Our Trail of the Week feature is made possible through a partnership with Trail Run Project, a crowd-sourced collaboration by and for the running community. Thanks to Cyndi Wyatt for mapping and describing this route.
This is a must-do run! You’ll be propelled to get to the next mile by the beauty the canyon possess.
The unique aspect of crossing the Grand Canyon is that you first descend 9 miles, then run across the floor for 7 miles, before hitting the steepest part of the North Kaibab Trail where you’ll climb 7 miles up a 15-20 percent grade. Pacing yourself is the key to finishing R2R2R.
The views in the canyon as the sun kisses the walls change with every hour. Take your time to enjoy all that the Grand Canyon has to offer.
The trail is about the width of 1/2 a fire road and is very technical with big exposed drop-offs. There are big steps (depending on your height), and the puddles of mule pee are wide spread so watch your step and don’t face plant.
Watch the weather. During this trek, runners have been caught in a flash flood and experienced lightning, rock slides, and multiple muddy, fast, rushing streams.
Runnable: 81 percent
Average Grade: 9 percent
Max Grade: 60 percent
Total Ascent: 11,161 feet
Total Descent: -11,161 feet
Highest Elevation: 8,190 feet
For a closer look, check out the interactive map, data, photos and virtual run simulator courtesy of Trail Run Project: