Hiking Grand Canyon in one day via South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails
We hiked Grand Canyon to Colorado River via South Kaibab trail and back to the rim via Bright Angel trail in just under 10 hours with our kids aged 10 and 12 on March 21, 2018. The total distance is 26 km, elevation change is 1500 m. The descent via South Kaibab trail was actually easy and enjoyable due to stunning views all along. No impact felt on the knees whatsoever. The ascent via Bright Angels trail was more physically demanding due to rising temperatures to +25 C (which actuall felt like +30 C or even higher, and this was late March).
The hike overall was less challenging that some trip reports on Trip Advisor suggested and I am sure that some fit hikers/trail runners over here could have done in half the time or maybe even less. But we are happy with our time, which exceeded our expectations (~12 hours).
We tried to book a spot at Bright Angel campsite at Grand Canyon, but it was fully booked 7 months in advance. I am glad it worked out for us and kids as a day hike.
Below are some pictures from the hike.
Great stuff. I did the same few years back, just in reverse. It is impressive that your kids 10 and 12 managed it -- congrats!
Next time you are ready for some more ambitious stuff. Awesome 3 days, 2 night backpack can be had by descending on Hermit, traversing Tonto and hiking up on Bright Angel. This is view from Monument campground on Tonto trail:
Even better, with proper logistic planning you can plan Rim to Rim in single push - without need for Phantom Ranch reservation nighmare, North-South direction preferable. Check this for some ideas:
if you don't mind 2 miles more of hiking, the Clear Creek trail has "at large" camping two miles in from North Kaibab Trail. This avoids the Phantom Ranch reservation.
I have done exactly the same direction several times. South Kaibab is a bit steeper but shorter so for the way down it is best. On the way up though the more gradual Bright Angel is better and has water at Indian Gardens. Bonus fact, just before Indian Gardens on the way up and just after the creek crossing you can head over to a pool of water for a refreshing dip.
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