Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
13,998.00 ft (4,266.59 m)
Trail type
33.10 mi (53.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Hayduke Trail is a remote, rugged and challenging 800 mile backcountry route across Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The route leads through varied terrain from Arches to Zion. You’ll pass through all five of Utah’s national parks, as well as the Grand Canyon. The Hayduke Trail is only for experienced backpackers. Those lacking in desert hiking experience may quickly find themselves in trouble as the off trail navigation, lack of water, long food carries, general remoteness and harsh weather can pose a daunting challenge. Anyone planning a section or thru hike of the Hayduke Trail should complete adequate research beforehand and consider purchasing the official guidebook and Skurka bundle. The brief description of Section 12 that follows provides an overview, but is not to be solely relied upon to successfully navigate the trail.

Section 12 of the Hayduke Trail begins at Horseshoe Mesa deep within the Grand Canyon. To access this point you can hike down the Grandview Trail. Note the you’ll need a backcountry permit to camp anywhere within the Grand Canyon.

From Horseshoe Mesa (where there is ample great camping) you’ll continue along the Tonto Trail that stays high above the Colorado and offers stunning views of the inner gorge. The trail contours around many side canyons, something that can get a bit tedious.

You’ll eventually join the South Kaibab Trail near The Tipoff. Most hikers will opt to hike up to the South Rim at this point to resupply, but the Hayduke does not officially go to the South Rim.

Once back on route you’ll continue down the South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River and cross via the Black Bridge. You’ll walk past the Boat Beach and come to Phantom Ranch.

The Hayduke then follows the North Kaibab Trail up and out of the canyon. You’ll walk along beautiful Bright Angel Creek for much of the trail (Ribbon Falls is a must see detour).

The trail then tops out on the North Rim where section 12 of the Hayduke ends.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Stunning Grand Canyon views. Phantom Ranch.


Permit required. Heat. Tonto Trail can get tedious.

Trailhead Elevation

5,064.00 ft (1,543.51 m)

Highest point

8,232.00 ft (2,509.11 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Potable water

Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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