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.X
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- 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.