike! Grand Canyon Edition: South Kaibab Trail

  1. Looks like an amazing hike! You got some beautiful shots of the canyon, and your photos really give a good sense of what the trail is like–a must do next time I’m in the area. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Astounding. Great pics. Loved that. Now I feel I’ve done it myself and can tick it off the list. I’d find the crowds really annoying, anyway. The feeling might be mutual, as I scowled my way along muttering darkly. RH

    • Hehehe, yeah it was definitely not what I was looking for. I had some erroneous notion that I might find solitude and have an opportunity to reflect on the last five years, but the crowds were impossible. It was mind blowingly gorgeous though.

  3. Pingback: (Other) Vertebrate fauna of the Grand Canyon | standingoutinmyfield

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