North Bass Trail
Lonely, difficult, and dropping through 4,500 feet of ancient rock layers past hoodoos, slickrock, and waterfalls, this 21-mile out-and-back from the North Rim to the Colorado River delivers the consummate Big Ditch experience in just three to four days.
Hike this rough-around-the-edges trail to a single campsite on the Colorado River next to Hermit Rapids. The track is narrow, not regularly maintained, and sees frequent rockslides–but not the 88,000 other hikers that squeeze into the two sites (Bright Angel and Indian Gardens Campgrounds) along the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails corridor every year.
Powell Point & Colorado River via North Bass Trail
The rim-side perch lies on a Powell Plateau ledge, where the tent-door view looks west across gaping Bedrock and Galloway Canyons. The ends-of-the-earth site on the park’s remote North Rim lies roughly three miles from the Swamp Point trailhead. Get there by hiking to Muav Saddle then cut west cross-country to the plateau’s western edge, where you’ll find numerous ledges to spend the night. Stay here your first or last night on a four-day, 27-mile out-and-back on the North Bass Trail to the Colorado River, a classic, very remote trail that park backcountry rangers rank as a favorite and also begins at Swamp Point
Tanner Trail-Escalante Route-Grandview Trail Loop
If you’ve hiked the park’s established paths, it’s time to raise your game. Explore the South Rim’s wilder side with this 41.1-mile, off-trail trek. The challenges: route-finding, exposure, class 3 scrambling. The rewards: riverside beach camps, big views, solitude.
Scramble through remote ravines, soak up private riverside vistas, and tour from rim to river on this stout, 25.1-mile circuit.
South Kaibab-Tonto-Bright Angel
Start early for sunrise in the canyon and crowd-free hiking on this 13.4-miler that descends to the gorge’s mezzanine level.