Click on photos for larger images. Sometimes you have to refresh the page to re-activate this feature. Hide Slide Show (you will have to refresh the page to see it again)

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2017 -- $1350 ★★★★, Only 2 Spots Left


What can we possibly tell you about Grand Canyon National Park, that would persuade you to visit? Would it help to know that it's considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural World? Or that the geologic features reveal 40% of the Earth's history? Or that the Grand Canyon is home to some of the cleanest air in the United States? Or that it's well over a mile deep, giving rise to superlative, unobstructed views?


Face it, the Grand Canyon is a life list destination that words are insufficient to fully describe. You owe it to yourself to visit this truly amazing wonder.


This trip is a Rim to Rim to Rim trip ... the quintessential, classic (and most popular) route. It's the trip that just about everyone wants to do once in their lives. It begins at the South Rim, heads down to the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch, climbs up to the North Rim, and then heads back to the South Rim on a slightly different route.


This trip is all backpacking and because we ascend from the Colorado River twice, it will be difficult and grueling at times. We will start at the South Kaibab Trail, descend to Bright Angel Campground, ascend to Cottonwood Campground, top out on the North Rim and then reverse the route, but end via the Bright Angel Trail.


Because of the immense popularity and demand for this particular itinerary, we are unsure whether or not the National Park will grant us a backcountry permit for the exact days we'd like. If we are not awarded this itinerary during their lottery, we will attempt to move the trip to few days or even up to a month later. We will know by mid-December whether the route is permitted or not.



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when backpacking, especially in the Grand Canyon. April is a great time to visit weather-wise as it's generally not too cold on the rims and not too hot in the canyon. Be prepared for freezing weather or even snow on the rims, but also be prepared for 100 degrees in the canyon. Chances are, neither will happen but we must be prepared for each.



Trip Leaders

Danielle Piscatelli
2nd Guide TBD


Cost

$1350 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Phoenix, AZ (PHX) as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.


Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 1 front country campground night, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees, satellite phone and 2 awesome guides.



Important Note


This is the 2nd of two trips to the Grand Canyon this year. The other trip is planned for April 14-21, 2017



Difficulty (Please Read)

The Grand Canyon can be extremely difficult and forbidding. The temperatures can be freezing on the rim or over 100 degrees in the Canyon. There is little to no shade in some areas, so you will be exposed to the beating sun for extended periods with only the water you carry. Sun block alone is not sufficient for this. You must bring a wide brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt and long pants.


Furthermore, water may not be available for a few days at a time (although on the corridor route it should be, even if the faucets are turned off). The North Rim is a possible exception. Expect to carry 2 gallons of water (16 pounds) at times. This extra weight makes your full pack even heavier. Elevation gains and losses are dramatic. Expect to gain or lose over 4700' vertical in one day. In order to do this, you will need to be sufficiently hydrated. Plus, your feet must remain in good shape. Blisters will cripple you and make progress extremely slow and painful so be mindful of hot spots as they develop.


Training tips


Back to top

 

Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
Sign up Now!

Itinerary


Friday, April 21, 2017

Fly or drive into Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)


We will pick you up and bring you to Guide Deb's house where we'll have our equipment shakedown. Your flight must arrive by 2PM. If you cannot arrive early, please let us know so we can make arrangments.


Equipment shakedown


Trip to REI Tempe, 1405 W Southern Ave, for forgotten or last minute equipment


Distribution of trail mix


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Your spare bag(s) will be left at Guide Deb's house for safekeeping


Drive 2.5 hours to Flagstaff

Have opening dinner in Flagstaff (cost of dinner not included in trip cost)

Drive 1.5 hours to Grand Canyon National Park, Mather Campground


Set up camp and stay at Mather Campground, Sage Group site 005



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Second set of before body composition measurements taken


Drive Shuttle Vehicle(s) to the Visitor's Center


Board a National Park shuttle to the South Kaibab Trailhead


Start hiking at South Kaibab Trailhead, elevation 7260'


Hike 1.5 miles to Cedar Ridge, elevation 6120'


Hike 1.5 miles to Skeleton Point, elevation 5220'


Hike 1.4 miles to the Tip Off, elevation 4000'


Hike 2.6 miles to Bright Angel Campground, elevation 2480'


Camp at Bright Angel Campground, elevation 2480'


Miles today: 7.0 miles. Total to date: 7.0 miles


Possible Bailout: South Rim


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hike 0.4 miles to Phantom Ranch, elevation 2546'


Hike 5.2 miles to Ribbon Falls, elevation 3720'


Have lunch at Ribbon Falls. Watch your pack. The area has squirrels that will chew through it looking for trail mix, trail bars or any other food.


Hike 1.6 miles to the Cottonwood Campground, elevation 4080'


Camp at Cottonwood Campground, elevation 4080'


Miles today: 7.2 miles. Total to date: 14.2 miles


Possible Bailout: North Rim


Monday, April 24, 2017

Hike 1.4 miles to the Pumphouse Ranger Station, elevation 4600', reliable water found here


Hike 0.7 miles to Roaring Springs, elevation 5220'


Hike 3.0 miles to the Supai Tunnel, elevation 6800', water faucet is probably turned off.


Hike 1.7 miles to the North Kaibab Trailhead, elevation 8241'


Hike 1.0 miles to the North Rim Campground, elevation 8241'


Camp at North Rim Winter Campground, elevation 8241' (Note: Expect temperatures at this elevation to be freezing)


The bath houses with sinks and flush toilets at the North Rim Campground are probably closed. The water faucets are probably off as well. The most reliable water spigots are found at the trailhead a mile back.


Miles today: 7.8 miles. Total to date: 22.0 miles


Possible Bailout: North Rim


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hike 1.0 miles to the North Kaibab Trailhead, elevation 8241'


Hike 1.7 miles to the Supai Tunnel, elevation 6800'


Hike 3.0 miles to Roaring Springs, elevation 5220'


Hike 0.7 miles to the Pumphouse Ranger Station, elevation 4600'


Hike 1.4 miles to the Cottonwood Campground, elevation 4080'


Camp at Cottonwood Campground, elevation 4080'


Miles today: 7.8 miles. Total to date: 29.8 miles


Possible Bailout: North Rim


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hike 1.6 miles to Ribbon Falls, elevation 3720'


Hike 5.2 miles to Phantom Ranch, elevation 2546'


Hike 0.4 miles to Bright Angel Campground, elevation 2480'


Hike 1.5 miles to River Resthouse, elevation 2480'


Hike 3.2 uphill miles to Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Miles today: 11.9 miles. Total to date: 41.7 miles


Possible Bailout: North Rim


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hike 4.9 steep uphill miles to the Bright Angel Trailhead, elevation 6860'


Miles today: 4.9 miles. Total to date: 46.6 miles


End of Hike


Body Composition Taken on South Rim

"After" body composition measurements taken


Shuttle to Flagstaff for Dinner and Awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)


Shuttle back to Phoenix. Check into La Quinta Inn Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, 911 S 48th St, Tempe, AZ, 85281, 480-967-4465


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Free Hotel Breakfast


Take free airport shuttle


Back to top