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North Kaibab Trail

Coordinates: 36°13′01″N 112°03′21″W / 36.21706°N 112.05591°W / 36.21706; -112.05591
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North Kaibab Trail
Ribbon Falls on the North Kaibab Trail
Length14 mi (23 km)
LocationGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States
TrailheadsPhantom Ranch
Grand Canyon (North Rim)
Stock (mule use)
Elevation change5,660 ft (1,730 m)
Highest pointNorth Rim, 8,060 ft (2,460 m)
Lowest pointColorado River, 2,400 ft (730 m)
SeasonSpring through Fall
SightsGrand Canyon
Colorado River
HazardsSevere weather
flash floods

The North Kaibab Trail is a hiking trail in the North Rim side of the Grand Canyon, in Grand Canyon National Park, located in the U.S. state of Arizona.


Access to this part of the park by car is seasonal, open from mid-May to mid-October or depending on snow cover from the previous winter.

It is possible to reach the North Kaibab Trailhead by crossing the canyon on foot from the South Rim or by snowshoe or cross-country ski beginning at Jacob Lake, Arizona.


Mileages and features along North Kaibab Trail[1]
Distance (mi) Elv (ft) Location Trail Junction Toilet Water
0 8241 Trailhead, North Rim Uncle Jim Trail
Ken Patrick Trail
Portable Seasonal, Treated
1.7 6800 Supai Tunnel Composting Seasonal, Treated
5 5220 Roaring Springs Composting Seasonal, Treated
6.9 4080 Cottonwood Campground Composting Seasonal, Treated
8.5 3720 Ribbon Falls
13.1 Trail Junction Clear Creek Trail
13.6 2545 Phantom Ranch Septic Treated
13.8 2480 Bright Angel Campground Utah Flats Route Septic Treated
14 2460 Trail Junction River Trail
South Kaibab Trail
Septic Treated

The North Kaibab Trail begins at the head of Roaring Springs canyon and ends at the Colorado River.

The trailhead is at a parking area on Arizona State Route 67, about 1-mile (1.6 km) north of the North Rim's Grand Canyon Lodge. The Ken Patrick Trail and Uncle Jim Trail are also accessible from this parking area.

The trail is 14 miles (23 km) long, with camping available by permit at Cottonwood Camp at 7 miles (11 km) and Bright Angel Camp at 14 miles (23 km). Treated water is available seasonally at the Supai Tunnel, Roaring Springs, the Caretaker's Dwelling, and Cottonwood Campground; and year-round at Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch. Features along the trail include Roaring Springs, Ribbon Falls (140 ft), The Box (a slot canyon), and Phantom Ranch.

Part of Arizona Trail[edit]

The North Kaibab Trail is also part of the Arizona Trail system, crossing the state of Arizona from Mexico to Utah. The trail is joined by South Kaibab Trail which is located to the south of the trail.


Grand Canyon National Park categorizes the North Kaibab Trail as a corridor trail. With this designation it receives regular maintenance and patrols by park rangers.[2]


Hikers may only camp at the Bright Angel or Cottonwood Campgrounds, where they can stay overnight with a permit issued by the Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Information Center. Use of the campground overnight is regulated by the National Park Service, and they call for a maximum number of groups (7 to 11 people) and parties (1 to 6 people), as well as a maximum total number of persons.[3]

Overnight camping areas near River Trail
Area Name Type Group(s) Parties Max people
CCG Cottonwood Campground (summer)
Campground (winter)
CBG Bright Angel Campground 2 and 31 90

Use permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the park's Backcountry Information Center. Requests are taken beginning on the first day of the month, up to four months before the requested first night of camping.[4]


Hazards hikers can encounter along the North Kaibab Trail include dehydration, sudden rainstorms, flash flooding, loose footing, rockfall, encounters with wildlife, and extreme heat. At the Colorado River, additional hazards include hypothermia (due to the river's consistently cold temperatures), trauma (due to collisions with boulders in rapids), and drowning.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

36°13′01″N 112°03′21″W / 36.21706°N 112.05591°W / 36.21706; -112.05591