Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
6,579.00 ft (2,005.28 m)
Trail type
20.20 mi (32.51 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.

North Rim to Ribbon Falls is a 19-mile out-and-back route in Grand Canyon National Park. The route begins from the more remote, northern side of the park and follows the North Kaibab trail from the plateau down into the canyon. It traverses through incredible gorge scenery, visiting both the lower and upper Ribbon Falls waterfalls before turning around and climbing back up to the top. The route can be completed in a day or as a multi-day backpacking trip. Make sure to check on available services (water, campgrounds, etc) and current weather before adventuring into the Grand Canyon. Services on the North Rim are seasonal and access may be dependent on weather. 

The route begins at the North Rim Campground and descends the North Kaibab Trail. Approximately 8.75 miles after leaving the trailhead, look for signs indicating the turn off to Ribbon Falls. You will need to cross the creek to reach the falls.
After crossing the creek, there are a few ups and downs before you reach Ribbon Falls. The path to Ribbon Falls dead ends, making it impossible to miss the falls. After enjoying the beautiful pool at the bottom of the waterfall, continue along the obvious footpath towards the upper waterfall.

You should be cautious when hiking in this area due to the wet and slippery ground. Take your time and explore the falls at your own pace. Climbing to the upper falls isn't necessary to appreciate the beauty, you can see everything from below. 

When you are done exploring, follow your footsteps back and prepare for a strenuous climb back up to the North Rim. 


00.00 - North Rim Campground

05.70 - Manzanita Resthouse

07.30 - Cottonwood Campground

08.75 - Lower Ribbon Falls

10.00 - Upper Ribbon Falls

12.30 - Cottonwood Campground

13.90 - Manzanita Resthouse

20.20 - North Rim Campground


This route is best completed during the spring, summer, or early fall. North Rim services close mid-October (exact dates vary depending on weather conditions) and the North Rim Campground is open for day use only October-November.

Grand Canyon Backcountry Information: 1-(928) 638-7875.

Grand Canyon National Park: 1-(928) 638-7888
North Rim Services

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round


Open from

May 15 to November 30


Secluded waterfalls. Beautiful gorge scenery. Singletrack trail.


Shorter season on the North Rim and services may be limited depending on weather and time of year.

Trailhead Elevation

8,328.00 ft (2,538.37 m)

Highest point

8,328.00 ft (2,538.37 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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