Grand Canyon, rim to rim to rim, october 2013


Sep 12, 2014
If you haven't seen the report of my other Grand Canyon trip, in 2011 i went to the North Rim with my family, but just long enough to see that the canyon was there. Two years later i managed to make it down to backpack with my brother. If you only see the Grand Canyon from the rim, you haven't really seen it. We hiked down the North Kaibab trail, up the Bright Angel, hiked Horseshoe Mesa during an extra day on the South Rim, and then hiked back across the South and North Kaibab trails.

October 2013 the federal government shut down because people are idiots. This almost prevented this trip. But then state governments managed to fund some of the national parks and reopen them. I believe they reopened on a friday, i drove down to Provo to meet up with my brother on saturday. This ended up working out to our benefit. There were not near so many people in the canyon, at least initially, as there normally are.

We camped the first night on the North Rim. Spencer had never been to the Grand Canyon before. We about froze up there. I think it was below 20*. We weren't exactly prepared for that, but we also survived. Here's Spencer checking it out for the first time.
grandcanyon 016.JPG

An other shot of Spencer. Looking south.
grandcanyon 028.JPG

Sun going down across The Transept from the North Rim camp ground.
grandcanyon 086.JPG

At the back country office the next morning. Pretty stoked on a thirty pound pack for a week.
grandcanyon 095.JPG

The first day we had fourteen miles to hike down the North Kaibab trail to Bright Angel camp ground. Here's the top of the Coconino, a totally different place from lower in the canyon.
grandcanyon 111.JPG

The Supai tunnel.

Cactus, so we know we're in Arizona.

Looking down Roaring Springs canyon in the Supai.
grandcanyon 138.JPG

A bridge.
grandcanyon 157.JPG

This was our friend on the way down. She was on vacation from the National Science Institute. She had hiked all the way across from the south side the day before, but was going back over two days. Here's the trail blasted out of the cliff.
grandcanyon 169.JPG

You can see the trail winding it's way below the Redwall here.
grandcanyon 189.JPG

Looking across. I believe Roaring Springs is at the brighter green patch at the lower right.
grandcanyon 199 (2).jpg

Cactus garden at the pump house at Roaring Springs.
grandcanyon 251.JPG

Looking back up from below Roaring Springs canyon. In Bright Angel now.
grandcanyon 264.JPG

grandcanyon 268.JPG

We got in to Bright Angel camp ground late, hiking by moon light. It was actually really nice. The next morning we hiked the river walk before packing up camp and going up to Indian Garden. We came across this ram near the silver bridge, probably only because there hadn't been people camping at Bright Angel for a couple weeks. I have a hard time imagining sheep coming around here normally.
grandcanyon 404.JPG

Naturally, it ran off.
grandcanyon 407.JPG

Looking back across the bridge as the sun came up.
grandcanyon 440.JPG

Looking up the river.
grandcanyon 447.JPG

As we were making our way from the silver bridge to the black bridge to go back to the camp ground for breakfast we heard some thing coming toward us along the trail. We saw an other sheep, just trotting along our way. It came around a corner, and when it saw us there was probably one of the funniest things i have ever seen backpacking. It pulled a 180 so fast there was actually gravel skittering. It was like some thing out of a cartoon. Like it had actually spun out, booking it back the opposite direction. I have never seen an animal so surprised to see me. Seems it had not expected humans along the trail that day. It's the white spot below center.
grandcanyon 477.JPG

Looking down on the black bridge from the river trail.
grandcanyon 492.JPG

The tunnel to the bridge. A year later i had some guys from Israel tell me they thought this looked like the entrance to Moria.
grandcanyon 504.JPG

Looking back along the bridge.
grandcanyon 542.JPG

The unearthed ruins on the Bright Angel delta.
grandcanyon 552.JPG

The silver bridge in some better light. I like this picture.
grandcanyon 578.JPG

The river from the bridge, on our way to Indian Garden now. Less than five miles today. We wanted to take the time to enjoy it.
grandcanyon 583.JPG

grandcanyon 588.JPG

You can actually see the silver and the black bridge in this picture.
grandcanyon 593.JPG

grandcanyon 597.JPG

Looking up the river. The silver bridge is still in the picture.
grandcanyon 605.JPG

No more bridge.
grandcanyon 625.JPG

Near Pipe Creek.

The beach at Pipe Creek, before we head up.
grandcanyon 651.JPG

Me and Spencer.
grandcanyon 654.JPG

Looking back across on the way up. Ah, Supergroup.
grandcanyon 696.JPG

Cottonwood in the Tapeats, not far below Indian Garden.
grandcanyon 759.JPG

grandcanyon 771.JPG

Very near Indian Garden.
grandcanyon 782.JPG

We got to Indian Garden so early in the after noon. I hiked out the Tonto trail all the way around Horn Creek. Huge views there.
grandcanyon 813.JPG

grandcanyon 843.JPG

grandcanyon 877.JPG

Check that cloud.
grandcanyon 921.JPG

The sun was going down, or i would've just kept on hiking. Spencer stayed at Indian Garden, his knee was bothering him.
grandcanyon 969.JPG

The next morning i hiked out to Panorama Point from Indian Garden before we hiked up to the rim. That was going to be less than five miles again. Passing the junction.
grandcanyon 1012.JPG

On the way out.
grandcanyon 1013.JPG

That's the point there with the railing. Don't fall off.
grandcanyon 1030.JPG

And the river from the point.
grandcanyon 1040.JPG

grandcanyon 1054.JPG

grandcanyon 1055.JPG

Looking at the south rim from the point. Indian Garden all the way on the left.
grandcanyon 1066.JPG

On the way back. Indian Garden center. Any thing look out of place.
grandcanyon 1069.JPG

On the Bright Angel trail. Easy hike up.
grandcanyon 1093.JPG

From one of the rest houses. Indian Garden is the green trees, you can see the trail.
grandcanyon 1116.JPG

Up on the rim. Check the crowds. Bright Angel canyon across the river. The North Kaibab trail comes down there.
grandcanyon 1155.JPG

Getting dark on the rim. Nearly all these pictures were taken with an ipod.
grandcanyon 1178.JPG

A view from the south rim. We spent two nights at Mather camp ground and hiked Horseshoe Mesa on our day in between.
grandcanyon 1181.JPG

grandcanyon 1184 (2).jpg

Horseshoe Mesa. Great view over the east.
grandcanyon 1191.JPG

The old trail construction on the Grandview trail.
grandcanyon 1192.JPG

grandcanyon 1195.JPG

Spencer accidentally wandered into the radiation zone.
grandcanyon 1265.JPG

The old cabin. A Spencer in the window.
grandcanyon 1278.JPG

Looking back up at Grandview Point over Cottonwood Canyon. We just spent the after noon down here. It was fantastic, perfect weather. A raven stole a package of pepperoni from my pack while it was left at a trail as we wandered around. It opened up the zipper and every thing.
grandcanyon 1302.JPG

Looking across at Vishnu Temple.
grandcanyon 1305.JPG

grandcanyon 1320.JPG

grandcanyon 1323.JPG

This one had spines for days.

Spencer, view to the east. From the west tip of Horseshoe Mesa. Supergroup, and Palisades of the Desert.
grandcanyon 1334.JPG

What a lovely juniper. And the shade.
grandcanyon 1365.JPG

More lovely cactus.
grandcanyon 1381.JPG

grandcanyon 1384.JPG

grandcanyon 1387.JPG

And yucca.
grandcanyon 1394.JPG

On the way back up. Check those logs.
grandcanyon 1459.JPG

We took advantage of the opportunity to eat at the cafeteria.
grandcanyon 1474.JPG

This is how we got around on the South Rim. A lot of americans drove right past us. A lot. And then a few friends from Mexico gave us a ride out to the trail head. One of them sat on an other's lap to make room for us. Sweet people. On the way back a lot of americans drove past us again, and then we got a ride from a nice young swiss couple. Americans are lame. The foreigners were super cool.
grandcanyon 1477.JPG

At Mather camp ground, these notices were still around.
grandcanyon 1479.JPG

The next day we hiked down the South Kaibab to Bright Angel again. Switchbacks!
grandcanyon 1488.JPG

View from the South Kaibab.
grandcanyon 1500.JPG

This is a really good picture of the layers. Kaibab, Toroweap, Coconino, Hermit, Supai, Redwall, Muav.
grandcanyon 1506.JPG

grandcanyon 1509.JPG

grandcanyon 1511.JPG

Coming down.
grandcanyon 1569.JPG

Here you can see the out houses at the Tipoff.
grandcanyon 1574.JPG

Supergroup, river, river trail, silver bridge. From the South Kaibab.
grandcanyon 1600.JPG

And then on the beach at Bright Angel. Black bridge in the back ground.
grandcanyon 1648.JPG

grandcanyon 1654.JPG

Pissing in the river.
grandcanyon 1657.JPG

Bright Angel camp ground.
grandcanyon 1664.JPG

So we hiked up the Clear Creek trail that evening to the over look.
grandcanyon 1684.JPG

Tarantula at the camp.
grandcanyon 1709.JPG

grandcanyon 1726.JPG

The next day we had to hike up to Cottonwood camp. We went to Ribbon Falls along the way. Crossing Bright Angel Creek to get to the falls.
grandcanyon 1815.JPG

This is one of the tallest agave stalks i ever saw.
grandcanyon 1820.JPG

The base of the travertine mound below Ribbon Falls.
grandcanyon 1844.JPG

The mound in entirety. Plus Spencer.
grandcanyon 1855.JPG

Behind the falls.
grandcanyon 1865.JPG

grandcanyon 1868.JPG

grandcanyon 1879.JPG

grandcanyon 1882.JPG

grandcanyon 1890.JPG

grandcanyon 1903.JPG

Hanging our shirts out to dry at Cottonwood. In october.
grandcanyon 1930.JPG

The last day we hiked the rest of the the way out to the rim. Here's a picture of Roaring Springs.
grandcanyon 1944.JPG

Near the rim.
grandcanyon 1957.JPG

And we're back to the parking lot.
grandcanyon 1970.JPG

Featured image for home page:
Last edited:


Mar 13, 2012
Excellent photos. I did the trip in late Sep of 2012 and then again in May 2014. Especially liked ribbon falls - great relaxing after crossing the long hot stretch before the falls.
  • Like
Reactions: Ben


Mar 13, 2012
I think ribbon falls is one of the highlights of the rim to rim. Never that much mentioned about it but it is neat. Think my son and I spent like 3 hours just chilling in the water after the hot trek up from Phantom Ranch.
  • Like
Reactions: Ben


Sep 12, 2014
oh yeah, the tarantula. i forgot about that. it was walking past our camp site at bright angel right at the end of dusk. my brother had to hold a flash light for the picture. made us glad we brought the tent.


Dec 29, 2014
I so enjoyed this report!..... I bob tailed into the park in the 80s and looked down from the rim... spent the night there. Next morning I wound up letting a bus full of Japanize folks climb in one side of the truck and out the other, they were that interested in an American Semi.... Fun memory! Ive never been down in there ... thank you for the peek!
  • Like
Reactions: Ben
Jan 23, 2015
Ben, I asked a ranger where he goes on his days off, and my sons and I got to the falls off the main north trail. Unbelievable, I'll try to include a photo. I've spent four weeks in the canyon, and all off the main trails. On the north side, Haunted Canyon had waterfalls and so great. We always came down from the south rim, crossed and went back up and around. By the end of the trip? I'm in great shape :<)


  • 22011 516.jpg
    22011 516.jpg
    108.4 KB · Views: 14
  • Like
Reactions: Ben


Sep 12, 2014
awesome, you'll have to tell me where you've gone. i've looked a lot at other hikes down there, and a lot of off trail routes. so i'd be very interested to hear some personal experience. this past october we went down and spent a week along the tonto trail on the south side from grandview point to hermits rest.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Bob Grand Canyon North Rim wildfire Trip Planning 4
Eugene Grand Canyon Rim to Rim - Backpacking Backpacking 4
R good meeting point for Grand Canyon North Rim Trip Planning 1
Magic_Hour When the Rains Came... The North Rim of the Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping 6
Magic_Hour South Rim Storms at the Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping 0
HomerJ Grand Canyon - rim to rim Trip Planning 8
DOSS Winter Trip 2010 – North Rim of the Grand Canyon Off Road 2
dennisrodman A week in the Grand Canyon / Boucher / Hermit / Tonto Trail Trip Planning 4
futurafree Grand Canyon norovirus General Discussion 6
TrailScot Dripping Canyon to Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa, Utah - March 2022 Hiking & Camping 7
Kerrie at Thru We Go Grand Canyon Backpack/Packraft Loop at New Hance Backpacking 11
H Access to Grand Gulch via Water Canyon Trip Planning 2
M Grand Canyon NP, Royal Arch Route Backpacking 0
westy Grand Canyon-Parashant NM, Parashant canyon Hiking & Camping 4
marquis20 Day 1: Grand Teton Wilderness and Black Canyon of the Yellowstone - June 2021 Backpacking 0
westy Grand Canyon-Parashant Trip Planning 2
Rockskipper Application Period Open For 2023 Private River Trips Through Grand Canyon National Park General Discussion 0
TrailScot Step Canyon access to Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa Trip Planning 7
stretch Grand Canyon Loop: Thunder River -> Tapeats -> Kanab -> Sowats Backpacking 18
balzaccom Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Backpacking 2
kansas Good map of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument? Trip Planning 5
J Grand Canyon NP Backpack Pt. 2 Deer Cyn explore-->Esplanade-->Indian Hollow Tr. April 18-23, 2021 Backpacking 10
J Grand Canyon NP Backpack Pt. 1 Thunder River Tr.-->Esplanade-->Tapeats-->Deer. April 18-23, 2021 Backpacking 13
Nick Running the Grand Canyon in a Tule Raft General Discussion 2
D Grand Canyon Ideas Trip Planning 9
gnwatts Grand Canyon by canoe On The Water 2
westy Cave Canyon, Grand Canyon west Hiking & Camping 5
montanaclimber advice Grand Canyon backpacking Spring 2020 Trip Planning 16
D New dams proposed for Little Colorado River/Grand Canyon General Discussion 2
Ross Permit places available for a Cape Solitude/Comanche Pt Grand Canyon backpack (+Canaan Mountain) Meet Up (Members Only) 0
fossana Deer Creek out-and-back (Grand Canyon NP) Hiking & Camping 5
fossana New Hance - Tonto - Grandview loop (Grand Canyon NP) Hiking & Camping 5
G Grand Canyon hiking - need a ride Trip Planning 0
G Grand Canyon backpacking - need ride Backpacking 0
3 Grand Canyon Traverse - Map? Trip Planning 0
woodmaker_58 Grand canyon in February Trip Planning 4
woodmaker_58 grand canyon Trip Planning 2
stevecochranephotography Bright Angel Trail.. Grand Canyon, Arizona Hiking & Camping 1
N Grand Canyon and southern Utah in late November Trip Planning 3
Scott Chandler Finally Into the Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping 9
ramblinman New push for Uranium Mining near Grand Canyon General Discussion 3
cmgz Tuckup to Stairway -Grand Canyon Backpacking 5
A Escalante Route - Grand Canyon in late May 2017 Trip Planning 4
Wanderlust073 Grand Canyon in Winter - Hermit Trail to Bright Angel Backpacking 8
D Grand Canyon Escalade Project - ACT NOW General Discussion 12
Sandro Invite Grand Canyon, Utah Flats & Little Colorado, October Meet Up (Members Only) 7
b.stark A Grand Adventure-Grand Canyon 2016 Backpacking 7
Jon Carbaugh Grand Teton NP, Granite Canyon, Marion Lake Backpacking 12
IntrepidXJ Grand Gulch: Pollys Canyon to Collins Canyon Backpacking 1
Curt Grand Canyon --Tanner - Escalante Route - East Tonto - Grandview Backpacking 21

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.