how to hike into the grand canyonhiking into the grand canyon

I kind of made it my mission to do at least one hike in every National Park we visited. Our trip to the Grand Canyon National Park was no exception and we went hiking into the Grand Canyon. Not all the way to the bottom, but probably about a third of the way down. It was hot, steep and great fun! Our hike into the Grand Canyon took us on the South Kaibab trail which I’ve detailed below. Check out the video to see what it’s like!

hiking into the grand canyon south kaibab trail

Hike into the Grand Canyon

The South Kaibab Trail starts towards the south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road. It’s on the shuttle bus route and private vehicles aren’t allowed so park your car up at one of the main car parks or outside of the Grand Canyon itself, and get the bus to the trailhead. Watch out for mules as this is a popular mule trekking route (although we didn’t see any on our hike!).

The route actually takes you all the way down to the Grand Canyon’s floor but you won’t manage to go down and back in a day. We hiked down to Cedar Ridge which is a 3 mile round trip. It’s recommended that you don’t go past this point on a day hike during summer due to the heat and steepness of the trail.

There aren’t any water stops on the trail so make sure you’ve got plenty. You’ll need more than you think so it’s better to take too much than too little.

Walking the South Kaibab Trail

hiking into the grand canyon south kaibab trail

The trail starts off pretty steep as you criss cross down into the Grand Canyon itself. There’s not much shade but the views are incredible and you really get a sense for how enormous the canyon is!

The first stopping point you get to is called Ooh-Aah point which is 0.9 miles along the route. You get a really wide, panoramic view from here and it’s a great place to have a quick snack and a rest before continuing onto Cedar Ridge.

The route narrows a little bit from here to Ooh-Aah point. It’s still very steep so it might take a bit of a toll on your knees as you walk along the ridge.

Cedar Ridge makes a great place for a picnic lunch – you won’t beat the views!

hiking into the grand canyon south kaibab trail

The hike back up to the top is definitely a steep one! Keep plodding along and you’ll soon be up at the top. Don’t forget to look up and take in the views.

The National Park service say it takes twice as long to climb back up to the top as it does to hike down. Somehow I think we made it up to the top quicker than we made it down, but just be prepared!

Trailhead to Cedar Ridge: 3 miles round trip // 6120ft Elevation at destination
Trailhead to Ooh-Aah Point: 1.8 mile round trip // 6660 ft Elevation at destination

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