Currently, as far as I can tell, if one starts at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and tries to reach the North Side, it cannot be done based on the latest NPS info (although the regular route will be opened back again soon thereafter).

Is there a way around this blocker before it reopens?

1 Answer 1


The North Kaibab trail should be back open on the 2023-06-16, so this answer is probably irrelevant.

There are no other maintained trails that cross the canyon in GCNP. The South Bass and North Bass are unmaintained trails that are generally considered among the toughest marked trails in the canyon. The two trails were once connected by a tram car on a cable across the Colorado, but that is long gone. Some hikers have linked the two trails by thumbing a ride across the Colorado with a passing rafting group. It sounds like this is not a safe place to attempt a swim crossing. The trailheads on both sides are somewhat remote. This is not something you want to try as your first GC hike.

There probably are a few other unmaintained trails that could be stitched together with hazardous cross country sections that would enable it, along with being willing/able to swim the Colorado. However these could really only be done by folks with lots of experience hiking off trail in the canyon, and canyoneering skills. There are folks who have walked the length of the canyon, rather than simply crossing it, but their accounts are pretty hair raising. See for example The Grandest Walk, and famously Collin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time, and Kenton Grua, as described in The Emerald Mile.

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