Kanab Creek Adventure

Flagstaff, AZ
5.0 (33 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Remote Grand Canyon Hiking
  • Ancient Pictographs
  • Amazing Springs & Oases
  • Mighty Colorado River
  • Sheer Slot Canyons
  • Canyon Solitude
  • 7-Day Adventure


Come join us for this world-class off-trail Grand Canyon backpacking adventure! This trip is for the more serious adventurer, as it is our most strenuos and most secluded trip in the Grand Canyon. We’ll follow a series of breathtaking side canyons deep into the Grand Canyon, finally arriving at the Colorado River on day four. We’ll hike through land rich with cultural and natural history, including some incredible pictographs. A few of the highlights include a traverse of Jump Up Slot Canyon, Sowats Canyon, Kanab Creek, a layover day near the Colorado River, time at Whispering Falls, and a hike across the scenic Esplanade.

This trip is a Grand Canyon backpacking trip you will truly never forget. Call us today at 1-800-715-HIKE for more information on this once-in-a-lifetime hiking opportunity!

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!

Read more …
$2000 Per Person
Pre-permit Registration $1900  

Pre-permit Registration $1900

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)!

Month of Trip
Register Before
Permit Results
Sept 1
~Sept 15
Oct 1
~Oct 15
Nov 1
~Nov 15
Dec 1
~Dec 15
Jan 1
~Jan 15
Feb 1
~Feb 15
Mar 1
~Mar 15
Apr 1
~Apr 15
May 1
~May 15
June 1
~June 15
July 1
~July 15
Aug 1
~Aug 15
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-9 Guests
Trip Length: 7 Days
Distance: 55MI / 88KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip is essentially an off trail hike. The terrain is extremely rugged for the duration of the trip, requiring walking through water for entire days, climbing up and over inumerous large boulders, and significant daily hiking distances.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 10 mi

Backpack Weight:

45+ lbs


Extremely Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2400 ft

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 45+ lb backpack for 8-10 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on extremely rugged, off trail terrain
  • Hiking in or crossing creeks
  • Hiking in 105+ degree farenheit ambient temps may be required in the warmer months (May-Sept). Learn more about desert heat.
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Grand Canyon hike a solitude 5 because it is in an extremely remote part of the Grand Canyon. We have occasionally gone the full 7 days without seeing another group.


If a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 4-6 weeks before the departure date, and notify guests of changes and options immediately.

Private Trips

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

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
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Day 1

  • Shuttle to the North Rim: ~5 hour drive
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 2,200 feet

This adventurous Grand Canyon hiking adventure starts from Sowats Point, where we hike rapidly downhill to the esplanade, a broad terrace at approx. 5,000’ of elevation. An enjoyable 2-mile hike along the esplanade brings us to Sowats Canyon. The canyon is shallow and dry for ¾ mile until we get to Mountain Sheep Spring, a gushing spring of fantastic drinking water. We’ll make camp near the spring in a beautiful alcove beneath scarlet overhangs. Also nearby are a series of remarkable pictographs left by Native Americans.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 10.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1,300 feet

A hearty breakfast will precede our hike down Sowats Canyon. After a mile of hiking adjacent to Sowats Creek we’ll arrive at Jump-up Canyon. At this point Jump-up is more of a broad valley than a canyon, allowing views of the rim of the Grand Canyon above. However, after hiking a bit further we’ll encounter the first layers of the redwall limestone; a layer of rock hard enough to promote formation of the Jump-up slot canyon. Soon we’ll find ourselves hundreds of feet deep in a narrow swath of polished stone. Several miles further the canyon widens and intersects Kanab Creek. Now the canyon is wide and deep, with brilliant red walls rising high overhead. Another couple of hours of hiking brings us to the hanging garden of Showerbath Spring. Just beyond the spring is a campsite protected by more overhangs. This is a long day consisting of 8 miles of rugged canyon hiking and will likely take 10-11 hours to complete.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 400 feet

Another hearty breakfast will precede a continuation of our hike downstream. The canyon grows ever deeper and presents a show of features including massive overhangs, enchanting springs, exquisite lighting and a myriad of colors. We’ll make camp adjacent to a narrow and beautiful side canyon containing Whispering Falls, a rivulet of water that “whispers” its way down a polished incline, and makes for a wonderful afternoon hike.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.0 miles optional round-trip day hike
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 200 feet

Today is a much needed layover day. Willing members of the party have the option of a day hike to the Colorado River and back (no backpacks). The mouth of Kanab Creek creates a thundering set of rapids on the Colorado. We’ll eat lunch while appreciating the grandeur of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon and then hike back to camp.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet

On Day 5 we turn around and begin our hike out of the Grand Canyon. We’ll hike up Kanab Creek to our camp near Showerbath Spring, where we’ll again enjoy the beauty of this majestic camp.

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 10.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet

Today’s hike will re-trace our steps through Jump-up canyon, however once we’ve hiked through the slot canyon we’ll immediately turn east into Kwagunt Hollow. Kwagunt is more dramatic than Sowats and presents a variety of terraces and overhangs. We’ll make camp this evening in Kwagunt Hollow near small seeps that we’ll use for our drinking water.

Day 7

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,400 feet
  • Shuttle: ~5-hour drive

After a lazy morning we’ll hike out Kwagunt and re-join the Sowats trail near the bottom of the switchbacks. Hiking up the switchbacks to Sowats Point will complete this classic Grand Canyon backpacking trip. From the top of Sowats Point we’ll be able to look out over each canyon we hiked all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Permitted and Confirmed Trip Dates

These trip dates are permitted and confirmed. Click on a date to book!

Pre-Permit Trip Dates

Permits have not yet been issued for these months. It is best to book before the listed deadlines. You can pick any dates (listed or not) and receive a 5% discount! Click on a date or contact us to book. (Permit system details)

October 2023 (Book before June 1, 2023)
April 2024 (Book before December 1, 2023)
May 2024 (Book before January 1, 2024)

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles and Microspike Crampons if necessary
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Roundtrip transportation from origin to the Grand Canyon and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits (read about Grand Canyon’s permit system)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Grand Canyon
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Grand Canyon Conservancy

This trip specifically supports The Grand Canyon Conservancy, an official local partner of The Intrepid Foundation. The Intrepid Foundation is the non-profit arm of Wildland Trekking’s parent company, Intrepid Travel. The Foundation uses its local knowledge and connections to identify the issues that matter most and selects local partners like the Grand Canyon Conservancy to deliver serious solutions.

Your participation on this trip will directly support the work of the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Learn more about this partnership!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff (use this reservation page for a 10-60% discount at Little America) for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. We’re happy to give you a ride to this meeting if you’re not staying at Little America, but staying at one of our other recommended hotels. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Grand Canyon Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Flagstaff at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Travel to Flagstaff

  • 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 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.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 6 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in the Grand Canyon

The weather in the Grand Canyon varies tremendously from the rim to the canyon floor, with as much as a 30 degree Fahrenheit difference. For this reason, the Canyon is truly a year-round hiking destination. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures at the South Rim and the Canyon bottom:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

MonthSouth RimCanyon Bottom





Backcountry Sleeping

Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (33 reviews)
Ambur B

Definitely book another trip with you

7 days ago

The whole experience was amazing. Our trip changed due to closures of trail heads at the north rim, but we absolutely loved the alternative route. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable of the area and taught us a lot along the way. The meals were delicious. We were initially worried about being fit enough to handle the heavy bags, but the prep the website suggested helped immensely. We’ll definitely book another trip with you guys, and 10/10 recommend.

Anne B

A truly 5 star hiking and wilderness experience!

1 year ago

This was an amazing trip from all perspectives and I feel very privileged to have been able to immerse myself in the majestic natural environment, which the Grand Canyon has to offer. We only came across 10 other people across the week and truly felt surrounded by untamed wilderness. The scenery was absolutely spectacular, from soaring red cliffs and narrow canyons to the roar of the mighty Colorado river - one of the many highlights. Ashely was a wonderful guide and I learnt so much from her about the geology, culture, history, flora and fauna. In particular, I also learnt how better to use trekking poles and hike uphill with minimal effort. The food was outstanding (always something fresh and a variety of carefully thought out nutritious meals) and we felt very spoilt given Ashley prepared all meals and tidied up as well. This trip has given me the confidence to engage in other longer multi day hikes. With Ashley's patience and help, I managed the difficult terrain and pulled up the best I ever have, physically, after carrying a heavy pack over multiple days. A truly 5 star hiking and wilderness experience!

Erin T


2 years ago

The Kanab Creek Adventure was amazing. Clients should be ready for a five star difficulty trip - the first and last days have a traditional trail hike into and out of the canyon. Otherwise, you are off trail, hiking over loose rocks, across and through creeks, and over boulders the entire time, all while carrying a 45 lb pack and generally having wet feet. There is also incredible solitude; we passed one group and one solo hiker in an entire week. The canyons are beautiful, the spring and hanging gardens are refreshing, and the night skies are brilliant. Our guide was terrific, cooking wonderful meals, helping us navigate the terrain, and keeping up spirits. I couldn't have asked for a better trip and can't wait to book my next Wildlands adventure.

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