AZT - Passage 38 - South Kaibab
ElevationAscent: 133' 40 m
Descent: -4,883' -1,488 m
High: 7,206' 2,196 m
Low: 2,456' 749 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)
Popular runs nearby
13.1 mi 21.0 km • Point to Point • 469 ft Ascent 142.87 m Ascent
Plateau Point From South Rim
12.4 mi 19.9 km • Loop • 3,208 ft Ascent 977.81 m Ascent
South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop
21.6 mi 34.7 km • Loop • 4,968 ft Ascent 1514.22 m Ascent
Cape Royal Trail
0.9 mi 1.5 km • Loop • 32 ft Ascent 9.71 m Ascent
Cape Final Trail
4.3 mi 6.9 km • Out and Back • 425 ft Ascent 129.56 m Ascent
Tusayan Ruins Loop
0.2 mi 0.4 km • Loop • 30 ft Ascent 9.06 m Ascent
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“Unparalleled panoramic views coupled with a truly dramatic ridgeline descent.”— Nicholas Shannon
When camping at Bright Angel Campground, many runners prefer to run down the South Kaibab Trail and up the Bright Angel Trail. Though the South Kaibab Trail has an almost identical maximum grade compared to the Bright Angel, it is more consistently sloped but does not have water or shade. The run down South Kaibab Trail typically takes 4-6 hours.
The trail begins with a series of tight switchbacks. This is where ice will most likely be encountered during the winter months. After these initial switchbacks, the trail traverses below Yaki Point to the aptly named Ooh Ah Point (the first panoramic view of the canyon). From Ooh Ah Point on, the trail follows the top of a ridgeline and is consequently without shade. Several broad and steeply-plunging switchbacks later, runners reach Cedar Ridge. There are pit toilets at Cedar Ridge, but no water or emergency phone.
From Cedar Ridge, the South Kaibab Trail traverses below O'Neill Butte without a single switchback to Skeleton Point. At three miles from the rim, Skeleton Point is the maximum distance recommended for a day run. The trail goes directly off the end of Skeleton Point and here, where the trail has been blasted directly out of the limestone cliffs, runners will encounter the most dramatic sense of exposure. The trail descends rapidly via a series of switchbacks to the Tonto Platform and Tipoff. There are pit toilets and an emergency phone at Tipoff, but no water. For runners who will be utilizing the East Tonto Trail to the east or west, the intersection is located fifty feet or so up-trail from the pit toilets.
Below Tipoff, the South Kaibab Trail loosely follows the course of an earlier trail called the Cable Trail (built in 1907 to accommodate access to the old cable car system across the river that existed before construction of the present suspension bridge). Vestiges of this earlier trail can be seen as the South Kaibab Trail descends toward the Colorado River. Access to Bright Angel Campground is via the black bridge (built in 1921).
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: National Park Service - Grand Canyon National Park