Rim to Rim Message Board


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Tell Your Story

  1. KEY information for those heading out on a R2R2R the next three weeks and those planning on a Ribbon Falls visit this Rim to Rim season.

    ALWAYS check with the Backcountry Office before you head out for trail closures and/or pipeline issues. ALWAYS do this!

    There are links on our “hike” page on our website here but you can also bookmark the NPS page as well and put the backcountry office #’s in your phone as well.


  2. Akshay Goel says:


    I and my wife are planning to hike from South Rim to North Rim in June 2017. Here is our plan –
    June 8th : Begin descent from South Rim; Stay in the canyon (Phantom Ranch)
    June 9th: Stay in the canyon (Phantom Ranch)
    June 10th: Begin ascent and reach North Rim in the evening
    June 11th: Meet the person we exchanged keys with and exchange keys again

    We will have a rental car at the South Rim and are looking for a keys exchange with someone hiking from north to south. Please let me know if your dates match with these.


  3. We (5) plan a 1 day South to North – Rim to Rim hike on Friday, May 26th. Looking for someone to drive our car from south rim to north rim on 26th (or before).

  4. Kathleen Burleigh says:

    Hiking N.Rim to S. Rim starting at N. Rim trailhead morning of Mon Nov 6 , 2017 to Phantom Ranch to stay overnight then hike out Bright Angel to S. Rim.
    Need ride from South Rim to North Rim trailhead would like to leave at 4:30 am.
    Any one available to give us a ride? Or suggest shuttle service available this time of year?

  5. Jenny Wettersten says:

    Advise PLEASE: I have tried for a few years to get a permit, with no luck. This year I have more schedule flexibility, and will try for October. I plan to do R2R, or some variation. Because of physical limitations, as much as possible, I’d like to plan 2 nights at each camp area, HOWEVER, I want to optimize chances of getting permit. I have tried to read all I can, but still find the permit securing process a bit elusive. I don’t even really care if I start North or South, or even start South, advancing to Cottonwood, and day hike from there up and back, then return via South. I just REALLY want to get to and in the Grand Canyon while I can, and hike with enough moderation to maximize my functioning, and hopefully allow for some day hikes from the various campgrounds within/along the N/S corridor trail. Appreciate you input on securing an advance permit. THANKS! JW

    • Jenny, as you can imagine permits are tough to get. If you have flexibility, sometimes a walk-up permit is a great option (but secure camping/lodging at one of the rims first). This way you can come in from the side you already have your first night’s lodging at and have that lodging if you don’t get a permit. We list the walk-up permit site locations on our hike-it page of this website. What people don’t realize is that the walk-up permits are not so difficult to get if you have flexibility. You can also reach out directly to the backcountry office (all information is on our hike-it page to include their #) and speak to them about “best case” scenarios for dates, etc. Other option is to try for an overnight reservation at Phantom Ranch (tough as well but you don’t need a permit) or choose a fully guided hike with Wildland Trekking as they have permits for overnight camping spots already secured. As well, you can watch our message board to see if someone has an opening on their permit (this does happen at times). We hope you are able to get into the canyon and on the trail to truly enjoy this experience!

      • Phantom ranch does have cancellations that allow you to get a spot. Calling daily is worth it as I ended up with three separate dates for the women s dorms before I settled on the date in May. Just have to be flexible and I had them check for any dates with a 3 month timeframe.

      • Jenny Wettersten says:

        Thank you for the good advise! Also, mea culpa … I “joined” thinking I needed to to access message board, and I have NOT YET hiked R2R! Did not mean to miss-lead. I guess this really puts the pressure on me to accomplish this !! 🙂
        So — any tips on maximizing probability of securing a permit would be helpful. As a last resort, I will “walk up” but we live a long way from the GC — and would feel better having permit in hand. Thanks all! Happy Trails!

  6. Hiking North-South and stopping one night at Phantom Ranch. Any other ladies going May 19th? Starting from the North rim campground.

    • Hello Rhea,

      Just wondering what your plans when you finish your R2R? If you have a vehicle at the North Rim, how do you plan on getting back to it? I don’t know if a key swap would be a possibility with you….lol…..let me know either way….thanks…..Charmaine

      • I reserved a campsite at the campground on the north end. That way I don’t have to worry about a parking spot. After get the the south rim going to take bus back. I am camping on the north end the day before and day after the hike on 19/20th.

        • Charmaine says:

          So you will finish in the South Rim on May 20th? Then you’ll be taking the shuttle to the North rim campground on May 21st? If your interested in saving the $90 for the shuttle, think about driving our vehicle to the North Rim. Are you only 1 hiker?

          • I will be up on the south rim on the 20th and am just one hiker. I haven’t paid for th bus back on the 20th yet. Would love to save some cash. I think my date is earlier by a day as I am taking re bus back and sleeping on the north end on the 20th.

          • I will be up on the south rim on the 20th and am just one hiker. I think my date is earlier by a day as I am taking bus back and sleeping on the north end on the 20th.

          • Charmaine says:

            We will be at the South Rim on Sunday May 21st around 7pm. So if you are trying to get back to the North Rim on Saturday May 20th, our vehicle won’t be there yet. That’s too bad because we are trying to save the $90 x 4 people for the shuttle. Thanks for your response and if anything changes, let me know….:)

  7. I will be hiking rim to rim on Monday May 22 South to North with a group of 4. I would love to swap keys with another group that is hiking the opposite way around the date that we are hiking. If this works for anyone, please let me know…..:)

    • Charmaine says:

      Just to clear the mud, we will be at the South Rim on Sunday May 21st around 7pm. After hiking South to North on May 22nd, we are planning to stay overnight at the lodge then take the shuttle back to the South Rim on Tuesday May 23rd early. If these times fit anybodies agenda, please let me know….:)

  8. Bruce Winer says:

    Does anyone know what is in the “sack lunch” from the Phantom Ranch Canteen? And how much food is in it? Thanks

    • From what we can recall when we received it there was a bagel, chips, piece of fruit and maybe one more snack. We did not eat ours just had the nice breakfast and then the snacks we already had so it’s up to you on the added expense but if you can pack your own lunch, much better deal.

  9. Hi!

    I’m looking for someone who’s interested in a car swap on May 27th. I have a group of 3, and we’re looking to do a rim to rim in one day. We’ll be going from north to south. Thanks so much!

    • We (2) for a one day rim to rim at the end of May, north to south also. We were planning on using the Shuttle service to reach the north rim. If you do not mind, can you tell me a bit more abt your itinerary? Since you are planning on one day, what will your schedule be? What time do plan on leaving the north rim? will you go up on the BA or SK? How many hrs do you think you will it take your group? Your help is very much appreciated.

      • We are looking to do it in one day….sleep Friday night on the rim and hike all day Saturday. We were thinking of hiking out BA. How about you guys? Would you be willing to split a shuttle? Thanks!

        • We (5) plan a 1 day South to North – Rim to Rim hike on Friday, May 26th. Looking for someone to drive our car from south rim to north rim on 26th (or before).

  10. We’re going rim to rim (south to north) on May 30 (camp overnight at Phantom Ranch) and May 31 (camp overnight at Cottonwood). We have filled out our permit with six (6) hikers but have two (2) additional that want to join. Looking for a party that has not filled out their permit number and may have 1-2 spots we could join in on. Have done this many times with our dad and brothers, and are now introducing the third generation to the beauty of the canyon – there is nothing like it!
    Thanks and happy hiking.

  11. Hiking R2R and looking to see if anyone willing do a car swap or go in on a shuttle (http://www.grandcanyonshuttles.com/grand-canyon-rim-to-rim-shuttle.html) to lower the cost?

    Dates are 5/26- 5/28 South to North Rim

    Let me know, thanks!

    • Actually South to North.

      • Hi Ally,

        We are doing a North to South and staying overnight in the canyon on May 28th and hiking out the 29th. Would be interested in doing a car swap.


        • LESLIE ROBERTS says:

          I’m looking to share a shuttle leaving the South Rim to North Rim. I’d like to leave South Rim around 5:30am to do a rim to rim hike that same day. I could also do a car swap with a meetup in the canyon. My dates are still flexible, but prefer the week of June 6th for better hotel chances.

        • Hey John, sorry for the delay. That would probably work! Is there a way to message privately more about the matter?

    • I’m hiking North to South in May 2017 and am hoping to find another group hiking the opposite way to swap car keys. I’ll be a group of 2 and will be needing to travel from South to North on May 21 or 22nd, 2017. Any small groups hiking that weekend in May?

      • Charmaine says:

        Hey Linda,

        Which exact days are you hiking in May. We are a group of 4 hiking the rim to rim in one day from South to North on May 22. If that day helps you out, we would be interested in swapping keys? Let me know…:)

    • Allie,

      Have you found anyone to car swap with? I have a group of 3. We are looking to hike Saturday, May 27, and do a rim to rim in one day (plus a little extra) :). We’ll be going from north to south and could swap keys with you.

  12. Hello Rim to Rim Club Members,
    I just joined the Club but have not completed the R2R hike, I need advice. We (2 of us) are looking at an early June 2017 night Hike (North to South). Plan on leaving the North Rim at abt 7pm, hike done (will be close to full moon) to the Phantom Ranch stop for just a little while and hike up the BA trail to hopefully emerge out of the Canyon at abt 6-8am. Are we crazy do plan the hike at night? We are in our mid 50s but have already started to train for the hike. Any suggestion is appreciated. FYI, we are from Alabama so the heat is something that we are somewhat use too.
    Thanks to all!

    • Dan, you are officially in the club once you hike it. Since this is your very first Rim to Rim hike we don’t recommend hiking it at night. While it will be close to a full moon there are parts of the canyon and trail that will not be clearly visible and you will be unfamiliar with terrain. If you can get a reservation at Phantom that would be the best best that way you can day hike in the mornings BUT if you cannot and you still plan on early June (depending on weather) for your trip our recommendation would be to be on the North Kaibab Trail by at least 5:00 a.m. and plan on a break at Phantom for lunch and to break-up the day time heat then head on BA late afternoon into the evening. We wish you the best of luck with your hike and let us know how it goes. Please read the training and hiking tips on our hike-it page.

    • At that time of year don’t kid yourself, nor take lightly, the HEAT! We were out in June 2015 and temperature at the bottom of the canyon was 108 F during the day and 90+F at night. Three of us were in our 50’s and two of us had hiked rim to rim 5-6 times – some while camping at Bright Angel and Cottonwood others r2r in one day. The third 50’s hiker, although he thought he was prepared – was not! Those that were prepared had a tough time, and we had an even tougher time getting the third out.

  13. I’m looking for 1 or 2 people interested in doing the R2R2R hike beginning December 28th through January 1st.

    I have a camping permit for 4 people (Cottonwood the 1st and 4th nights, and the North Rim Yurt the 2nd and 3rd). Unfortunately two people are unable to attend so it’s just my buddy right now.

    If anyone would be interested in maybe joining us for the hike, let me know. We’re two late 20s young professionals that were born and raised in Texas. If you’d be interested, please reply to this comment and we can get in contact. I realize this is short notice, but I figure it’s worth a shot.


  14. Lynn Gurganus says:

    We made our R2R2R hike on November 9-12. We hiked to the river via the South Kaibab and then went on to Cottonwood Campground for the first night. Three of our previous trips had been one day river and back hikes, so hiking with weight was a new wrinkle. We had prepared for the trip back up by planning to use the duffle service from Phantom Ranch, but the hike downhill with weight really affected a couple of our group. So much so that the oldest member of the group, my 65 year old brother, decided to rest in camp the next day. The other three of us headed up the North Kaibab Trail to the north rim. We were fortunate that the moderate temps allowed for water to be available at all points along all of the corridor trails with the exception of Supai Tunnel. The North Kaibab hike was truly amazing, and I handled the sections walking along the carved out shelf much better than I thought my slightly acrophobic self would. After half an hour or so on the north rim, we headed back to Cottonwood for the night. Let me say here that, while both campgrounds are amazing, I found Cottonwood to be truly special. Each campsite seems secluded and with the sound of the creek running beside you, you hear almost no noise from other campers. And the night sky is indescribable. The next day was relatively easy, just the seven miles back to Bright Angel Campground. I will say, though, that those seven miles seem like 10-12 miles. Hiking through the Box, though, is pretty amazing. Whenever we crossed a bridge I would think, “How in the world did they get this thing down here?” The North Kaibab, in particular, is an engineering marvel. We had breakfast at Phantom Ranch on that next morning and then hiked back out via the Bright Angel Trail. It was an incredible experience that I was glad I got to share with my 15 year old son. As we stepped off the trail at the Bright Angel trailhead I looked at him and said, “I’d do this again. Just not today.”

    Thanks to Rim to Rim for the very helpful advice we found prior to our trip.

    • Lynn,

      So happy to hear your hike went well! Sounds like you had an amazing experience as 3 days in the canyon is truly a blessing. We agree with you on Cottonwood Campground. Your son will remember this trip forever. Here’s to chasing moments and creating the best kind of memories. Welcome to the club!

  15. Hi,
    I’m planning a Rim to Rim hike either Friday Nov. 25th or Saturday Nov. 26th. Is there anyone interested in a car swap on one of these 2 days? I’m willing to start from either side leaving the other one for you if you have a preference.

  16. I am planning a R2R Hike the first of June 2017. Love the site, but have a question, what should I expect for temps at night while camping? Do I need a light sleeping bag or just a fleece bag? Thanks for your help!

    • You will need a fleece most likely just at the North Rim. Light sleeping bag as lighter you can go (if you are backpacking) the better. Good luck Nancy!

  17. Linda Kessler says:

    My husband and I are in our mid 60’s and had been to the North Rim in the fall of 2014 and hiked as far as the Redwall Bridge on the North Kaibab trail. It was enough to hook us on planning another trip to go farther in the canyon, so after a lot of thought and research, we put the word out to friends and family in the spring of 2015 about a possible R2R2R trip in the fall of 2016. Within a couple of weeks, 8 additional people had committed to doing it with us. It took a year of planning and training (on our own – we were not part of a commercially organized trip) before we all left on Sept 9, 2016 for the North Rim to begin our first R2R2R on September 11, 2016. We had 6 women and 4 men, ranging in age from 37 to 67, from Washington State, New Hampshire and Maryland. On Sept 11, 2016, our first day, we hiked from the North Rim to Phantom Ranch where we spent the night in the bunkhouses. We had clear weather, but it did get very hot that day after Roaring Springs. We saw a lot of hikers within 3-4 miles of the trail head, but they decreased steadily as we got further and further down the trail. The second day we hiked from Phantom Ranch to the South Rim via the Bright Angel trail and spent the night at the Bright Angel Lodge. Again, we had clear weather, but not nearly as hot. Not many hikers at the bottom, but their numbers steadily increased from Indian Garden to the top. The third day we hiked from the South Kaibab trail head back to the Phantom Ranch for another night in the bunkhouses. Weather was clear and cooler that day, but very windy at times on the trail. Again, we saw a lot of hikers from the top through Ooh Aah point, but their numbers dropped drastically after that. Without a doubt, the views and vistas from The South Kaibab trail were the best we had seen so far. On Sept 14, 2016, our fourth and final day, we were up and back on the trail at 5:40 am heading for the North Rim. Even though we felt we had gotten stronger each day, we were all tired and trail-worn by the fourth and final day, so some set a faster pace than others, but we were all finished and back at the trail head by 3:30 that afternoon. We had such a blast together, and so much fun and laughter the entire trip. The sights and scenery we saw along the way were unbelievable and just drop-dead gorgeous at times, and we were in complete agreement that it was an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. If anyone has not yet done this, but is thinking about doing it, DO IT WHILE YOU CAN! You won’t regret it!

  18. Hello. We are planning our first North to South rim hike next year. I am picking up some great ideas from this site but do have one question I haven’t run across. Is the trail easy to follow or do we need a map for this hike?

  19. We’re attempting a r2r2r between November 9-12, heading down South Kaibab and back up Bright Angel. Just wondering where on the North Kaibab we might typically expect to encounter snow/ice (and how much we might expect) at that time of year. We expect the need for crampons at some point. Thanks for any input.

  20. I am doing a RTR hike from the South Rim to the North rim on September 24th, camping on the North rim on the night of September 24th, and then hiking back to the South rim on September 25th. I have a friend who is doing the RTR hike with me on September 24th, but he is taking the shuttle back to the South rim on the 25th. Is anyone else doing a RTR hike on the 25th from North to South? I would love the company.

  21. OCTOBER 15th 2016, NORTH RIM 2 ROOM CABIN (6person) would like to swap reservation for something smaller ??
    originally booked for group of friends but now only 1 couple can make it… let me know if interested !!

  22. Hiking North Kaibab to Bright Angel on Sept 24th and looking for a car swap if anyone is hiking south to north! Thanks!

  23. DE Kleber says:

    Looking for an easy way to get back to the South Rim? Drivers Needed on 10/3/16. !!!

    We are looking for someone who might be interested in driving 1-3 cars from the North Rim to the South Rim on Monday, 10/3/16. We are hiking R2R leaving from the North Rim on 10/3 in the AM and arriving on the South Rim on 10/5 in the PM.

    We need 1-3 people who would be able and willing to drive our vehicles from the North Rim to the South Rim on 10/3 AM. You will caravan with one non-hiking member of our group who will drive his truck.

    Many thanks.


  24. Hi All,

    Looking to do a car swap for a rim to rim hike on labor day weekend.

    Please email me at alextaylor116@gmail.com if you are interested in trading with me to avoid the shuttle fees.

  25. Hi there,

    Is anyone looking to do Grand Canyon R2R the weekend of October 15-16? I am planning on a day hike, starting at the South Rim on Saturday morning (10/15) and am hoping to swap keys with someone going in the opposite direction. We could meet at Bitter Springs (halfway point, distance-wise) to swap keys again after.

    I’m also open to splitting a private shuttle with another group(s).

    You can message me at y.may.wong@gmail.com, if interested 🙂

    Thank you!

  26. Christine says:

    Hi – we are looking for 3-4 people to share one of the following two options on September 22nd, 2016:
    1. an early morning (4 am) shuttle from the south rim to north rim, or
    2. an late afternoon (4pm or 5 pm) shuttle from the north rim to south rim

    Let me know if you are interested.

  27. Looking to do a car swap with someone for Sept 1-3. We’re hiking North to South, leaving the morning of Sept 1. Please email if interested: jillroberts@gmail.com

  28. Scott Draud says:

    My wife and I (along with another couple) plan to hike the Rim to Rim this October, North Kaibab to Bright Angel. In terms of pre and post hike transportation, does anyone know how long it will take to drive a car from the south to north rim once the hike concludes (or vice-versa for that matter)? Is there a simple route to follow? Are there other options I’m not considering to return to original starting point?

    Thanks in advance to anyone kind enough to respond!

    • It takes a little over 4 hours to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim = 210 miles.

    • It’s an easy, but long drive… just take Route 64 out of Grand Canyon Village to Highway 89 North. Then take 89A to Route 67.

      It’s a good idea to fill up on gas when you have the chance… a lot of the drive is pretty desolate!

      My brother and I did the rim-to-rim hike a couple weeks ago, and left a rental car at the South Rim, and drove mine up to the North Rim to start the hike.

    • What days in October are you hiking? We are going south to north from the 11th-13th.

  29. Hi everyone,

    I’m doing a South Rim to North Rim day hike. I have received a lot of useful information to plan it all out on this site. I will do the hike late September / early October. I’m an avid runner (half-marathon and 10k) and hiker and trail runner (5k to half marathon). Any more specific information on the Box and water sources would be much appreciated. Also, start time and average ETA with photo stops.


    • Average hiking time is about 12 hours South to North with photo stops and necessary water, rest and re-fueling stops. The information on “the box” is on our hike-it page (about a 4 mile area) as well as the water sources are on that page as well. Best best is to check with backcountry office to make sure water sources are working the day before your hike.

      Good luck Vince!

    • Vince – I’ve done the full range of R2R adventures including extreme R2R2R 1-day (crossed off the bucket list never to be revisited…) and I’ve got quite a bit of info but generally the advice you’ve received so far is sound. Good to check water s0urces day before as can change…

      What I’m really interested in is a key exchange. I’m doing leisurely group 3-day crossing north to south 9/20-22. Are you (or anyone else) interested in swapping keys? Ideally prefer to meet up at Vegas car rental morning of 9/20 to get each others license info on both rentals.


  30. Michael Bassett says:

    My son and I are going North Rim to South Rim with camping permits for Bright Angel on 9/12-13 and Indian Gardens on 9/14 (hiking out on the 15th). We are looking for someone who has a permit for Cottonwood on 9/12 that would be willing to share a campsite. We are very quiet! We’ll cook dinner!! References available! I talked with the backcountry office today actually and they indicated that the group leader would just need to e-mail, fax or show up and change the # of people and pay the additional (I will cover the additional fees). Thanks for even considering.

  31. My first rim to rim hike. On May 21, 2016 myself (46 yrs old),my son (22yrs old), a friend of his (22 yrs old) and his dad (50 yrs old) hike from South Kaibab to North Kaibab. A trip of a life time! We started planning the trip this past February, reading website after website. I will say this is my favorite site. Soon after we committed to go, the training began. I ran 10-15 miles a week, did a few stairs and started stretching. (my son not so much). We departed and arrived in Las Vegas early Friday (20th) morning, rented a mini-van and started toward the South Rim. Realizing Hoover Dam was on the way we made a stop. What a magnificent landmark, a must see! We arrived on the south rim around 3:30 pm and then I realized why it is called the GRAND Canyon. That was the first time anyone in our party laid eyes on this unbelievable creation. All the pictures in the world can not do it justice. There is something about his place that makes you pause, reflect on life and the many blessings we encounter. After a few hours of taking it all in we ate dinner and returned to the lodge to prepare for the morning hike. Saturday morning 4:50 am we started our descent down South Kaibab to the North Rim. Our morning pace was a little too fast, we arrived at Phantom Ranch around 8am and ate our reserved bag lunch. 8:40 am departed Phantom Ranch for Ribbon Falls. Ribbon Falls (11:30 am) is about 1/2 of the main trail. Well worth the time and energy. I’m not sure what time we departed the Ranger Pump Station but the climb from that point on was brutal for me. Although I trained, 3 miles from the top my left calf started cramping. No doubt the hardest 3 mile hike I have ever done. My son the one who did not train continued to harass me until we reached the top at 2:40 pm. I would have never made it without his encouragement. lol In all seriousness, being able to make this hike with him was a true blessing. This 9 hour 50 minute hike was by far harder than expected but I will return. The enjoyment of all involved and the memories we made will never be forgotten.
    Happy hiking!!!!

    • John,

      Welcome (you and your group) to the club! That’s amazing that the first time you all witnessed the Grand Canyon that you hiked it from Rim to Rim = Awesome! And happy to hear it is calling you back. We love the canyon and truly feel it is a blessing to hike it!

      Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  32. john barrow says:

    Recently I have returned from a rim-to-rim hike and I can honestly say nothing compares to a night in the canyon. My father in-law has had a rim-to-rim trek on his bucket list since he visited the south rim during a training for the army in 1972. So, with his age and depleting health we all thought now would be are last chance. Figuring it was only a couple of miles spanned over the course of 4 days it shouldn’t be too hard for any of us. Boy were we wrong, down hill killed our knees and toes, going across the canyon we baked as we walked through the “box” and breathed battery acid stumbling up the south rim. That being said it is the best thing we all have done. Jamming our toes going down into roaring spring and finding pottery heading into cottonwood. Exploring ribbon falls and finally getting to 3 mile rest house to see “down is optional, up is mandatory” will always stick out in my mind. The smaller details are too numerous to list.

    I end this post with a request. During my time with scouting we would brand the leather of our boots with the symbol of the trail or historical brand used by the ranchers that settled the area. This being a monumental achievement for everyone in my party, I would like to continue this old tradition. After much research I have found nothing on the topic. So I ask if anyone can lead me in the right direction to finding what the brand Fred Harvey or even Xanterra uses to mark their mules would be a great help. I really would like something attached to Phantom Ranch but anything would do. THanks

    • John,

      Welcome to the club to you and your group to include your father in-law! Happy to hear he achieved his bucket list hike! Sounds like you took your time and had a great experience minus the canyon toe and the knees taking the pounding! Hopefully somebody can help you on the “branding” question.

  33. Hi Rim-to-Rim Experts, we are hiking down the N. Kaibab trail and up Bright Angel the 3rd week of May. I’ve been trying to call the NPS help desk but haven’t gotten through. Does anyone have any updates on the trail conditions (N. Kaibab specifically) and water? Thank you, Phil

    • Did you call the backcountry office? We have key links on our hike-it page tab and also follow us on Facebook as hikers will be reporting in soon on the their hikes.

      • I have tried the phone but haven gotten a busy signal the 2 dozen attempts I have made. I was wondering if anyone here had gotten through and had an update. I’ll keep trying and share my info if/when I get through.

    • Jerry Juhl says:

      Phil—Are you doing it in a day or camping? Sophie, my partner is up to doing North to South in a day however is directionally challenged! That is to say she could benefit from partners.

      • We’ve got reservations at PR, so we’re doing it in 2 days.

        I got through to the NPS by phone this week. The ranger I spoke with said the trail is in excellent condition. No ice or snow. Currently, only 1 water stop on the N. Kaibab is on(pumphouse???) and on BA Trail, only Indian Gardens has water. He expects all water to be on by the 15th.

  34. Hey everyone! Has anyone here done Rim to Rim as a day hike during the off season? I’m thinking about doing Rim to Rim the week before the North Rim opens and starting from South to North, but I’m aware there won’t be any access to the trailheads/camping facilities until the 15th. At this point, I most likely won’t be able to obtain a permit so my only option would be to do a day hike but am trying to iron out the details on how I would get back to the South Rim without having to take the shuttle. Is this even possible to do before the season officially opens? Any feedback/suggestions would be appreciated! Also, if anyone is heading out there the weekend of May 6th, I’d be happy to exchange contact information if anyone will be doing Rim to Rim that weekend! Thanks again!

    • Jerry Juhl says:

      I have done North to South and now it is Sophie’s turn. We plan on an early as possible date for her to cross and feel it is best she does not go solo.

      I will drive to South Rim during the day if that helps at all.

  35. Bruce Winer says:

    My wife and I are doing R2R, staying over at Bright Angel campground on 5/28/16. We are closing in on 60, but in great shape. This is our third bucket list hike that includes Mt. Whitney and Half Dome in Yosemite.

    We are carrying day packs and having our camp equipment brought down and up my mule service, so out packs will be pretty light.

    We are just starting our training which, is hiking with a lot of elevation gain and loss . We trained hard (hiking with elevation and lots of vertical) for Mt. Whitney and it paid off. We didn’t train for Half Dome, because we were spinning, squatting, and doing lunges 3 to 4 days a week.

    We miscalculated. We were surprised how sore we were. What we learned is that to get in shape for a strenuous hike you have to hike in order to get those muscles conditioned.

    Just thought this might help some newer hikers contemplating this hike.

    • How was yr hiking? i trained very hard to do R2R! but my luck car broke done and i never got to Grand Canyon!!! it is my dream to do the hike!

  36. Nelson Palmer says:

    Fellow members,
    I need some advice. My wife and I did the R to R last may with a company and are doing it mid-June by ourselves. I need a tent and sleeping bags. My main concern is weight. Last year I carried about 35 lbs and don’t want to go over that and realize that hiking ourselves will require things that I didn’t have to carry when with a group (leaders carried more). So, I am looking for suggestions on which tent/sleeping bags to go with. I don’t really want to pay huge amounts since I’m not sure of how much subsequent use they will get (I know I can sell them after if I decide) but really the weight is the priority. Thanks for any advice. (Ps. I looking into renting from an outfitter but am not thrilled with this idea.)

    • Mike Carter says:

      Check with the folks at Peace Surplus in Flagstaff Arizona (http://www.peacesurplus.com/Default.asp). They rent and sell new and used camping equipment. Flagstaff is not really off the beaten path to the Grand Canyon. From Flagstaff, you have two options to enter the park. My personal entry point is from Cameron that takes you into Desert View. It is awesome drive.

    • Regina Angstadt says:

      We rented from lower gear. They ship itsms to your house. I plan on hiking again this year as well, and am considering ditching the sleeping bag and opting for a f
      light weight fleece blanket. You might want to consider that or a. Bivvy which will lighten the load tremendously!

    • bruce winer says:

      If you are staying at Bright Angel Campground, you might consider the park’s duffel service. That’s what we are doing in the end of May. They will take up to 30 pounds per duffel and deliver it to Phantom Ranch and deliver it back to the South Rim. All of our camping gear will be in the duffels, so we will only be hiking with day packs.

  37. Looking to do a car swap for a Rim to Rim hike between May 11th through May 15th. Any takers? Email me if interested.

  38. I have just completed the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim with my son Henri.

    He is 11 years old.

    We left via the South Kaibalb trail on Tuesday March 22 at 7:30 AM and arrived at the Bright Angel Camground around around 1:00 PM. The weather was gorgeous.

    On Wednesday, we left at 4:30 AM for the North Rim. I didn’t know what the expect. We arrived at the top of the Rim at 2:30 PM. My son was in good shape. The weather was perfect. Blue sky, spring was arriving until we reached the top.
    There was still many patches of snow upthere. We had to do an extra 0.7 mile to reach the campground. We were the only ones. It was cold. Went to bed at 5:15 after having to melt snow to get water….

    On Thursday, we left at 6:00 AM and were back to the Bright Angel Campground at 2:00 PM. We took our time on the way down to enjoy the beauty of the place. We were lucky to find seats at the Phantom Ranch for a stew.

    My son got his Junior Ranger badge.

    On Friday, we left at 4:30 AM and reach the South Rim via the Bright Angel trail at 11:30 AM.

    My son and I will definitely come back for the Tonto Trail or for the North Rim via the Old Trail.

    For the time being, we have plenty of beautiful memories, I had a privilege time with my son that I will remember for life, like I am sure he will too.

    • Richard, welcome to the club! WOW = Rim to Rim to Rim at 11 years old for your son. That is incredible and what great memories you shared together. Happy to hear the weather cooperated with you and what a great accomplishment to celebrate as a family as that is awesome!

  39. DE Kleber says:

    Any one (or more) looking for a ride from the North Rim to the South Rim on Monday, October 3, 2016?

    We have a group of 20 hikers on a R2R hike during the first week of October, 2016, leaving the the North Rim on Mon 10/3, staying at Phantom Ranch, and arriving on the South Rim on Wed 10/5 evening. We have two support vehicles that will drive from the NR to the SR on Mon 10/3, while the rest of us are hiking. We also have a rental car or two that could caravan with our support vehicles (need driver for that option). If interested call me at 63zero-887-7nine64 and leave a message.

    This could be an easy and cheap way for you to get from the NR to SR on 10-3-16. Thanks.

  40. My family and I did R2R last spring guided and in June my wife and I are doing it alone. I had hoped to stay the night before on the north rim (lodge or cabins) but no availability. Planning to drive into south rim and take the trans canyon shuttle the day before. Any suggestions for where to stay around the north rim that will allow me to hit the trail early?

    • Welcome to the club Nelson! Other option at the North Rim is the campground, otherwise Kaibab Lodge (928) 638-2389 18 miles north and Jacob Lake Inn (928) 643-7232 45 miles north. That’s about it for lodging at North Rim outside of the lodge/cabins that are relatively close.

  41. Carol Flanigan says:

    My sister and I (late 50’s) are making our 4th trip to Phantom Ranch in Oct. 2016. We have two south to south trips, and one north to south rim to rim hike under our belts. We will begin and end the 2016 trip from the north rim. North Kaibab is awesome and want to experience it again. Can anyone advise the duration to hike north from phantom ranch? My guess for hiking is 1 mph, but thought I would check experience with other hiking rimmers. We will be prepared to hike out after dark and look forward to the full moon.

  42. My husband and I hiked north rim to south rim in 5 days – September 6 through 10, 2015. We worked on getting needed reservations and back country permits for a year. We are in our mid 60s and have never done this hike before, so we wanted to stay at Phantom Ranch for 2 nights if possible, and also camp a night at Cottonwood on the north side and a night at Indian Gardens on the south side. Research, preparation, and perseverance!! This is how we did it. By the time we got through on the Xanterra phone lines last September 1, Phantom Ranch was booked up. I called at least twice a week to see if there was a cancellation. Finally, we got a 2 night availability – 2 NIGHTS! Immediately, I checked on Grand Canyon Lodge on the north rim and was able to get reservations. There were a certain number of days we wanted to visit the north rim but because we didn’t know if we would be able to get a permit for Cottonwood Campground, we reserved an extra night at the Grand Canyon Lodge. We did the same thing when making reservations to stay on the south rim, adding an extra day in case we didn’t get a permit to camp at Indian Gardens. We knew we could always drop the extra day. At the required 4 months out, on May 1, we faxed in our request for a permit at Cottonwood and Indian Gardens. We didn’t get either one. I decided that making a daily phone call to the back country office for cancellations would just be part of my daily routine. Often, the phone line was busy but I would keep calling until I got through. On the 12th connected phone call I was able to get a permit at Indian Gardens – a miracle since we were needing one particular day! We still needed a permit for Cottonwood. All we had read about the heat of the dreaded “Box” really worried us, plus hiking 14 miles down, trying to reach Phantom Ranch before dinner. I continued calling the back country office. Finally, 4 days before we left for vacation, we got our Cottonwood permit. I think the back country workers were as excited as I was! They had gotten quite accustomed to my voice! That was on the 72nd connected phone call! Considering all of the times I called and the line was busy, I figure I called over 300 times. We live in Louisiana – probably about 200 feet above sea level. I had bought new hiking boots in January, a pair that kept my toes from hitting the end of the boot when on an incline. I started breaking them in early, then added my backpack. Gradually, I added weight to the pack. I also trained on a long flight of steps at an event center. My husband also trained with a loaded pack. There is more to tell, but this is getting rather long. I do want to stress that you must take water purification. The water line had broken on our hike. At Cottonwood, there were campers that didn’t have purification; we were only too happy to share. We found that we took way too much food. Also, we had taken single packets of Gatorade powder. That worked out really great. We diluted the packets to 1/2 – 3/4 strength. We had such a wonderful time. No rolled ankles, no lost toenails, no dehydration. Many beautiful pictures, wonderful conversations with other hikers. We have reservations to visit Yellowstone and Grand Tetons next September, but I’m on the phone again trying to get Phantom Ranch reservations. If we get them, we are cancelling Yellowstone/Grand Tetons and returning for another rim to rim hike next year! It was just awesome!!

  43. Hi. My husband and I hiked rim to rim in 2010. I am not all that physically fit…need to work out more…my husband is tough and thankfully he was patient with my sometimes slow pace. We drove from Chicago to the South Rim. Stayed for a night at the Bright Angel Lodge and in the morning we were shuttled to the North Rim. Stayed in an inn (forgot the name) on the North Rim for a night and in the morning we were shuttled to the North Kaibab Trailhead. It was amazing! We descended to Cottonwood Campground and spent the night there and than made it to the bottom the next day. We spent 2 nights at the Bright Angel Campground and ate dinner both nights at Phantom Ranch (we had advanced dinner reservations). It rained a lot while we were on the bottom but we made it through. Some people were holed up in the restrooms. I was told the amount of rain that we had was uncommon…especially being that we were there during the first week of October. I am glad we went at this time as I don’t think I could have handled the summer heat. While on the bottom…we walked to the River and spent some time there. We also spent quite a bit of time with another couple who we met shortly after descending from the North Rim. They were in their 70’s. We were in our 50’s. We left the bottom of the canyon and took the Bright Angel Trail out. Stopped and Camped at Indian Garden along the way. Day 5, we headed out. I can’t believe I did it! I took my time and every minute was worth it. I won’t say it was easy…it wasn’t. The uphill climb took a lot out of me but the feeling I had when I reached the top was unbelievable. We were now back on the South rim where our car was parked. We ate and slept again at the Bright Angel Lodge and boy did I ever sleep! Next morning we got up and headed back to Chicago. I want to do this again next year in 2016. I plan on changing things and will be working out so I can get back in shape to do this. This was truly an experience of a life time. The Grand Canyon is Glorious!

  44. Need a hiking partner!!!!

    Have a R2R2R planned for this weekend and my two hiking partners had to cancel last minute. 🙁

    Planning on doing it all at once from S (SK) to N to S (BA) in 24 hours or less starting Saturday.

    I just don’t want to do the overnight part by myself (because I have an irrational fear of mountain lions) so if someone wants to pair with me for at least that much I’d be eternally grateful. I’m flexible to start any time Saturday or Sunday, would prefer daylight at the rims because those are so beautiful and I’ve done those in the dark and missed the scenery previously.

    email me if you are interested and available!!! 🙂


  45. Our group hiked North to South May 22-26, 2015. It rained off and on the first three days, but cleared up for the remainder. The temps were great! The scenery was even “Grand-er!” We met a lady at the North Rim, who had completed a South to North run, and was meeting her partners in the campground, only to repeat her accomplishment THREE more times! We saw her each time, going one way or the other, a R2R2R2R! She looked great each time.

  46. Hiked my first R2R North to South May 19, and it was awesome! I hiked solo, so I could go at any pace I liked. The weather was perfect (I was a bit nervous since it snowed a few days before, and was very stormy the day before at the north rim!). It started out cold at 5:30 am on the north rim, but heated up to a pleasant temp fast enough, and never got unbearably hot. I had hiked South Kaibab to Bright Angel many years ago, but hiking the North Kaibab was so amazing. The landscape changes so frequently and is so beautiful. I expected Ribbon Falls to be beautiful, but it was so much more than I anticipated. It does involve a bit of rock scrambling to get in and out though, and the trail to/from the falls isn’t very clearly marked …

    Staying at Phantom Ranch allowed me to have a leisurely pace compared to so many that I saw doing R2R in one day! (You all rock!) Took me 10 hours to Phantom Ranch (with a long stop at Ribbon Falls), and 7 hours up the next day on Bright Angel. I think next time, I’ll head up the South Kaibab. I ended up carrying all my water on Bright Angel anyway (just because I felt like it), and while the scenery on Bright Angel is great, it doesn’t vary too much, so after Indian Gardens, your view is basically the same the rest of the way.

    Have a great hike everyone!

  47. Three of us are going R2R leaving North Rim June 15, 2015, camping three nights (Cottonwood, Bright Angel, Indian Gardens), out on the 18th. Two spots on the permit open. If interested, write me a story on how you would be there, fit our schedule, etc. Not looking for hiking partners, just offering a space to someone who might have been shut out. tim killer.jupiter@gmail.com

  48. I will be hiking R2R2R on the 29th of this Month (May) starting from the North side. I have 2 campsites at Mather Campground for the 29th and 30th. Originally there was 4 of us but it is down to just 2 of us as of today. If anyone needs a campsite for the South Rim on the 29th and/or 30th let me know.

  49. Norm Levy says:

    I just completed a five-day R-R-R hike to celebrate my 75th birthday. I’ve done this hike on 2 previous “significant” birthdays”, 60, 65, and now at 75. I left the SR on May 18 and stayed that night at PR. The next morning I started on the 14 mile trip up to the NR and stayed in the Lodge that night and the next to recover and prepare for the second half of the trip. On Thursday the 21st I headed back down to PR and topped out on the SR the next day. The weather was perfect, mainly cloud covered and abnormally cool for May. To celebrate, I headed to the El Tovar for lunch still in my hiking clothes and carrying my backpack and hiking stick. I got a few funny looks but the staff welcomed me with open arms and excellent food choices. If all goes well, I’ll do this again when I reach my next “significant” birthday, my 80th.

    • Congratulations on your adventure! My hat is off to you for completing the r2r2r! Wow! I’m sure we crossed paths, as I was with a group going North to South on May 22-26. Did you miss the rain? We didn’t!

  50. David Augustus says:

    On May 20, 2015, my wife Sandy and I hiked from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to celebrate the one anniversay of my heart valve replacement. A year ago, I had my biscupid aortic valve and root replaced with a mechanical heart valve. I wanted to reflect and show my gratitude for my surgeon’s great work by crossing off one my bucket list items (R2R). It was a perfect day of weather as we started at 5:30 am with 29 degree weather at the North Rim. At Phantom Ranch it was a pleasant 80 degrees. We made it out by 8 pm and enjoyed a cold beverage at the Bright Angel Lodge. We took the trans-canyon shuttle back the next morning and enjoyed the ride back to the North Rim. It was a great experience that I will never forget.

  51. FOG (Fat Old Guy) says:

    Hiking R2R late September with 1 night at Cottonwood, 2 at Bright Angel and at Indian Garden. Is there any point in taking tent stakes or is the ground too hard in the campgrounds? Should I just anchor the tent with rocks?

  52. David Chittenden says:

    Our family is hiking North to South on 5/29 and trying to arrange for our car to be transported to the South Rim by the evening of the 29th. Are there any hikers going South to North on the 28th that would want to drive our car back to the South Rim instead of taking the Shuttle service?

    Also, any suggestions would be helpful. We need to leave quickly from the South Rim the evening of the 29th to get back home.

    Please reply here or text David at 424-254-4606

    • Hey David,
      I can’t help with the car swap but I am doing the Rim to Rim from north to south on the 29th as well with a buddy. We are hiking back to the North Rim on the 30th. We plan on starting around 2:30am. Are you camping the night before the hike?

  53. I have set up a rim-to-rim hike for 2015 Labor Day weekend. Leaving the North rim on September 7th and hiking up Bright Angel on the other side. I am a distance runner and triathlete in pretty decent shape and I plan to train in the heat during the summer with hikes in the White Mountains. I’m taking the hike seriously and recognize the potential for very high temps in the canyon.

    I would like to travel light other than water (3 or 4 L) and essentials and do the hike in one day. What time should I plan to depart in the morning on the 7th? I already have a headlight system- is the trail pretty easy to follow in the dark? Or is it better to travel with more gear and camp overnight before climbing up the South rim?

    Looking for advice from people with more experience in the canyon. Thanks.

  54. Doug Houston says:


    My wife and I are doing R2R North to South on July 15, staying at Phantom Ranch then hiking out, staying overnight at south rim, question is….

    We have thought about hiking back in one day to the north rim….to get the vehicle…Crazy?

    We respect the heat/distance/soreness/…just want to get some thought on this…


    • Doug,

      If this is your first Rim to Rim we recommend you take the trans-canyon shuttle back. A one day hike from South to North is more difficult due to the higher elevation gain at the North Rim. You are also hiking at the hottest time of the year (July) and that means you would hit the box sometime in the afternoon.

      See how the first Rim to Rim goes and you can always head back. The Trans-Canyon shuttle is convenient plus you get that night at South Rim to celebrate!

      Good luck!

      Rim to Rim Club®

  55. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne says:

    I hiked the GC Rim to Rim to bring in my 61st B day. That was this last June and exited the GC on June 30th after 4 days 3 nights 34 miles with off shoot hikes on my 61st B day. Great feeling. I had hiked the South Kaibab trail with my daughter on June 6th for 3 days 2 nights to Phantom Ranch camping and Indian Gardens. Of course it is all cowboy camp due to the heat but I live in Phoenix and the heat doesn’t bother me.

  56. Hey everyone , who is hiking rim to rim on August 18 down from north rim? I’m going on my own, so maybe this way I can find someone in similar situation…. company is always welcomed 🙂

  57. We get messages and posts from hikers that have extra permit spots, cabin cancellations, lost an item on the trail, want to post a message to a hiker and/or want to update trail conditions for other hikers. Well, this is now the place to post this information!

    Good luck to all Rim to Rim hikers this season!

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