South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

Between tax prep and rainy day snuggles with my pups this weekend, I turned on the computer and began scrolling through photos from last year's cross-country CYOP road trip. Sometimes it's nice remind myself of adventures that have come and gone, you know? 

Thing is, I realized I never edited and shared snaps from my favorite hike from my quick stop in Grand Canyon National Park! I thought I'd better hop to it just in case any of you have plans to head that way in the coming months (and if you have a chance to go—do it!).

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

So let's talk about the South Kaibab Trail, shall we?

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

My stay was focused on the South Rim and as I was researching hikes, I knew I needed to try and tackle a day hike along this specific trail. Why? It's stunning.

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

From the South Rim, this trail leads down to the Colorado River and meets up with the North Kaibab Trail, which gets you up to the North Rim on the other side. Someday, a longer, multi-day hike might be in order, but I only had time for a day hike during my stay. I knew I needed to stick to a hike I could handle during the cooler morning hours.

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

Since this trip was my first time to the canyon and I wasn't acclimated to the elevation yet, I decided to hike about a mile and a half down into the canyon to the Cedar Ridge stopping point mentioned in this pdf

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

The views from the rim of the canyon are spectacular—no doubt about it—but I cannot recommend hiking into the canyon enough. You get such a different perspective seeing the plant life and canyon walls up close. You also gain a healthy respect for just how deep the Grand Canyon really is!

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

Travel tip: all of the information about the trail notes that you have to get to the west side of the park and take a shuttle to the trail head for this hike. If you want a ride right to the start of your hike, that's true—there's no private vehicle access to this trail head.

However, you can walk. There's a small parking lot (with a restroom!) across Desert View Drive and about .12 miles down the road from Yaki Point Road, which is the road you need to take to get to this trail head. I chose to park there and walk to the trail head because, you know, I was just going to be walking all morning anyway. All told, it's about .65 miles from the parking lot to the trail head, which means this option adds just over 1 1/4 miles to your hike. For me, it seemed silly to go to the other side of the park, hang out with tourists and cram together on a bus just to get to a place to which my two feet could carry me just fine.  

South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park
South Kaibab Trail // Grand Canyon National Park

No matter how you get there, if you have a chance to hike the South Kaibab Trail—even if you only hike a half mile into the canyon—please give it a try. It's worth the effort to see a side of the canyon so many people never take the time to explore.

Tell me, friends: do you have any hiking recommendations in Grand Canyon National Park? 



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