South Bass Trailhead

Location: Northwest of Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan.

Difficulty: Easy.

Description: A long drive through remote country. In addition, the Havasupai Indian Reservation charges a not-so-insignificant $25 per vehicle to cross its land. Be prepared to pay cash either at the entry gate or anywhere along the route inside the reservation. Someday a route may be established that does not require crossing the reservation. Check with the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office for changes in the status of this trail. If you plan to camp overnight inside Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll need a permit from the Backcountry Office. Fortunately, the majority of this trip is in Kaibab National Forest where dispersed camping is allowed and no permit is required. When dry, this road is fairly easy to negotiate with a high-clearance, two-wheel-drive vehicle. After heavy rains, the road may be impassable even with four-wheel drive. The worst section is across Pasture Wash before and after the ranger station. Help is a long way away so don’t take any chances.
Note: ATVs are allowed in Kaibab National Forest but not in Grand Canyon National Park.

Time & Distance: It’s almost 30 miles one way from Tusayan to South Bass Trailhead. Allow at least 4 hours driving time for the round trip.

Trail Conditions: Grand Canyon National Park. Visit:




Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.


Directions to the Trail: Take US Hwy 180 north from Flagstaff or State Hwy 64 north from Williams to the town of Tusayan just south of the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim. On the north side of Tusayan, turn left at the Moqui Lodge. This turn is almost across the street from the Kaibab National Forest Tusayan Ranger Station. You can also reach FS 328 from the Backcountry Office in Grand Canyon Village.


View South Bass Trailhead in a larger map for even more DETAILS!


Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared for your next adventure.

Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of having your full-on bug-out-bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.

Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save the number to Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Their number is (602) 697-8306.


If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!




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