Autumn Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon
Flagstaff, AZ5.0 (21 reviews)
- Traverse of Grand Canyon
- Desert Waterfall
- Colorado River
- Iconic Views
- Fascinating Geology
- Desert Wildlife
- Plateau Point Dinner
This trip is an opportunity to embark on one of the world’s most famous hikes in the cooler period from September 16 through November 30. Our Summer Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike is offered May 12 through September 15. Because Rim to Rim permits are quite competitive we recommend checking out the Hermit Loop and Grand Canyon Classic as backup options in the fall.
Starting in Flagstaff, AZ we shuttle to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. On the way we’ll enjoy a scenic breakfast at the historic Navajo Bridge, suspended high above the Colorado River, before completing our drive. Once at the North Rim, we dawn the backpacks that contain all we’ll need for the next four days and begin our descent. The next four days take us past phenomenal views, deep side canyons, desert oases, waterfalls, fascinating history and of course the mighty Colorado River. Your guide(s) will regale you with stories of visitors past, including the Native Americans who called the Canyon home for millennia and early pioneers and miners. Eventually we’ll top out on the South Rim and be able to look back at our entire route. What a feeling!
Need to Know: Permits & North Rim Closing
Grand Canyon Permits
It is strongly recommended to book your Grand Canyon backpacking trip 5 months in advance due to the Park’s permit system. Backpacking permits are issued on the first of the month 4+ months in advance (see deadlines for each month.) Permits for the most popular trips sell out very quickly during the initial lottery, so registering prior to the deadline of the month you’re interested in is highly beneficial. You can also pick any dates, and you’ll receive a 5% early registration discount!
North Rim Closing
The North Rim road officially closes on November 30, marking the end of the Rim to Rim season (we still run our Winter Rim to Rim to Rim after this date.) There is a small chance the North Rim may close before November 30 if the area receives significant snowfall. In this case, we run a 3-day Grand Canyon Classic as a backup and refund you 25% of your payment.
Pre-permit Registration $1719
Grand Canyon’s permit process is complicated, but we take care of everything so you don’t have to worry about it! Here’s what you do need to know – Grand Canyon issues backpacking permits through a lottery system 4+ months in advance (deadlines listed below). Permits for popular trips sell out immediately during the initial lottery, so it’s important to register before the process begins. Pre-permit registrants also receive a 5% discount and can pick any dates (must book directly with us to get the discount)!
When you register we will ask you for backup dates and itineraries, as they are helpful if your first choice isn’t available. If a permit request is denied, pre-permit registrants have top priority for open spaces on confirmed permits, and very often get spots. Finally, we have good success rates, but your deposit is 100% refundable or transferable if we’re unsuccessful. Still have questions? Call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453)!
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3
Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult
This trip follows very well maintained, frequently traveled trails. It has significant elevation gains and losses, and there are tall steps from logs across the trail that increase difficulty. Like all Grand Canyon trips, it has heights exposure, but we are generally able to walk several feet away from cliff edges.
Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:
- Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
- Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
- Negotiating tall steps (trekking poles help)
- Hiking with moderate heights exposure
SOLITUDE LEVEL 2
1 least solitude, 5 most solitude
We rate this Grand Canyon hike a solitude 2 because it follows the most popular route across the Canyon (North Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail). You can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time once we’re several miles into the Canyon.
WHY WE BASE IN FLAGSTAFF VS. PHOENIX
- Reduced drive time by 3 hours on first day of hiking
- Guide support is only an hour away vs. 4-5 hours away in Phoenix.
- Increased flexibility with unforeseen circumstances
- Flagstaff is a scenic mountain town with great hiking and restaurants!
Groome Transportation operates an Arizona Shuttle that makes 9 dependable trips daily each direction between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The duration is 2.5-3 hours. They pickup/drop off at Sky Harbor Airport and the Metro Center in Phoenix, and in Flagstaff at the Amtrak Station (near downtown) and the NAU campus.
Note: Groome also offers daily transportation (3 trips in each direction) from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix has a fantastic car rental facility that is easily accessible and hosts a great variety of companies. We recommend checking Priceline.com as well for especially good deals.
ARIZONA EXECUTIVE TRANSPORT
Arizona Executive Transport offers private, reliable SUV service between Phoenix and Flagstaff. This option is best if you’re traveling in a group of 3 or 4. As Wildland Trekking guests, your one-way cost for up to 4 passengers is only $275. Simply type “Wildland Trekking Company” in the Discount Code Box at the bottom of the online registration page. You can go to http://www.arizonaexecutivellc.com to make your reservations online.
Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!
Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.
Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations.
Private Rates FOr This Trip
- 2 People: Rate x 2.5
- 3 People: Rate x 1.75
- 4 People: Rate x 1.25
- 5+ People: Rate x 1.15
*all rates are per person