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.X
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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.