The South Bass Trailhead is located in a remote area about 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village.  Primary access is Kaibab National Forest road # 328.  This unpaved byway is not shown accurately on most topo maps, so a road map of the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest will be useful.  Forest Service road # 328 is rough and rocky and sections can become impassible during wet weather.  A high clearance vehicle is recommended, and four wheel drive might be required if the road is muddy.  Driving to the Bass Trailhead can offer almost as much adventure as the hike.

     Normal access to Forest Service road # 328 is via Rowe Well Road from Grand Canyon Village.  The park kennel is the best landmark.  Rowe Well Road goes from the west end of the Village to the kennel and continues south to the park boundary.  This road can be difficult to locate, so inquiring locally might save time.  F.S. # 328 can also be accessed from Highway 64 south of the park.  turn west at the last possible intersection (at the signs for Apache Riding Stables) before entering the park or obtain direction at the Tusayan District Ranger Station.

     Drive Rowe Well Road about three miles south to the park boundary.  A sign announces entry to Kaibab National Forest.  Stay left (southeast) at the first fork, cross the railroad tracks and continue another mile to the intersection with F.S. # 328.  Turn right (west) on # 328 toward Pasture Wash and the Bass Trail.  Drive about 16 miles to a gate that marks entry to the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the end of F.S. # 328.  The Havasupai Tribe charges a fee (usually $25) to cross their land and occasionally post a tribal member at the gate to collect.  This station is not staffed full time, and if nobody seems to be in evidence simply pass through the gate and continue about 1.7 miles to a four way intersection.  The road degenerates markedly at this junction.  Turn right (northeast) toward Pasture Wash, follow the road about 1.9 miles to the Forest Service boundary fence.  Continue another half a mile to the park boundary fence and cattle guard.  Please help keep cows out of the park by closing this gate after passing through.  Keep driving north to the ruins of the old Pasture Wash ranger station.  This outpost has not been staffed for many years and no assistance is available.  Maintain the northerly heading for 3.6 rutted, rocky miles to the rim.  Be forewarned: The road north of the four way intersection can be rendered impassible by deep mud during periods of heavy rain or snow melt.

A well defined descending traverse gets hikers through the Kaibab and Toroweap formations.  The trail passes an old fence and follows the rim of the Coconino a short distance north before starting down rocky switchbacks to the esplanade platform at the top of the Supai Formation.  The Royal Arch route leaves the Bass Trail and starts west where the trail comes to the Esplanade, the junction marked with a large cairn.  Stay right at this intersection and follow the Bass Trail north across the terrace east of Mount Huethawali.  The route traverses near the Supai rim for about a mile to a steep break that allows passage to the slopes below.  Dropping below the Esplanade, the trail rounds a promontory and descends the Supai ledges south toward the bed of Bass Canyon.  Once established in the drainage the route follows the bottom of Bass Canyon through the Redwall.  The path leaves the drainage and descends most of the Tonto Group rocks via the slopes east of and above the bed of Bass Canyon, eventually returning to the bottom of the canyon just above the Tonto Trail junction.  The Tonto Trail is marked by large cairns.  Below the Tonto the trail continues down Bass Canyon, crossing and re-crossing the drainage as it winds around various obstructions.  This section can be confusing, but the trail stays as close to the bed of the canyon as the terrain allows, so any disorientation shouldn't last long.  An impassable fall blocks access to the River at the mouth of Bass Canyon.  Watch for the place the trail leaves the bed of the drainage, going west a short distance to a large cairn marking a shortcut that allows passage down a rock dotted ravine to the Ross Wheeler and River below.  The ravine route can be cumbersome and this shortcut may be bypassed by continuing another couple minutes west until a gentler path descends to the River opposite the historic fire place.