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) are difficult to get. * Please note new lottery process for reservations at Phantom Ranch beginning in January 2019.  Click here for more information.
  • 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 of the Grand Canyon:

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 then 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 then 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 the 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.   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 Grand Canyon 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!  Note: Phantom Ranch is open year round.

If you want to camp out you must obtain a Backcountry permit (up to 4 months and a few days window in advance). You can call the Backcountry office at 928-638-7875 to request your permit (link and date window for application is here).  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.  * Please note the is a new lottery process for Phantom Ranch reservations beginning January 2019.  Click HERE for more information.

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 (use anti-chafing, anti-blister balm or powder before putting socks and footwear back on).

Our recommendation for hiking your first Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon is to hike it from North Rim to South Rim via the North Kaibab Trail (elevation 8,241 ft – 14.3 miles – mostly a descent) and the Bright Angel Trail (mostly an ascent – 9.6 miles – elevation 6,860 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 and Phantom Ranch are 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 which is 45 miles from the North Rim.

Other Option is to hike down North Kaibab Trail up the South Kaibab Trail (elevation 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 not hiked the canyon prior to this you must realize the ascent you are embarking on. You have an elevation gain of 5,781 feet on the North Kaibab trail, 4,800 feet on the South Kaibab trail, and 4,400 feet on the Bright Angel trail (elevation gain based on river to each rim).  The Colorado River at Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground sits at an elevation of approximately 2,460 feet.

Many will ask us the time it will take to complete a Rim to Rim hike, especially hikers that plan on taking it on in one day.  The time varies based on one’s overall conditioning, route taken, food and water breaks, weather, etc. but on average a Rim to Rim hike of the Grand Canyon takes about 12-15 hours to complete.

* While we don’t recommend it, if you do take on a one day Rim to Rim hike know the risks.  Most that take on a one day hike usually choose the South Kaibab to North Kaibab route.  We realize the logistics of a Rim to Rim hike are difficult (securing a permit and/or finding open lodging at Phantom Ranch) which may have you considering a one day hike but make sure you know your limits as hiking out of the canyon is mandatory. You may descend down South Kaibab much faster on the descent but realize that you will have a 14.3 mile trek ahead of you once you cross the river and most of it will be uphill.  Also keep in mind you will need to get through the box and plan accordingly the the hours of the day you will be passing through that section of this hike (i.e., make sure you are not hiking this during the hottest part of the day). Hike SMART, pick your route wisely, be flexible, listen to your body and leave EGO at home!

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®

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What you do need:

1. Great trail shoes and/or lightweight hiking boots and good socks – I hiked in trail shoes for my first hike and wicking/wool socks as trails are well maintained but I now hike in lightweight hiking boots.  If you are staying at Phantom or camping it’s always nice to have flip flops and/or shower shoes (you can carabiner these to your backpack) to give the feet some relief after a long day of hiking.  Please see our You Tube link on homepage or links noted below for footwear and sock options, lacing tips and make sure to trim your toe nails (have them rounded off) to avoid getting canyon toe and/or blisters from tips of toe nails rubbing against one another.  DO NOT WEAR NEW BOOTS – Break them in prior on your training hikes!

2. Backpack/Hydration Pack and proper clothing – I used a CamelBak (M.U.L.E.® Model) hydration pack with enough water (3 liters = 100 ounces and on more recent hikes I have used the CamelBak® Sundowner with the lumbar reservoir) 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. (less than 20 lbs. is ideal).  On clothing choices, polyester dries fast and is non-absorbent to moisture while cotton is more breathable.  Pick a poly/cotton blend technical shirt for comfort (best hiking choice), poly shirt to dry fast and cotton shirt for breathability.  With regard to cotton, think of a towel, a towel is made of cotton so if you want to dip your shirt in the creek, etc. to stay refreshed than pick cotton and also choose a lighter colored shirt on hot days. * Try to layer your clothing based on the season as keep in mind that you are starting at a higher elevation and much cooler temperatures but will warm up quite a bit once moving and at the bottom (Phantom Ranch) and again during the ascent but will cool down at the top of the other rim (higher elevation).

3. Hat or Bandana & Sunglasses – I wore a technical bandana that I came to appreciate as I could dip it in the water as well as the bandana allows sweat to stay out of your eyes.  The hat will keep your head cool and the sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

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

NOTE: If you fill up at Phantom Ranch please note that there is heavy doses up chlorine in the water so you may want to consider taking Gatorade powder to dilute the water (taste) as well as help supply your body with necessary electrolytes for the ascent out of the canyon.

5. Food – salty snacks, protein, and some carbs (electrolytes and salt tablets are options). 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 for blisters and a very small pair of scissors or knife.  Use the balm on areas of your body that you know are susceptible to friction as a preventative measure.  A small first aid kit (pouch) would be ideal stocked with a nail trimmer (to trim down your toe nails) and normal first-aid supplies (and any medicine you may take/need).

7. Sunscreen and lip balm.

8. Toiletries for overnight at Phantom Ranch or if you are heading to other rim to spend the night and trial size everything. I carried a small toothbrush, small toothpaste, and small deodorant.

9. Personal Water Filtration/Purification kit/bottle – You never know if there are going to be pipeline issues. Call the Backcountry Information Center at 928-638-7875 before you head out for updates on pipeline repairs.

10. Flashlight and/or Headlamp and back-up batteries for them.  A headlamp is much easier and keeps your hands free.

11.  Copy of the map above so you know distances, elevation gains, water stops, etc. Don’t forget reading glasses as well if you need them to read maps, etc.

12.  Leave your itinerary with your emergency contacts especially if you are hiking solo.  Let them know when you are leaving, where you are staying and which route you are taking as well as the Backcountry Office #928-638-7875 as there is no cell phone service in the canyon.  There are also no trail registers at any of the trailheads on this hike so again make sure someone knows your itinerary = HIKE SMART! * There is a phone at Phantom Ranch if you want to check-in with a loved one.

13.  It is a good idea to have waterproof bag or two (small ziploc bag will work = over a wallet) and/or a waterproof case with you for your keys, cell phone, $ (for phantom ranch and a credit card/ID) , etc. as you are hiking near and over water as well it can rain at any time.

14.  Compression socks – these are great for recovery and even for the hike (mid compression).  We wear Legend Compression socks. If you have any injuries after the hike remember to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate), especially if you are  having any issues with the knees and feet.

15. Camera/cell phone/GPS – Camera, pictures of a lifetime are on this hike.  Cell phone, you will not have service in the canyon but will at each of the rims and can use your camera on the phone as well.  Portable GPS/Satellite such as a Garmin for two way communication and SOS if you are traveling solo.  The trail is WELL marked so a GPS unit is not mandatory but if you are traveling solo it’s best to have one for emergency situations.

* 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 like Leki® so you can pack away and connect to your backpack.

* 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!

“The Box” 

Part of the hike on the North Kaibab Trail where you head into the Inner Gorge and the trail is “boxed in” so they call it “the box”. We estimate this part of the hike to be about mile marker 9.25 up to mile marker 13.25 on the North Kaibab descent (on the stretch after Cottonwood Campground and Ribbon Falls cut off but before Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch where there are 4 bridges that cross back and forth over the canyon and Bright Angel Creek).

Try to avoid this area between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the heat of the day during the summer months as this area is like an oven and temperatures can reach 120 degrees and even higher on some days.  It’s actually a very beautiful area if you take it on at a time of day that is not so hot as these canyon walls are awesome to see up close.

*If you are heading North to South and staying at Phantom Ranch, camping at Bright Angel Campground and/or hiking in the cooler months you have an advantage of heading into the box later as you have rest up ahead so take your time and be aware of the heat and how are you are feeling. If you do reach the box past 10:00 a.m. make sure you fill up with water at Cottonwood Campground (North to South Route) and take shade if you begin to feel dehydrated and maybe even a dip in Bright Angel Creek.

Note: Other lodging options during the “open season” for the North Rim (if you can’t get a camping spot at the North Rim or a stay at the lodge) try the Kaibab Lodge (928) 638-2389 which is 18 miles north of the North Kaibab trail or Jacob Lake Inn (928) 643-7232 which is 45 miles north of the trail.

* Overnight ParkingNorth Rim – If you are heading out North Kaibab you can leave your car at the parking lot at the trail head or up at the North Rim Lodge (you can take morning hiker shuttle from lodge – check with visitor’s desk).  South Rim – If you are heading out Bright Angel you can park at Backcountry Information Center parking lot (300 yards from trail head – Parking lot D) and walk to trail head.  If you are heading out via the South Kaibab trail you are not allowed to park at the trail head.  You must take the free hiker’s shuttle or have somebody drop you off so best best is to park at the Backcountry Information Center parking lot.  If you are leaving earlier than the hiker’s shuttle you can pay to take a 24 hour cab service to trail head (available at the south rim only).

* Driving Distances & Directions from North Rim to South Rim – 

Distance:  (212 miles / 341 kilometers) North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ to the South Rim.

Directions: From the North Rim, take Highway 67 north to Jacob Lake, AZ. From Jacob Lake, take Highway 89 Alt east through Marble Canyon, AZ to Highway 89 at Bitter Springs, AZ. From Bitter Springs, take Highway 89 south to Cameron, AZ. From Cameron, take Highway 64 west to the East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park (on the South Rim) known as Desert View.

* 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 HERE.

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

Donate to the Rim to Rim Club:  Help us maintain our website and mission by clicking here

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

Trail conditions: Please visit the NPS 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 (Rim to Rim): please visit Trans-Canyon Shuttle

Shuttle information (Rim to Rim): please visit Flagstaff Shuttle and Charter

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

Last minute Phantom Ranch (within 48 hours) wait list hotline: 1-928-638-3283

Permits: visit the Backcountry Office

Backcountry Updates/News/Podcasts & Water/Pipeline Closures:  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

Hiker Express Shuttle Schedule to South Kaibab Trailhead click Here (within South Rim)

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


You can help support our club by donating for the maintenance of our website and/or to receive your OFFICIAL RIM TO RIM CLUB® Member patch click here.


Training for a Rim to Rim Grand Canyon 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 regimen 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 backpack months in advance (20-30 lbs. on your back = ascending/descending and use one that is fitted for your body type).  Spinning is a great cardio option as well to train for a rim to rim hike.
  • 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.

Liability Disclaimer: The author(s) of this site are not responsible for any damage or personal injuries as a result of the use of any advice, maps, trail recommendations, gear options or training suggestions discussed on this blog. All outdoor and hiking activities are carried out at your own risk.

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


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


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!

If our page and website has helped you please consider supporting us by purchasing our Rim to Rim products on our store link and/or by visiting our advertising partners and/or you can donate directly to our club by clicking here or below.


* 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 aim to inspire hikers to hike the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim responsibly and respectfully.

And if you would like a Rim to Rim (or R2R2R) commemorative medal please visit our friends at Hiker Medals!  We receive a portion of every Rim to Rim & R2R2R medal sold.

Thank you to these advertisers for supporting our club & mission:



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Tell Your Story

  1. Ray Callahan says:

    I’ve hiked the canyon rim to rim twice. north to south, once 5 years ago and last October. I hope to hike it again one more time this spring with a friend that has not been. Last October, my wife, a friend and I started the hike. About half way to Cottonwood, my wife’s left knee gave out. We barely made it to Cottonwood. She had to be rescued by helicopter. My friend and I continued the 4 day hike uneventfully. They say that if you hike it, you either say it was the worst experience of your life, or you can’t wait to go back. I have hiked it twice and really want to hike it again, but this time over 8 days, not 4 as before so I can really get to enjoy it. Hiking the grand canyon can be very strenuous or very enjoyable. Someone not in great shape probably should not attempt it, but if you are in great shape, It will be hard but very doable and very enjoyable. Hiking the Grand Canyon is one of the most enjoyable things I have done and can’t wait to go again. I’m 71 and had no problems last October.

  2. Brian Cross says:

    I would like to do a R2R2R this year. How many days should I plan to do it comfortably? I am 59,good shape too.

    • Justin Valley says:

      Hey Brian we did R2R2R in five days. It was pretty comfortable with the exception of a really big third day because the yurt on the North Rim was closed down. Depending on the time of year you’re going you may be able to break it down a bit differently. Check out my post if you decide to do some Winter Hiking in the Grand Canyon

  3. North to South One Day – completed Saturday October 28

    We drove to the North Rim with some friends who had a camper and spent the night. Dropped in at 6am and we climbed out 11 hours later at the top of Bright Angel. While we hiked, our friends and wives, drove around to the South Rim and set up camp. We had a combined 1 hour in stops for breaks every 2 hours and a 30 minute lunch. The weather was perfect – 36 degrees at the rain in the morning and within an hour we were down to shorts and T’s – mid-80’s down through the canyon. Put a light jacket on at the last water stop on the way out. My companion and I did a lot of training hikes prior to the R2R but everything was climbing and not descending. I had hurt my knee skiing back in January but it healed and I forgot all about it. Unfortunately after we descended about 4000′ my knee started to hurt and I could only step down with my left leg and then as we came out I could only step up with my right leg. That slowed us down to about 2 mph on the climb out. Knowing what I know know now I would have worn my knee brace and used my trekking poles on the way down (I didn’t pull them out until lI start to climb). The water was turned on the whole trip so we only needed to carry 1 liter but I had 2 in the camelback. My companion and I both had just finished a weight loss program monitored by a nutritionist (I lost 40 lbs – 20% of my weight) so they helped us with our eating and electrolite plan for the day – basically protein/carbs every 2 hours and electrolytes (drinks and pickles) every 3 hours.

    We had a great day, we prepared well, except for working on the descent, and we hit our goal of under 12 hours. We are now preparing to go and do the South to South (Kaibab to Bright Angel) in January with an 8 hour goal.

    • Randy, congratulations on your hike and welcome into the club! Happy to hear it went great with the exception of your knee issues. It’s amazing the test the hike puts on the knees! The poles and brace will for sure help you! Enjoy your January hike!

  4. Hiking R2R South to North tomorrow Oct 20. So we are looking for a way back. Key swap or shuttle from North to South. Let me know if you’re interested. preston.pk.keller@gmail.com

  5. Hiking r2r for second time Sunday October 15, North to South. Looking if anybody wants to meet up and hike along with for part of the hike (3-4 mph).

    • I’m hiking/running the same route that day. I’m planning to run down and mostly hike up. Not sure if you’re planning the same, but I’d love to email you with some questions since you’ve done it before. Otherwise, perhaps I’ll see you at the TH or along the trail.

  6. I completed the rim to rim on Sept. 20th, 2017 in one day starting at the No. rim and up the Bright Angel. I hiked this alone but had completed a lot of training including three 1 day hikes down the So. Kaibab, over to the Phantom Ranch and up the Bright Angel in the past 12 Months. What I am really proud of is the fact that I am 68 and started hiking at 65 averaging approximately 900 miles per year. It proves that you can do it at any age with the right training and desire. All 4 Grand Canyon hikes were incredibly beautiful.

    • Welcome into the club Robert! What an inspiration you are and happy you trained the way you did (SK to PR up BA for training hikes) as it sounds like it helped you have a great experience!

    • Mark A Chrzescian says:

      Great job Robert, I’m 62 and doing the trip solo this Saturday. Hike Supai with my daughter in May and this canyon 4 years ago. You are only as old as you feel. Always been active and always will be. Again Great Job!

  7. Jessica Ihler says:

    I am wanting to do R2R with my husband next spring but will have a 10 month old baby to bring as well. Would this be a horrible idea for the little one? If it is something that you think we could manage what route do you suggest? I would love any tips and advice. Thanks!

    • peaches lopez says:

      Yes, that is a horrible idea. Why would you ever consider this with a young baby.?
      Reckless, irresponsible. That baby would be much happier at home. You would be much happier without the extra weight and responsibility.

  8. I have a reservation at Phantom Ranch for 1 male and 1 female in the dorms for this Friday, September 15th, 2017. I am wanting to trade it for a cabin reservation OR a bright angel camping permit as my husband and I would like to sleep together that night. Any interest please email me hrboyd77@yahoo.com

  9. Just returned home from our RTR hike, South to North. What wonderful, beautiful, amazing, long, fun, scary, fantastic hike! My sister drove out from the LA area, and we shot up to the South Rim from Prescott, AZ, my home. Our long walk started at 5:20am and finished at about 6:45pm on the North Rim. We took it slow, enjoyed the views, ate a lot, drank even more(H2O). Everyone on the trail was awesome. The Rangers were not thrilled with us hiking RTR, I’m sure because they have had to deal with so many unprepared people attempting the trek. It was about 105 degrees at Phantom Ranch, so we stayed wet to keep cool. The hardest part of the hike for me was walking along the cliffs with sheer drops towards the end of the North Kaibab Trail. I don’t like heights/being on the edge of cliffs(the views were amazing though). One other thing to know is there is no cell service on the North Rim, so come up with a plan for pickup ahead of time or plan on walking an extra 1.7 miles to the lodge like we did. This was such a great experience, and more challenging than I expected. Train, prepare, pack well, and enjoy this awesome walk through about 1.5 billion years of geological history!

  10. Larry LePere says:

    I just turned 60 in July of 2017, and went R2R with my two 20 something sons on August 8, 2017. All of us had trained for greater than 5 months, with a lot of elevation training, but no training hikes longer than 7 hours. We anticipated going from the South rim to the North Rim would take us about 12-13 hours.
    Our first problem was that we only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before. This was a huge mistake, but not one we could fix on the morning of the hike. We started our descent at 3:30 AM.
    We went down the South Kaibab trail, and that ALSO turned out to be a big mistake. I felt the trail was in terrible shape (although I’m not a big hiker and perhaps I’m just used to walking on sidewalks – compared to sidewalks, the SK trail was in horrible shape) I did hear from a number of other hikers who took that trail down that day, who also felt it was in very poor shape. On the contrary, I heard that Bright Angel was in very good shape. So, a flip of the coin and we came up on the wrong end. It took its toll on me, as my knees are not in nearly as good a condition as my son’s are – so what we anticipated would be about a 3 hour descent turned into a 5 hour descent – and a painful one at that – mostly due to my inability to keep pace.
    That slow descent also delayed our entry into the Box. We had started at 3:30 AM in order to get completely through the box prior to the heat getting to be an issue, but our slow descent had us entering the box at about 9 AM and not 7 AM – mistake number 3. We got through the Box in relatively good time about 2 hours for the 3.5 miles – but that left us on the flat, very hot section between the Box and Cottonwood Campground at 11 AM. The next 45 minutes was a very slow go, I was getting overheated, and we decided to do the honorable (and smart) thing and go sit in the Bright Angel Creek for 45 minutes or so. My body cooled down nicely, and we replenished our water using disinfecting tablets and creek water, and we made Cottonwood Campground by about 1:30 or 2. Son Stephen headed up the trail at this point, but I needed rest, and avoidance of the heat of the day, so me and my other son Dan rested until about 4:30.
    We then headed up the rest of the North Kaibab trail, and it was without any further incident except that I was so drained from the lack of sleep and rough descent that it took 9 more hours to go the final 7 or so miles – slowly, deliberately, and without pushing myself too hard – but it took 9 more hours. Dan left me at about 8:30 PM (about 4.5 miles from the North Rim) to get out and tell Stephen, and my daughter Jacqueline, who was waiting for us all at the rim, that I was in fine shape but just very much behind schedule (she had been under direction that if we did not show up by 7 PM, to go alert the Rangers).
    So, at 1:20 AM on August 9, I reached the North Rim, just short of 22 hours for the trip.
    We were in pain during the ascent, but now (about a week later), all we can remember was how really awesome and interesting the trip was. One sad note, several days before our trip, a woman hiker died due to heat exhaustion – so it was a real reminder (as was the encounter with the rattlesnake that Stephen had) that there are very real dangers if you do not prepare properly. If you get too hot – go sit in the creek for a few hours until the weather cools off. Its not the worst thing in the world to exit at 2 in the morning (I know!). Bring water, food and electrolytes. Take your time, don’t push yourself beyond your limit.
    Good luck, be safe – It is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.
    As difficult as the hike itself turned out to be, there was and is nothing to describe the feeling I got at about 10:30 PM when I realized that I was likely the only person in Bright Angel Canyon at that time – the entire side canyon lit by the near-full moon, only the sounds of the canyon and me, and not one other human being in there. That realization alone was worth the entire trip.

    • What a great recap of your trip and just as we try to convey all that enter. Welcome into the Rim to Rim Club® Larry (and sons Dan and Stephen). As time goes by you will totally reflect on the memories and I do believe you will hike Bright Angel as well one day. It must have been super special to have those moments on the North Kaibab Trail alone under a full moon. Thanks for you sharing your story Larry!

    • mike carter says:

      Larry, not to be snarky but the 1st mistake, if not hiking with someone who has done this before, was not doing an exploratory or preliminary hike prior to the hike you just mentioned. My very first R2R was planned as a 4-day, 3-night hike, staying at the inner canyon campgrounds. I gained invaluable knowledge of the trails and the physical demands prior to attempting a R2R as a one-day adventure. I come across many hikers who have underestimated the demands of this hike. I wish I could tell them before they begin and commit to their hike. I am glad to hear you all made it out safely.

  11. A group of us are headed to GC to hike R2R from North to South in September this year. I’ve been looking at side trips while we have downtime, but having a hard time finding maps to get us to places. Does anyone have a GPS file (KML/KMZ/GPX) of how to get to Supai Tunnel and Roaring Springs? I’m trying to plan out the trip as best as possible.

  12. David Gosling says:

    No story, yet:) Going in early August.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the fantastic website/info source.


  13. Hi, all.
    I have an opportunity to do a *nighttime* R2R in mid-July. Been searching here and on other sites for trip reports from people who have gone S to N overnight but haven’t found any.

    FWIW, I’ve done a S rim-to-river, a N rim-to-Roaring Springs and a rim-to-rim (N-to-S). I live and train in the SW desert. Mountain climber and trail runner. Good with the altitude, good with the distance. My logic is that leaving the SR at 7-8 pm will enable me to beat the heat. Crazy?

    • Robert, there have been others that have done a nighttime Rim to Rim hike. Most have done them under a full moon. If you go the key is an obvious headlamp with backup batteries. We have not done a nighttime Rim to Rim but have hiked out of the canyon at night (most times the last 1-2 miles). Hopefully some of our other club members that have done the nighttime hike will reach out to you. Your other option is to leave EARLY in the morning (getting to Phantom Ranch by about 11:00 a.m.) and then rest at Phantom Ranch during the heat of the day and then hike out early evening where you would only have a few miles of nighttime hiking. The canyon is SO very beautiful to see in the light so our hope is you are able to see it! We actually camped out with two guys two summers ago that went South to North at night (we were still camping when they came back) and they wished they would have went in the light. Good luck either way!

  14. Glenn "Goose" Gregson says:

    When I was 13 years old on a family cross country vacation trip from NC to California to visit grandparents, my dad decided to make a stop at the Grand Canyon (our 1st ever visit)… He was so in awe of the panoramic views that he made the decision that he, my 12-year old brother, and I were going to hike down the Bright Angel Trail the next morning to the Colorado River & back up & out… Mind you it was August & the temperatures were in the 100’s at the bottom!! This was back in 1963 & my dad might very well have been locked up for child abuse had we made this trek in today’s day & age… He carried a backpack with 3 cans of pork & beans and 3 cans of fruit cocktail and a canteen that the three of us shared… The trip down seemed rather easy to us in spite of the heat & we enjoyed every step… We put our feet in the Colorado River & stayed just long enough to enjoy our scrumptious lunch…
    The trip back up & out was grueling to say the least and there was a time that we feared we weren’t going to make it out. We kept plodding because we knew that mom was nervously awaiting our return… It was miserably hot but a rain storm popped up out of nowhere which we thought would prove to be a blessing in disguise… It was NOT!! After getting drenched, the three of us began to shiver with what we know now was the possible onset of dehydration & hypothermia… Long story short, we made it out, cold wet, & exhausted… I remember clearly my dad saying that it would be his last trip EVER to the Grand Canyon… Guess what?? It was NOT… Within days after that fateful 1st hike, my dad had the itch to go back, and go back we all did!! My dad fell in love with the Canyon & went back year after year hiking many of the trails, often with my brother & me… After I graduated from college & went on to play pro baseball, I would find out from my mom when he was going to be there & I surprised him more than once when my season was over… I actually surprised him on the trails a couple of times. My dad would go back sometimes twice a year after he retired from the railroad in NC & introduced dozens of his friends to his beloved Grand Canyon… Years ago when he was 81 years old & could no longer do any serious hiking, he would fly to the Grand Canyon & spend days just sitting at some of his favorite viewpoints… I met him out there that year & he asked me to walk with him slowly to the first tunnel as you head down the Bright Angel Trail… He struggled with his breathing, but I told him that it was remarkable that he was still hiking his beloved Canyon… A month after he got him he discovered that he had lung cancer & only lived another 9 months… His health deteriorated so quickly that we were unable to fly him back out for one last visit to this place he loved so much… I made a promise to him on his death bed that as long as I could put one foot in front of the other, I would continue hiking Rim to Rim in his honor…
    In his lifetime the two of us hiked Rim to Rim together a couple of times & over the past 10 years since my dad passed, I have returned annually for Rim to Rim hikes (always in a day & always North to South or South to North) and on two occasions I have gone Rim to Rim to Rim with only a short recovery before trekking back across… I timed it one September when there was a full moon for my trip back across which was an awesome experience!! Each time I hike those trails my dad is with me every step of the trip in spirit & I always stop on the Silver Bridge & throw a penny into the Colorado River, shed a tear, and continue on my way… When I get to Phantom Ranch, I buy a big lemonade & sign both his name and mine to the guestbook before venturing on!! To any of you out there that has a Rim to Rim trip on your bucket list, I offer you just one piece of advice: DO IT!! You won’t regret it & you will go back more than once to do it again!!

    • Oh Glenn, LOVED reading your story about the memories with your father and the relationship you all built with the canyon. This place and this hike is so special for all of the reasons you mentioned. Your father will be with you always on those hikes. Thank you sharing your story! Proud to have you and you father in the club!

  15. I just finished a R2R trip with some of my family and a couple of friends (6/14/17 – 6/17/17). There were heat advisories every day, but my buddy and I kept a good pace, finished our days by about 0900, and didn’t have any trouble at all. Bright Angel CG was by far my favorite stop, even though that was the hottest day of the trip. The creek made all the difference.

    I carried 4 liters of water every day, and that was nearly twice what I actually needed between camps. Hike early and stay cool. My base weight was about 11 or 12 pounds, and fully loaded I was at about 31 pounds. I could’ve dropped a pound or two of stuff (4 pair of socks instead of 2 max, warm hat and thermal bottoms for night, etc.) and been even more comfortable.

    As far as conditioning goes: I am, for the most part, a lazy bum. I have a desk job, I could stand to lose 15 pounds or so, and I don’t go to the gym. I walk my dog about a mile or two almost every day, and go on periodic day/weekend hikes (once/quarter-ish). I did zero conditioning for the R2R, and I was just fine. In fact, I’ve been more sore after walking around the zoo all day.

    If I were to go back, I would probably skip Cottonwood and Indian Garden and just do North Rim to Bright Angel to South Rim.
    Overall it was a great trip. Filled my phone with pictures and my head with memories.

  16. Considering doing a R2R2R at the end of October, to coincide with significant personal event. Is that unreasonable that late in the season? If so, because of hours of daylight? Potential inclement weather?

    • Mike Merrill says:

      4 to 5 retired guys from Prescott AZ doing R to R Sept 12-15 from North to South camping at Cottonwood, Bright Angel and Indian Gardens.

    • Larry LePere says:

      Bob – I was just at the Canyon in August for an R2R trip, and a number of the folks I ran into during the trip told me two things: 1) you are nuts for trying to do this in August! (although I saw several others who were involved in a R2R trip) and 2) most sane people do this in October, when the weather is more forgiving. My only bit of caution would be that, if you are unlucky, you could get some really cold weather in late October. And, the biggest reason we went now was the days are still fairly long, and we went during a full moon. Short, cold days and really dark cold nights nights would be a bummer. Will you have a fun moon during your walk? It helps immensely.

  17. Gary Vassallo says:

    In May 2018, I’m thinking of trying a rim to rim to rim hike in one day. Starting from the Bright Angel trail head on the south and using the North Kaibab trail for the north, this entails a day hike of about 76 km with a 3100 m climb. Does anyone have information about similar hikes or am I just mad? I’m 60 and am currently practising longish 25 – 50 km hikes with appropriate climbs to see whether I have a reasonable chance to complete my dream. I reckon south to north would take about 8 hours, but the climb back up the south rim after 60 km could be a killer.

    • Last Saturday, May 20, 2017, I completed one day Rim to Rim, going down the South Kaibab trail and up the North. I was part of a group of about 30. It took me 11 hours and 8 minutes. I am almost 53 and have been preparing for this hike for about 4 months. I walk at least 5 miles daily, ride a bike and do regular cardio workouts (spin classes). I am in decent shape. The hike took everything I had and I cannot imaging turning around and doing it again the same day. I was sore next day and am still a little sore, but did my regular 3.5 miles this morning.

      I saw plenty of runners going Rim to Rim at a very fast pace, but my guess is these are the same people that run marathons and do triathlons. I am not in that category. To give you a better idea, the fastest people in our group finished in about 10 hours and you do not want to know about the slowest.

      Hope that helps.

      • Gary Vassallo says:

        Thanks, Len. I’m certainly no athlete but I’ll keep on practising longer hikes with increased climbs in the next few months. Fortunately, I live in northern Italy with many trails close by.
        I’ll make a final decision in October and only go if I have a reasonable chance of success. Perhaps you can join me (at least one way).

      • Larry LePere says:

        Gary – I’m also 60 and just did that very same hike (Aug 2017), except I went down the South Kaibab and not the Bright Angel. My suggestion would be to take the Bright Angel Trail down, it has to be in better shape than the South Kaibab was for my trip. Also, try to avoid the two other mistakes I made (not getting enough sleep, and hiking in the heat of the day).
        The good news is, you are not mad, and if you are training with 25-50 km hikes, I think you are all set.

  18. devon hass says:

    My Wife and I are planning on R2R South to North on June 3rd, anyone going North to South that day? We are trying to see if we can do a key/car swap.

  19. Connie Wisnousky says:

    We are planning a 3 day RTR in August. We will be coming up in one day. Does the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trail have the best views? Trying to decided which trail to come up. This will probably be the only trip possible to the Grand Canyon in my lifetime. Any suggestions?

    • The South Kaibab trail has the most scenic views but remember there is no water and no shade on this trail so fill up on water at Phantom Ranch. Good luck on your hike Connie!

    • I agree the South Kaibab is more scenic, but can be brutal. Heed the warnings of “no shade or water” especially if hiking in August. Suggest you start out early from Phantom.
      Good luck and enjoy

    • I have been to Phantom thrice. The views from south Kaibab are awesome, but if you are hiking UP you will miss them. My first trip was on Aug 20. 110 plus at Phantom. If you really want to do South Kaibab I recommend going south to north, even with the extra elevation gain. You can leave Phantom right after breakfast to get through the box before it heats up. Ribbon Falls if you have time. If you can bypass SK then north to south is better, and take Bright Angel with three water stops and shade and a creek for cooling. The extra 2 miles is mostly along the river to the start of BA. Again start early as Devil’s Corkscrew is HOT.

  20. My husband and I have talked doing a R2R for years. Now, finally, we are in the early stages of planning. We are looking at late June of 2017. I have read several R2R posts and some suggest N-S while others suggest S-N. I’ve read that S-N gives you a longer but less steep climb on the second day. Having never done this before, how do we decide?

    • South Kaibab is a steeper descent but less mileage so you would have a more gradual climb up North Kaibab. If it is your first time we recommend going North Kaibab to Bright Angel especially if you are taking two days.

  21. I’ll be hiking w my girlfriend rtr in one day, looking for someone to trade keys with. We plan to hike between the 17 and 21 of October. Email me at Nicholas.sieckowski@gmail.com

  22. my girlfriend and i plan to hike Rim to Rim as a day hike between 10/17 and 10/20. If anyone is interested in a car swap please email me at nicholas.sieckowski@gmail.com —– thanks!

  23. My friends and I are to R2R (day hike only) on October 14th. Anyone available for a car swap? We were thinking North to South for us, but are willing to switch it up, if necessary, to work with someone else’s plans.



    • Jim Loupe says:


      My wife and I are driving out on the 14th from Southern California. We are going to hike the R2R on Saturday the 15th. Same way N2S. Come on hike it Saturday 🙂

      Emailhloupe@cox.net (wife) Heather
      Emailjloupe@cox.net (Me) Jim


      • David Wang says:

        It is my dream to hike Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, but the North Rim is going to be closed very soon. I wonder if I can still make it this year. I just hiked Mt. Whitney in one day trip on September, and wonder how harder rim-to-rim 26 miles could be with compared to Mt Whitney one day trip of 22 miles.

  24. Melissa Hirner says:

    My best friend and I decided in March that we were going to hike a Rim to Rim, so in August we took off! It is one of the hottest months but we were lucky enough to have cloudy days, and enjoyed a rainbow early one morning after a rain shower. On Day 1 we hiked out of the North Kaibab trailhead and set up camp at Cottonwood campground, since we still had plenty of daylight we hiked to Ribbon Falls. It was my second time going there and I was excited to show my friend! It was worth it to see the look of amazement she had, it was the highlight of her hike she told me later. On Day 2 we hiked from Cottonwood to Bright Angel campground, our afternoon hike was the black bridge and part of the river trail. What a stunning view the Black bridge is! We also took time to venture around the silver bridge since we knew we wouldn’t see it as well in the morning. We never saw a rattlesnake, thank goodness, but a king snake did make an appearance (that is what someone at Phantom Ranch said it was). The 3rd Day we hiked out on the Bright Angel trail pretty early to avoid the heat of the day while climbing up out of the canyon. we did encounter a scorpion a half mile into our hike that day, we didn’t see it at first so it was definitely a surprise! Overall, it was a Grand adventure made even more special with a great friend! One day, I want to do a solo hike in my park 🙂 I may be a Missouri girl, but the Canyon will always call to me. Two down many more to go!

  25. Our group of four women hiked Rim to Rim over four days (9/16-9/19). We took the TransCanyon Shuttle from the South Rim to the North Rim and arrived around 6pm. We camped at the “Hike and Bike” campground (no reservations needed – based on availability). Our campsite was at the edge of the North Rim – beautiful. The next morning we hiked down the North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground. It took us much longer than expected because one of our hikers had a very overweight backpack that she had to be unpacked and packed every time she filled up on water. It was a beautiful hike down the first part of the North Kaibab. We got to the Ribbon Falls turn off (didn’t go to Ribbon Falls because we were behind schedule) when it started to get hot, which slowed us down some. We got to Bright Angel Campground and set up our tents just as the sun was setting. Took the next day to rest and enjoy Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel creek. The last day, we were up early and started up the Bright Angel Trail by 6am and made good time with very little sun (heat) slowing us down. It was a great experience. If I was to ever do it again, I would want lodging at the North Rim and Phantom Ranch. This was my first experience hiking with and sleeping in a tent and I’ve determined it’s not my preference.

    • Totally understand this Ann and hiking Rim to Rim allows one to earn any kind of bed so hopefully you will get to stay at the North Rim Lodge and Phantom Ranch! Congratulations on your hike and welcome to the club!

  26. Al Andersen says:

    Hi, we are hiking north to south rim on 10/1/16. One of the guys going with us is going to drive to the south rim and then start hiking down to meet us at Indian Gardens. Initially I was sold on coming up the Bright Angel trail. Now I’m thinking the SK would be better as it will give him better views. So any thoughts on coming up BA or SK?


    • Al,

      South Kaibab has the most amazing views (our cover photo is of South Kaibab trail) but it does not have water or shade so just keep that in mind. It is also shorter so he could literally have a great day hike and meet you half way.

      Good luck on your hike this weekend!

  27. Hi Everyone!

    My 3 friends and I are doing the rim to rim hike Oct 1 to the second. Is anyone available for a car swap?


  28. Steve Brown says:

    My two friends and I are doing the RTR with Wildland Trekking 10/17 – 10/20 2016. I am really looking forward to the experience. We are experienced hikers and do a National Park trip every year. I am a little nervous because I have not been able to train as much as I normally would for a trip like this. The mileage is not the concern as much as managing the weight. I normally carry around 20 lbs and it looks like we will be carrying 35 or so. I will post again after I get back.

  29. I find myself with a bad knee (osteoarthritis) that is lately acting up and getting in the way of my planned R2R that was to start 18Sep. So am looking for alternatives that don’t totally blow my reservations on N Rim (16 & 17) and later on S Rim (22) but avoid having to make hikes 2d in a row (was going Cottonwood–>Phantom (2nights)–>Indian Garden–>S Rim). I am no kid (>70)!

  30. 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 two friends who are doing the RTR hike with me on September 24th, but they are both 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.

  31. We are doing a south to north r2r 10-11 to 10-13. Anyone want to swap cars?

  32. Kimberly Russell says:

    I am heading out for a R2R starting September 11 and ending September 14. We are starting off on the North Rim and spending 3 nights in the canyon, each at a different campsite (so excited).

    I plan to buy fuel for my jetboil beforehand but will not be able to take the remaining fuel/canister home afterwards because of airplane safety.

    Is there a communal share system on the South Rim? I really don’t want to throw away the fuel if there is someone that can use it. Is anyone starting their journey from the South Rim on September 14 and would like the remaining fuel?

  33. Planing to do a north rim to south rim, park the car at south rim and shuttle to north rim and stay overnight!

    Are we allow to camp anywhere near trailhead with permit?
    Anyone done it?

  34. Hey, what a great site with useful tips and wonderful comments. I’m planning to do rim to rim hike during labor day weekend (September 3-5) and was lucky to reserve a stay at Phantom Ranch! Planning to go down South Kabaib trail, sleep the night, leave at 5am next morning towards North Kabaib trail, and return to Phantom Ranch in time for dinner, sleep the night, then hike back up to South Rim using Bright Angel trail. The round-trip North Rim portion will be 46km in one day. Has anybody done this before (well, I’m sure they did), any tips? I’m preparing for a marathon and can run 20km, but with the backpack (planning to bring SLR camera as well), the heat, and the elevation difference, not sure if I’m too optimistic.
    If you will be at Grand Canyon during labor day weekend, please let me know. Perhaps we can attempt this challenging hike together…

  35. My brother and I are doing the rim to rim in two weeks – south rim to north rim. Our plan is to depart on the South Kaibab trail at 4 am. We want to be through “the box” by 10. Is 6 hours, with a short stop at the Phantom Ranch, enough time to get through “the box” or should we plan on leaving earlier? Thank you.

    • Jeff,

      If you are heading down South Kaibab you will most likely be at Phantom Ranch in 3-4 hours and you will clear the box in about 2 hours so you would be out by 10:00 a.m. (with a break at Phantom). The only bummer about needing to leave so early on a one day Rim to Rim is you will miss South Kaibab in its glory as some of the views are amazing up near the top so hopefully you get back to day hike part of South Kaibab down to Cedar Ridge, etc.

      Hope this helps and good luck with your hike!

      • Thank you. This is helpful. We will be spending a day and a half at the south rim before doing the rim to rim hike. We have also visited the Grand Canyon previously and have been able to take in all the views doing day hikes. Thank you again for the advice.

  36. Heading back for another one day R2R- this time South to North on Monday September 19th, 2016. I plan to go down Bright Angel Trail as it is close to the lodging. I’m staying overnight at the North Rim and “contemplating” a R2R2R (hiking back on the 20th), but have the shuttle reserved if the legs are too tired. Having hiked out in the heat of the day last year, I plan to start the hike at night (about 1AM- and I’m looking forward to the amazing night sky). Last year my R2R took 12 hours and I suspect it will be about the same this year. Just putting this out there to see if anyone else is hiking during that time and interested in joining me.

  37. susan whitbourne says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m planning a solo R2R September 8-9 North to South. Anybody interested in a car swap or planning to be in the GC at that time?

    This is my 5th visit to the GC and my first R2R would love to meet others who love the place as much as I do.


    • Hi Susan, Did you find someone to do a car-swap? I might be interested, although I also wanted to do North to South. Is there any chance you would do South to North?

      • susan whitbourne says:

        Hi! I have all my reservations already set for a North to South and can’t change it , unfortunately 🙁 Please let me know if you think you might like to work something out!!!

  38. iam12xcel says:

    Thanks for such an informative site. I am hiking a R2R North to South with 5 other women the end of this August. We plan to stay over at Phantom 2 nights (have reservations). We have all been training, but are most concerned about the heat factor and wanted some guidance on our plan for hiking N Kaibab. We have read in multiple places not to be hiking in the “box” from 10am-4pm (that’s most of the day). We also want to be able to see the canyon and are not necessarily in favor of hiking in the dark-starting really early am to be through the box before 10am. So keeping the “Box” in mind–we were wondering about this strategy-what if we start at 7am hike to Ribbon Falls (~6hrs-so we can enjoy the hike) stay there for about 1-2 hrs and then head towards the box at 3pm so that we are hitting it at the end of the heat and also still get to Phantom (3 hrs later) in time for the 6:30pm dinner (they tell me we cannot be late). Is this a logical strategy or do you suggest something else? Are we crazy for thinking like this? We want to do this smart and also in a way that is safe. Please advise–anxious to hear from you

    • Because you are staying at Phantom you have an advantage. Key with the “box” if you are hiking any time past 10:00 a.m. through it is to take breaks (there are spots in shade and the creek is right next to you). Make sure you fill your water at Cottonwood before heading in. If you go to Ribbon Falls that is a nice break as well so you should be good to go. On the dinner, it is served Family Style so you must be there at your designated time.

      This will be a great experience for you as you are taking it slowly and have two nights at Phantom which will provide you nice rest & recovery.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes!

      • Linda Rice says:

        Thanks so much for your quick reply–your strategy makes sense. As I said, we were just concerned because everywhere we read it said NOT to be in the box between 10am-4pm. You have helped reassure us. We will be sure to let you know how it goes. Getting excited!

    • Thanks for posting this. I am also hiking same end of aug. I had this same concern and feel much better after reading the reply. Also taking our time to enjoy this awesome trip but definitely didn’t want to chance missing dinner! 😊 Enjoy yourselves!

      • As I promised I would let you know how our trip went–we hiked Aug 25 down North rim –started out at 40+ degrees-quickly got to 85 and just as we got to the “BOX” it began raining! I have never been so happy to see rain when hiking! We got to Phantom in time for dinner and saw folks who got there after dinner and they were served–it was in paper cups but they did get dinner! August is their monsoon season so you need to be prepared for rain which we were and it was a welcome respite from the heat. Our hike out Bright Angel was cloud covered which kept the temp at a nice 60 degrees. Hope you had a great trip as well Kate!

  39. Good Morning!
    I’m looking to see if anyone has ever hiked rim to rim during New Years? I’m looking to start on the North Rim from a Yurt, hike down to Phantom Ranch December 31st and hike up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim on January 1st.
    If you have hiked during this time, how was the weather?
    Were you able to drive the Yurt? And if so, is there a shuttle on the South Rim that takes people back to their cars on the North Rim?
    My main concerns/questions are regarding the logistics of getting to the Yurt and what I do about a rental car and the weather. If anyone has any advice, please share! Thank you!

    • Hi Erin,

      The road to the North Rim is closed as of December 1 each year (even earlier if weather closes it) so you would need to do a Rim to Rim to Rim that time of year. Best bet is to call the backcountry office (contact information is on this page above) regarding questions on the yurt. Good luck!

    • susan whitbourne says:

      I’ve wanted to do this, too! However, I wanted to stay at the South Rim and just descent the S. Kaibab, stay the night at Phantom Ranch, and ascend Bright Angel. This seems to really be the only enjoyable way to do it since the North Rim is closed. I’ve also been planning a rim to rim hike this Sept (Sept 7-9) and have looked into pretty much every option for having my car moved from N to S – but there really isn’t a service that is provided for this unles you personally hire someone to do it. I’m going to leave mine at the S. Rim and take a shuttle to N. Rim

      Hope this helps!!

  40. Brent Dutton says:

    Anyone up for a car swap on 8/24/16

    • Hi Brent, I would be up for a car swap Labor Day weekend if your dates are flexible. I prefer hiking North to South since it’s been awhile since I’ve done the R2R.

  41. Hi guys,

    Am doing a R2R North to South hike over 3 days, 2 nights (8/27 – 8/29). Was wondering about the logistics of parking your car and getting to the trailhead. Is it the norm to park your car at the North, hike all the way to the South, then take a shuttle back to the North to get the car? Are there any other ways or modes of transportation that you would recommend? Thank you!

    • AT,

      That is the best way. You can park your car at the North Kaibab trailhead and when the shuttle takes you back around from the South Rim to the North Rim they will take you right to your car. Easiest and most efficient way to do a Rim to Rim hike logistically!

      Good luck!

  42. Last year a co worker mentioned that 11 years earlier (when he was 21) had hiked down Bright Angel and hiked back up the next day. His story left me fascinated and having relocated to Arizona 4 years prior, I was even more intrigued by the Grand Canyon and of course placed it on my list of things I wanted to experience. So, in Sept of 2015 my wife and I drove to the Grand Canyon and hiked down to the 3mile rest house and back up again. This was to be our “dry run” for a hike to the Colorado river and back up to the South Rim. Three weeks later during Labor day weekend, (starting on a Sat.) we returned to the Bright Angel trail and hiked down to the Colorado and back up. This included “day time night hiking” because we had no permit to camp. We just rested as needed (the rangers were very friendly and assured us it was fine to rest along the way and to even nap if we felt the need) and finished on Sunday. This left me with an AMAZING feeling and yet, I needed more. I returned to work and shared the “epic” tale of our conquest with my co worker who immediately felt the urge to return to the Canyon and get revenge for having been physically and mentally destroyed 11 years earlier. We agreed on one thing immediately: We must complete a R2R! On Fri the 27th of this year we left my vehicle on the South Rim, caught the shuttle to the North Rim and camped at our reserved site. Saturday the 28th, we began our journey and just as I had done 7 months earlier, we rested along the way and as much as we needed. It was a challenge that we embraced and on Sunday the 29th, we climbed out of the trailhead at the Bright Angel Trail! Hard to describe the feeling of a 45year old man and his friend (who is 12 years younger) when completing this unique challenge. All the people we met along the way were so nice and encouraging when they found out we were attempting a R2R. So, Thank you to all of those people we met! One other thing we had agreed on DURING the hike: We were finished with the Grand Canyon and no longer had “an urge” to complete a hike there….uh, yeah, about that…it’s been 9 days since finishing the hike and I have been thinking about it more and more and I realize that I am NOT finished, That beautiful Canyon is beginning to call me again. This time a R2R2R is the journey I want to take on. I don’t know why, but this amazing place is addicting and of course I am willing to oblige! Thank You!

    • Jason,

      Welcome to the club! You earned it! Happy to hear you had a great experience and that you are being “called” back. It happens to all of us as the wear and tear of the hike tests us mentally and physically but once you climb out and realize what you just accomplished you want to go back and experience more of it. Good luck on your R2R2R as now you have experience and that is priceless!

  43. I, along with 2 friends, are planning our first Rim2Rim hike. Thanks to this website and all the helpful information we feel we are ready for the adventure. We will be camping at Bright Angel Campground on June 15, 2016, and I was wondering if anyone would like to have our tent to camp in the following night. I am trying to avoid carrying it out of the canyon!

    • Ann,

      Happy to hear our website has helped you! If you don’t have a taker as far as your tent please make sure you check with Phantom Ranch as you can pay to have the mules take it out. Key is to leave no trace on your hike. Good luck with your hike and let us know how it goes!

  44. A friend and I are doing a 4 day rim to rim in one week! We both having been training but started late training with weight! We are both up to 30-40 minutes doing stairs with 20 lbs…. any suggestions for the next 7 days? Should we give our body a rest the day before – any guidance very much appreciated!!

  45. We finished our first R2R on Saturday, 5/28. Started at 5:05 am on North Kaibab and emerged at the top of Bright Angel at 5:17 pm. Beautiful hike! It was a little hot in the afternoon going up from the river to Indian Gardens but thankfully we got some cloud cover after that.

    Still walking a little funny but glad we did it!

  46. May 16, 2016: There are some things you only need to do once in your life, and yesterday’s Grand Canyon R2R hike was probably one of those events for me. I’m so glad I challenged myself as I did, but I don’t mind admitting that was one tough hike! But also an absolutely incredible experience.! I made it in 13.5 hours, slightly over my 13-hour estimated time to complete, but had I not stopped to shoot over 400 pictures with my Smartphone(!!), I’m pretty sure that I would have come in at least an hour sooner. But to reiterate, there likely will not be another attempt to shave off time from my mark.

    I have posted a more comprehensive story about my R2R and lots of photos on our website: http://www.jollyoutthere.com. Please feel free to take a look, and if you don’t see my post, simply search for “rim to rim.” The search feature is in the right hand column down a bit. For now, I think that I’ll take a nap.

    • Fred,

      Welcome to the club! First off, we are still smiling at the reference to an “Uber Mule” on your blog post = love it! Happy to hear all went well and your wife was there to greet you for that last mile and a half with Gatorade and a candy bar. Loved your story and your pictures and hope the body has healed.

      And we know you said “this R2R was probably a once only event” but don’t be surprised if the canyon calls you back!

      • Thanks very much for your kind comments. And you may just be right about doing it again. As time passes from when I did the hike, doing another r2r is something that I might consider. Especially since my wife has said that might be interested in doing it herself!

    • Hi Fred,

      I left a comment on your first story on your blog because the Rim to Rim blog post wasn’t allowing comments. I am interested in buying a photo from you. The one that the Rim to Rim club on facebook used to talk about your blog post. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks.

      • Hi, Denise,
        I just sent you an email with a couple of photos attached. If they are for your personal use, then the only thing that I would ask is that you make a contribution to this National Park Foundation or this website.

        Have fun Out There,

  47. Can my service dog come along with me on these rim 2 rim hikes?

    • Alan,

      There are no dogs allowed on the trails but we don’t know about a service dog so that is something you would want to check on with the backcountry office.

  48. Anyone up for a car swap the evening of May 29? I am up for hiking either way to make it happen. Party of 3 (me and my two teenage sons)

  49. Is doing r2r from North rim to South in three days two nights (Bright Angel and IG campgrounds) doable in September Long weekend?

    We’re not avid hikers or in a great shape, in late 20s and in decent shape. The thing that concerns me is that we might not be able to do get down to Phantom Ranch in one day without getting bogged down by the heat when in the box. Any advise from people who’ve done this before?

    Does it get too hot in the box to be able to pull of North Rim to Phantom Ranch in one day if we start at 4-5AM?


    • If you leave that early you should be fine Andy as far as the box. Three days will give you plenty of time to rest and recover. Key the next few months for you and your group is to get the knees strong and the cardio in excellent shape and body ready to carry a backpack. Get used to the pack up and down steep hills. Good luck on your hike!

    • Andy,

      If you are staying at Bright Angel that will give you time to rest along the way. The struggle with “the box” is when people are doing a one day hike and not taking breaks. North Kaibab to Phantom is definitely doable if you leave at those times. Good luck with your hike!

  50. My nephew and I are supposed to hike down to Phantom Ranch Sept 12, 2016 from the South Rim. After spending the night at Phantom hike up to the North Rim and shuttle back to the South Rim. One HUGE problem, he can’t make it and there’s no female dorm availability (so my sister could go in his place). Does anyone out there want to switch with me??

  51. Sarah Legh says:

    My husband and I and our 2 kids are planning to hike north rim to south rim on August 1st, taking either 1 night to camp at Bright Angel and the potentially a second night to camp at Indian Garden, or just head out.
    Can someone tell me please if there is typically water at the rest stops that say they are ‘seasonal’ at this particular time of year?
    Anything else you can tell me would be awesome!

    • Yes, there is water at all stops in August unless there is a break in the pipeline. Key is to check with NPS and backcountry office just before you leave to make sure there are not issues with the pipeline.

  52. I am planing a rim 2 rim 2 rim next week. I will be doing this with my wife and another couple over 4 days. 1st day will descend on the South Kibab trail to Phantom Ranch, day 2 Phantom Ranch to North Rim. day 3 North Rim back to Phantom Ranch, day4 Phantom Ranch up Bright Angel to South Rim.
    Anyone here do this? What should I expect in this trip? I have done Bright Angel to Phantom Ranch 3 times but have never been on either Kibab trail.
    Also, have been having trouble with my plantar fasciitis (heel spurs)! hope this doesn’t hold me back!

    • Richard says:

      South Kaibab is a lot of step and a half steps to accommodate the mules(who poop and pee a lot). Your thighs will be jelly but it passes. Start early, it’s going to be hot. Soak your shirts in the creek along the way to cottonwood and at the ranger residence. Be sure to fill your water there. Roaring springs looks like a water stop but it’s a half mile down and off the trail. Beer and ibuprofen are your friends.

  53. Jay scott says:

    What is considered a “daytime” night hike?

  54. what about hiking rim to rim in Jan 22 and staying the night at phantom ranch?

    • Richard says:

      North rim is closed in January. You would have to start on south rim, hike up to north rim and have to turn around and go back to phantom ranch. Doable if you are in ultra marathon shape.closed means the road in is closed because of snow and there are no services. the trail can be very icy and require crampons. People do camp, with a permit, on the rim and also at Cottonwood campground which is about 7 miles below the rim but still cold in January. Temps well below freezing on the north rim.

      • But ya’ll posted about starting at the North Rim Yurt, about 10 mins from the North Kaibab Trailhead. I guess the main question is – how do you get the North Rim Yurt to start?

  55. Four of us are staying at the North Rim 5/27 and hiking NR to SR in one day on 5/28. I figure we can keep our packs nice and light since we’re not packing tons of clothes and such. I’ve heard on the way down, you crisscross water quite a bit. Are there spots where we’d want to remove our shoes?

    I’ve done South Rim to Phantom Ranch and back up Bright Angel the next day. I’ve got a good handle on Bright Angel but have no experience with North Kaibab. Any tips appreciated!

    We’re all bringing 2L camelpacks, tons of snacks, and stuff.

    • Ribbon Falls is a great stop over for a break but make sure if you take your shoes off to re-apply anti-chafing balm/lotion when you put them back on. You also criss cross Bright Angel Creek on North Kaibab so that is REFRESHING! Pay attention to our tips on this page. Good luck Seth to you and your group!

      • Thank you! Do you think we need to take our shoes off when crossing the water? I’m bringing dry socks to change into just in case but only one pair of shoes.

        Also, is the trail well marked? Or is it possible to make a wrong turn?

  56. Planning first R2R on short notice – first week this June. Group of 4 guys in good shape. We’re coming in from out of town so trying to work through logistics and not spend all of our time in a shuttle van. How does this plan sound?
    Wed 6/1 – Fly into Flagstaff airport on AA (cause it’s closer). Lodge Flagstaff.
    Thur 6/2 – Very early AM shuttle to South Kaibab trailhead. Hike S to N. Stay in hotel at North End
    Friday 6/3 – Sleep in. Recover. Shuttle back to Flagstaff.
    Saturday 6/4 – Fly home from Flagstaff airport on AA.

    • R2R in one day tough but if in good shape can be done but keep in mind altitude gain heading up North Kaibab and clear the “box” before it gets too hot. Looks like you are giving yourself good recovery time. Good luck to you and your group Jimmy!

  57. Bill Conger says:

    I’m planning my first rim to rim in October. No one else in my intermediate family is going. I’d like to find a group that I could join. Suggestions?

  58. My wife and I plan to hike r2r, leaving North Rim on Wednesday, April 20. I know the highway in is closed until May 15, but I’ve been advised by hikers I met in GC that back roads will get you there, and I’ve found a shuttle guy who will take us from Marble Canyon to trailhead at NRim to begin the hike. We’ve reserved dorm at Phantom Ranch for that night, and plan to hike up Bright Angel the following AM. My question is: does anyone see a problem with this? I’ve hiked to Phantom Ranch from S Rim before, and done multi day backpacks in GC, but want to be pretty certain that hiking down from the N Rim to Phantom is not a problem before the “official” opening date of May 15. Any comments appreciated.

    • Where you able to do it? Was it a problem to hike from N Rim? I’m thinking of going next weekend – around May 7th – so just would like to know how it went for you two.

  59. My three sons, my brother in law, and I will be doing our first R2R hike on May 23. We’ll be hiking from the north to the south, and are staying at Phantom Ranch. Down on Monday, out on Tuesday. Since we haven’t done this before, we’re unsure of a few things and hope some folks here can help us out.

    First, how much time should we allow to hike down the first day? We don’t want to be in a hurry, and make sure we take it all in, enjoy the moment, take pictures, etc. Is it true that we need to be at the ranch by 4 to check in? How cold should we expect it to be in the morning when we leave the north lodge?

    Second, how much time should we allow ourselves to hike out the second day? We have breakfast at 5 AM I think. Should we plan to leave at say 5:30? I read one of these posts that we should allow one hour per 1000 feet of climb. Is that a pretty true rule of thumb? We’re all pretty fit and have been training for at least 6 months.

    We’re getting really excited about this trip, and can’t wait to post about it when we get back. Thanks in advance for your advice.

  60. Julian Shadle says:

    HI All,

    Going to be doing South Kaibab on April 18th, 2016 in the AM to the Bright Angel Campground. Staying for two nights. My group thinks I am nuts because I was thinking about waking up on day 2 and attempting to hike up to the North Rim and back to Bright Angel Campground in the same day. Then hiking out Bright Angel trail the next morning. I am no super athlete by any means. Anyone done this? Is it super hard? 28+ miles in the middle of a hike the day before and day after seems like not the best idea but I sure would love to say I hiked rim to rim and back.

    • Paul Coletta says:

      If you are not a super athlete do not attempt it. I’ve done many 20 mile a day hikes and wouldn’t want anything to do with what you outlined. Hike up to ribbon falls or cottonwood and enjoy yourself.

  61. Mayuresh says:

    I have read at many places that the north rim is closed till may 15th. What exactly is closed? Is the road closed so that it is impossible to drive up to the trail head? Or are just the lodging / camping facilities closed, but the trail head is still accessible?

    I would like to do the north rim to south rim hike in April. Is that just not going to be possible ?

    Thanks a lot.

    • That is correct. Road, lodging (the Yurt is available) and camping facilities are closed at the North open and re-open on May 15 and why opening week is so crazy busy. You would only be able to gain access to the the North Rim trail head via the trails from the South Rim and hiking up the North Kaibab trail making it a Rim to Rim to Rim hike.

  62. DE Kleber says:

    I am leading a group of 20 hikers on a R2R trip during the first week of October, 2016. We will leave from the North Rim on Mon 10/3, stay in Phantom Ranch and reach the South Rim on Wed 10/5. One member of our group will shuttle luggage between the two Rims in his truck. A number of us will rent cars. Know of any R2R hikers who need a way back to the South Rim and would be willing to drive a car from the North Rim to the South Rim on or about 10/4 or 10/5? They would need to caravan with our group’s driver. There might also be an opportunity for someone to hitch rides to the North Rim on or about 10/1 or 10/2 since a certain members of our group will be driving from the South to North Rim at that time. Do you operate some sort of ride-sharing board where R2R hikers can collaborate? If not, would you consider this adding this feature to your webpage? Many thanks.

    • We have a section the home page of our website under a post that has title “message board” for messages to other hikers. You can also post on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rimtorim. We recommend the shuttles for hikers that don’t know other hikers from a safety and liability perspective but we do allow people to post on our website that are looking for ride shares.

      Hope this helps!

  63. Hi! I just made my reservation at Jacob Lake for the end of May. Curious how we are able to gain access into the park so early in the morning? We are planning a one day, rim to rim hike North to South. We have another family member, not doing the hike, which will meet us on the south side when we finish. Any help would be appreciated! I have truly enjoyed reading all of these wonderful stories, and can’t wait to get there!

    • When there is no gate person (after hours) you are on the honor system. If you have your annual pass (Grand Canyon and/or National Park pass) you are good to go as there is not a pass you put on your car and if you don’t have one than you would pay the next day or when your friend re-enters on the south rim to pick you up.

      Good luck Candee as your hike is just around the corner and look forward to welcoming you and your family to the club!

      • Thank you so much! We are so excited!!!

      • Richard says:

        Are you saying the gate is open to the public before may15? And vehicles can be driven in? The park news letters say may 15. I went in June years ago and had to wait until Six am for the gait to be opened.

    • Christine Ault says:

      I’ll be heading down the NR on May 30 with a friend. We’ll be camping as we’re taking the shuttle around and there was no room at the inn. We’re taking 5 days to SR. We figured…why hurry? We’re in the most beautiful place on earth!

      Maybe we’ll see you in the Canyon.

      • Absolutely! I’m so glad you will be getting to take it all in!!! You’re definitely correct…most beautiful place there is! Enjoy!!

  64. I’m planning a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim hike in May – South to North to South. Here’s the fun part – we’re doing it in 2 days 🙂 I’m going with friends who have done this before but I’ll admit I haven’t done anything quite this ambitious in the past. I’m excited and training hard but a bit nervous as well. For those who have done the RTR- what’s the single hardest part- the heat? the elevation? the distance? I’m not overly concerned about any one of those things- it’s the the two days back to back that’s making me a little jumpy. If any of you have done this I’d love to hear about your experience!

    • I did R2R2R last April (and again in 11 days!!!). Last year my total moving time was 22 hours 47 minutes at a medium pace (not pushing it). So you’re looking at back to back 11 hour days, and they’re not easy days. Your knees and feet will hate you after descending into the canyon. Be sure to take some mole skin and a few pairs of fresh socks and change them often.

  65. I am from Pasadena and planning on North to South right after the North Rim opens in May. It will be my first time. I’ve hiked the 6 peaks and One Day Whitney last August. There will be a group of us, with one having done it last year in May as well. Last year’s group camped the night before the all day hike and then stayed overnight the day of the hike at a lodge in South Rim and were shuttled back to North Rim in the am. Camped back at North Rim and then headed home.

    Unable to make reservations for campground or North Rim Lodge so we’ve booked a lodge outside the park for the night before our hike. Unfortunately, it’s not available for the day after and I really want to enjoy the tranquility and beauty just one more day before driving back to busy LA. Any suggestions on where to stay in North Rim?
    Thanks so much for your suggestions.

    • Hi Cee,

      Keep checking on the North Rim Campground as far as a cancellation. Did you also check the group sites? There are 3 of them (A, B and C). They are more $ = $50 a night but worth a shot and sometimes if you show up same day something opens up at campground. Same with North Rim Lodges = keep checking for cancellations. The campground and the the lodges (via Forever Resorts) are the only options within the park. Maybe you can stay at the lodge outside the park? If nothing at all opens up you can try Jacob Lake and just drive into the park again to enjoy the North Rim. Jacob Lake is approximately 45 minutes from the North Rim.

      Good luck with your hike!

  66. Kevin Wasielewski says:

    I have reservations at Phantom Ranch for one night on November 10, 2016 for me and my 13-year old son and would like to do a R2R. I would prefer to start at north rim and finish at the south. Any suggestions with getting to the north rim this late in the year?

    • Hi Kevin, Trans-Canyon shuttle usually runs shuttles until November 30 (weather permitting) but they are only running up until October 31 this year. If you want to stay at the North Rim only option on those dates is North Rim Campground and/or there is lodging at Jacob Lake (there’s a motel). Jacob Lake is 45 miles from the North Rim.

  67. Want to do a rim to rim in May. When I made reservations, I did not realize that North Rim accomodations do not open until May 15. I made reservations at Phantom Ranch for night of May 15, 2016 and night of May 16, 2016. I want to move them up to night of May 16, 2016 and night of May 17, 2016 (I went down Bright Angel Trail in late September, 2015 and the heat almost killed me. I needed 2 nights at Phantom to recover and be ready to hike out). I am female and traveling solo. If anyone can exchange accomodations, please contact me. I have a cabin for night of May 15, 2016 and night of May 16, 2016 and would be happy to exchange for a dorm. Thanks!!!!

  68. Bob Young says:

    Mt. Whitney Day Hike vs. Grand Canyon R2R

    First up: Who am I? A nobody in the hiking world. However, I was fortunate enough to find time to day-hike the Mt. Whitney Main Trail in June 2015 and the Grand Canyon R2R (North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Trail) in September 2015. As such, I thought I’d weigh in on the always-interesting discussion of which hike is harder. To keep things as fair as possible, I made sure to wear the same shoes, carry the same pack and use the same hiking poles. Hope you enjoy!

    PERMIT ****************************************

    It’s usually tough to get a permit for the MWMT for a given date, even if your plans call for a one-day trip. However, if you apply early enough — or are flexible with respect to dates — it can be done. Day-hiking the R2R doesn’t require a permit.

    Harder: MWMT

    DISTANCE **************************************

    The MWMT is listed as 22 miles round trip, while the R2R I did is listed as 23.9 miles one way. Add in the .5-mile walk from the North Rim campground, which is where I started, to the North Kaibab trailhead, and it comes to 24.4 miles.

    Harder: R2R

    TIME *******************************************

    The MWMT took me 11.5 hours to complete, which included about 30 minutes on the summit. The R2R took me about the same and included about 30 minutes at Phantom Ranch.

    Harder: tie

    TEMPERATURE *********************************

    The MWMT can get mighty cold, but in the busy season, it’s fairly comfy. Conversely, the R2R can get mighty hot, but it’s decent before and after that time of the year. Of course, the R2R can be done in winter, when it’s reportedly quite nippy, but you won’t be able to shuttle it.

    Because there is so much variability, I’ll address only my trip times. My MWMT hike began in the 60s (3 a.m.), then cooled to about 45 degrees by the time I arrived at the summit. Then it heated up considerably as I descended to the Portal. My R2R started at about 55 degrees (4 a.m.), then warmed to about 90 degrees at Phantom Ranch. By the time I got to the South Rim, it had cooled to 75 degrees. Note that my early departure time enabled me to avoid the horror stories associated with passing through The Box — even though it was in early September.

    Harder: MWMT (only because I had to carry warmer clothes in case of weird weather in the Sierra)

    WATER *****************************************

    It’s available in numerous places along the MWMT, but you’ll want to treat it. Safe drinking water can be found at several stops on the R2R — just top off your CamelBak and continue. If you need to acquire H2O from the stream that parallels much of the trail to Phantom Ranch, you’ll want to treat it.

    Harder: tie (You can go light on either trip.)

    CARGO *****************************************

    Those who know the Sierra will always carry emergency gear, including things that will keep you warm and dry, things that will enable you to spend the night and often things that will enable you to travel on snow. The MWMT is no exception to this. On the other hand, the R2R, where the primary environmental danger is the heat and the occasional downpour, doesn’t demand as much emergency gear. A light rain jacket and a space blanket to serve as a makeshift shelter from the sun are about the best you can do.

    Perceptive readers will note that I mentioned camping at the North Rim before hiking to the South Rim. Didn’t that require me to carry my camping gear across the canyon? Nope. I purposefully hauled all my old, worn-out gear to the North Rim with the intention of throwing it away afterward. Junky old sleeping pad, leaking bivvy sack, tattered T-shirt, etc. I didn’t take any cooking gear because I bought ready-to-eat food at the store in the campground.

    Harder: MWMT

    ALTITUDE **************************************

    The MWMT hike starts at 8,360 feet and tops out at 14,495 feet before returning to 8,360. That’s 6,135 feet up and then 6,135 feet down, all of which takes place at an elevation that’s higher than all of the R2R. Some Whitney hikers experience altitude problems because of this.

    The R2R I did starts at 8,240 feet at the North Rim and drops to 2,480 feet at the river before ascending to 6,860 feet at the South Rim. That’s 5,760 feet down and then 4,380 feet up. For most hikers, altitude sickness isn’t even a concern.

    Harder: MWMT

    RESCUE ****************************************

    Almost every time I hike the MWMT, I run into a ranger who usually asks for my permit. That’s about it. There are no ranger stations, no resthouses, no ranches, no phones.

    The R2R has all of the above, which can be taken advantage of by hikers in need. It has emergency phone service at various locations.

    Harder: MWMT

    RECOVERY ************************************

    The MWMT takes a toll on the feet and legs (at least, it does on me) because the descent occurs when you’re tired, and that leads to “sloppy” walking that entails letting your feet slap the ground as gravity pulls you down the trail. The result (again, for me) is DOMS that can last a week.

    The R2R descent occurs when you’re fresh, which means you’re more in control. The second half — which is when you’re spent — is just a low-impact plod up the trail. It’s not easy by any means, but it doesn’t beat you up as much.

    Harder: MWMT

    PEER PRESSURE ********************************

    Some hikers won’t be affected by this, but others will. Here’s the scoop: Most of the people you see on the MWMT are there for the same reason — to summit. That means there’s a good chance they’ll be in the same physical condition as you at any given location on the route and moving at comparable speeds. In other words, everyone is slow near the top, and everyone is tired near the bottom.

    In contrast, on the R2R, when you’re at your weakest — ascending the upper portion of the Bright Angel Trail, you’ll see tons of tourists who decided to stroll down into the canyon for a bit and then turn around and climb out. They may outweigh you by 100 pounds and have 20 years on you, but often they’ll be motoring along at twice your speed. Normally, you wouldn’t care, but if you’re in a carb-depleted “bonk” condition — which often leads to negative thought patterns — you may start cussing under your breath, asking yourself why you’re doing this. (If you’ve never bonked, you won’t know what this is like. Believe me — it can be insidious.)

    Harder: R2R (depending on your fitness level)

    VERDICT ***************************************

    It’s tough to say which hike is harder overall, which is why I broke them down into these components. If I was forced to pick one, however, it would be the MWMT. The note I’d like to end on is this: Both hikes are wickedly challenging, but both are very doable. (Hell, I did them!) As such, they’re highly recommended for any bucket list.

  69. mike carter says:

    Howdy. I want to thank everyone who has posted a story or comment. These are very useful for the first-timer to this adventure. I have my 4-day r2r set for middle of August 2016. As being a desert rat all of my life, I have no issues with temps until they reach 115 F. Night 1 at Cottonwood, Night 2 at Phantom, and night 3 at Indian Garden. My only concern is being denied the permit to do this. All reservations are made and I cannot flex the dates. Hopes and prayers that my 1st ever trip is approved.

    • Hopes and prayers for you Mike!

    • Good luck with the permits Mike. I hiked Rim to Rim 2 times this year, once in June, and the second just a week ago Oct. 10. You are in for a thrill of a lifetime, and one you will not forget. I did both hikes in one day. First hike in June was from North to South. October I hiked South to North. I must say that the North to South was much easier, ( I say that lightly) as this is not easy any way to look at it. Train, train, train, with a stair climber or hit the stairs at a college stadium . Somewhere you can climb stairs and a lot of it, because you will encounter plenty of them. Have a great hike.

    • mike carter says:

      Got permitted for middle of August! Tally ho!

  70. Walter smith says:

    I did my first r2r in the first week of July 2010. I just completed my second r2r on October 3 2015. On both hikes I started on the bright angel trail. Hike 1 the day was a 105 degree scorcher. The second hike in October was 88 degrees in the box. The second hike was optimal conditions and I finished it in 1 day. I was caring a 40 pound backpack. The first hike I dehydrated and had to rest at cottonwood campground overnight. A fantastic ranger nursed me back to a rehydrated state and I hiked out the following afternoon. The second hike was fantastic. I stayed hydrated. Took salt tablets, drank water at a steady but moderate rate, ate Lara bars til I couldn’t stand them and ibuprofen about every 4 hours to quiet my sore muscles. My biggest win was blasting through the river trail in 45 minutes. .. in 2010 it took 2 hrs for me to get through the river trail. By 830 that morning the temp was over 100 degrees and that was where I really hit the wall. That morning in 2010 I spent 45 minutes at photo ranch soaking my baked head and my t shirt. I learned a lot of things about myself and the canyon that day. This year’s hike was the culmination of practice hiking from April through September 5 days a week with a fully loaded backpack. I did 2 practice hikes of 24 miles. 1 practice hike of 18 miles. And several 12 mile hikes. The rest were six Mile practice hikes every other day after work… again. A fully loaded 40 pound pack. I ate the same snacks on the practice hikes and set a moderate pace for drinkING water. The practice really was worth the effort. More than anything it toughened my endurance and psyche. For me the inner conversation and mental toughness are really just as important as preparing your body. This Year’s Hike Started At 400 AM And Ended At 915 PM. At the end of the hike at north kaibab trailhead a group was throwing a pizza party. I had been trading places with them on the trail for half the day. They invited me to share in their pizza and drinks and gave me a drive back to the campground. They were waiting for and worrI’d about 2 members of their group who had not arrived yet. I hopened all worked out for them and if one of them is reading this post, I would like to know the outcome. Walter smith 10/06/2015

  71. Beth Martin says:

    I am planning a R2R hike for next October with my husband and another couple. Plan to stay at Phantom Ranch for one night. Trying to decide on transportation coming either from Las Vegas or Phoenix…..staying one night on North Rim before hike down and then one night on South Rim before heading back. Are there services that drop you at one rim and pick up from the other…..or drive your car around? What do you recommend for itinerary to maximize our experience. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Trans-Canyon Shuttle can take you from one Rim to the other. Great group of people! If you visit our hike page on our website most information is listed there to help you to include links to shuttle. Good luck to you and your group Beth!

  72. keith cotton says:

    We’re planing our 1st R2R next late Sept or early Oct. 1st of many questions…: If descending north rim using head lamps how much light do they put out & is it safe under foot?

  73. koganti Rao says:

    I just did the R2R( N Rim to Bright Angel TH) on Sat, Sept. 19th to celebrate my 80th B Day with a bunch of friends and some family members. We started walking from North Kaibab trail head at 4:05AM. The fastest hiker reached Bright Angel TH in 8 hours and 40 min. It took me 13 hours and 30 min with 1 hour celebration( Photographs with friends) at Phantom Ranch.
    Temperatures were mild. It was only 80 deg. F at 2PM at Indian Gardens. It was 100 deg. F 5 years ago for my 75th around the same time.

    • WOW! You are an inspiration Koganti! No words to explain the amazing shape you are in other than WOW! Happy belated birthday!

    • Gene Estensen says:

      Wow is not strong enough as an expression of admiration. I will be 70 on my next birthday. Doing 2nd r-2-r in September. I thought this would be my last, but you inspire me. Let’s see how it goes. The training gets harder with age.

  74. Two years ago some girlfriends and I did R2R in a day – South to North, 13 hours. We had perfect weather (last weekend in September) and had a great time. It was tough, but was a fantastic experience. I’m doing it again on October 3, 2015, this time with family (including my 14-year-old nephew) and going opposite direction – North to South. Hoping the temps in the inner canyon cool down a bit, but looking forward to the challenge.

  75. I just hiked from South rim to North rim yesterday. It took me 17 hours. This is the TOUGHEST experience ever, will never do that again.

  76. Active female hiker, age 72, just completed South-to-North R2R in 2 days. Wore lightweight Merrell boots, ideal except for occasional muddy spots and stream crossings. Hiking poles useful. Ascent up Kaibab difficult only last 1-1/2 mile (after Tunnel) due to trail destruction by descending mules, excrement, mud. Enjoy all the beauty along the way!

  77. My dad did the rim to rim two years ago, at age 70 and wants to do it again this spring/summer. We are trying to make this a male bonding experience for my brother and brother-in-laws. I am wondering if there is an age limit for children. My son will have just turned 13 and I haven’t seen anything that restricts children, but wanted to make sure before I commit. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • The NPS requires no age limit on children. Our recommendation is that they are in shape and prepared for it just like we recommend any adult. Good luck to you and your family. Sounds like an amazing adventure and your dad doing it at age 70 = AWESOME!

    • We hiked the canyon to Phantom Ranch and back from the South Rim when my son was 10 years old, he did fine. He was fit (of course he was 10 years old, right….) Brought a bag of snickers bars, and plenty of food and drink, that is the key – gotta fuel the tank. He graduates from high school this year – we are planning on doing the rim to rim in June.

  78. I’m training for Nrim to Srim in one day Sept 12, 2015. I just hiked Spencer’s trail twice yesterday by Lee’s Ferry. 3200 ft incline total. 8 miles, it took me 7 hours. That was tough and that is only 1/3 of the way. I used a half marathon training schedule and I will be at mile 9 by hike day. Hoping this will be enough training for it.

  79. 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,

      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

  80. 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.

  81. 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!

    • I am planning to go South Rim , North and back to South… mid- SEP. Does six or seven day sound about right? Day one hike to bottom camp overnite, Day two hike to North Rim camp, Day Three/Four and stay in canyon Day five accent to South, camp overntie before returning home.

  82. 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!”

    • Sounds like you had a great hike and experience Kara! We are proud of you too! Welcome to the club!

    • Delaina lucus says:

      I want to do this hike so badly! Most of my friends think I’m insane. I live in MS and we really don’t have anywhere near comparable to train. I’m thinking stair master. My goal is to stay at south rim and day hike to north rim, stay the night, hike back to south rim the next day. I can’t get s room until 2017.( Planning on October). I have plenty of time to train, but I need all the info I can get. My friend and I are pretty fit, we run but haven’t ever done anything like this. I WANT to do this but I don’t want to be stupid. Any other tips you have would be appreciated. Way to finish coming off an ankle injury!!!!

      • Al Swartz says:

        Stairmaster is fine for the uphill portion, but it won’t do much for your quads, which will be screaming after the downhill. If you have a local high school football stadium with bleachers, jogging or walking up and down the bleachers is great training for the Grand Canyon. And you can easily figure out the height you’re climbing and compare it to the climb out of the GC.

        I did an R2R2R (double crossing) in 20 hours in May 2012 at age 60. It was the best day of my life! I did a LOT of bleacher climbing before the hike, since I live in a flat portion of Michigan. My normal workout is 200 “laps” up and down a 15-step bleacher, which translates to 2000 feet of elevation gain in 45 minutes. I’d rather be jogging on level ground, but my aging hips actually find the bleachers easier.

        Good luck with the R2R, it’ll probably be a fantastic experience! The scenery heading up to the north rim is gorgeous.

  83. 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

  84. 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?

  85. 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.


      • 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.

      • Doug Hohenberger says:

        Dear Grand Canyon Mountain:

        My thoughts have been with you for almost a year now. These day’s preparing pass by one by one. Each day brought me closer knowing I would soon be there.

        We are together now and what a challenge you are. Your Redwall trail is Oh so high and narrow, but what a sight! The day has become warm now, maybe hot. Yes I did forget how difficult you could be. Roaring Springs, Cottonwood, Ribbon Falls and Phantom Ranch you all are so nice.

        Your gravity was always there, always there. Oh the end how hard you were, how hard you were. Promises where made for ever more. How I drank and drank, where was the end. North Kaibab Trailhead your gravity never felt so strong.

        Home now sitting quiet and calm. The day’s pass one by one. Thank you Grand Canyon Mountain for the memory, the year past. One day not so very long you will call again. What a wonderful year it shall be. You are indeed beautiful North Kaibab Trail.

        My thoughts Doug Hohenberger,60, Indianapolis, Indiana on hiking the North Kaibab Trail for the first time Thursday September 24, 2015. Wow! Oh so nice………………. and challenging.

    • 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!

      • Hi Anne,

        I’ve been training for a solo R2R hike from North to South and it’s only 1.5 weeks away. I have been hiking local here and Phoenix but just did the Gateway Loop that you’re talking about for the first time yesterday. It went well, and I plan to do it again this Saturday. I just didn’t know about it until this late in training. I’ve also done Camelback’s Echo to Cholla and back a few times…along with a few other mountains, running, lunges, squats, etc.

        All in all, I’m still incredibly nervous…mainly because I’m flying solo. Can you let me know your thoughts on training and if you feel like I’m prepared!? I know it’s hard to judge….so any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • 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

  86. 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!!

  87. 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.

  88. 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!

  89. 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.

  90. 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!

  91. 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.

  92. 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

  93. 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!


      • 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!

  94. 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?

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

    • Interested in how your hike worked out? Doing the RTR hike this May 17th 2014 North Rim to Bright Angel up. I’m with a large group of 50! Ages 30-70 and a fit group that trains and takes these engagements seriously. Big down hill and sharp up to South Rim! Our group did Whitney and Cactus to Clouds in same day but no experience with RTR. What a think? ROK

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