South Rim Basecamp Tour

Flagstaff, AZ
5.0 (35 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • 3 Distinct South Rim Hikes
  • Phenomenal Views
  • Premier Camping
  • Great Outdoor Cooked Meals
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History
  • Cozy Camping with Access to Showers
  • Cool Camping on the Rim

Description

We created this Grand Canyon hiking tour for guests who want to have an adventurous, outdoor experience of the Grand Canyon, but also have access to showers and comfortable camping facilities. Highlights include amazing, challenging day hikes whose locations span over thirty miles of the South Rim, a “sprinkled in” tour of the best Grand Canyon museums and visitor attractions, wonderful outdoor meals prepared by your guide, and cozy camping. All fully included in the trip cost!

The day hikes will take you more than half way down into the Canyon, each illustrating the dramatic diversity of this magical landscape. Enjoy BIG Grand Canyon views, fossils, dripping desert oases, mining ruins, Native American history, and geologic phenomena. During the three days we’ll “sprinkle” in a tour of the best museums and visitor attractions before enjoying our evening meals. After dinner we’ll retire to our comfortable tents for much deserved rest and recuperation for the next day’s activities!

Read more …
3 Days From
$1210 Per Person
4 Days From
$1715 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Basecamp Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-9 Guests
Trip Length: 3-4 Days
Distance: 18MI / 28KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

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

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip follows well maintained trails that can be a little rugged in places, mostly due to logs that lead to large steps up or down. We tackle significant elevation gains and losses over moderate distances.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 6 mi

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2500 ft

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

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.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
  • Hiking in 95+ degree fahrenheit temperatures (May-Sept)
  • Hiking with moderate heights exposure
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

You can expect to be around other people in camp and on the rim, and having as much as an hour of solitude at a time while hiking.

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.

All tour dates starting before May 10, 2023 will be 3-day tours.

All tour dates starting after May 10, 2023 will be 4-day tours.

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
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-8 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 9-12 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.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
  • Hiking Mileage: 3-6 miles
  • 1-way Elevation Change: 1,200-2,500 feet

On this Grand Canyon hiking adventure, we’ll pick you up at your hotel in Flagstaff and drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon through ancient Ponderosa Pine forests and high plateau grasslands. Eventually we’ll reach the rim, where the initial views are sure to blow you away!

Today’s hike takes us down one of the most scenic and breathtaking trails in Grand Canyon National Park. As you hike, your guide will begin to lay the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the phenomenal geological marvels you’re gazing out at. With the youngest (i.e. highest) layer of rock estimated to be roughly 250,000,000 years old, and the rock at the bottom of the Canyon to be over 2 billion years old, every step we take represents roughly 50,000 years of geologic history! We’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the trail, then make our way back to the rim, and to our campground.

At camp we’ll get everything set up, settle in, and meet for our first, delicious outdoor dinner prepared by your Wildland guide.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • 1-way Elevation Change: 2,040 feet

We’ll start today with a steaming cup of hot coffee in the cool pines of the South Rim, then a quick breakfast so we can hit the trail early and take advantage of the refreshing morning hours. Our hike today is on the fantastic South Kaibab Trail.

The South Kaibab descends the spine of spectacular Cedar Ridge and allows for BIG Grand Canyon views as the ridge drops off on both sides and in front of you. It is the trail to do if you’re looking for some of the best panoramas in the Grand Canyon. These panoramas and the moderate nature of the hiking make the South Kaibab Trail one of the most photographed trails in the country and a great first day for us. Possible sightings of California Condors and truly fascinating geologic history will round out the day.

After our hike we’ll return to camp for some relaxation and then a wonderful outdoor feast prepared by your guide(s).

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • 1-way Elevation Change: 1,700 feet

Built by the Santa Fe Railroad as a route to Hermit Camp, the Hermit Trail leads us through fossil beds in the limestone and sandstone formations to Waldron Basin. From the high desert valley of Waldron, we will continue hiking along the top of the Red Wall with incredible views into a deep, seemingly bottomless canyon. One of the great highlights of this hike are the 260+ million year old reptile prints, complete with the swish of the creature’s tail, permanently etched in a slab of sandstone next to the trail. Our hike’s turnaround point is Dripping Springs, a desert spring that drips from the ceiling of a sandstone alcove, nourishing the desert with water.

Day 4 (4-day Itinerary Only)

  • Hiking Mileage: 2-4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: up to 500 feet

On our departure from the Canyon we’ll enjoy a scenic drive out of the East Entrance, taking the opportunity to stop at the historic Desert View Watch Tower. Before returning to Flagstaff we’ll explore two very special Northern Arizona gems that are intimately connected with the Grand Canyon in various ways, culturally and geologically. We’ll get to see and explore the remains of an ancient civilization from 900 years ago on several short hikes in to the ruins of stone houses, many of which are incredibly intact. Then we’ll take in views of the youngest cinder cone volcano in the Southwest. Both these places are true wonders that highlight the diversity of peoples and landscapes in the Grand Canyon region and Northern Arizona.

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.

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, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and daypack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • 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
  • 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

Your guide will prepare all the meals on your basecamp tour from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Breakfasts and dinners are normally prepared and eaten in camp, while lunches are normally eaten on the trail. You can expect a diverse, tasty menu and plenty of food!

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. 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 sleeping bags
  • 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!

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.

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.

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)
  • 5 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°

November
52°27°68°46°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Premier Campgrounds

2 nights

On our basecamp tours we hand pick wonderful campgrounds that put us right in the action for exceptional hiking and camping vacations. They may be national park, state park, or private vehicle-accessible campgrounds. They may vary by trip date depending on availability and seasonality.

Fantastic Meals

8 Meals

Basecamp trips include meals for the duration of the tours beginning with breakfast the first day through lunch the final day. Meals are prepared by your guide(s) using fresh ingredients, exclusive Wildland recipes, and we adhere to all department of health outdoor cooking codes.

Comfortable Camping

Camping Amenities

What amenities do basecamp tours include? Cold and hot drinks, campfires (where/when allowed), camp chairs, access to showers, fresh food, roomy tents, comfortable sleeping pads, comfy sleeping bags, camp pillows and more! Camp comfortably, eat like royalty, and hike til your heart’s content!

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (35 reviews)
Rebecca T
5.0

Couldn't be happier.

3 months ago

The southrim basecamp trip was my first guided hiking trip and it was all that I hoped for. The biggest surprise was the quality of food, I was not expecting the whole food, organic leaning higher end menu. As a vegetarian it was terrific. Our guide Carlos, was fantastic. He was knowledgeable and passionate about the geology and history of the canyon and provided lots of insight. He did a great job of letting people enjoy the hiking while keeping us together as a group and at a reasonable pace. I would have happily hiked a few more miles a day but it was enough to feel content and pleasantly tired each afternoon. I was intimidated by a trip that requires carrying a heavy pack and this basecamp experience was perfect. I am 54 and I’m good shape but was worried about getting sore knees, which was not an issue carrying only a day pack. I highly recommend this trip for an enjoyable and challenging but not hard core experience.

Kim H
5.0

Incredible

3 months ago

We did a basecamp trip at the Grand Canyon and it was incredible! Carlos. our guide, was encouraging, an incredible cook and an encyclopedia of information on our hikes! I was so impressed. The food was top notch and all the gear worked great. I would highly recommend Wildland Trekking and will definitely come back for another tour!

Chris M
5.0

Top Notch

4 months ago

We did a 3 day basecamp Southrim hike, and we couldn't be happier - Everything about the trip was top notch. The registration process was easy, the pre-trip information provided by Wildland was spot-on and the hikes themselves were terrific. Stefan, our guide was equally excellent, from his knowledge of the trails and pointing out the fossils and paintings on the canyon walls to helping us understand the grand canyon eco-system in general. His knowledge really helped us appreciate the grand canyon that much more. The gear provided by wildland was great as well - the tents, sleeping bags and all of the food/snacks were great. We actually ditched our own trekking poles the last day and used theirs. I would highly recommend Wildland Trekking and we plan on using them for another trip in the future.

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