Grand Canyon National Park Primitive Hikes


These hikes are for highly experienced Grand Canyon hikers with good route finding ability. The routes are non-maintained with scarce water sources and no toilets.

The following ranger recommendations are founded in a concern for hiker safety and a desire that you enjoy your backpacking trip. Over 250 people are rescued from the canyon each year; the majority involve people on their first hike in the canyon. Remember, there are no easy trails into or out of the Grand Canyon. Primitive Zone hikes are not recommended for use during summer months due to extreme high temperatures that can reach 118F in the shade and the lack of reliable water sources.

Recommended hikes from the South Rim:

Trip A Trip B Trip C Trip D Trip E Enter Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Grandview Trail South Kaibab Trail Night 1 Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Hance Creek - BE9 Hance Creek - BE9 Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Cremation - BJ9 Night 2 Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Hance Creek - BE9 Grapevine - BH9 Grapevine - BH9 Night 3 Hike Out Hike Out Hike Out Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Cottonwood Creek - BG9 Night 4 Hike Out Hike Out Exit Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Grandview Trail Total Miles 9 miles 16 miles 13 miles 20 miles 28.7 miles Cottonwood Creek and Cremation use areas contain no perennial water sources. Check with the Backcountry Information Center for a water report before starting your hike.

Cottonwood Creek is NOT the same as Cottonwood Campground - a designated campground on the North Kaibab Trail

Trip E is called the Grapevine Loop and starts at the South Kaibab Trailhead. Doing this in the reverse direction is another possible trip

Q: Where can I go to find the more remote trails? A: It is fair to say that most of our backpackers would like to visit the canyon without seeing other people on the trails and in the campsites, and most of the canyon offers visitors the chance to have a very remote wilderness experience. We have a responsibility to gather information about a groups experience and conditioning so that we can help them find the trip that best suits them. The corridor has been very popular for over a century because it offers the most dramatic views of the most familiar monuments, where a hiker can enter the deepest exposed rock layers of the Inner Gorge and cross the Colorado River to the North side. It is popular because of its great views of the canyon and it has drinking water on the trail.

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