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 Grandview, AZ

Apr 1 - Apr 8, 2020 -- $1400 ★★★★

About The Trip

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.

Get ready to backpack in the Grand Canyon! We'll begin on the Grandview Trailhead with a grueling, quad-busting, knee-jarring 3700' downhill hike over 4.5 long, steep miles. This will be a truly challenging day. From there, the distances and elevations become somewhat more moderate as we join the Tonto Trail on our way into the Canyon. We then head uphill once again towards South Kaibab. The final day will be long and grueling once again as we will ascend almost 3700' with a full pack over 6.5 miles. This is truly a challenge but one that's unbelievably rewarding.


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

Trip Leaders

Rick Romine
2nd Guide TBD


$1400 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, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.

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

Important Notes

This trip does not go all the way down to the Colorado River. It seem strange, but the trip is still amazing even if you don't visit the (sometimes muddy) Colorado.

This is the 1st of two trips to the Grand Canyon this year. The other trip is scheduled for 11-18, 2020 but it too may change.

Difficulty (Please Read)

The Grand Canyon can be extremely difficult and forbidding. The temperatures can be freezing or over 100 degrees. There is little to no shade in some areas, so you will be exposed to the beating sun for extended periods. Sun block 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. Expect to carry 2 gallons of water (16 pounds) and maybe more. This extra weight makes your full pack even heavier. Elevation gains and losses on the first and last day are dramatic. Expect to gain or lose over 3700' vertical on some days. 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.

Extraction from the canyon will be time consuming and expensive. You should have no expectation of rapid evacuation should you request it. You might as well just complete the trip by walking out with us.

Training tips

Back to top


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


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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. Please arrive by 1PM if possible.

Equipment shakedown

Trip to REI Chandler, 870 N 54th St, Chandler, AZ 85226, for forgotten or last minute equipment

Distribution of trail mix

Guide Deb will take your spare bag(s) for safekeeping

Drive 2 hours to Flagstaff

Go out for welcome dinner in town. Cost of dinner not included in trip cost

Drive 1.5+ hours to Tusayan, AZ

Park shuttle vehicle(s) and board a National Park Purple Route Shuttle Bus

Take Shuttle bus to Mather Campground, possibly bypassing lines at the entrance station

Set up camp and stay at Mather Campground, site Aspen 058

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Thursday, April 2, 2020

2nd set of before body composition measurements taken

Break camp and drive to Central Parking

Fill all water vessels as we will be "dry camping" tonight

Take Park Shuttle Bus to the Grandview Trailhead, elevation 7400'

Hike 3.0 steep, knee-crushing miles to Horseshoe Mesa, elevation 4900'

Camp at Horseshoe Mesa, site BF5, elevation 4900'

Miles today: 3.0 miles. Total to date: 3.0 miles

Possible Bailout: South Rim

Friday, April 3, 2020

Hike 1.5 steep, knee-crushing, scree-covered miles to Cottonwood Creek, Zone BG9, elevation 3900'

Hike 5.5 miles to Grapevine Creek, elevation 3550'.

At-Large camp in the vicinity of Grapevine Creek, zone BH9, elevation 3550'. The water here is generally reliable.

Miles Today: 7.0. Total to Date: 10.0

Possible Bailout: South Rim, but it's pretty far

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Hike 5.7 miles to Boulder Spring, elevation 3600'

Water may be found nearby or downstream about 20 minutes walk. Water is often reported as salty and unpalatable.

At-Large camp in the vicinity of Boulder Spring, zone BH9, elevation 3600'.

Miles Today: 5.7. Total to Date: 15.7

Possible Bailout: No good options

Sunday, April 5, 2020

No guarantee of water today. We must carry 2 gallons each.

Hike 3.0 miles to Lone Tree, elevation 3680'

Hike 3.5 miles to Cremation Canyon, elevation 3650'

At-Large camp in the vicinity of Cremation Canyon, zone BJ9, elevation 3650'. We must camp East of the canyon (the West side is pretty steep and unsuitable for tents anyway)

Miles today: 6.5 miles. Total to date: 22.2 miles

Possible Bailout: No good options

Monday, April 6, 2020

Hike 6.6 miles on the Tonto Trail to Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'

Set up camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'. There is reliable water here.

Day-Hike 1.5 miles to Plateau Point, elevation 3740'

Day-Hike 1.5 miles to Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'

Camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'

Miles today: 9.6 miles. Total to date: 31.8 miles

Possible Bailout: South Rim

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hike 4.8 grueling uphill miles to the Bright Angel Trailhead, elevation 6860'

End of Hike

Miles today: 4.8 miles. Total to date: 36.6 miles

Possible Bailout: Bright Angel Trailhead

Body Composition Taken on South Rim

"After" body composition measurements taken

Shuttle to Flagstaff for Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Shuttle back to Phoenix. Get off-trail stuff from guide Deb's house

Check into Best Western Plus Tempe by the Mall, 5300 S Priest Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283, 480-820-7500

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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Free Hotel Breakfast

Free airport shuttle

Back to top