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Hermit-Tonto-Kaibab Loop: Cottonwood to Bright Angel Campground

Another beautiful day on the North Kaibab Trail with a fantastic side trip to Ribbon Falls.

Hiking Moderate

14 km
373 m
785 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
771 m
High Point
1.3 km
Hermit-Tonto-Kaibab Loop: Cottonwood to Bright Angel Campground Map

Day four isn't too strenuous, as most of the route is downhill. The last half of the route is pretty flat and goes through a beautiful canyon to arrive at the Colorado River. You are adjacent to a flowing stream most of the way, which is another plus. The scenery initially starts off very open near Cottonwood campground and then narrows as you approach the Colorado.


A worthy side trip that is not far from the main trail (North Kaibab) is Ribbon Falls. This is a spectacular waterfall that should not be missed. There is a beautiful pool underneath the falls that serves as a great swimming hole. Ribbon Falls makes for a great spot to have a nice break. Hikers staying at Phantom Ranch often visit Ribbon Falls as a day trip.

Following Ribbon Falls, the trail is relatively straightforward as it is obvious which direction one should head.

Observing your surroundings is one of the highlights of hiking in the grand canyon. The nooks and crannies found in the Grand Canyon are unlike any other location in the world. When you are near the bottom of the canyon, parts of the Rim appear as majestic peaks that could make you feel like you are in the Rockies!

Another plus of being in the canyon is the chance to see wildlife. A young mountain lion was spotted near the Colorado River on this route, so always be on the lookout!

It is obvious once you arrive at the Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel campground area. Bright Angel campground is nestled in a fantastic location, as the sites are located by a rushing stream. There is a sink to fill water, and bathrooms are present too.

Overall, this relatively relaxed, albeit beautiful, day along the North Kaibab Trail should not be rushed!



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between October and June


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area