South Kaibab to Cremation Canyon

South Kaibab Trail to Cremation Canyon

A Cremation Canyon backpacking trip gives you the best of two Grand Canyon worlds – the ever popular and busy Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground, but the chance to camp under the stars away from the crowds. The hike starts down the South Kaibab trail and then along the Tonto Trail a couple miles to set up camp for two nights – a great place to have some time to yourself.  (Kaibab is pronounced KY-bab where KY rhymes with Eye and bab rhymes with cab – for those of you who are hooked on Phoenics). You will get a full day day hiking to the bottom and exploring some side canyons, hanging out on the beach of the Colorado River and having some refreshments at Phantom Ranch. This 2nd day ensures your entrance into the exclusive Mile Deep Club as well! On the last day, choose the short, steep hike via the South Kaibab Trail or the longer hike along the Tonto and Bright Angel Trails.  This trip is a great alternative to Indian Garden – great canyon experience with fewer people.  Want less time in the canyon? The Cremation Canyon trip can be done in 2 days as well!

Need some help planning your trip? With our outfitting services for your Grand Canyon backpacking trip, your experience will be more enjoyable as we will do the footwork for you.  Click here for more information about JRI’s outfitting services.

Need more information about the trail? Click here for the official South Kaibab Trail description from Grand Canyon National Park

*Please note: Due to the high demand and limited supply of permits available for the Grand Canyon National Park camping areas, we recommend having flexibility in your dates and open to alternate camp areas. We also recommend planning this hike at least five months in advance. 

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arriving at the canyon, you will hike down the South Kaibab Trail to the Tonto Trail where you head east to a campsite for the next two nights in Cremation Canyon. You will drop about 3,400 ft. (1,036m) and cover about 6.5 miles (10.4km) before reaching your destination. The hike usually takes about 5-6 hours to complete.

Day 2

Shed your big backpacks and take a day hike to the river and Phantom Ranch. The round trip hiking distance is 7 miles (11.2km) and you will spend significant time at the bottom of the canyon this day. Besides visiting Phantom Ranch, you will have time to get into the Colorado River and even hike part way up the Clear Creek Trail if time permits. The change in elevation from Cremation Canyon to the river is 1,400 ft. (427m).

Day 3

Shed your big backpacks and take a day hike to the river and Phantom Ranch. The round trip hiking distance is 7 miles (11.2km) and you will spend significant time at the bottom of the canyon this day. Besides visiting Phantom Ranch, you will have time to get into the Colorado River and even hike part way up the Clear Creek Trail if time permits. The change in elevation from Cremation Canyon to the river is 1,400 ft. (427m).

DIY Trips

Does this sound like a great time? Well, it probably will be with proper planning and people you actually know! Check out our DIY (Do It Yourself for those of you out of the acronym loop) trips. We help you with the permit, planning, gear and food; the rest is up to you!

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Where We Are

8658 E Shea Blvd., Ste 175

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 857-2477

bunnilope@justroughinit.com

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