Days: 3 Days
Distance: 16+ mi/26+ km
Difficulty: Beginner +
Origin: Flagstaff, AZ
*All commercial trips in Grand Canyon National Park are subject to a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee will be added when you confirm your reservation and transferred directly to Grand Canyon National Park.
This enjoyable Grand Canyon hiking tour is perfect for families, backpacking novices and those short on time. This hike begins on the South Rim and leads you down one of the most famous trails in the canyon, the Bright Angel Trail. You will be introduced to the fascinating geology, ecology and human history of this one-of-a-kind landscape as you travel 3000 feet below the rim to the popular Indian Garden Campground, your home for the next two nights. Upon arrival at this lush oasis, you will have the opportunity to relax by Garden Creek, look for wildlife and explore the relics of this historic inner canyon destination. In the late afternoon, enjoy the gentle stroll out to Plateau Point, perhaps the finest place in the entire Canyon to catch a sunset. Day 2 offers the opportunity to leave the backpacks behind and day hike to the Colorado River at Pipe Creek Beach, exploring the pools in Garden and Pipe Creeks along the way. On your last day, you will retrace your steps to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail. Join us today for this wonderful Grand Canyon hiking adventure.
This beginner’s Grand Canyon hiking tour begins at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Bright Angel Trailhead. The trail descends along an ancient Native American route following the Bright Angel Fault Line down to Indian Garden Campground, our home for the next 2 nights. Upon reaching camp, feel free to relax by the nearby creek while your guide sets up and prepares a delicious lunch. In the late afternoon, the group will take the enjoyable 3 mile roundtrip stroll out to Plateau Point for some of the finest views Grand Canyon has to offer. Don’t forget your camera…sunsets out here will leave you breathless!
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 4.5 miles, 3000 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading out for a fantastic day hike to the bottom of the Canyon at Pipe Creek Beach, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River. You will hike through beautiful sandstone narrows, past tempting pools and be treated to memorable views as you head further into the Canyon’s depths. If time and energy allow, we can traverse along the River Trail for a mile or so, enjoying the memorable views up and down the Colorado River. After soaking it all in, we will make our way back to camp for another delicious dinner and some evening star-gazing.
Distance & Elevation: 7-10 miles day hiking, 1400 foot descent/ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast and packing up camp, we will retrace our steps back to the South Rim. As you make your way, pause to look back over the terrain you’ve just explored and reflect on your experience. Keep an eye out for the endangered California Condor, the largest bird in North America. They frequent this part of the canyon. A big, tasty lunch and some time on the rim will allow you to celebrate your accomplishment before the drive back to Flagstaff.
Distance & Elevation: 4.5 miles, 3000 foot ascent
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.
- A professional, licensed and medically trained guide
- All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
- All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your guide will prepare all meals)
- All meals from a light breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day + trail snacks
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff, AZ to Grand Canyon
- Entrance fees and backcountry permits
What’s Not Included:
- Transportation to/from Flagstaff, AZ
- Lodging the night before/after the trip
- Clothing, raingear, and footwear
- Personal toiletries, sunscreen
- Water bottles/hydration bladder
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (suggested 10-20% of trip cost)
*Upon Booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet
How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Grand Canyon will accommodate 5 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 9 people plus 2 guides.
Are there age restrictions?
Children under the age of 13 are generally not permitted on backpacking trips. This restriction may be negotiable on private tours. Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.
How do i sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial non-refundable deposit of $250 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.
Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. You can also pay by personal check or PayPal (PayPal incurs a 1.5% surcharge). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-877-272-5032
Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Flagstaff, AZ and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Flagstaff. You will want to fly into either Phoenix (2 hour drive) or Flagstaff. Please visit our Travel Resources page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.
Where do meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the Embassy Suites hotel in Flagstaff. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.
Most trips will depart between 4:30am and 6:30am. *This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.
What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at your hotel in Flagstaff and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites (recommended) or Hampton Inn & Suites can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at our warehouse for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there.
What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Flagstaff by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Many trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.
March: Call or email us before November 1 to request your preferred dates.
April: Call or email us before December 1 to request your preferred dates.
June: Call or email us before February 1 to request your preferred dates.
July: Call or email us before March 1 to request your preferred dates.
August: Call or email us before April 1 to request your preferred dates.
November: Call or email us before July 1 to request your preferred dates.
December: Call or email us before August 1 to request your preferred dates.
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.
“What a terrific trip! This was a first trip with FSG and we will most definitely be booking again in the future. Our family completed the 3 day Indian Garden Backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. Before our trip, our guide Scott, engaged us to make sure we had the appropriate gear and food for the trip, and brought options for us to try when we arrived at orientation. This was the first backpacking trip for out daughters (middle school) and Scott was really thoughtful about making sure they had the right gear and their questions were answered before we left. Once we got to the trailhead, he was gracious as we all prepared for the trip down and, once on the trail, he was careful to make sure we were all feeling good. At camp and on the trail, he shared a few off the beaten path pools to cool off which we were grateful for, given the heat in the canyon. Meals were excellent, always in great locations, and Scott was good to make sure we were safe and prepared the entire trip. Scott was truly knowledgeable about the canyon and shared a lot of history with us throughout the trip. As a family trip, we could not have asked for a better guide or approach. We are already planning our next trip.” – Cory K.
“My first backpacking trip and it was the BEST DECISION I’ve made. Our guide, Matt, was incredible. He had so much knowledge on the canyon, its history, the Natives who lived there, fun facts, and fun jokes. He cooked all our food (so good) and had so many snacks we were not in a shortage of food! It was incredible. I learned so much more and have much more appreciation after my trip with him than if I had just went to see it alone. HIGHLY recommend Matt and Four Season Guides!! I’ll definitely return with Four Season Guides for another trip.” – Susan F.