Hiking through the Grand Canyon will have you seeing spectacular wonders of the world everywhere you look. There are so many different hiking trails to take, but one of the best, and most challenging is the Rim to Rim to Rim. Not many people choose to tackle this type of hike during their visit, but those that do, feel exhilarated when they conquer their goals and reach their starting point at the end. You must be completely prepared for this hike before you begin, so take some time to create a plan, while getting mentally and physically prepared.
If you’re wondering what the Rim to Rim to Rim hike is in the Grand Canyon, we’ve written this blog to help!
What is the Rim to Rim to Rim Hike?
The Rim to Rim to Rim hike will have you hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim and then all the way back to the North Rim. You can also start at the South Rim and hike to the North Rim before hiking back to the South Rim to end your journey. If you begin up at the North Rim, you will use the North Kaibab Trail to hike towards the south. A little more than halfway through your hiking journey, you will connect with the Bright Angel Trail to go the rest of the way to the South Rim.
You will obviously reverse those trails if you are starting your hiking adventure down at the South Rim. You will also find yourself walking along those same trails, as you are hiking back to your starting point during this incredible experience.
What is the Distance/Miles of the Rim to Rim to Rim Hike?
The distance of the Rim to Rim to Rim hike is 48 miles. That is 24 miles each way and you will feel every step on these strenuous trails. The North Kaibab Trail is 14.3 miles from the North Rim to the Bright Angel Trail. The Bright Angel Trail is 9.6 miles from the start to the South Rim.
As you are doing this hike, you will descend 6,000 feet from the North Kaibab Trail and climb 4,500 feet out of the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim. You will reverse those descents and climbs on your return to the North Rim.
Why is the Rim to Rim to Rim Hike so Amazing?
As you are hiking from Rim to Rim to Rim, you are going to see so many amazing views. However, this is also the time when you will be seeing two billion years of the history of the Earth. There are eleven layers of ancient rocks built up along these trails, as well as in the canyon itself.
At some point in your hike, you will find yourself surrounded by massive rocks, as you stand on the shoreline of the Colorado River. The natural beauty of your surroundings will take your breath away numerous times during your hike. However, as your senses are distracted, you may need to redirect your body to keep moving as you continue to take it all in.
Why Should I Hike Rim to Rim to Rim?
There are so many reasons to do the Rim to Rim to Rim hike, but the main one is to see as much of the Grand Canyon as possible from many vantage points. Of course, the challenge of this activity is enough to get a person’s blood pumping. That is why the Rim to Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon is on so many people’s bucket list of things to do. Plus, proving to yourself that you can do this hike will have you realizing that you can do anything that happens to come your way in the future!
Things to Consider When Thinking About Hiking Rim to Rim to Rim:
There are so many things you must consider when thinking about hiking Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon. The first is your health! You must make sure you are in excellent physical condition and work hard to get in the shape that is required for this type of hike. You should also make sure you are mentally ready for hiking a strenuous trail for so many miles.
Your daypack should have everything you require for this type of challenging hike, yet nothing more since you don’t want it to be too heavy. Your hiking boots should be lightweight and broken in for the trails. Sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, first aid kit, and lots of water are a must as well.
The Rim to Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon might be a challenging hike, but it is one you will want to tackle if you want to experience the best this part of the world offers. Most people love to do this hike in one day, 24 hours, but you can definitely take longer to complete it if you need to. However, do not be surprised when you successfully complete this Rim to Rim to Rim hike once, that you are more than ready to do it again in the near future!
Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.