Six miles one way from the Ranch, but it is almost flat and it goes pretty fast. You do have to climb Asinine Hill (about 200 feet) if you don't want to wade Bright Angel Creek. Wading is strongly discouraged in Spring when the water is high. Follow the North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek. The turnoff to the falls is signed.
What does this hike have to recommend it: Nice walk along Bright Angel Creek. First four miles or so in the Inner Gorge rocks. "The Box" is especially spooky/nice. Then a longer, open hike in the sun, ending at the waterfall. Ribbon Falls itself is impressive and cool. You can climb up behind the falls for pictures or dunking (stay off the closed trails, however). Click on the picture for a movie of Ribbon Falls.
Clear Creek Trail
Starts about a half mile from the Ranch up the North Kaibab. Climbs back out of the Inner Gorge and thence along the Tonto Plateau into Clear Creek. The Creek is 10 miles one way, and a backcountry permit is required to camp therein. Most hikers just climb a mile up this trail to the Phantom Overlook.
What does this hike have to recommend it: A nice little climb up the Inner Gorge to loosen up those muscles for the climb out. Very nice views: unsurpassed, in fact. A neat trail build by the CCC with a little rock bench to sit upon and a couple of spots you can walk out onto for a nice view straight down onto the Black Bridge. Bring binoculars and spy on the happless hikers. After the first two miles, the trail is up on the Tonto level. Then it gets pretty Tontoish. No water until Clear Creek, except seasonal potholes in the first large drainage. Click on the picture for a video of the Phantom Overlook on the Clear Creek Trail.
Starts about a mile and a half from the Ranch up the North Kaibab. Wade Bright Angel Creek to get into the first side canyon on the left with a running stream. You must wade once in Phantom Creek. Very rough, all off trail, and do not enter if rain is eminent on the North Rim because the area is prone to flash flooding. Beautiful little waterfalls all along this canyon.
What does this hike have to recommend it: nice, isolated canyon. Nice little waterfalls. A lovely little area with carved rocks and water playing therein. Requires wading to get in and either wading or very agile rock scrambling to proceed. At one point you must climb a rather interesting scree area. At another you must wade, swim, or turn around.
Hike back down to the Colorado, cross one or the other of the bridges, hike along the connecting River Trail, and back along the remaining bridge. Nice views, very rugged cliffs, lots of mule droppings, but no one is perfect.
What does this hike have to recommend it: Nice views of the River. A fun time on the Silver Bridge. If you stare straight down into the water, you'll get vertigo (admittedly many people do not share my fondness for this pursuit). I especially like to hike down to the Silver Bridge when there is a moon and watch the moonlight on the river. I saw the brightest full moon in 130 years from the Silver Bridge. Lots of hikers are so wasted when they reach the river that they don't take the time to really look at the rocks, the River, the ruins, etc. This is your chance.