Hike The Grand Canyon

A Whole Different Perspective

COVID slowed us down for a couple of years, and now a few health issues challenge us.  We're still traveling if not writing about it quite so much. Our goal in 2022 was get to all seven continents in one year... and we did it.

Going forward health issues may not allow us to travel.  No one can take away those memories though.  We hope all of you are well and staying safe... and that you find some inspiration here for YOUR future travels. 

Hike the Grand Canyon to really experience it.  I really wish this is something more people would take to heart.

It's an unfortunate fact that most visitors see the canyon from the rim...

...and for an hour or less!  

Even if you stay on the South Rim and watch the light play on the canyon and see the colors change..

You will miss the extra dimension you get when you venture down into the Grand Canyon.

Even A Day Hike Takes You In

If your time is short, you can hike the Grand Canyon part way down.

You can do this on either the Bright Angel Trail or the South Kaibab trail.

Even getting 3 or 4 hours down one of these trails will take you on a geologic safari back in time. Information along the sides of the trails tells you how old the rocks are that you are hiking through.

And looking back up at the rim, you get a whole different feel for the canyon.

You Must Plan To Hike The Grand Canyon

If you have more time to hike the Grand Canyon, plan to hike all the way to the floor of the canyon... and even venture at least part way across if you can.

Hike the Grand Canyon - Go back in time

Permits Are Limited 

There are a limited number of back country permits available for each day.

You need to apply well in advance to obtain the permits.

You can call the Park Service on the first of the month, three months in advance of the day you want to hike.

For popular dates it can be very hard to get through and get the reservation, so have alternative dates in mind.

You can e-mail or Fax requests, but when we went, phone reservations had priority.

There are a small number of permits available once you arrive, especially for visitors from abroad who might not be aware of the requirements and the popularity of the hikes.

The park service says that persons arriving without permits may put their names on a waiting list for cancellations. 

If You Stay At Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch on the Grand Canyon floor has rooms and camp sites

If you get reservations to stay at Phantom Ranch, you can make the hike without a back country permit.

There is a Phantom Ranch Canteen where some food and beverages are available. For meals at Phantom Ranch, you must make reservations... and they should be made well in advance.

This is because everything that goes into and out of the Grand Canyon goes by mule... that steak dinner that you have at Phantom Ranch was packed in... and all the garbage has to be packed out... BY MULE!

You Can Make A Loop From The South Rim

A good way to see different parts of the canyon is to hike down the South Kaibab Trail and up the Bright Angel trail (or visa versa).

Hike part way across the canyon for a more in depth experience. 

Rim To Rim

You can hike rim to rim if you have several days to hike the Grand Canyon, but you must plan for how to return to your starting point.

There are campgrounds along the trail that will take you all the way to the North Rim.

Or you can hike to Roaring Springs and back to the South Rim.

It takes a lot more planning to hike rim-to-rim than it does to venture into and out of the canyon from one side.


There are campgrounds for backpackers near Phantom Ranch and spaced out across the canyon.

You MUST have a wilderness permit to camp in these. The Rangers WILL check on this.

The campgrounds have water and toilet facilities.

You must camp in the campgrounds to protect the fragile desert environment of the canyon floor.

The Hike Is Challenging

You are hiking from elevation down into a desert environment. 

Be sure to carry PLENTY of water. 

Be prepared for weather and temperature changes. 

Use sunscreen. 

If you're taking a day hike... remember that the last half of your hike will be ALL UPHILL!!!

When We Went

Let's see if I can tell you about out hike out....

We were worried about the heat, so we got up EARLY... hiked to the river in the dark, then started our climb out.

We discovered that we had to put clothes ON as we hiked out.

There is such an altitude difference that the low temperature on the valley floor was warmer than the high temperature on the rim!

You Could Always Ride A Mule

Grand Canyon and mules

If all this hiking sounds like a little too much for you,

...there are also overnight mule trips into the Canyon with stays at the Phantom Ranch.

But be warned... while hikers may end up with sore feet....

...mule riders may end up with sore....

Well you get it.

All of these options are extremely popular, so plan to get your reservation in advance.... and go ahead, hike the Grand Canyon.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Timely Tips

Summer Vacation
Travel is fun in the Northern summer... but don't neglect the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.
Yes, it's winter in South Africa, but that's their dry season. It's a good time to travel there.

Lions stop traffic in Kruger NP South Africa

Sometimes you need to watch rain patterns instead of just seasons to figure the best time to travel...

Whether you're taking a road trip close to home or traveling abroad...

Whether it's summer or winter in your part of the world...
the way you pack can make it all more pleasurable.

Check out all our Packing Lists and Tips.

Need travel ideas?
Things to See in Europe
Africa Calls!
Travel In America

Don't just dream about it...
Start making plans!

Custom Tour Planning List
International Travel Planning Tips
Foreign Is Fun - Not Scary!
Get Your Passports and Visas

And Expect Good Things
There Are Tourist Angels


Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster..


We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...

Updated Tips & New Travel Stories

  1. 2022 Travels To All Seven Continents

    After COVID, all seven continents in one year was a worthy goal for our 2022 travels..

    Read More

  2. 2021 Travels - Another COVID Year?

    Our 2021 travels were only domestic. COVID kept us close home. Road trips and a cautious flights but still fun.

    Read More

  3. 2020 Travels - What Travels?

    Our 2020 travels were slim. COVID kept us home too. One trip to the Three Guyanas, but dreaming of travel next year.

    Read More

Two Ways To Like Us!

Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!

More On
Western National Parks

Western National Parks
Bryce Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Mule Trip
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Hike The Grand Canyon
Zion National Park

A Good Starting Point
Las Vegas

Navigate Our Site

Related Pages
Trip Planning

Guide Books
Why Travel With A Guidebook

How to Choose A Travel Guidebook

Travel Agents
A Travel Agent - Do You Need One?

Choosing Destinations
Best Time To Go

What Kind Of Trip Do You Want
More Than Throwing Darts

Some of Our Ideas
Stories About Europe
Why Not Africa?
North America
International Travel Tips

What Kind of Vacation?
Group Tour

Independent Travel
Driving Vacations
Adventure Travel
Active Travel - OK, How Active?
Multigenerational Vacations

Eco-Travel and Volunteering
Green Travel Tips
Sustainable Tourism
Volunteer Vacations - Are They For You?

Plan For Safety
Travel Advisories - Plan A Safe Trip

Don't Let Travel Worries Get To You
Keep Traveling

Planning Itineraries
A Custom Tour?
Custom Tour Planning List
Custom Tour Ideas
Top Ten Lists - Helpful, But…
Balance Your Itinerary - Mix It Up
Avoid Museum Sensory Overload
Hobbies for Trip Ideas
Where To Get Trip Ideas

Get Passports and Visas

Travel Documents
Vaccinations and Meds 
Travel Preparation

Checklists So You Don't Forget
Travel Document Checklist

Travel Preparation Checklist
Home Departure Checklist
Pre-Departure Checklist

Ready For A New Adventure?

We escape by traveling…
But there are more ways to escape. 
Work on something you LOVE…
With A Website
SBI Teaches You Everything

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life