Flagstaff, AZ5.0 (118 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 $1372/$1581
- 4 Days: $1372
- 5 Days: $1581
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
Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult
This trip follows a mix of well maintained and more rugged trails. All but the final day are Level 3, but on the final day the trail is more rugged and we tackle significant elevation gains and longer distances. This trip is overall between 3 and 4, tending slightly toward 4.
- Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
- Maintaining balance and footing on rugged terrain
- Hiking in 105+ degree farenheit ambient temps may be required in the warmer months (May-Sept). Learn more about desert heat.
- Hiking with moderate heights exposure
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!
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