As you backpack Grand Canyon National Park, stop by the tallest waterfall in the Grand Canyon. Words and images by Oboz Ambassador Cameron Davison.
If you are backpacking the Grand Canyon and especially interested in seeing Arizona’s tallest waterfall, Cheyava Falls, the Clear Creek Trail will not disappoint as you trek along the Tonto Platform.
Trail Name: Cheyava Falls, Grand Canyon
Trailhead: From the bottom of the Grand Canyon at Bright Angel Campground you will head out on the North Kaibab Trail until you reach the Clear Creek Trail intersection. Take Clear Creek Trail 8-9 miles to Clear Creek Camp. From this point you will head up Clear Creek Canyon for roughly another 5 miles to reach Cheyava Falls.
*Remember, you will need a Backcountry Permit to camp in the Grand Canyon. We had an 8-day backpacking trip planned.
Trail type: Out-and-back
Distance: 45-60 miles (depending on how much exploring you do), 15,000+ feet of elevation gain
Duration: 6-8 Days (depends on where you drop in and hike out from the South Rim)
Description: If route finding is more your style, you could spend countless days exploring the greater Clear Creek area. The most common route is up to Cheyava Falls. Cheyava Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Grand Canyon National Park dropping out the side of the North Rim at over 800 feet, is a must for any bucket list backpacking trip. Cheyava is a Hopi word meaning “intermittent water” and they typically only flow during the spring after a good snowmelt.
Best Oboz selection for the hike: For this trip I took my Bridger Vent Mid and Campsters. The Bridger offered plenty of support and breathability while trekking along the dry, desolate trails of the Grand Canyon. Once at Clear Creek Camp I opted to wear my Campsters as we had over 40 creek crossings ranging from knee to ankle deep.
Best time to Go: Spring (April). If the North Rim receives a decent amount of snow during the winter months, the falls should be flowing.
What to Pack: Pack accordingly. Over the course of a week we had 90-degree temps, thunderstorms, rain, wind, a snow blizzard, followed by a sunburn.
Level of Difficulty: Hard – you’re already backpacking in the Grand Canyon.
Longitude/Latitude: -111.977656 , 36.146371
Trail Highlights: Seclusion and of course the tallest waterfall in the Grand Canyon National Park. If you like to explore, you will be rewarded.
Refuel (Post-hike watering hole): Whatever you have at camp will work just fine!