New Hance Loop

Flagstaff, AZ
5.0 (22 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Spectacular Grandview Trail
  • Wild Grand Canyon
  • Camping on the Colorado River
  • Challenging & Scenic New Hance Trail
  • Canyon Solitude
  • Desert Springs & Oases
  • Stunning Red Canyon

Description

Are you up for a more challenging hike? Experience famous “Red Canyon”, one of the most geologically unique areas in Grand Canyon National Park, camp next to the Colorado River, see impressive rapids, and enjoy the solitude of a less-visited and wild part of the Grand Canyon on this unforgettable backpacking adventure! We descend one of the most spectacular trails in the Canyon, and ascend one of the most exciting – this is a trip you’ll never forget!

On the first day you’ll hike down the exciting Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Cave of the Domes and century-old mining ruins. We then drop off the Mesa and hike deeper into the Canyon, camping on the Tonto Plateau above the Inner Gorge. At this point we’re looking up at the towers and rims of the North Rim – a viewpoint few people experience.

The next leg of our hiking trip takes us east on the Tonto Trail to the Colorado River. This is the eastern beginning of dramatic Granite Gorge. We’ll camp in Red Canyon or by the Colorado River, depending on the day’s hiking progress. Red Canyon’s lower elevations are predominately Hakatai Shale, undoubtedly the most brilliant crimson of any formation in the Canyon. The final day sees us ascending back to the South Rim on the New Hance Trail. Give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book a spot on this exceptional Grand Canyon backpacking trip!

Important: 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!

Read more …
4 Days From USD
$1565 Per Person
5 Days From USD
$1830 Per Person
Permit Deadlines  

Permit Deadlines

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.

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)!

PERMIT DEADLINES
Month of Trip
Register Before
Permit Results
January
Sept 1
~Sept 15
February
Oct 1
~Oct 15
March
Nov 1
~Nov 15
April
Dec 1
~Dec 15
May
Jan 1
~Jan 15
June
Feb 1
~Feb 15
July
Mar 1
~Mar 15
August
Apr 1
~Apr 15
September
May 1
~May 15
October
June 1
~June 15
November
July 1
~July 15
December
Aug 1
~Aug 15
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-9 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 23MI / 37KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 5

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

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip is Level 4 on the way down and Level 5 coming back up.  The way up is on a steep, very rugged, unmaintained trail that at times requires the use of arms. It has significant heights exposure in places and may require hiking in 105+ degree fahrenheit temperatures (May-Sept).

Hiking Distances:

Up to 5 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

3300 ft

Heights Exposure:

Significant

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.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 8-10 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on very 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 significant heights exposure at times
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Grand Canyon hike a solitude 4 because the beginning of the Grandview Trail can be busy, but as we make our way deeper into the Canyon we will see fewer and fewer people. There are also multiple groups allowed at some of the campsites.

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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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 2,500 feet

We’ll begin this exceptional Grand Canyon backpacking tour by hiking down the Grandview Trail, a historic Indian route rebuilt by Pete Berry for his Last Chance copper mine. Pete Berry and partners staked the Last Chance claim in 1890 and worked the mine on and off until 1916. Our destination for night 1 is Horseshoe Mesa. The legacy of Grand Canyon mining is abundant here as we explore the remains of the Last Chance mine. Mine shafts and relics are everywhere, as is Pete Barry’s original cabin, and the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At sunset we’ll hike out to the edge of the mesa and drink in the phenomenal views of the Colorado River flowing a whopping 2,300 feet below us.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 2 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1,300 feet

Today we’ll sleep in, eat, and pack up before hiking east off Horseshoe Mesa to Hance Creek. Our hike switchbacks steeply past Paige Spring (our water source while on Horseshoe Mesa) and into the Hance Creek drainage. Once camp is established we’ll enjoy a day hike down the intermittent path leading into the serpentine drainage of Hance Creek Canyon.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1,100 feet

We’ll get up reasonably early, eat and eventually resume our eastward trek along the Tonto Plateau toward Hance Rapids. Grand views unfold on this day as we hike across the plateau to the brink of Red Canyon and hike down to the Colorado River. We’ll make camp on the banks of the Colorado and mouth of Red Canyon, which forms a thundering section of whitewater on the Colorado River, Hance Rapids.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles (plus 3 miles optional day hiking)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

After breakfast and before breaking camp we’ll take a beautiful day hike upstream to the Papago Rockslide. Those so inclined are welcome to join the guide in climbing over the rock slide to the mouth of Papago Creek on the Colorado River. After lunch we’ll return to camp and pack up for a short hike up Red Canyon, where tilting strata provide stunning scenery and an amazing geologic story, as the area was once an island that rose above the waters of an ancient sea. We’ll hike up the dry creek bed of Red Canyon and eventually make camp at a beautiful spring or the upper part of the canyon.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet
  • Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5-hour drive from the South Rim

A hearty breakfast will precede our hike out as we make our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We’ll hike up out of Red Canyon and traverse the Supai and Red Wall formations into an old creek bed. After following the creek for awhile we’ll hike and scramble up out of the creek bed to the trailhead and the end of our Grand Canyon backpacking adventure. From there we’ll ride comfortably back to Flagstaff and much deserved – and anticipated – showers.

4-Day Variation

This trip is also possible to run as a 4-day itinerary. On Day 1 we hike all the way to Hance Creek instead of stopping for the night at Horseshoe Mesa. The 4-day variation makes the first day a 5 mile hike with a 3,800′ elevation loss. The rest of the trip is unaltered.

Important: this trip is operated as either a 4-day or 5-day itinerary, and is confirmed as such in advance. Variation of trip length does not mean guests can choose to leave a trip or early or extend it a day.

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

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

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

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

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). Click on a date or contact us to book. (Permit system details)

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 your hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona to the Grand Canyon and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • 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

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, 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

By traveling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations help them protect Grand Canyon National Park and support trail restoration, conservation of native plants and wildlife, and educational programs. 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

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 Shuttle

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.

CAR RENTAL

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.

Pre and Post-Trip On Request Lodging

We secure limited amounts of pre and post trip lodging in Flagstaff, Arizona as an optional add-on for guests of this trip. This lodging is on request, and is available on a first come, first serve basis. If interested, please reach out directly to our team to check availability.

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 7 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 normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

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 and 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
hilowhilow
Dec-Feb41°18°60°38°
March51°25°71°48°
April60°32°82°56°
May70°39°92°63°
Jun-Aug82°

53°108°75°
September76°47°97°69°
October65°36°84°58°
November52°27°68°46°

Accommodations

Accommodations

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 (22 reviews)
Alice H
5.0

What a trip!

2 months ago

We have never done a guided backpacking trip before and Wildland and our guide, Landon, made what was a dream into a reality. We were part of a small group completing the New Hance Loop in Mar 2024. Some of the greatest assets of having a guide is the knowledge of the Grand Canyon that they bring as you hike and camp. Landon was able to share both the history of the Canyon as well as explain some of the challenges to its long-term ecological health while demonstrating/practicing minimal impact backpacking. I must admit I started the trip with a mindset of "conquering the hike/canyon" and now reflect on the trip as an immense privilege to have been in and with the Canyon through all its varied geology and ecology. Watching a herd of Big Horn Sheep make their way down to the Colorado for a drink and listening to the chorus of Canyon Tree Frogs sing us to sleep are experiences that will last a lifetime. What a trip!

Jeannette C
5.0

Great Experience

8 months ago

Tolman was an excellent guide. He guided and supported us on a challenging trek on the New Hance Loop. Thank Tolman for a great experience.

Fred B
5.0

Excellent Trip

8 months ago

Landon was an excellent guide who had to guide us over and through rock slides. Side trips at camp to caves and mines really made it a special trip!

See All Guest Reviews!

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