Grand Canyon North Rim Backpacking

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers easier backpacking, above the rim, as well as the strenuous North Kaibab corridor trail, that drops below the rim, leading to the Colorado River.

Uncle Jim Backpack - The Uncle Jim Trail is a 5 mile round trip, but add the Ken Patrick Trail and it's a good backpack. The start of this trail is shared with the last section of the Ken Patrick Trail. During the summer, mule rides are guided on the Uncle Jim Trail. Much of the hike is through a thick forest plateau with groves of ponderosa pines, spruce, fir and aspen. The path leads to an overlook of the Grand Canyon. Primitive camping is allowed along either trail. There are no designated campsites.

Ken Patrick Backpack - Point Imperial is 8803' elevation and the highest place in the Grand Canyon that can be reached by car. This is where the hike will begin. Follow the rock stairway to the trailhead. The trail has a 3 mile rim section between Point Imperial and the Cape Royal road. After the views of Mt. Hayden, as well as many far off views such as those of Marble Canyon, the trail then forges through the forest. It's a relatively even path and easy to follow as it stays west of the rim. A backcountry permit is required for camping. Primitive camping without designated campsites.

Widforss Trail - The 10 mile (round trip) backpack rolls up and down through the forest, edging along some nice sections of the rim on the way to the Widforss Point Overlook (8000'). Primitive camping without designated campsites.

Point Sublime - The scenic, 36 mile round trip to Point Sublime is usually traveled by 4WD rather than on foot. However you go, the view at the end is magnificent. Camping is only at designated sites.

North Rim Corridor Trails

The following trails are steep, dropping far below the rim. During the summer, temperatures can reach over 115°. In the winter, the trails can be covered with snow and you can lose your way.

North Kaibab Backpack - The North Kaibab Trail is a strenuous, 14.5 mile one-way backpack. This is the only North Rim trail leading to the Colorado River. The trail descends beneath the rim, through the forest, for the first 5 miles, to Roaring Springs. Roaring Springs is a waterfall created by water pouring from a muav cave into Bright Angel Creek. The trail continues along Bright Angel Creek and on to Phantom Ranch. If you opt to take the mule ride from the North Rim, they only travel as far as Roaring Springs.

Book:  Favorites hike in and around Zion National Park - including Bryce CanyonThe following are points along the trail that can serve as a trail destination.

To the Coconio Overlook .75 mile one way
To Supai Tunnel 2 miles one way
Redwall Bridge 3 miles one way
Roaring Springs fork 4.7 miles
Roaring Springs 5 miles
Cottonwood Campground 7 miles
Ribbon Falls 8.5 miles
Phantom Ranch 14 miles
Bright Angel Campground 14.5 mile

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Grand Canyon Permits
Backcountry use permits and fees are required for overnight hiking. These should be obtained prior to your visit at the Grand Canyon.

To obtain a backcountry permit
Write to: Information Center
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
The backcountry Office is open daily from
8am-12pm and 1pm to 5m.

Phantom Ranch Reservations
Reservations can be made 23 months in advance.
Phone: 303.297.2757 Fax: 303.297.3175

See the NPS website for more permit information.

Grand Canyon North Rim Road Map

Directions to North Rim Grand Canyon: From Zion National Park, take on U-9 through the park to Mt. Carmel Jct. Turn south on US-89 to Kanab. There is only one stop light in Kanab; this is where US-89 changes to ALT 89. Fredonia, Arizona is 6 miles. In Fredonia take 89A to Jacob lake (36 miles), then take AZ 67 to the Grand Canyon North Rim park entrance.

Winter Road Conditions and
Highway 67 Road Closures


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Grand Canyon North Rim backpacking

The picture is of a magnificent hike to Vasey's Paradise of South Canyon of the Grand Canyon National Park.


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.


Rim to Rim Backpack - Hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim is 23.5 miles one way. Most hikers will pick up a shuttle ride back to the North Rim to get their car rather than turning around and hiking another 23.5 miles.The recommended way to hike rim to rim is starting at the North Kaibab Trail and ending on the Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim. Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds.

please link to meThe Esplanade - The hike to the Esplanade and back is 11 miles. Backpack down from Monument Point to an oasis of sandstone and hoodoos. Primitive camping is allowed near the trail. There are no designated campsites.

Thunder River - The hike to Thunder River is a 17 mile round trip. This remote trail begins at the end of a delightful dirt road in the North Kaibab Forest and ends at a roaring waterfall spurting from the mountainside. Camping is allowed in designated campsites as well as in Surprise Valley or on the Esplanade.

Deer Creek - Deer Creek begins the same as Thunder River but detours in Surprise Valley and heads to Deer Springs and the Colorado River.

South Canyon - The hike from South Canyon to Vasey's Paradise is a 17 mile round trip. This is a remote hike starting at House Rock Buffalo Ranch Road through a remote canyon to the Colorado River and a wonderful waterfall on the river. Primitive camping is allowed at designated campsites.

River Trip Story - Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is incredible, but a trip through the Colorado River combines hiking with the river and it's unbeatable!

Directions to the Grand Canyon North Rim - From Zion National Park, travel SR-9 to Mt. Carmel Jct., then turn south on US-89 to Kanab. There is only one stop light in Kanab; this is where US-89 changes to SR-89A. Fredonia, Arizona is just a few miles away, across the Utah - Arizona border. Take SR-89A to Jacob lake (36 miles), then take SR-67 to the Grand Canyon North Rim park entrance.

North Rim Grand Canyon Location - The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is 85 miles from Mount Carmel Junction, which is located on the east side of Zion National Park. Many who visit the National Parks of Southern Utah add the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to their travel plans and those visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon often visit Zion National Park.



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