Kaibab National Forest

The 1.6 million acre Kaibab Forest is the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Visitors approaching the Grand Canyon from any of the major roads pass through the verdant meadows and rich woodlands of the Kaibab. Don’t be surprised when you see herds of bison with their noses down in the grass. The Kaibab is an uncrowded landscape nestled on the Colorado Plateau and bisected by the Grand Canyon. Beginning in sage and grasslands at lower levels and rising to over 10,000 feet on top of Mt. Kendrick, this region is a wonderland of wildlife, diverse landscapes, and a multitude of outdoor activities.

Hikers and riders will find solitude and over 300 miles of trails to explore. Some trails hug the rim of the Grand Canyon. Some trails are easy; others offer a greater challenge. Be ready; commonly seen wild animals include whitetail and Kaibab Mule Deer, elk, antelope, turkey, condors, coyote and elusive bobcats and of course, the distinctive white-tailed and tassel-eared Kaibab squirrel. Certain marked trails are available for use by ATV/OHV and Jeep. Spend some serious time here; stay in a historic cabin, or at one of many pet-friendly developed campgrounds. Primitive backcountry “dispersed” camping in virtually undisturbed landscapes provide an excellent way to fully experience the intimate beauty of unspoiled nature.

Autumn foliage is spectacular, and winter brings a variety of outdoor activities: “think white” and go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, or snowmobiling.

The rich resources of the Kaibab Plateau have been accessed by humans for over 11,000 years. Discover prehistoric stone houses and historic cabin foundations that remain throughout the North Kaibab Ranger District. Hike the Big Springs Trail to a silky waterfall local Hopi consider sacred. Enjoy the abundant, hidden gems here. Information on these sites, and on Learning Center activities, are available at the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center.

Bucket List

Take off on your mountain bike: the Rainbow Rim Trail meanders 18 miles along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A highly popular single-track mountain bike ride, the trail connects five prominent overlook points with great views down into the Grand Canyon – rough camping is available at each overlook. this trail is also available to equestrians.

Great Hikes

MODERATE: The 12-mile Navajo Trail is an old Indian and sheepherding trail traversing pinion and juniper forests. Open to hikers and equestrians.

MODERATE TO INTERMEDIATE: The Kaibab Plateau Trail. the oldest section of the 750 mile-long Arizona National Scenic Trail rests withing the Kaibab National Forest. The 15-mile trail passes through different environments (woodlands, sagebrush and grassland, lush meadows, Ponderosa pin forests and aspen groves) and has dramatic views of Saddle Mountain Wilderness, House Rock Valley and Marble Canyon.

The Kaibab National Forest (pronounced ‘ki -“bab) surrounds one of the worlds top natural scenic wonders; the Grand Canyon. In its entirety the Kaibab National Forest encompasses almost 1.6 million acres and is a large national forest in Arizona. Easiest access to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the north section of the Kaibab National Forest is from southern Utah communities such as Kanab.

Elevations in the Kaibab National Forest vary on from 5,500 feet (1,676 m) in the southwest corner to 10,418 feet. There are many animals in the Kaibab National Forest such as deer, elk, antelope, wild-turkey, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat and black bear. California condors, eagles and other large birds also roam through the national forest.

Trees and other foliage include the Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, aspen, ponderosa pine, blue spruce, oak, pinyon pine, bitter brush, Gambel oak, sagebrush, cliffrose and juniper.