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To best serve your needs please include details for your tour in the form below and we will call you at the time you indicate. Our private tour specialists are available by phone Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm Arizona Time and you are welcome to give us a call during those hours. If you are inquiring outside of those hours or prefer email communication, then the information you provide below will start the process right away.
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All-Star Grand Canyon Tours, Inc.
2420 N. 3rd St., Suite D
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
International/Local: 928-814-8887 or Toll Free: 800-940-0445
tours@allstargrandcanyontours.com

An Intro to Backpacking Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is America's 15th national park, established in 1919. The park today encompasses nearly 1.22 million acres (4,930 square kilometers) of land across north central and northeastern Arizona, USA. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours welcomes backpackers to this extraordinary place with guided backpacking trips, and private backpacking tours. We are a resource of information for backpacking Grand Canyon National Park. Please feel free to give us a call with any questions about backpacking Grand Canyon National Park or the Southwest.

*To view information click titles and content will expand*

South Rim

The South Rim of Grand Canyon generally refers to the developed 35 mile section along the northern edge of the Coconino Plateau, which includes the Grand Canyon Village, Hermit Road and East Rim Drive. Many of the backpacking trips, hiking tours, and daily sightseeing tours offered by All-Star Grand Canyon Tours depart from or tour the South Rim. The elevation along this section averages 6800' and receives upward of 90" of snow each winter. Despite this average winter precipitation, the South Rim is open and an excellent place to hike year round.

North Rim

The developed area of the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is a small, isolated village that is situated near the North Kaibab Trail. The North Rim needs to be accessible in order to hike the famous Rim to Rim route, or the Deer Creek and Thunder River trails. The North Rim's average elevation is 8,000' and it receives well over 100" of snowfall each year. Because of the annual snowfall, all facilities at the North Rim village shutdown in mid-October each year, and do not re-open until mid-May. The highway to North Rim becomes impassible with the snow that begins to accumulate in late fall--usually November. No matter when the snow falls, the highway is gated at the end of November each year. Once gated, it does not re-open until mid-May. This means that it is never possible for backpackers to access the North Rim trails by vehicle from the end of November until mid-May.

Weather Conditions

Month
South Rim
Inner Canyon
North Rim
Hi/ Low
Hi/ Low
Hi/ Low
January
41/ 19
62/ 37
37/ 16
February
45/ 18
60/ 35
39/ 18
March
53/ 26
72/ 47
44/ 21
April
60/ 34
80/ 58
59/ 23
May
70/ 40
91/ 64
62/ 34
June
76/ 54
105/ 75
73/ 40
July
80/ 60
107/ 77
77/ 46
August
80/ 54
110/ 74
75/ 45
September
74/ 48
98/ 67
69/ 39
October
62/ 35
85/ 59
59/ 31
November
50/ 28
69/ 45
46/ 24
December
42/ 20
64/ 38
40/ 20

Grand Canyon is the greatest of the deep stone canyons of the Colorado Plateau; a land of extremes, especially when related to temperatures. When planning a backpacking or hiking trip in Grand Canyon National park, temperatures must be considered. The Inner Canyon can get hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit mid summer, and the South and North Rims differ so greatly in temperature they are two different ecosystems. From rim to river, the elevation change averages 5,000 feet and the temperature difference can be as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. This accounts for a wide variation in weather and temperature when Backpacking Grand Canyon National Park. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours is owned and staffed by experienced, knowledgeable, passionate, and professional backpacking guides. We provide season appropriate gear and itineraries for our guided backpacking trips.

Permitting

Grand Canyon Backpacking Permit Process

All-Star Grand Canyon Tours provides both private backpacking trips and group backpacking trips to Grand Canyon National Park.

Every overnight camping/backpacking trip requires a permit from the appropriate management agency. See below for specific information regarding backpacking permits in Grand Canyon National Park. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours will take care of all the details necessary to apply for a permit, but we provide the following information so our guests can better understand the process.

The National Park Service manages overnight use throughout Grand Canyon National Park by requiring permits for all overnight users. This means that any visitor who wants to take part in a backpacking trip into Grand Canyon must first acquire a permit, issued by the National Park Service. This is true for private backpacking trips or guided commercial tours. The National Park Service has limits on the number of overnight visitors allowed in any particular campground or camping area inside of Grand Canyon. Since Grand Canyon is an extremely popular backcountry destination, this usually creates intense competition for the most popular areas and seasons in the park.

To increase chances of securing permits for guests, All-Star always recommends less crowded areas of Grand Canyon. The most sought-after campgrounds are those along the three "corridor trails": Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and North Kaibab Trail. These corridor trails, aside from being the most popular with dayhikers and backpackers, are also the only trails that can be combined for the classic "Rim-to-Rim" hike. The most popular seasons for backpacking at Grand Canyon National Park are spring (March through May) and fall (September and October). Summer (June through August) is by far the busiest tourist season at Grand Canyon, but the extreme temperatures inside of the Canyon (regularly over 110 F) are not ideal conditions for backpacking tours. Winter (November through February) is generally the easiest season to secure a permit for a tour almost anywhere in the park.

Grand Canyon National Park permits are limited to 6 people (small group) and 11 people (large group), and there is generally much more availability for small groups than large groups. Permits become available four months in advance, and applications for permits are accepted via fax or in person. Because of the common high demand for backpacking permits, it is always best to submit these permit applications at the earliest possible opportunity--which is the first of the month, four months prior to the proposed month for the tour. See the table below for the permit application schedule:


Hikes during the month of: Earliest Date for Permit Request: Itinerary should to be finalized & down payment made by:
January September 1 August 15th
February October 1 September 15th
March November 1 October 15th
April December 1 November 15th
May January 1 December 15th
June February 1 January 15th
July March 1 February 15th
August April 1 March 15th
September May 1 April 15th
October June 1 May 15th
November July 1 June 15th
December August 1 July 15th

When it comes to backpacking permits for Grand Canyon National Park, there is no preferential treatment for commercial tour companies over private applicants. All applications received are treated equally. As a result, All-Star Grand Canyon Tours can never guarantee a particular itinerary, although we will always do everything we can to secure a permit that guests will be pleased with.

All-Star Grand Canyon Tours can also apply for backpacking permits that are less than four months in the future. These "short notice" permit applications however, are far less likely to be successful, as most of the availability for campgrounds and campsites may already be taken. In these cases, All-Star encourages potential guests to consider joining an existing group backpacking tour, or consider suitable second and third choices for tour dates and itineraries.

In order to submit a backpacking permit application on behalf of potential guests, All-Star requires the following information:

  • Tentative number of guests in the group
  • Names, addresses, phone and e-mail information for each member of the group
  • Tour deposit ($100 per person for group tours, $500 per group for private tours)
  • For more information on our backpacking tour terms and conditions, click here.

Grand Canyon Trails

All-Star Grand Canyon Tours leads backpacking tours in Grand Canyon in a group setting or as a fully customizable private tour. We would love to design a tour just for you. Some of the trails we use are listed below. Click the trail names below to expand details about that particular trail. There are also links to detailed histories and National Park service brochures about each trail. This list is not exhaustive, so if a place you want to go is not listed... please inquire!

We also have an interactive Google map with many of the trails marked so you can look at them via satellite imagery or topographical maps.

Corridor Trails

The "Big Three" trails of the main corridor are regularly and intensively maintained. This is in part to accommodate the high concentration of visitors to the National Park, and to meet standards for regular mule traffic. These trails are clearly defined with a generally smoother tread. They are however, still steep and rugged, and may be the most difficult hiking that many people will ever experience

Bright Angel

The Bright Angel Trail is Grand Canyon's most popular hiking trail. One reason for this is because its beginning is located right in the Village at South Rim. What most people do not realize is that the Village is there because of the trail, rather than the other way around.

Today's Bright Angel Trail is a modern and well-maintained version of a route that has been used by humans for thousands of years to access wild game, perennial water, and arable land within the Canyon, and in fact, Havasupai families made their homes at the area known as Indian Garden as recently as the 1920s.

Since the early days of Grand Canyon tourism, when local legends like Pete Berry and Ralph Cameron were getting their start, the Bright Angel has been used as a major thoroughfare, leading hikers and mule-riders into the Canyon to places like Indian Garden and Phantom Ranch. The tourism potential of the Bright Angel is what lured the Santa Fe Railroad, and ultimately led to development of the Grand Canyon Village into the tourist destination it is today.

For more information visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_brightangeltrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Bright_Angel_Trail.pdf

South Kaibab

The South Kaibab Trail (originally referred to as the Yaki Trail or Tillotson's Trail), is one of the three well-maintained corridor trails at Grand Canyon National Park. It is a popular and famous trail, because of the overwhelming views available almost throughout its length and the "ridge walk" route that it follows down to the Colorado River.

The South Kaibab is different from almost all other established trails at the Canyon, in that it is not a modern version of ancient Canyon routes. Rather, this unique trail is the product of the years-long power struggle between the National Park Service and Ralph Cameron, a legendary local business entrepreneur.

Since his prospecting days, Cameron held control of the Bright Angel Trail, which he developed into the only trail that offered access to the bottom of the Canyon, the Colorado River, and the burgeoning tourist destination that came to be known as Phantom Ranch. After a number of failed attempts to wrest that control away from Cameron, the Park Service eventually decided to simply bypass the Bright Angel and construct its own Rim-to-River path just a few miles to the east.

Today, the South Kaibab is a major thoroughfare for hikers and mule-riders.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_southkaibabtrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/South_Kaibab_Trail.pdf

North Kaibab

The North Kaibab Trail, as the third corridor trail and the only maintained trail that leads from the North Rim to the Colorado River, is a perennial favorite because of its varied scenery and dramatic construction.

Around the same time as the completion of the South Kaibab Trail in 1925, the National Park Service, in the interest of increasing tourist development and consolidating their influence over that area of the Canyon, began construction on what is now the North Kaibab Trail. This trail replaced what locals called the "Old Bright Angel" Trail, which is not at all related to today's South Rim Bright Angel Trail, but was referred to as such because it followed the Bright Angel Fault and Bright Angel Creek from the North Rim to the Colorado River. This old trail was never really formalized or fully constructed, and involved miles of nightmarish bushwhacking and nearly 100 stream crossings.

Today's North Kaibab Trail begins near the North Rim Lodge, ranger station, and other facilities located at Bright Angel Point. The trail descends through Roaring Springs Canyon, past the water source for North and South Rim facilities, down Bright Angel Canyon, and ultimately terminating at Phantom Ranch. The Black Bridge and Silver Bridge then make it possible to easily cross the Colorado River and continue on the South Kaibab or Bright Angel Trail for completion of a Rim-to-Rim trip.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_northkaibabtrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/North_Kaibab_Trail.pdf

Threshold & Primitive Trails

Threshold trails have been occasionally improved and maintained in the past and have simply fallen into some degree of disrepair over time. The trails are still generally well-defined, but with more rocky/rough/narrow tread that is sometimes steeper than that of a corridor trail.

Primative trails are generally remote, deserted, and have seen very little maintenance or improvement since the prospector days of the late 19th century. As a result, they are often poorly defined, have lose footing, and include sections that can be extremely steep, rough, exposed, or otherwise very difficult.

Hermit

The Hermit trail was once the finest and most modern example of trail design and construction anywhere in the Grand Canyon. Like almost every designated trail in Grand Canyon, the Hermit generally follows ancient routes used by wildlife and Native Americans to access water, wild game, and/or arable land.

Financed by the Santa Fe Railway to access the interior of the Canyon and a planned commercial tourist camp, the Hermit trail exhibits thoughtful planning and excellent craftsmanship (most notably along the Coconino switchbacks). Much of this quality construction has held up extremely well, particularly considering that the trail has not been comprehensively maintained since it was abandoned by the Santa Fe more than 80 years ago.

Today, the Hermit is a popular alternative to the more heavily-traveled corridor trails, although it is a much more rugged and challenging trail than any of those three maintained trails.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_hermittrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Hermit_Trail.pdf

Grandview

The Grandview trail is a perennial favorite for Canyon regulars, and an enduring testament to the toughness of the miner, tourism entrepreneur, and local legend Peter Berry. This trail is similar to the South Kaibab in that it does not follow preexisting and prehistoric routes. However, instead of having major resources at their disposal like the Park Service building the South Kaibab trail, Pete Berry and his early mining partners scratched out, blasted out, and built up a trail where craftsmanship and bold routing will still grab a hiker's attention today.

Originally intended only as access to the mining claims that yielded the rich copper veins of the Last Chance Mine, the Grandview soon became something of a tourist attraction where Berry and other miners doubled as tour guides. The constant flow of donkeys laden with ore sacks was somewhat displaced by tourist traffic, until the whole area was mostly abandoned around 1913.

Today's Grandview has seen some replacement and maintenance by the Park Service, but still retains the very rugged and challenging characteristics from its mining origins.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_grandviewtrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Grandview_Trail.pdf

New Hance

The New Hance is considered by many sources to be the most difficult established South Rim trail at Grand Canyon. "Captain" John Hance, after giving up on his washout-prone "old" Hance trail, constructed this "new" trail around 1894. By 1907, Hance had shifted his focus to the tourism traffic at the new Grand Canyon South Rim Village further to the west, where he shared his unique mix of experiences and fabrications that made him such an enduring historical figure. His trail was slowly abandoned over the next several years, and has hardly ever seen any Park Service maintenance at all.

Today, the New Hance is an exercise in mental toughness, physical strength, and keen attentiveness, plunging 4,500 feet (1,370 m) in less than 7 miles (11 km) from Rim to River. Hikers proceed with caution.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_newhancetrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/New_Hance_Trail.pdf

Tanner

Named for the prospector and Mormon scout Seth Tanner, this trail is the easternmost established South Rim trail at Grand Canyon. At nearly ten miles (16 km) in length, it is also the longest established Rim to River trail. With its lack of a single water source for the entire length and its deteriorated and unmaintained condition, it is recommended for experienced backpackers only.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_tannertrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Tanner_Trail.pdf

Boucher

This trail is one of a number of routes improved and maintained for a time by the Hermit himself -- Louis Boucher. Boucher, an immigrant from Quebec, was one of the early prospectors at Grand Canyon. All things "hermit" at the South Rim of Grand Canyon (Hermit trail, Hermit Creek, Hermit's Rest, etc.) are named for him, even though he never referred to himself as such. Throughout his time at Grand Canyon as both prospector and tourist entrepreneur, Boucher had dealings with numerous tourists and regional historic figures like Daniel Hogan, the Cameron and Kolb brothers and Pete Berry. Today's Boucher trail branches off of the modern Hermit trail, but is in an even worse unmaintained condition.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_bouchertrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Boucher_Trail.pdf

South Bass

William Wallace Bass is a memorable historic Grand Canyon figure, not only because of his very cool name, but also because he was one of the most prolific trail builders of the prospecting and early tourism era at Grand Canyon. His North and South Bass trails, connected by a suspended cable crossing that he built over the Colorado River, offered the very first Rim-to-Rim trail passage at the Canyon. Today, the South Bass has benefited from rehabilitation and some re-routing of significant stretches by the Park Service. However, it is still a less popular trail because of its ruggedness and difficulty, and because of its remote location several miles west of Hermit's Rest.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_southbasstrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/South_Bass_Trail.pdf

Tonto

The Tonto trail is the longest trail within Grand Canyon by far, slithering and contouring, mostly atop the Tonto Platform, for over 80 miles. The Tonto is the modern homogenized version of routes that prehistoric peoples used to travel long lateral distances within the Canyon. The broad Tonto Platform, whose foundation is the relatively resistant Tapeats Sandstone, provided this thoroughfare for early humans, and later for livestock, and then for touring visitors. Today's Tonto trail is typically utilized as a connector between any of the South Rim's Rim-to-River trails, allowing for a variety of "loop" itineraries that can last for several days.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_tontotrail.html

North Bass

As with most established trails that extend from the North Rim to the Colorado River, the North Bass is much longer than almost any South Rim trail. This is due primarily to the tilt and attendant erosion of the geologic strata in this area of the Colorado Plateau. In other words, tributaries on the north side of the River are longer than those on the south side, and therefore, the trails are too.

After Bill Bass completed his South Bass trail in the late 1890s, he decided to extend his route all the way to the North Rim. This northern extension, connected to his South Bass trail by a suspended cable crossing over the Colorado River, offered the very first Rim-to-Rim trail passage at the Canyon. A Rim-to-Rim is no longer possible here, as the cable has since been dismantled. Despite receiving attention from Park Service trail crews in recent years, the North Bass is still extremely rugged, difficult, and long. For strong and experienced backpackers only.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_northbasstrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/North_Bass_Trail.pdf

Thunder River

The Thunder River trail is a surprisingly modern addition to the Grand Canyon landscape, although it does of course, trace preexisting routes that have been used for thousands of years. The route was exploited by Mormon cattlemen beginning in the 1870s, but only formally constructed by Park Service trail crews and completed in the late 1930s. The Thunder River trail has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, mostly because of the incredible features revealed to visitors at Deer Creek and Thunder River itself. However the trail's difficulty, length, lack of water, and remoteness discourage many would-be attempts.

For more information, visit:

http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/sites_rimtoriverandinnercanyon_thunderrivertrail.html

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Thunder_River_Trail.pdf

Nankoweap

Commissioned for construction by Major John Wesley Powell himself in the 1880s, the Nankoweap is officially recognized as the most difficult designated trail at Grand Canyon. This remote trail in the eastern Grand Canyon has it all: fascinating geology and history ... but also lack of water, mandatory route-finding, perceived exposure, actual dangerous exposure, extreme steepness of the trail, and incredible elevation loss and overall trail length. For strong and experienced backpackers only.

For more information:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/Nankoweap_Trail.pdf



Our Current Group Backpacking Trips

Plan Ahead! $100 off per person if you book five months in advance!

Rim To Rim Group Backpacking Tour

Level 3: Immersive - Appropriate for athletic families with older kids (teens and above), as well as backpackers with some experience and stamina. Level 3 trips will typically be longer mileage, thus covering more of the Canyon landscape and giving the guest a broader overall experience. These trips will involve mostly well-maintained, but also some unmaintained trails.

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Classic route, Colorado River access, Historic landmarks, Family-friendly, Desert springs, No backtracking
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Price: $1250 per personLength: 4 daysDifficulty: Level 3Distance: 23.5mi/37.8kmLearn MoreView Dates

Click a start date to reserve it now!

2017
2018May 15May 16May 17May 20May 25May 30June 04June 09June 14June 19June 24June 29July 04July 09July 14July 19July 24July 29August 03August 08August 13August 18August 23August 28September 02September 07September 12September 17September 22September 27October 02October 07October 12October 17
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Rim To Rim Group Backpacking Tour

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 23.5 miles (37.8 km). Elevation loss / gain: -5,761’ / +4,380’ (-1,756 m / +1,336 m)

Day 1: North Rim to Cottonwood campground, via North Kaibab trail. 6.8 miles (10.9 km), -4,161’ (-1,268 m), Difficult. Backpackers begin their trip very early in Flagstaff, and travel to the North Kaibab trailhead on the North Rim of Grand Canyon. The steep hike on the upper section of the North Kaibab is highlighted by beautifully streaked Coconino Sandstone, a spectacular passage through the Redwall Limestone, and a view of Roaring Springs as it spills out of its caverns in the Muav Limestone. The fantastic views continue as backpackers follow the creek downhill to the first night's stay and an amazing dinner at Cottonwood campground. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Supai Tunnel and Pumphouse Residence. At camp: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available.

Day 2: Cottonwood campground to Bright Angel campground, via North Kaibab trail. 7.2 miles (11.6 km), -1,600’ (-488 m), Strenuous. After breakfast in camp, backpackers will pack up and continue toward Bright Angel campground, Phantom Ranch, and the Colorado River. Throughout the day, hikers enjoy a gentle downhill grade, and have the opportunity to rest along the way at the famous Ribbon Falls. The last portion of the day's hike is punctuated by a dramatic walk into the Inner Gorge, where 1.7 billion-year-old Vishnu Complex metamorphic rock towers above the trail on both sides. En route: water available in Bright Angel Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available. At camp: potable tap water and restrooms available.

Day 3: Bright Angel campground to Indian Garden campground, via River trail and Bright Angel trail. 4.7 miles (7.6 km), +1,320’ (+403 m), Strenuous. After another great breakfast, backpackers will again pack up and cross the River on one of the Park's two bridges, and then begin the day's uphill hike. The trail will lead over riverside sand dunes and up unique corkscrew switchbacks to a hanging valley oasis at Indian Garden. This campground offers day hike opportunities, as well as simple, relaxing shade, picnic tables and lush greenery. Ask your guide for more information. En route: water available in Pipe Creek and Garden Creek below Indian Garden, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; enclosed composting toilets available at River Resthouse. At camp: potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available.

Day 4: Indian Garden campground to Grand Canyon Village, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), +3,060’ (+933 m), Strenuous. On the last day, backpackers encounter a challenging steady uphill hike out to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Three Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse.

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Indian Gardens 3 Day

Level 1: Beginner - Appropriate for families with kids, beginner backpackers, etc. Level 1 trips are the most “accessible” backpacking itineraries at Grand Canyon, with low mileages, low-key side hike options, and plenty of opportunity for relaxation. These trips will strictly involve well-maintained corridor trails.

X
Classic route and campground, 360 degree views, Colorado River access, Family-friendly, Kid-friendly, Desert springs
Click for more info
Price: $950 per personLength: 3 daysDifficulty: Level 1Distance: 9.6mi/15.4kmLearn MoreView Dates

Click a start date to reserve it now!

2017
2018May 04May 12May 20May 28June 05June 13June 21June 29July 07July 15July 23July 31August 08August 16August 24September 01September 09September 17September 25October 03October 11October 19October 27November 04November 13December 01December 10December 19December 28
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Indian Gardens 3 Day

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 9.6 miles (15.4 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,380’ / +4,380’ (-1,336 m / +1,336 m).

Day 1: Grand Canyon Village to Indian Garden campground, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), -3,060’ (-933 m), Strenuous. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive into Grand Canyon Village to the trailhead. The Bright Angel Trail engages hikers immediately with ancient pictographs, stunning geology, and outstanding views. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, or at Indian Garden campground after the day's hike is complete. From Indian Garden, there are several options for day hiking, including a sunset dinner option at Plateau Point, overlooking the Colorado River. Ask your guide for more information. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse and Three Mile Resthouse. At camp: potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available.

Day 2: Indian Garden to Colorado River, via Bright Angel trail. One way: 3.2 miles (5.2 km), -1,320’ (-403 m), Strenuous. Following breakfast, ambitious hikers can head down the trail to the Colorado River, and possibly to Phantom Ranch (an additional 1.6 miles / 2.6km), known for its cold lemonade and shady cottonwood trees. This hike follows breathtaking sections of Garden Creek, Pipe Creek, and the Inner Gorge of Grand Canyon. After lunch and relaxation, hikers retrace their steps back up to Indian Garden, where dinner can be enjoyed again at Plateau Point or in camp. En route: water available in Garden Creek and Pipe Creek below Indian Garden, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; potable tap water available at Phantom Ranch; enclosed composting toilets available at River Resthouse and restrooms available at Phantom Ranch.

Day 3: Indian Garden campground to Grand Canyon Village, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), +3,060’ (+933 m), Strenuous. On the exit day, backpackers enjoy another hearty breakfast and a steady uphill hike out to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. At the top, our groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Three Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse.

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Indian Gardens 2 Day

Level 1: Beginner - Appropriate for families with kids, beginner backpackers, etc. Level 1 trips are the most “accessible” backpacking itineraries at Grand Canyon, with low mileages, low-key side hike options, and plenty of opportunity for relaxation. These trips will strictly involve well-maintained corridor trails.

X
Classic route and campground, 360 degree views, Family-friendly, Kid-friendly, Desert springs
Click for more info
Price: $750 per personLength: 2 daysDifficulty: Level 1Distance: 9.6mi/15.4kmLearn MoreView Dates

Click a start date to reserve it now!

2017
Hide

Indian Gardens 2 Day

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 9.6 miles (15.4 km). Elevation loss / gain: -3,060’ / +3,060’ (-933 m / +933 m).

Day 1: Grand Canyon Village to Indian Garden campground, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), -3,060’ (-933 m), Strenuous. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive into Grand Canyon Village to the trailhead. The Bright Angel trail engages hikers immediately with ancient pictographs, stunning geology, and outstanding views. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, or at Indian Garden campground after the day's hike is complete. From Indian Garden, there are several options for day hiking, including a sunset dinner option at Plateau Point, overlooking the Colorado River. Ask your guide for more information. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse and Three Mile Resthouse. At camp: potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available.

Day 2: Indian Garden to Grand Canyon Village, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), +3,060’ (+933 m), Strenuous. On the exit day, backpackers enjoy breakfast at camp, and then retrace their steps for a steady uphill hike out to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Three Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse.

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South Kaibab and Bright Angel Loop

Level 3: Immersive - Appropriate for athletic families with older kids (teens and above), as well as backpackers with some experience and stamina. Level 3 trips will typically be longer mileage, thus covering more of the Canyon landscape and giving the guest a broader overall experience. These trips will involve mostly well-maintained, but also some unmaintained trails.

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Classic route and campgrounds, Colorado River access, Historic landmarks, 360 degree views, Family-friendly, Desert springs, No backtracking
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Price: $950 per personLength: 3 daysDifficulty: Level 3Distance: 20.9mi/33.6kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018April 24May 06May 12May 18May 24May 30June 05June 11June 17June 23June 29July 05July 11July 17July 23July 29August 04August 10August 16August 22August 28September 03September 09September 15September 21September 27October 03October 09October 15October 21October 27November 02November 09November 16November 24December 01December 08December 15December 29
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South Kaibab and Bright Angel Loop

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 16.5 miles (26.6 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,780’ / +4,380’ (-1,457 m / +1,336 m)

Day 1: South Rim to Bright Angel campground, via South Kaibab trail. 7.0 miles (11.3 km), -4,780’ (-1,457 m), Difficult. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive from Flagstaff to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. The South Kaibab trail is unique in terms of its intensive construction, ridge-top views, and passage through rare Grand Canyon Supergroup rock layers. Lunch will be enjoyed along the trail. After the demanding hike to the bottom of the Canyon, guests can soak in Bright Angel Creek, visit the banks of the Colorado River, or enjoy a cold drink at the famous Phantom Ranch. En route: no water available; enclosed composting toilets available at Cedar Ridge and the Tipoff. At camp: potable tap water and restrooms available.

Day 2: Bright Angel campground to Indian Garden campground, via River trail and Bright Angel trail. 4.7 miles (7.6 km), +1,320’ (+403 m), Strenuous. After a great breakfast, backpackers will pack up and re-cross the River, then begin the day's hike. Backpackers will travel along riverside sand dunes and up unique corkscrew switchbacks to a hanging valley oasis at Indian Garden. This campground offers day hike opportunities, as well as simple, relaxing shade, picnic tables and lush greenery. Ask your guide for more information. En route: water available in Pipe Creek and Garden Creek below Indian Garden, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; enclosed composting toilets available at River Resthouse. At camp: potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available.

Day 3: Indian Garden campground to Grand Canyon Village, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), +3,060’ (+933 m), Strenuous. On the last day, backpackers encounter a challenging steady uphill hike out to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. This upper section of the Bright Angel trail treats hikers to outstanding geological vistas and ancient pictographs. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Three Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse.

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Horshoe Mesa 2 Day

Level 2: Beginner Backcountry - Appropriate for more adventurous families and more active beginner backpackers. Level 2 trips still involve manageable daily mileage, but will be more ambitious overall itineraries, with opportunity for more aggressive side hiking and a little less relaxation. These trips will involve mostly well-maintained, but also some unmaintained trails.

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Canyon solitude, 360 degree views, Historic landmarks, Cave exploration, Family-friendly
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Price: $750 per personLength: 2 daysDifficulty: Level 2Distance: 6.4mi /10.3kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018March 25May 01May 07May 13May 19May 25May 31September 15September 21September 27October 03October 09October 15October 21October 27November 02November 09November 16November 24December 01December 08December 15December 29
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Horshoe Mesa 2 Day

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 6.2 miles (10.0 km). Elevation loss / gain: -2,500’ / +2,500’ (-762 m / +762 m).

Day 1: Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa, via Grandview trail. 3.1 miles (5.0 km), -2,500’ (-762 m), Difficult. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive from Flagstaff to Grandview Point on the South Rim. The Grandview trail is a rugged yet intimate historic trail that is instantly fascinating with its steepness and exposure. The hike to Horseshoe Mesa is filled with scenic traverses, punctuated by interesting passages through the Toroweap and Coconino layers. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, or after the backpacking group reaches the campsite. From Horseshoe Mesa camp, there are opportunities to explore remnants of the Last Chance Mine, the Cave of the Domes, or the east or west arms of the Mesa itself. In the evening, expect an amazing dinner, brilliant sunset and an unobstructed dome of stars. En route: no water or toilets available. At camp: no water immediately available, composting toilets available.

Day 2: Horseshoe Mesa to Grandview Point, via Grandview trail. 3.1 miles (5.0 km), +2,500’ (+762 m), Difficult. On this exit day, backpackers enjoy breakfast at camp and the possibility of one more side excursion (dependent upon the season) before retracing their steps back to Grandview Point. Although Horseshoe Mesa is a dry camp, guides will see that there is plenty of drinking water available at camp and on the hike out. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: no water or toilets available.

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Grandview to South Kaibab Remote Loop

Level 5: Advanced Backcountry - Appropriate for aggressive athletes and seasoned backpackers only. Level 5 trips involve mid to high daily mileages on the most difficult designated trails in Grand Canyon. High levels of attentiveness, endurance, fitness, strength, and overall athleticism are required.

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Canyon solitude, Colorado River access, Challenging terrain, Desert springs, No backtracking
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Price: $1150 per personLength: 4 daysDifficulty: Level 5Distance: 28.7mi/46kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018September 21October 21December 18
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Grandview to South Kaibab Remote Loop

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Mileages

  • Grandview Point to Cottonwood Creek: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
  • Cottonwood Creek to Grapevine Creek: 5.5 miles (8.8 km)
  • Grapevine Creek to Lone Tree Canyon: 8.7 miles (14 km)
  • Lone Tree Canyon to Cremation Creek: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)
  • Cremation Creek to South Kaibab Trailhead: 6.5 (10.4 km)
  • Grandview Point to Kaibab Trailhead: 28.7 miles (46 km)

Day 1: Backpackers begin their tour with a drive to Grandview Point on the South Rim. The 4.5 mile (7.2km) hike includes the historic and rugged Grandview Trail. The immediate steepness and exposure of this trail is a good introduction for this remote multi-day hike. The day's hike to Cottonwood Creek is filled with scenic traverses, broad views, and interesting passages through the Coconino and Redwall layers. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, at Horseshoe Mesa, or after the group reaches the camp area. From Cottonwood camp, guests can enjoy a stroll downstream, or simply relax and enjoy the trickling creek, the quiet of the Canyon, and an amazing dinner. Note: There are restrooms located at the trailhead and at Horseshoe Mesa only.

Day 2: After breakfast, this backpacking trip continues along the Tonto Trail for 5.5 miles (8.8km) to Grapevine Creek. This traverse is a remote, scenic, mostly flat hike atop the Tonto Platform, which rises 1000 feet above the Colorado River. It is also a stretch of trail that does not offer much shade for summertime hikers. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, and there is an optional side hike to the Colorado River. This side hike is an adventurous 1.5 mile (2.4km) descent through 1,200 vertical feet of Vishnu Complex metamorphic rock to the south bank of the river. From Grapevine camp, hikers can again enjoy the interesting canyon features downstream, or relax in Canyon solitude in anticipation of another amazing night sky. Note: There are no designated restrooms available on this day.

Day 3: Backpackers will pack up and continue along the Tonto Trail into deeper desert solitude en route to Lonetree Canyon. The 8.7 mile (14km) hike is highlighted by several expansive views up and down the Grand Canyon, and overlooking the Colorado River. Again, this section of Tonto Trail offers very little shade for summertime hikers. At Lonetree camp, your guide will serve you another outstanding dinner, and dig to ensure a camp water supply. Note: There are no designated restrooms available on this day.

Day 4: On this last day, hikers enjoy another hearty breakfast and a 10 mile (16km) hike out to the South Rim. After the first 5.6 miles on the Tonto Trail, hikers rejoin civilization at the Tipoff, where the Tonto Trail meets the frequently traveled South Kaibab Trail. From that point, it is a steady uphill 4.4 mile (7.1km) hike to the trailhead, passing well-known waypoints such as Cedar Ridge and Skeleton Point. At the top, our groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. you'll then have the opportunity to visit the historic El Tovar for a refreshment before heading back to Flagstaff. Note: There are restrooms located at the Tipoff and Cedar Ridge.

Note: To ease the trip you may request an additional person to help carry the weight at an additional cost of $300.00 per day.

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Hermit to Monument Creek

Level 4: Immersive Backcountry - Appropriate for adult athletes and backpackers with substantial experience and endurance. Level 4 trips will involve longer daily mileages and deeper travel into Grand Canyon’s backcountry. These longer distances will be traveled on unmaintained trails, which creates a more “intense” overall experience, with a high demand for physical and mental resolve.

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Canyon solitude, Colorado River access, Challenging distances, Desert springs
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Price: $950 per personLength: 3 daysDifficulty: Level 4Distance: 18.6mi/30kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018May 08May 18September 20September 30October 10October 20October 30November 10December 02December 13
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Hermit to Monument Creek

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 18.6 miles (30 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,310’ / +4,310’ (-1,314 m / +1,314 m)

Day 1: Hermit’s Rest to Monument Creek campsite, via Hermit and Tonto trails. 9.3 miles (15 km), -3,645’ (-1,111 m), Very Difficult. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive from Flagstaff to Hermit's Rest on the South Rim. The first 7 miles (11.3km) of the hike down the Hermit Trail are full of steep descents, rugged traverses, and ever-expanding views on the way to the Tonto trail junction. From here, backpackers turn east and travel an additional 2.3 miles (3.7km) into Monument Creek, past the towering stone spire from which the drainage gets its name. Lunch will be served along the trail. Arriving at Monument camp, hikers can enjoy a well-deserved rest, an excellent dinner, and incredible night skies. En route: water available in Santa Maria Spring, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available. At camp: water available in Monument Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking, composting toilets available.

Day 2: Monument Creek campsite to Granite Rapid, Colorado River, via Monument route. One way: 1.6 miles (2.6 km), -665’ (-203 m), Moderate. After a leisurely breakfast, guests will want to explore the beautiful sculpted metamorphic stone downstream from camp, and continue on the hike to the mighty Colorado River. Once at the River, there is plenty of time to relax on the beach, enjoy lunch, and watch the surging and swirling whitewater of Granite Rapid. Back at camp for the evening, expect another amazing dinner and more starry skies. En route: water available in Monument Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available.

Day 3: Monument Creek campsite to Hermit’s Rest, via Tonto and Hermit trails. 9.3 miles (15 km), +3,645’ (+1,111 m), Very Difficult. After an early breakfast, backpackers retrace the 2.3 miles (3.7km) back to the Hermit Trail. From this point, it is a steady, uphill hike back to the trailhead, passing the already-familiar Cathedral Stairs, Supai traverse, and Coconino switchbacks. At the top, our groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: water available at Santa Maria Spring, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available.

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New Hance / Grandview 3 Day

Level 5: Advanced Backcountry - Appropriate for aggressive athletes and seasoned backpackers only. Level 5 trips involve mid to high daily mileages on the most difficult designated trails in Grand Canyon. High levels of attentiveness, endurance, fitness, strength, and overall athleticism are required.

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Canyon solitude, Colorado River access, Challenging terrain, Desert springs, No backtracking
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Price: $950 per personLength: 3 daysDifficulty: Level 5Distance: 7.9mi/28.8kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018May 08October 08November 08December 08
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New Hance / Grandview 3 Day

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 17.9 miles (28.8 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,422’ / +4,840’ (-1,349 m / +1,475 m)

Day 1: South Rim to Hance Rapid, Colorado River, via New Hance trail. 6.5 miles (10.5 km), -4,422’ (-1,349 m), Very Difficult. Backpackers will start their day in Flagstaff and travel to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. After a short, calm meander through the forest, the New Hance abruptly plunges off the Rim. The infamous steepness and ruggedness rarely relents throughout the 6.5 mile (10.5km) descent to the Colorado River. However, this trail treats hikers to rare views, ancient fossils, and phenomenal geology in lower Red Canyon. Lunch will be served along the trail. Arriving at camp, backpackers can enjoy a well-deserved rest, the rumble of the Colorado River, and incredible night skies. En route: water available in Red Canyon (intermittent), but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available. At camp: water available in the Colorado River, but must be filtered or treated before drinking, no toilets available.

Day 2: Hance Rapid campsite to Hance Creek campsite, via Tonto trail. 6.5 miles (10.5 km), +1,140’ (+348 m), Difficult. After breakfast, backpackers will begin the day’s hike, a gradual westward climb on this easternmost section of the lengthy Tonto trail. This remote, sometimes exciting ascending traverse offers the rare opportunity to witness the transition from Grand Canyon Supergroup into much younger Tonto Group formations. Once on top of the Tonto Platform, backpackers enjoy wide views as they turn southward into the Hance Creek drainage. En route: no water or toilets available. At camp: water available in Hance Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking, no toilets available.

Day 3: Hance Creek campsite to Grandview Point, via Tonto, Grandview extension and Grandview trails. 5.0 miles (8.1 km), +3,700’ (+1,127 m), Very Difficult. On this exit day, backpackers enjoy breakfast at camp, and then a steep 1.9 mile (3.1km) climb up to Horseshoe Mesa. From the Mesa, backpackers will travel on the Grandview trail proper for the final 3.1 miles (5.0km) to Grandview Point and the end of the journey. At the top, our groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: water available at Page Spring, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; composting toilets available at Horseshoe Mesa.

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Bright Angel / Hermit Trail 4 Day

Level 4: Immersive Backcountry - Appropriate for adult athletes and backpackers with substantial experience and endurance. Level 4 trips will involve longer daily mileages and deeper travel into Grand Canyon’s backcountry. These longer distances will be traveled on unmaintained trails, which creates a more “intense” overall experience, with a high demand for physical and mental resolve.

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Canyon solitude, Colorado River access, Challenging distances, Desert springs, No backtracking
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Price: $1150 per personLength: 4 daysDifficulty: Level 4Distance: 24.8mi/39.9kmLearn MoreView Dates

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2017
2018May 01May 15September 20October 01October 15November 01November 15December 01December 15
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Bright Angel / Hermit Trail 4 Day

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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 24.8 miles (39.9 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,530’ / +4,310’ (-1,382 m / +1,314 m)

Day 1: Grand Canyon Village to Horn Creek campsite, via Bright Angel and Tonto trails. 7.3 miles (11.7 km), -3,310’ (-1,009 m), Strenuous. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Village and the trailhead. The Bright Angel trail engages hikers immediately with ancient pictographs, stunning geology, and outstanding views. Lunch can be enjoyed at Indian Garden after the first 4.8 miles (7.7km) are complete. From Indian Garden, backpackers will head west on the Tonto trail for another 2.5 miles (4.0km) to the very quiet Horn Creek. In the evening, expect an amazing dinner and a mesmerizing night sky. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse and Three Mile Resthouse; year-round potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available at Indian Garden. At camp: no water available; composting toilet available.

Day 2: Horn Creek campsite to Monument Creek campsite, via Tonto trail. 8.2 miles (13.2 km), -555’ (-169 m), Difficult. After breakfast in camp, backpackers will pack up and continue west. This section of Tonto trail is a phenomenal hike on the Tonto Platform with overwhelming inner Canyon views throughout. En route: water available at Salt Creek (intermittent) and Cedar Spring (intermittent), but must be filtered or treated before drinking; composting toilet available at Salt Creek. At camp: water available in Monument Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; composting toilets available.

Day 3: Monument Creek campsite to Granite Rapid, Colorado River, via Monument route. One way: 1.6 miles (2.6 km), -665’ (-203 m), Moderate. After a leisurely breakfast, guests will want to explore the beautiful sculpted metamorphic stone downstream from camp, and continue on the short hike to the mighty Colorado River. Once at the River, there is plenty of time to relax on the beach, enjoy lunch, and watch the surging and swirling whitewater of Granite Rapid. Back at camp for the evening, expect another delicious dinner and more starry skies. En route: water available in Monument Creek, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available.

Day 4: Monument Creek campsite to Hermit’s Rest, via Tonto and Hermit trails. 9.3 miles (15 km), +3,645’ (+1,111 m), Very Difficult. After an early breakfast, backpackers start with the 2.3 miles (3.7km) of Tonto to the Hermit Trail junction. From this point, it is a steady, uphill hike to Hermit’s Rest on the South Rim, passing the Cathedral Stairs, Supai traverse, and Coconino switchbacks. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: water available at Santa Maria Spring, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; no toilets available.

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All-Star Grand Canyon Tours Inc. ®
2420 N. 3rd st. Suite D
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

(928) 814-8887
1-800-940-0445

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All-Star Grand Canyon Tours Inc. offers luxury, eco-friendly, full service Private Grand Canyon and Four Corners guided tours; as well as the best Daily Grand Canyon Tours and hikes from Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan, Grand Canyon Village, and Sedona. We are located in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona and operate in the Grand Canyon and Four Corners region of the Southwestern, United States.

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