Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
10,797.00 ft (3,290.93 m)
Trail type
34.00 mi (54.72 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.

Tonto Trail East is a 34-mile point-to-point section of the 95-mile Tonto Trail. Located within Grand Canyon National Park, the trail traverses across the Tonto Plateau from the junction of the Bright Angel Trail to the Tonto East Trailhead at Red Canyon. This rugged and challenging route offers unparalleled canyon views across a singletrack trail that parallels the Colorado River. 

The Tonto Trail features a gently rolling terrain that dips in and out of drainages along the Tonto Plateau. Although the majority of the trail occurs over 1,000 feet above the Colorado River, a series of seasonal and reliable springs make it possible to plan a long distance trek. Although it is possible, most people choose to not complete the Tonto Trail in one point-to-point thru-hike, this makes more a less crowded and more adventurous journey, especially along the parts that are further away from the main access trails in the Grand Canyon. Those willing to explore this magnificent trail will be rewarded with sweeping views, big night skies, and a chance for quiet and solitude in a location that is beyond beautiful. 

ACCESS TRAILS TO THE SOUTH RIM: Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, New Hance Trail, Grandview Trail. 

ACCESS TRAILS TO THE COLORADO RIVER: Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail. 

The Colorado River is one of the only reliable sources. For more information about seasonal springs and streams visit the Grand Canyon Backcountry Information Center at .

There is little shade on the Tonto Trail and it is best explored in the spring and fall.

From the west: 

  • The Tonto Trail is accessed via the Bright Angel Trail. The hike from the Bright Angel Trailhead to the junction with the Tonto Trail will add an additional 4.5 miles. 

From the east:

  • The Tonto Trail is accessed via the remote, and not well maintained, New Hance Trail. The hike from the New Hance Trail to the Tonto Trail East Trailhead adds 5.82 miles.

Parking is available near The Bright Angel Trailhead, located in Grand Canyon Village. Parking is available at the New Hance Trailhead via Moran Point or at the first pullout east of the Buggeln picnic area. The National Park Service also offers a free shuttle bus that drops off in front of certain trailheads. For more information about the shuttles please visit .

Backcountry camping is allowed with an appropriate backcountry permit. For more information regarding camping and permits, please visit: 


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round





Canyon Views. Colorado River. Interesting Geology. Solitude.


Lack of water. Permits required.

Trailhead Elevation

3,790.00 ft (1,155.19 m)

Highest point

4,127.00 ft (1,257.91 m)


Historically significant
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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