Hike

Rim to Rim mapRim to Rim Map 2

Quick tips for the Rim to Rim hike of the Grand Canyon:

  • Day hike it – no permit required. Tips include starting very early, sitting out the hottest part of the day in the shade, bringing plenty of sweet and salty snacks. Hike with at least 3 liters of water and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.
  • Day hike it twice with rim lodging – get reservations at a South Rim Lodge (El Tovar, Bright Angel, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird, Maswik, or Yavapai), hike across the Canyon (23.9 miles), stay at the Grand Canyon Lodge for a night then return to the South Rim. Same tips as above. Reservations are difficult to get.   If you go this route consider booking a day again at the South Rim to relax and recuperate. You also have hotel options in Tusayan, Arizona which is just outside the park (South Rim).
  • Phantom Ranch – normally done in 2-3 days. Can go North to South or South to North. Hike down to Phantom Ranch, spend a night or two, hike out. Same tips as above. Phantom Ranch reservations (1 year in advance on the 1st of the month). Difficult to get.
  • Backpacking Trip – normally done in 3 or 4 days. Can go from North to South or South to North. Easier to go from North to South (North Rim is 1,000 feet higher).  You will need a shuttle for return trip. * You need a permit, which is where lottery drawing comes in, if you’re going to camp overnight in the Canyon.  
  • Fully Guided Trip –  please click here

How we hiked Rim to Rim:

What started out as a bucket list item soon became a reality when my buddy and I lucked out a cancellation for August 18, 2010 at Phantom Ranch. I called Xanterra Resorts every week in April of that year and finally had a reservation for Phantom Ranch in the women’s dorms.   This was our green light as my buddy Sandy and I wanted to take on Rim to Rim in two days.  This is how we did it in addition to some guidance and links to help you.

We started the journey early in the morning (5:20 a.m.) due to the expected heat in August down in the canyon in particular “the box” which is the hottest part of the hike as well as we needed to have our buddy John take us in from Jacob Lake Campground (where we spent the night prior to our hike = you also have the option of staying at the North Rim but reservations are difficult = booked through Forever Resorts) into the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (North Kaibab Trail = approximately 50 minute drive from Jacob Lake).

Sandy and I had a great day 1 and enjoyed our hike as it was a bit overcast that morning.  We felt the bathrooms and water stops were in perfect spots as right around each of them is when we needed to re-fuel.   We enjoyed our 14.3 mile trek from North Kaibab to Phantom Ranch.  Day 1 was in the books and we looked forward to our overnight stay at Phantom Ranch.  We put dibs on our bunks (there were 8 others soon to join us in the dorm), took showers and than chilled out awaiting our dinner call.  I can’t tell you how appreciative we were for the mules that carried down supper for all of us hikers. We enjoyed dinner, met some new friends and than proceeded to head to bed as we had an early rise the next morning.

Day 2 started with an early rise (4:00 a.m.), breakfast at Phantom Ranch, and off we were on the trail by 5:30 a.m.  Day 2 took us over the Colorado River up the Bright Angel Trail.  We had a 9.6 mile climb ahead of us.  Thanks to my off season training (stairmaster, stairmaster, stairmaster), I was ready for it.

We made great time up Bright Angel and before we knew it we were smelling fresh cologne and seeing people in sandals coming down.  We knew we were near the top and the completion of our first ever Rim to Rim hike.   We arrived at the Bright Angel trailhead just before lunch and while our room at Kachina Lodge was not quite ready yet we took our sweaty bodies (and we are still apologetic) and packs into El Tovar Dining Room for a well deserved lunch.  That diet coke over ice never tasted so good as my body was craving a bit of caffeine. We toasted to the completion of the bucket list item and simply just enjoyed time off of our feet.  Our room was ready and we showered and literally worked on our legs learning how to put one foot in front of the other again.  As the day went on my muscles became even stiffer.  I was so happy we booked a night at the South Rim so we could just relax and reflect on what we just had accomplished.

Later that evening we decided to hobble out to dinner (at the Arizona Room at Bright Angel Lodge and right next to our hotel) and ironically met up with our bunk mates from Phantom Ranch.  We all smiled, laughed and toasted to ALL OF US completing the hike.  The meal, the conversation, and the stories we shared ranks as one of the best experiences of my life!

Day 3 was all about getting up sore as ever for our 1:30 p.m. shuttle back to our car at Jacob Lake (we camped out there before the journey began).  We spent the morning taking it all in as well as gathering post cards and other gifts for our loved ones back home.  It was on the return trip on the trans-canyon shuttle where I had the epiphany “why don’t I start a club for all of us that have hiked Rim to Rim as well as a place to inspire others to take on this hike?”. Since there was no such thing, I created the Rim to Rim Club®, the website, official logo, and began the journey of building rim to rim products to commemorate the hike.

This entire hike was about perspective for me. It inspired me to start this club and encourage others to experience the trail.  It was the best experience of my life and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to take the time to listen to their soul again.   Our pictures can be viewed on our perspective page of this website as well as the photos from other hikers.  We welcome you to share your photos on our page by joining our group. My suggestion to those of you that have not taken on the hike yet, don’t view too many pictures as the first time you see the trail for yourself will be priceless and reserved for your memory.

Tips and links for a Rim to Rim hike:

The first question you must ask yourself is do you want to do the Rim to Rim hike in one day?

* Our recommendation is take two or more days to hike this and truly “experience” the Canyon.

The second question is do you want to camp out or stay at Phantom Ranch?

* We recommend Phantom Ranch (rest, recover, ramp up) if it is your first time.

If you choose the Phantom Ranch (which we did) you have several positives which would be a shower, bed, two meals (dinner after day one trek and breakfast before day two trek) and a lighter load!

If you want to camp out you must obtain a Backcountry permit (up to 4 months in advance). You can call the Backcountry office at 928-638-7875 to request your permit (link for application is below).  There are three campgrounds if you backpack (Cottonwood, Bright Angel, and Indian Garden) but again we preferred staying at Phantom Ranch.  There is an estimated 300 total people that can be accommodated overnight in the canyon (Bright Angel – 32 campsites/90 people, Cottonwood 12 campsites/40 people, Indian Garden 15 campsites/50 people and Phantom Ranch (dorms and cabins/90 people).  If you don’t have the luck of getting a permit you can always try a last minute walk up backcountry permit (within 6 days of your hike) at these four locations – North Rim Backcountry Office, South Rim Backcountry Office, Pipe Spring (Fredonia, Arizona) and the Public Lands Information Center (St. George, Utah).

For Phantom Ranch you must make advance reservations. Reservations are advised one year in advance unless you have a flexible schedule and can grab an opening.   Again, I kept calling Xanterra Resorts (303-297-2757) in April to see if there were any cancellations for the fall.  I called once a week.  There was finally an opening for two in August in the women’s dorm. Yes, August (HOT), but we wanted to hike Rim to Rim so I grabbed the reservation for the one night and booked our meals.

I also booked a room at the South Rim (Kachina Lodge through Xanterra) so we would have a day to recuperate and reflect on the experience and adventure of our Rim to Rim hike while gaining perspective of the Canyon from the top.

Again, our itinerary was to hike down North Kaibab Trail in one day, stay at Phantom Ranch overnight, hike up Bright Angel early next morning and get to South Rim for lunch. All went according to plan and that is why this is our recommendation for the “in pretty good shape” hikers (that want to carry a pack of less than 25 lbs. and could hike it in trail shoes) to try our option. Our experience was awesome (to include a quick break at Ribbon Falls on day one – go see this as it is less than 1 mile off trail) where I proceeded to soak my feet in the water. Don’t do this unless you have something to dry your feet off completely as you will get blisters.

Our recommendation for hiking your first Rim to Rim is to hike it from North Rim to South Rim via the North Kaibab Trail (8,241 ft – 14.3 miles – mostly a descent) and the Bright Angel Trail (mostly an ascent – 9.6 miles – 6,850 ft) which is estimated to be a total of 23.9 miles.

* North Rim Lodge and facilities are open May 15-October 15 (October 31st for campground) – South Rim is open year round.  Please see map above for seasonal water.  Road is closed at North Rim at first snow and for sure December 1 – May 14 each season so you must hike out to Jacob Lake in the winter months.

Other Option is to hike down North Kaibab Trail up the South Kaibab Trail (7,260 ft) but there is NO WATER and NO SHADE on the South Kaibab Trail. It is shorter (7 miles versus 9.6 miles for Bright Angel Trail) but steeper, and trust us, you will appreciate having water along the way. South Kaibab is a great option for the descent (start of your hike) when temperatures are cooler (spring, fall, or early morning in the summer).  If you are hiking South Rim via Bright Angel or South Kaibab to North Rim (North Kaibab) keep in mind the elevation gain and distance of the North Kaibab trail and know your limits!

If you have completed the Rim to Rim hike you have earned membership into the Rim to Rim Club®! Become an official member of the club by filling out our form on the right side of this website (the club is free). You can also post and update your hiking endeavors by liking us on our Rim to Rim Facebook page.

Here’s to the climb!

Michelle Delloso – Founder – Rim to Rim Club®

What you do need:

1. Great trail shoes and/or lightweight hiking boots and good socks – I hiked in trail shoes and wicking/wool socks.

2. Back Pack/Hydration Pack with proper clothes – I used a CamelBak (M.U.L.E.® Model) hydration pack with enough water and room in pack to bring change of clothes (fresh socks, change of undergarments, wicking socks, shirts, and shorts = 2 days worth).  Also consider a waterproof jacket and gear. Recommended weight limit of pack for day hiking with overnight at Phantom 20-30 lbs.

3. Hat or Bandanna – I wore a technical bandana that I came to appreciate as I could dip it in the water.

4. WATER – drink and fill pack with water at all stops – STAY HYDRATED

5. Food – salty snacks, protein, and some carbs. We carried beef jerky, energy bars (protein/energy), Fig Newtons, pretzels and CamelBak elixir to add to our water if we felt a potential “bonk”.  We also had the dinner and breakfast at Phantom Ranch which was awesome. Please LEAVE NO TRACE on the trail!

6. Bring an anti-chafing and anti-blister balm such as Body Glide® as well as band-aids and moleskin in case you forget to apply the balm.

7. Sunscreen and lip balm.

8. Toiletries – Trial size it! I carried a small toothbrush, small toothpaste, and small deodorant.

9. Personal Water Filtration kit/bottle – You never know if there are going to be pipeline issues.

10. Flashlight and/or Headlamp.

* optional – Hiking poles.  I used them on the descent only (North Kaibab) as I was post ACL/microfracture surgery and it helped.  If you bring them make sure you have the ones that fold up so you can pack away.

* Please be aware of Hyponatremia.  It is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells.  Remember to EAT!

* For sunrise and sunset times (hours of daylight) for the Grand Canyon please click here.

* For North Rim weather click here, South Rim here and Phantom Ranch here.

Tip: If you stay at Phantom Ranch in the dorm you will have bunk mates. We had wonderful ones and that is a great thing because we traded what we needed for next day to get us through and traded out what we didn’t need for the hike up Bright Angel (i.e., pack light). If you make the mistake of packing too much you can have the mules take your pack up the next day for a fee.  They hike down daily with the  food and supplies for Phantom Ranch and up with the mail and bags packed too heavy, etc.  We had tremendous gratitude for these animals as we appreciated the food at Phantom Ranch that they carried down for all of us.  Just be prepared for some of their “treats” on the  trails as they can’t help themselves!

* Day hikes and hikers staying at Phantom Ranch are not required to have permits.

* You only need a permit, which is where lottery drawing comes in, if you’re going to camp overnight in the Canyon.

* As of September 15, 2014 if you are with any group that publicly advertises a trip from rim to rim you will need a permit.  Any organized, noncommercial, group conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim in the inner canyon is required to obtain a Special Use Permit from Grand Canyon National Park. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim. Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), is required to operate under a Special Use Permit. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm

To camp overnight in the Grand Canyon, you are required to have a camping permit. For the Rim to Rim they’re very competitive to secure, so plan on trying several times before getting a permit. Permits become available 4 months in advance. For example if you want to hike in October, you’d apply on June 1st. You fax your application in to the Backcountry Information Center. Information can be found on the NPS website.

Rim to Rim Merchandise: Please visit the Rim to Rim® Store

Hiking tips: Please visit the  Grand Canyon National Park hiking tips page

Product tips: check out our Rim to Rim Club® You Tube Channel

Trail etiquette: please visit the Leave No Trace website

Lodging information: please visit the Grand Canyon National Park lodging

Rim to Rim guided hikes: please visit Wildland Trekking Company

Shuttle information: please visit Trans-Canyon Shuttle

Donate to the Trail: please visit the Grand Canyon Association

Support for the Rim to Rim Club®: please visit the Rim to Rim Store

ADOT: check for road conditions (especially for North Rim): http://www.azdot.gov

Backcountry Hotline (last minute permit requests): 1-928-638-7875

Permits: visit the Backcountry Office

Backcountry Updates/News/Podcasts:  NPS – Grand Canyon

North Rim Campground: 1-928-638-7888 and/or www.recreation.gov

South Rim Campgrounds: 1-877-444-6777 and/or www.recreation.gov

For Rim to Rim® merchandise please visit our Rim to Rim Store

RimtoRim-Mens-Mock

You can also help support our club by purchasing your hiking gear via this page/link

Training for a Rim to Rim hike:

These are just some “suggestions” but please realize we are not certified trainers nor assume any liability for your hike/training.

  • We highly recommend having a full physical prior to beginning your training as well as putting in place a full training/conditioning regime (12 months in advance is recommended) prior to a rim to rim hike. It’s an unusual hike as one must “climb” out to complete it and it’s hard to anticipate the energy and toll on the body this hike takes. Our recommendation is seek a certified trainer to set up a training regime if you are new to hiking.
  • Ideal training/conditioning is 12 months out. Key is to get the legs and glutes ready for the climbs and the knees ready for the descents. We strongly suggest working on climbing steps as much as you can as well as hills (ascending and descending).
  • Do not be shy about using poles on the descents if you have any kind of knee issues as they are priceless. If you can climb actual steps and hills that is great but the stairmaster is also a great machine for rim to rim training.
  • As far as weight training (12 month plan) we strongly suggest lunges (walking or standing lunges) 2x week but be careful on the knees (seek a trainer/gym for proper lunge techniques).
  • If you are able to run/bike/hike/walk get in as much cardio as you can as you will need it (at least 3-5x a week). Begin a stretching plan and keep the back and hips healthy (via stretching) and work on getting used to holding a a backpack months in advance (20-30 lbs on your back = ascending/descending and use one that is fitted for your body type).
  • Within 3 months we recommend having your boots broken in and having your backpack and the weight you anticipate carrying dialed in. Try to stay under 30 lbs (20 lbs is ideal with water = 2-3 liters at all times) for day hiking backpacks and overnights at Phantom Ranch.

There are packing tips on our hiking page:

http://www.rimtorim.org/hike-it/

For proper lacing, socks, and footwear please visit our YouTube page:

www.youtube.com/user/rimtorimclub

If you would like to take it on with a guide please visit:

http://www.rimtorim.org/guides/

Do not underestimate this hike! Weather, proper training and logistics are critical. When taken on respectfully and responsibly we guarantee it will be one of the best hiking experiences of your life!

* The mission of the Rim to Rim Club® is to offer a forum for hikers that have completed the Rim to Rim hike of Grand Canyon National Park to share their story and commemorate their accomplishment.  We also hope to inspire other hikers to embark on this journey.

Tell Your Story

  1. Hello,

    I will be in Grand Canyon for hiking on November 14-18, and as expected Phantom Ranch is full.
    Does anybody know how to get a “last minute” reservation if ever possible ?
    Another question : am I allowed parking my rental car at South Kaibab Trailhead for 1-2 days without risking getting it towed away ?

    Thx for your help,
    Arni

    • Arni,

      Keep calling Phantom as something usually opens up if you are persistent and have patience. The best bet for you at the South Rim is to park your car at the Backcountry office and take the shuttle over to the South Kaibab Trail. This way you don’t have to worry about your car. If you are trying to get a permit to camp out (if you don’t get a reservation at Phantom) you can always try a walk-up permit. Again, this can be done at the Backcountry Office. Good luck at have fun!

      Rim to Rim Club

  2. My daughter is going drop us at North Rim on Friday 17th night and spend the night with us. She will be driving back to S Rim on Saturday 19th morning, She has room for 1 or 2 female hikers that needs a ride back to S Rim. Its is free!
    Please send me an e-mail if interested.

  3. So nice to read each of your stories as that is what this club is all about. Welcome all that completed this hike to the Rim to Rim Club® as you are now members and part of the less than 1%.

    Good luck to all that will be embarking on the journey. May you have an experience, adventure and perspective to last a lifetime! We look forward to welcoming you to the club!

  4. Kara Sellers says:

    I had heard about this hike from a co-worker and could not get it out of my mind, and so finally decided to bite the bullet and actually start planning this hike for myself. My husband and I decided to do it together to celebrate our 15th anniversary. When we would tell anyone of our plans we would get one of two responses, either “you guys are going to die!”, or “that’s awesome!”. Depending on the day, I didn’t know which one might be closer to the truth! We live in Southern Illinois, and needless to say, there’s not much terrain around here to actually prepare for something like this. We did our best, and a couple of weeks ago, on Wed. May 27 ’15, we completed our much anticipated, long-awaited adventure. Let me tell you, it is tough! A month before, I had severely sprained my ankle and seriously debated even doing this hike, but in the end, decided to go ahead with it (against my better judgement). We stayed at the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim 2 days before our hike, then early the next morning took the Trans Canyon Shuttle to the North Rim Lodge. We had a nice lunch and hiked a little around the area to sight-see. We had a light supper and hit the hay around 7. The next morning, a driver from the Lodge took us to the North Kaibab Trail Head to begin our hike around 4:45am. They had gotten snow 2 days before, but besides a few little snowy patches around the trees, the trail was completely clear. Absolutely beautiful! Every few miles the terrain changes so much. Our descent would have gone much faster, except I was still being very cautious because of my ankle. The temperature was cool starting out (in the 40’s), but maxed out in the upper 90’s by afternoon. All in all, couldn’t have asked for better weather. Stopped in at Phantom Ranch for some lemonade and cooled off our feet in Bright Angel Creek. Thought it was a long hike through the bottom of the canyon until we started our ascent. When you read that you should anticipate up to an hour for each mile of ascent, they are not kidding! Didn’t think we were ever going to reach the top! The 3 mile rest house was amazing and we did rest there quite a while to recharge. Many of the hikers that we had seen earlier in the day were camping at one of the sites, so by afternoon we were the only 2 on the South Rim hiking up the Bright Angel Trail. At this point, I’ll be honest, I was cursing and praying in almost the same breath! Thoughts going through my mind were “What on Earth ever made me want to do this!” and “my husband is never going to forgive me!”. But let me tell you, when you finally reach the end, that is almost all forgotten. I think I’ve looked through my pictures of the hike every day since then and a part of me still can’t believe I had the nerve to even book it in the first place, let alone leave the kids with their aunt and drive across the country with my husband and actually do it!! Amazing experience for us both that we’ll always treasure, and even our kids, 12 and 9, are really proud of us. And you know what, I’m really proud of us too, because no, we “didn’t die!”, and yes, it was “awesome!”

  5. we are hiking r2r on September 12, 2015. we are going North to South. Anybody want to trade car keys that day?

    • Ken Rao says:

      I plan to do R2R on Sept 19,2015 from North to South to celebrate my 80th. Please post your feedback here on your hike on the 12th.

      Wishing you the best

  6. Hiking R2R2R in two weeks. Starting our descent on the South Kaibab trail through the canyon, staying at Cottonwood campground, then ascending up the North Rim the next day and back down to Cottonwood for the second night. Hiking out the Bright Angel trail on the third day. 2 in my party, we are from CO and have been training with full packs and boots and microspikes through the snowy CO winter. We are ready and very excited for our trip. Will post again once complete :)

    • Ambra – I’m curious how your R2R2R went … my wife and I are planning to hike South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to North Rim, then back to Phantom and up via Bright Angel Trail next year. I was hoping to get your feedback on the South Kaibab descent.

      • Dana, the South Kaibab is my favorite section of the r2r2r. It think it’s the most beautiful with maybe an exception for a super small part of the north kaibab. it is a steep descent which usually bothers my knees but when i put it as the first leg, as you are, then my knees are fresh and do fine. i completed that section last year in about 3 hours and just last weekend in 2 1/2. If you can schedule it for a sunrise or sunset start then you’re really in for a treat!! :)

    • How many days are you planning for?

  7. Okay, so it is time to mark this one off my bucket list. We have scheduled a r2r2r hike for September 2015. I am 53 and not getting any younger. My wife, daughter (20), and another couple our age are going to hike south to north, stay at north lodge for 2 nights then hike back to south rim. We live in Phoenix and hike south mountain trails weekly. I have also hiked from phantom ranch to south rim twice after completing half of the rafting trip through canyon. So I am well aware of how challenging the canyon is. But now I have nine months to prepare. I would welcome any training tips to help. Thanks and happy hiking!

    • Doug Hohenberger says:

      Hello Folks:

      Sounds like a great trip! I also am scheduled to hike to North Rim September 23, 2015 Wednesday. I live around Indianapolis and train for this wonderful adventure by running. This winter I am running 3 days a week. I will expand to 5 days a week this Spring and Summer.

      Mistakes that I have made in the past was not enough food. I hiked to the Colorado River and back and thought for sure I had enough food. Well I was halfway up the Bright Angel trail going back and I was out of energy and no food. I had plenty of water but I could not get energy from water.

      I was hiking by myself and just held on and did O.K. I was very tired and made it back. I learned a lesson to take more food and limit my pack to 20 pounds.

      Doug

      • what chow do you recommend? I did the Philmount Scout Ranch a few years back.. … the trip was great the food SUCKED…. mostly cookies and pop tarts.!! 63 miles and I GAINED weight.

    • Hi Bruce,

      We just completed R2R on Saturday and live in Phoenix as well. I highly recommend you hike Tom’s Thumb from the Gateway Trailhead in DC Ranch several times for training! We also have found that chewing Jelly Belly Sport Beans from My Indian Garden to the top will ward off the wall! Good luck!

    • Bruce,

      Please give your feedback once you’re out. As I am about the same age as you I’m very interested in your experiences as I plan doing the same in June next year with my daughter, itinerary planned SKT-PR-GCNR Lodge for two nights and back GCNR-PR (probably two nights)-GCSR.

      Does anybody know if there will be a shuttle early on North Rim in the morning going from the lodge to the trailhead?
      Having been in’91 for the first time at GC on my first USA-Holiday I immediately fell in love and stayed “frustrated” as I did not succeed fullfilling my wish to see the Colorado River.

      It took me until 2006 to come back when I booked a rafting trip and hiked out to south rim, in 2008 I was back with my whole Family and we hiked down SKT, stayed at PR and hiked out on BAT.

      In PR I bought a “rim to rim” sticker but never put it anywhere as I knew I still had to do this for real.
      Now, the plan has been fixed for next year, Training sessions have started :-).

      Thanks for this interesting and helpful site.

      Arni from Luxembourg/Europe

  8. We have hiked R2R the last four years around May 23rd. We stayed at the Kaibab Lodge on the North Rim and hiked down thru Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel. Two of the four years had temperatures in the low 100’s at Indian Gardens in the shade. Those hikes were brutal and that may be understating it. We start at 4 AM and we finished at 4 PM each hike. An hour or two quicker this year because temp was only 75 deg at Indian Gardens. Still a hard one day hike but not brutal.

    I am writing to ask if any one has comments about hiking R2R at night. Here is my thought: We may have 12-15 people for this hike. I am looking at hiking down South Kaibab on the afternoon of May 15th, 2015 and finishing around 4 AM on the morning of May 16th. Maybe 3-5 people would hike with me. The other 8-10 would drive directly to the North Rim on May 15th. They would start their hike on May 16th at 4 AM. We would get their keys for their cars and their hotel rooms. We would use their hotel rooms to freshen up and take a nap until about 11 AM. Then we would drive their cars over to the South Rim, pick them up and stay at the South Rim on May 16th and have dinner together.

    Unfortunately that date has a new moon but I do not think this is a deal breaker.

    Any comments??

    • I take it from your post that heading down the North Kaibab on May 15th to Cottonwood would not be advisable after 12 noon? We will be shuttling from the South Rim and the shuttle gets in at 12. Maybe we will spend the night of the 14th and head down early early. Was questioning the temps below the rim during that time. Thanks!

    • I take it from your post that heading down the North Kaibab on May 15th to Cottonwood would not be advisable after 12 noon? We will be shuttling from the South Rim and the shuttle gets in at 12. Maybe we will spend the night of the 14th and head down early. Was questioning the temps below the rim during that time. Thanks!

      • You are descending down (versus ascending) from North Kaibab to Cottonwood which is only 6.8 miles so the key is the weather and the heat factor. They don’t recommend that you hike between the hours of 10:00-4:00 during the peak of summer but in May the heat may not be that bad. Again, key is to check the weather and know your limits.

        • Thank you. I spoke to someone in the back country office today and since there will be no accomodations open on the 14th on the North Rim for an early start on May 15th, they recommended we start down at 2:30pm. Does anyone know if you can order meals at Phantom even if you don’t have reservations for an overnight stay? Less packing would be a great option.

          • I don’t think that hiking as far as Cottonwood which is not quite halfway to the bottom will be an issue even starting at midday. By the time you reach Cottonwood it’ll be about 5pm and cooling off again.N Rim temps are about 10 degrees colder than at Cottonwood …It’s a beautiful hike! As for PR meals, they have to be reserved. The mules only carry so much for each day’s meal prep! The only extras they may have are sack lunches. You can call as many times as you like to ask for meal cancellations…they do open up! I got meals for 2 days, for 4 people at PR, bit by bit, over the course of several months. Good luck!!

  9. I have reservations for in Oct 2015 at Phantom and our dinner is the 5:00pm seating. I am worried if we hike from the North side, we might miss dinner. All women are in very good to great shape and avid hikers. Does anyone know the realistic time it takes to get from the North Kaibab trailhead to Phantom Ranch if you are moving along at a decent walking pace, eating lunch and still able to take in some sites and pics? The sites online are all over the board from first timers to runners. We are fast hikers, but still want to enjoy the trip down. Any thoughts from people who have done it at an above average hiking speed, but not r2r2 runners??!!

    • Hi Flo,

      My friend and I just completed R2R on Saturday and it took us less than 4 hours to travel down North Kaibab to Phantom Ranch. We are 50 and avid hikers and did not run. Even if you take lots of pics, 5 hours is plenty to get to Phantom from the North Rim. We departed at 5:15 am in 2 inches of snow and arrived at Phantom at 9:50am, with day packs. We continued on to the south rim, all in one day.

  10. Marjorie N., in P.B. Missouri says:

    As an 88 1/2 year old mother, and grandmother, whose grandchildren and son-in-law are going to do this R2R2 climb thinggggg, it now gives me something more to think about and a better reason to drink more wine. God be with my loved ones!

  11. Rim2rim2rim over 3 days aug 14-16 2014. Buildup approach.
    Day 0 camp Mather from ABQ
    Day 1 S Kaibab to Phantom ranch cabin (3.5 hrs with 0930 start). Very hot (100F+ at phantom)
    Day 2 N Kaibab to N rim cabin (7.5 hrs with 0730 start).
    Day 3 N Kaibab down Bright angel up (start 0530 finish 1830). Lots of resting and socializing at water stops so felt good at top. Phantom was 104F per the shade thermometer around 1230.
    Pack was 25lbs at start (10 essentials +flask and including 4 quarts water for first day). Pack was lighter each day with water stops and consumption figured out (had iodine tablets as backup).
    Vitals: Age 35 and hike New Mexico and Colorado. Not even close to how bad we expected but it is backcountry and to be respected and conditions change.
    Cautions: encountered 3 rattlesnakes on trail at and below cottonwood campground. No draft IPA on south rim. Phantom ranch steak dinner is just ok, over cooked but filling. N Kaibab trailhead to lodge is 1.7mi. There was an airlift (hope they were ok) from bright angel campground on 8/15. Don Lynch’s comments above are quite sound.

  12. JR SMTIH says:

    While hiking the North Rim in July of 2012, I met a New Orleans EMT who was just completing a Rim2Rim hike. Needless to say, I was thrilled by his story and began planning a R2R adventure for the summer of 2014. Due to work, the earliest departure date from Florida would be June 11th. Made reservations, obtained permits, and created an itinerary for the three day two night hike. One friend and one family member joined the adventure to depart North Rim at 5:00 am on the 12th of June and arrive at Bright Angel Campground.

    Tried to obtain Phantom Ranch accommodations by calling weekly for cancellations, without any luck- however, it was a blessing in disguise because we wouldn’t have made it for the evening of the 12th.

    One my friends slipped and was unable to hike any further than Cottonwood. A precious couple, Holly and Garth, allowed us to “crash” their campsite since no ranger was available. Early am on the 13th, having set up the friend who couldn’t walk, we hiked down to ranger station at PR. Met ranger on the trail and she assured us we did the right thing and that she would take care of getting our friend out. But our friend would have to stay another night at Cottonwood due to high winds and heat. My stepdaughter and I made it PR by 10:00 am where we experienced high winds and heat. Sat in the creek for almost an hour which lowered core temp dramatically. Visited with campers until 5pm before heading to our scheduled night at Indian Gardens. Despite full moon, we still needed headlamps because it took us so much longer due to staying at Cottonwood rather than Bright Angel on the first night.
    I don’t recommend hiking Devil’s Corkscrew in the dark – if you can avoid it.

    Wasn’t able to get much rest at Indian Gardens once we arrived due to early departures (1:00-4:00 am) of many campers. Seemed like the packs got heavier once we departed around 8:30 am- yes, we were the last hikers to ascend.

    Met so many great folks along the ascent up- this sea level Floridian noticed a definite altitude change but we rested in the heat of the day and hiked in the cool. We had to rely on the headlamps again for the final mile because it just was too dark.

    Our friend was airlifted out of Cottonwood to So Rim where she was treated and released by noon on the 14th. The rescue helicopter ride took 11 minutes.
    My step-daughter and I didn’t arrived to Thunderbird Hotel until after 9:30 pm. – tired, dusty but so THRILLED we made it.

    What memories we made along the way and now we are planning another R2R adventure for October of 2015.

    We are going to call for Phantom Ranch accommodations as soon as possible and my husband wants to come this time and ride the mules to PR.

    We would love to try and locate Garth and Holly-Minnesota – just to say thanks again for helping us.

    My step-daughter came up with a great name for us— the “Blazing Turtles”-

    Happy Trails!

  13. Did Rim to Rim August 2012. Took shuttle from south to north. Camped at cotton wood, bright angel, and indian gardens. Could have just stayed at bright angel, last year (2013) made it to south rim from phantom without camping at indian gardens, September. Did a lot of walking on local trials with weighted packs, 50 lbs and extended hikes of 10 to 15 miles. Stairs might have been more beneficial.

  14. I have done the Rim to Rim 5 times and am doing it again this year May 18th. One time down south Kaibab and the other four down Bright Angel. Yes, you need to be in shape but it is very doable. Starting at the Bright Angel is by far the easiest. South Kaibab is prettier but if you have any kind of problem, you might not see another person and are pretty much on your own. At least on Bright Angel, you see other hikers. The worst part of Bright Angel of course are the donkeys. They smell so bad and you really have to watch where you step!!

    I wore hiking shoes the first year and threw them in the trash right after. I had so many blisters. The next four years, I wore by old running shoes. By best suggestion is to cut your toenails as short as you can get them. Some of my friends have lost some toenails from the down hill pounding your feet take. I also suggest a walking stick. It really helps on those switchbacks on the way out hiking up the North side. In all five times I have done this trip it has been a “girls trip” and we loved it each time. It is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done and anyone I have taken on this trip considers this one of their greatest accomplishments!

    • How long does it take you to hike R2R? We are planning on May 28, 2014 hike and we were trying to try to get an approximate time frame. I’ve hiked North Rim down to Ribbon Falls and back up in one day, but never did the full R2R. We were planning on 12-14 hours, and taking time to stop and check out Ribbon Falls. Does that seem about right?

      • Amy, it took us about 6 hours of hiking each day = 12 hours (we completed Rim to Rim in two days). We did stop and visit Ribbon Falls for about 1/2 hour and we did stay the night at Phantom Ranch which was very relaxing. If you are planning a one day Rim to Rim (North to South) than 12-14 hours is about right depending on your conditioning. You stated that you went down North Kaibab and than back up North Kaibab (with the visit to Ribbon Falls) which is about 16 miles total so you will feel that same type of climb (around 8 miles) up the the South Rim for a total distance of 23.9 miles (via N. Kaibab to Bright Angel) and/or 21.3 miles (via North Kaibab to South Kaibab) for the full Rim to Rim. Good luck and we hope to have you in the club soon!

    • Tina, I had a pair of Danners’ Worst shoes ever!! Blisters.. borrowed old pair of running shoes to finsh

  15. I am in the process of planning a R2R hike for Sept 2015 and am wondering what would best- to stay on the south rim and take the shuttle to the north side before starting out or staying on the north side and then taking the shuttle back from the south to north once we get up on the south side? Im wondering if we’d want to take a 5 hr bus ride after a long hike? We plan on taking 4 days to do it and want to stay at Phantom Ranch. We’ve hiked down the south side to Plateau Point and back up in a day and really want to do R2R! Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks!

    • Lorene,

      If it is your first time we would recommend North Rim to South Rim. On our trip we camped out and than hiked North to South, one night at Phantom Ranch and than treated ourselves to a nice hotel at South Rim. We didn’t mind shuttling back as we were rested and clean!

      You can also post on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rimtorim for feedback from our members.

      Good luck!

      Michelle

      • Thanks Michelle! Do you think it would be worth it to stay 2 nights at the Phantom Ranch or is that too many? Or are more the scenic highlights on the way down? We’ve gone down the south side as far Plateau Point and back up in a day but want to see more so the R2R is a must!

        • You can take a side trip to Ribbon Falls and also other hikes at the base. My buddy and I started early each morning so it all depends on how much other “hiking” or just “resting” you want to do and where you want to do it. We wanted to make sure we completed Rim to Rim in good spirits so we enjoyed having the day at the top of the South Rim once we completed the hike since it was our first time there. There’s a walk at the top that may also be nice for you. Again, feel free to post on our Facebook page as we have hikers on there that have done Rim to Rim multiple times and may have other suggestions/options. Either way, the Rim to Rim Experience will be one you will never forget!

  16. No permit needed for R2R if you are not camping in the backcountry. Do the trip in a day or stay at Phantom Ranch and you need no permit.
    Anyone on here doing a R2R from the south arriving on the north on May 24th or early May 25 of 2014?

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for posting this. You can also post on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rimtorim just in case hikers don’t see this post on our website!

      Happy Hiking!

      Rim to Rim Club

    • Myself and 2 friends will start at the south rim on may 25th for a rim to rim hike. Our plan is to rest a day on the north rim and start a rim to rim (n to s) on may 27th.

    • we will be doing R2R May 23rd arriving south rim on the 25th but will have our car at north rim… does your question have to do with transportation logistics ?

    • My wife and I are day hiking R2R, south to north, and arriving at N. Rim on Sunday, May 25. Layover day/night and heading back across in a day on Tuesday, May 27th. I am responding to a question. Want to coordinate something?

  17. My 14 year old daughter and I did the rim to rim in one day on September 21, 2013. We live in Arizona, so we are somewhat acclimated plus the weather was mild, only 93 degrees at Phantom Ranch. If one has never hiked the Grand Canyon before they should not attempt the rim to rim hike in one day. In fact, you should not try the one day river and back hike on the south rim if you are not Grand Canyon experienced. We learned on our first hike on the Grandview Trail, hiking in the Grand Canyon is harder than you think it is.

    We left at 6:10 am and made good time going down. Actually, too good time, since I arrived at Phantom Ranch about 12:30 tired and with sore knees. At 2:00 pm we headed to the Bright Angel trail. My knees were okay going up hill, but I pushed too hard going up the Devil’s Corkscrew and got pretty bad leg cramps shortly before Indian Gardens. That made the rest of the hike extremely hard. We ate dinner at Indian Gardens and pushed off again at 6:00 pm. We arrived at the top at 11:00 pm. My daughter was a little impatient about how slow I went but really pretty good about it.

    In retrospect, we would have been smarter to take more time going down and not worry about any ideas of arriving at the top at any reasonable hour. Doing that last 4.6 miles in three hours and using the other two hours before to walk slower and rest more would have been a better idea. Forget any time goals, just get through it. The top will still be there at 2 in the morning.

    Advice, other than taking your time? Always have plenty of junk food and electrolyte drinks in addition to water. Even though there is drinking water on both sides, it is sometimes a fair distance apart and one half gallon per person is an absolute minimum. More is better. Don’t even think of hiking down the Grand Canyon without a good flashlight and/or headlamp. Drink before you feel thirsty. Dunking in the creeks or splashing water on your face, head and shirt are no substitute for drinking, but sure help. Take moleskin. Have good shoes and socks, test them before this hike. Take hiking poles or a staff. I carry a staff and I really use it going up. Be in good shape. Be prepared to really hurt for a couple of days afterwards.

    Would I do it again? Absolutely, but at 60 years old I have to admit I am past the age where I can push myself for the one day hike. Next time I will have a reservation at Phantom Ranch and really enjoy all the sights. I now look on the one day rim to river hike as the “easy” one. My kids and I have done that one three times now. Don’t let that fool you, that hike can kill and it has.

  18. David Goodspeed says:

    In May 2012 I hiked the Grand Canyon for the first time, descending the South Kaibab Trail to the river, and then back up Bright Angel. I hiked with my brother-in-law (who flew in from New York; I live in the Phoenix area) and we made the round-trip journey in about nine hours (including a 40-minute rest stop at Indian Gardens). After this magnificent stroll through the majestic Canyon, we both agreed we needed to do it again…only from the north side; a rim-to-rim adventure.

    We have scheduled our R2R for May 17, 2013 – reservations are already secured at the North Rim Lodge and with the Trans Canyon Shuttle. We’ll arrive at the South Rim on the morning of May 16 and catch the shuttle to the North Rim around 1:30 p.m. After the five-hour shuttle ride, we’ll spend the night at the Lodge and hope to be on the North Kaibab Trail by 6:00 a.m. A mere 12 hours later we hope to arrive on the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail.

    Training is underway; local hikes in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, as well as running the local high school bleachers with a 25-pound weight vest. As that May date gets closer, the 25-pound vest will become part of weekly seven-to-10 mile hikes.

    Looking forward to the next adventure!

    • Samira Alqazzaz says:

      I was told by the folks at the North Rim Lodge that we need a permit to do the rim-to-rim hike and that there is a lottery drawing! Non of the comments I read regarding the R2R mention this.

    • planning same hike in February. Curious about your training (detail) and how long it took. Any feedback is appreciated.

      • Roger,

        I personally trained for 6 months for the hike. Lots of local hiking (4-5 miles per outing 2 x week) with hills as well as running (3-4 miles per outing 2 x week) and tons of stair master (40 minutes 3-4 times per week). If you are taking our same trip and staying at phantom ranch, get used to carrying about 70 ounces of water now in your pack with the fewest essentials (i.e., keeping pack light but efficient). My buddy and I used Camelbaks (100 ounce bladder) and filled them as we went. We hiked in mid August which is one of the hottest months so the need for water was necessary at all times.

        Good luck and let us know how it goes. You can also add your comment to our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rimtorim for our other hiking members to respond regarding their training.

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