March to May
Sept to Nov
5h 55m
FKT (R2R2R2)

About the Route


Running the Grand Canyon R2R2R is a ‘bucket list’ worthy adventure, crossing over 40 miles and 20,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. Challenges along the route include heat, temperature swings, high altitude, low humidity (i.e., dehydration risk), rugged trails, extreme elevation, and logistical challenges, especially when it comes to water access. It’s not a feat to be undertaken lightly – and definitely not without extensive planning – but you also don’t have to be an elite athlete to do it. Plenty have hiked the whole way and enjoyed it even more than runners, who tend to have ‘Type 2’ fun on the course more than anything else.

“The colorful bands of rock soar incredibly high above representing millions of years on earth.”

- Sarah Maurer

The most common way to run the Grand Canyon R2R2R is in the spring or fall, when peak temperatures are lower, starting from the South Rim, since you can park there in the shoulder seasons (unlike the North Rim). There are two trail options – the Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail – with the main differentiating factors being steepness, distance, scenery, and accessibility. The South Kaibab is 2 miles shorter, steeper, and more scenic than the Bright Angel Trail. It also requires extra logistical work, as it’s a couple of miles from Grand Canyon Village and lacks reliable water sources. Since the Bright Angel Trail has a year-round water source around halfway across at the Indian Gardens Campground, it’s a lot easier to manage water supply along this route. Some people take the South Kaibab Trail down and the Bright Angel Trail back up since you can park near the Bright Angel trailhead and take a shuttle over to the South Kaibab trailhead to start.

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