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Grand Canyon National Park Rim To Rim, AZ

May 11 - May 18, 2020 -- $1400 ★★★★, Only 2 Spots Left

Important Notes


This is the 2nd of two trips to the Grand Canyon this year. The other trip is planned for April 1-8, 2020

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?

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 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 -- congratualations! Then the trip continues with a 10 mile day-hike along the North Rim and then one more trip down to Plateau Point on the South Rim to give you many different views of the canyon.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking, especially in the Grand Canyon. May 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
Don Johnson


$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, any restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 4 front country campground nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees, satellite phone and 2 awesome guides.

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 6 liters of water (and as much as 8 liters) 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. Make sure to closely clip your toenails before undertaking this trip.

Training tips

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Packing List
Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
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Monday, May 11, 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. Your flight must arrive by 1PM. 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 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, group site Sage 003

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hike 0.4 miles to Phantom Ranch, elevation 2546'

Hike 5.2 miles to Ribbon Falls, elevation 3720'

Have lunch near Ribbon Falls. Watch your pack. The area has squirrels that will chew through it looking for trail mix, trail bars or any other food. After the flooding in 2017, access to Ribbon Falls may be difficult so lunch might be on the trail.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2020

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 8339'

Camp at North Rim Winter Campground, elevation 8339' (Note: Temperatures at this elevation might reach freezing)

The bath houses with sinks and flush toilets at the North Rim Campground are probably closed, although they were open in 2016. The water faucets may be off as well. The most reliable water is found at the trailhead a mile back. Still, the North Rim opens in a few days so we expect water to be on.

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

Possible Bailout: North Rim

Friday, May 15, 2020

Day-Hike 6.0 mostly flat (but downhill) miles on the Widforss Point Trail to Widforss Point, elevation 7822'

Day-Hike 6.0 mostly flat (but uphill) miles on the Widforss Point Trail to the North Rim Campground, elevation 8339'

Miles today: 12.0 miles. Total to date: 34.0 miles

Possible Bailout: North Rim

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Board a 7AM Trans Canyon Shuttle back to the South Rim

Shuttle Bus arrives at the South Rim at 11:30AM, elevation 7000'

Have lunch and set up camp at 12:00PM at Mather Campground, group site Sage 002


Option 1

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

Day-Hike 3.0 downhill miles to Horseshoe Mesa, elevation 4900'

Day-Hike 3.0 uphill miles to the Grandview Trailhead, elevation 7400'


Option 2

Take Park Shuttle bus to the Hermit Trail, elevation 6640'

Day-Hike 1.5 miles (carrying at least 4 liters of water) to Waldron Trail Junction, elevation 5400'

Day-Hike 0.3 miles to the Hermit Trail Junction, elevation 5200'

Day-Hike 1.0 miles to the Boucher Trail Junction, elevation 5270'

Day-Hike 0.7 miles to Dripping Springs, elevation 5680'

Treat water here if necessary

Day-Hike 3.5 miles back to the Hermit Trailhead, elevation 6640'

Take Park Shuttle Bus back to Mather Campground

Camp at Mather Campground, group site Sage 002

Miles today: 6.0 or 7.0 miles. Total to date: 40.0 or 41.0 miles

Possible Bailout: South Rim

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Day-Hike a flat 2.5 mile loop to Grandeur Point, Yavapai Point and Mather Point, elevation 7000'

End of Hiking

Miles today: 2.5 miles. Total to date: 42.5 or 43.5 miles

Take an hour to visit touristy South Rim shops and sites

"After" Body Composition Taken on South Rim

Break Camp

Shuttle to Flagstaff for Dinner and Awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price). Suggestion: Lumberyard Brewing Company

Shuttle back to Phoenix. Pick up luggage at Guide Deb's House

Check into airport hotel Hampton Inn & Suites Tempe/Phoenix Airport, 1550 South 52nd Street, Tempe, AZ 85281, 480-410-6400

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.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Free Hotel Breakfast

Take free airport shuttle

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