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Grand Canyon R2R Advice

I am planning a hike from the North Rim to the South Rim with an overnight stay at Phantom Ranch in early October of 2021.  I've been researching online communities for advice but would love even more advice and tips from REI users!

3 Replies

There is a very recent Co-op Journal article on this very same subject.  The Grand Canyon NPS web site also has lots of good info and is updated regularly.

You would probably descend the North Kaibab to phantom, which is no problem.  The trail is excellent, but it is all downhill, which means your legs are going to take a beating unless you have trained for this eventuality.  A night at Phantom is a good idea.

Going to the South Rim, yu can choose the bright Angel or the South Kaibab.  the SK is shorter, but is straight up and unrelenting.  Most wisely choose the BA which has water along the way (there is none on the SR).

It will help to be in excellent shape.  October is generally an excellent time for the Canyon, but itwill be warm in the Inner Canyon.  A full wide brmmed hat is a good idea, ideally one which can be soaked to keep you cool..


Any questions//


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@amyallyn quick link to the Co-op Journal @hikermor mentions above!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I try to get out there every couple of years!  Such fantastic beauty!  I normally start at the S. Rim, hike to Indian Garden, spend some time out on plateau point, then hike out there at night to get some night photos.

Then on the BA campground/Phantom Ranch, and a steak dinner if I can snag it.

Then out to Cottonwood, with a stop at Ribbon Falls.

Turn around back to BA/PH for 1 night.

Then back up to IG for the last night and the final push back up tot he S. Rim.

I've started taking very large nails for tent stakes, as the ground can be so hard normal stakes can be bent pounding them in, lol!

I usually try to get out there March-April time frame, not as busy, better able to get a room at BA Lodge.

Advice?  Enjoy it, absorb the surrounding, stop for lots of vids/pics.  The hike to the bottom is much easier on the legs on Bright Angel, but 2.5 miles shorter on S. Kaibab.  But if it's your first major sustained downhill of the season, the S Kaibab turns some legs to jelly!  Making for very sore and tired legs the next day...well, depending on your age/fitness of course 😉.  Either way it's the trip of a lifetime!

REI Member Since 1979