River Trail

Grand Canyon National Park
Located 8.7 miles from Tusayan, Arizona (AZ)
4 Stars
4,124 Steps 1  (1.8 mi)

The River Trail is situated along the Colorado River and connects the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail with Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel Campground. There is little elevation change on the River Trail. There are two bridges that cross the river; the silver bridge and the black bridge.

River TrailThe Bridge at River TrailRiver Trail Sign Post


The River Trail has a maximum elevation of 2,672 ft (814 m), a minimum elevation of 2,437 ft (743 m), and an elevation range of 235 ft (72 m).


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Steps 1Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4
4,1241.8 mi2,437 ft2,672 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
54 min14.2171 ft368 ft
[ B to A ]
59 min30.7368 ft171 ft

What is the length of the River Trail?

The length of the trail is 1.8 mi (3.0 km) or 4,124 steps.

How long does it take to hike the River Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 54 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 59 min in the [ B to A ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.

Topo Maps

Download the free River Trail topo map and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Grand Canyon National Park topographic maps. Do you want full-sheet outdoor recreation JPEG Topo Maps?

Adjoining 7.5' Quadrangle Legend

  1. Northwest Topo Map: Shiva Temple, AZ
  2. North Topo Map: Bright Angel Point, AZ
  3. Northeast Topo Map: Walhalla Plateau, AZ
  4. West Topo Map: Grand Canyon, AZ
  5. Topo Map: Phantom Ranch, AZ
  6. East Topo Map: Cape Royal, AZ
  7. Southwest Topo Map: Tusayan West, AZ
  8. South Topo Map: Tusayan East, AZ
  9. Southeast Topo Map: Grandview Point, AZ

Is there a River trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The River Trail is located on the Phantom Ranch topo map. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.



  1. Steps is a unit of distance equal to the sum of stride lengths that vary with the terrain.
  2. Length is the distance of the trail between the two trailheads, measured on the trail.
  3. Min Ele is the minimum elevation on the trail.
  4. Max Ele is the maximum elevation on the trail.
  5. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  6. Floors is the gain divided by twelve, the height of one floor.
  7. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  8. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.