Hiking Articles

South Kaibab Trail

The South Kaibab Trail is the more challenging of the two maintained trails along the south rim, with challenging vertical changes.

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Bright Angel Trail

The Bright Angel Trail is considered Grand Canyon’s Premier and safest trail. This trail offers options for Day Hikes, and hiking to the bottom.

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Hiking Information from the National Park Service

The National Park Service Grand Canyon offers a large amount of information about hiking the Grand Canyon, and Trip Planning, available as an app or in PDF Format. Check out the links below App and Shuttle Bus Information.


Grand Canyon, AZ – Grand Canyon National Park joins multiple national parks across the country by offering an official park app. This free app is available for download for iPhone and Android mobile phones. Cellular service and Wi-Fi locations are limited within the park, so visitors are encouraged to download the app and all of its offline content before arriving for the best user experience.

Grand Canyon Official App-Apple Store Preview

Grand Canyon Official App-Google Play Preview

Grand Canyon National Park has a handy Trip Planner in PDF format that you can download, save and/or print.

This Trip Planner includes maps and detailed information, including Backcountry Trip Planning information, for both the North Rim and the South Rim.

The Trip Planner is available in several languages, including EnglishChineseFrenchGermanItalian
JapaneseKorean, and Spanish.

 Grand Canyon National Park provides several shuttle services to help visitors get where they want. This service is free for visitors who have purchased a National Park Pass. 

Shuttles are a great way to get around the park without the hassle of finding parking. 

Visit the Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle Bus Page for up to date information about current Shuttle Bus Operations. 


Each year, more than 200 people need to be rescued from the Grand Canyon, and this is something that is costly and dangerous for the rescuers, and something that is almost completely preventable if hikers follow the recommendations of the NPS for hiking in the Grand Canyon. 

The first thing people need to realize is that there ARE no ‘easy’ trails into or out the canyon, and every hike should involve research, planning, and more planning


For all hikes, consult and follow these tips from the NPS. All information for this webpage was obtained from the NPS Website. 

General Hiking Tips

Summer Hiking Tips

Winter Hiking Tips

Backcountry Updates

Hike Smart Podcasts

Trail Courtesy and Leave No Trace Principals

Day Hikes

Many options are available for day hikers. The  South Rim  offers rim trail hikes that have spectacular views of the inner canyon, some on paved trails. Or you can choose to day hike into the canyon. Permits are not required for non-commercial day hikes.

Day hiking can be a safer and more enjoyable choice than an overnight trip into a difficult area that is beyond the capabilities of any single member of your group.

To obtain the most current information, always visit the South Rim Day Hike Page

The Rim Trail extends from the village area to Hermits Rest. Begin from any viewpoint in the Village or along Hermit Road. The Rim Trail offers excellent walking for quiet views of the inner canyon and for visitors who desire an easy hike. No water west of Bright Angel Lodge. Part of the trail is paved and accessible.

Rim Trail (Destinations, distances and services shown in a table)

Rim Trail (Hike Smart information and a detailed map)

(Steep) The Bright Angel Trail begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge and offers day hikes that range in distance up to 12 miles (round trip). Some shade. Seasonal water subject to pipeline breaks. Check at the Visitor Center or Backcountry Information Center for water status. Upper portion of the trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.

Bright Angel Trail (Map, Details and Mileage)

Bright Angel Trail Article and Video

(Steep) The South Kaibab Trail begins south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road.  Offers day hikes that range in distance up to 6 miles (round trip). Best views for a relatively short hike. Steep trail, no water, little shade. Water available seasonally at the trailhead. Upper portion of the trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.

South Kaibab Trail (Map, Details and Mileage)

(Steep) The Hermit Trail offers hikes to Santa Maria Spring, 5 miles (round trip), and Dripping Springs, 7 miles (round trip). Trail conditions are tougher than the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. Unmaintained steep trail requires caution. Begins 500 feet west of Hermits Rest. Water from springs must be treated before drinking. For experienced desert hikers. Hiking boots recommended.

Hermit Trail (Map, Details and Mileage)

(Very Steep) The Grandview Trail offers hikes to Coconino Saddle, 2.2 miles (round trip), and Horseshoe Mesa, 6.4 miles (round trip). Trail conditions are tougher than the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. Unmaintained steep trail requires caution. Begins on canyon side of retaining wall at Grandview Point on Desert View Drive (12 miles east of village). For experienced desert hikers. Hiking boots recommended.

Grandview Trail (Map, Details and Mileage)

Backcountry Permits

Going on a hike is wonderful way to experience some of the canyon’s rich natural beauty and immense size. However, even if you are an avid hiker, hiking the Grand Canyon is very different from most other hiking experiences.

Backcountry Permits are required  when camping anywhere in the park, other than in developed campgrounds on the North Rim or the South Rim.

To obtain the most current information, always visit the NPS Backcountry Information Page

Please use the links below for full information about applying and paying for Backcountry Permits. 

How to Apply

Obtain and fill out the Backcountry Permit Request Form:


Last Minute Permit for Corridor Campgrounds

A limited number of last minute walk-up permits are available at the South Rim and/or North Rim Backcountry Information Center for Corridor Campgrounds (Indian Garden, Bright Angel, and Cottonwood Campgrounds). These permits are issued in person only, are for one or two consecutive nights, and cannot be purchased more than one day prior to the start of a hike.

Last minute permits are issued by the Backcountry Information Center.

View or Download the Introduction to Backcountry Hiking. 

Backcountry Information

  • Phone: 928-638-7875  
  • FAX:  928-638-2125
    Mailing Address:
    Grand Canyon National Park
    Permits Office
    1824 S. Thompson St., Suite 201
    Flagstaff AZ, 86001