Flagstaff, AZ5.0 (78 reviews)
- Guides Choice Backpacking Trip
- Remote & Breathtaking Tonto Plateau
- 360° Kaleidoscope Views
- Natural & Cultural History
- Famous Bright Angel Trail
- Rapids on the Colorado River
- Scenic, Narrow Side Canyons
- Rejuvenating Desert Solitude
This deservedly very popular, point-to-point Grand Canyon hike off the South Rim is excellent for guests looking for a more remote, diverse and absolutely stunning tour of the Canyon. It features fantastic views, historic ruins, a canyon narrows section, and time at one (on the 4-day itinerary) or two (on the 5-day itinerary) of the more spectacular and more photographed rapids on the Colorado River. This is probably the most scenic hike in the Grand Canyon and offers tremendous natural and cultural diversity.
The first day takes us down the famous Bright Angel Trail past Indian Garden. We’ll take a side trip out to Plateau Point, one of the most scenic viewpoints in all of Grand Canyon, before hiking to our first camp. From here we’ll hike west across the Tonto Trail, paralleling the Colorado River a thousand feet above it. The breathtaking views on this trip are punctuated by side hikes down narrow canyons to two impressive rapids on the river. We’ll enjoy majestic creek-side camps, desert wildlife-viewing opportunities, ancient fossils, and some of the best hiking the Grand Canyon has to offer!
Need to Know: 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!
Pre-permit Registration $1230/$1448
- 4 Days: $1230
- 5 Days: $1448
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!
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4
Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult
- Backpack Weight:
- 30-40 pounds
- Daily Hiking Distances:
- 4.5-9 miles
- Most Elevation Loss:
- 3000 feet
- Most Elevation Gain:
- 3400 feet
- Quality of Trails:
- Lightly maintained and rugged in places
- The longest hike is mostly flat, and the last day is 8 miles up a relatively rugged trail.
- be active and healthy
- regularly exercise vigorously
- be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks
SOLITUDE LEVEL 3
1 least solitude, 5 most solitude
We rate this Grand Canyon hike a solitude 3 because it enters the Canyon on the most popular trail in the park (Bright Angel), but then follows the sparsely populated Tonto and Hermit Trails. You can expect hours of solitude at a time and often a feeling of having the Canyon to yourself.
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.
Arizona does not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.
All trips in Grand Canyon National Park have a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.
There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!
Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.
Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!
Private Rates FOr This Trip
- 2 People: Rate x 2
- 3 People: Rate x 1.3
- 4 People: Rate x 1.1
- 5+ People: Rate x 1
*all rates are per person