Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Days: 5 or 6 Days

Distance: 45 mi/72 km

Difficulty: Intermediate +

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: 5 Day: $1300/person, 6 Day: $1440/person

Trip Description

This adventure is for fit hikers looking to visit spend some time in the quieter Grand Canyon backcountry. A trip to Clear Creek has a bit of everything you could want from a hike below the rim: the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch, outstanding views, freshwater streams, waterfalls, ancient ruins and solitude. Clear Creek lies just east of Bright Angel Canyon and the popular trans-canyon corridor. Despite its proximity to this popular area, Clear Creek provides a true wilderness experience and rewards the backpacker that makes the journey there. You will have the opportunity to explore the numerous side canyons in the area, visit Cheyava Falls or follow Clear Creek down to its confluence with the Colorado River. The possibilities are endless. Regardless of how you spend your days, this exciting backpack is sure to challenge and reward you.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1:
This excellent Grand Canyon backpacking tour begins by descending the famous South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River. Our first night will be spent at Bright Angel Campground, a short stroll from historic Phantom Ranch.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 4800 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:
After a tasty breakfast, we will pack up camp and head out on the 10 mile hike to Clear Creek. After an initial climb of 1000 feet, the trail levels out for the next 7 miles, offering delightful hiking and epic views along the Tonto Plateau. The trail eventually begins its descent into the Clear Creek drainage via a beautiful and exciting stretch through the bright red Hakatai Shale. We will make camp for the next two nights along the banks of the creek in this quiet, secluded oasis.
Distance & Elevation: 10 miles, 1000 foot ascent/descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
Today we get to leave the backpacks behind as we explore this incredible area with small day packs. The spring months demand a hike to the towering Cheyava Falls, the tallest waterfall in Grand Canyon. This wondrous sight only flows in the spring as the snowpack on the North Rim melts away. If Cheyava isn’t flowing, the group may opt for the exciting scramble downstream to the Colorado River. Plenty of other exploration presents itself in every direction. Either way, this layover day will certainly satisfy your sense of discovery.
Distance & Elevation: 6 to 12 miles, up to 500 foot elevation change
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
Today we will pack up our camp and head back to Bright Angel Campground for another night. Once we arrive, feel free to relax by the creek or visit Phantom Ranch to enjoy an ice-cold lemonade. Your guide will handle all the work, leaving you more time to explore the area or simply nap under a shade tree.
Distance & Elevation: 10 miles, 1000 foot elevation change
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:
We’ll be up early again to have breakfast, breakdown camp and pack up for the final leg of the journey. But today we’ll lighten our loads by packing out tents, sleeping bags and a few other items on the mules. We head up the famous Bright Angel Trail, featuring a stunning stretch along the Colorado River, the Granite Narrows of Pipe Creek and nice rest at Indian Gardens. We’ll top out in the early to mid-afternoon and celebrate a great accomplishment before heading back to Flagstaff.
Distance & Elevation: 9.5 miles, 4400 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 1.5 hours

6-Day Option:
On Day 5 we will enjoy a lazy breakfast before packing up and continuing our trek up to Indian Garden Campground. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely 1.5-mile hike out to Plateau Point, the finest place in Grand Canyon to watch the sunset. Day 6 finishes with a 4.5 mile hike to the South Rim.

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included

  • 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 10-15% 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 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. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). 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 Four Season Outfitters shop in Flagstaff. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.

Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation. Most trips will depart between 4:30am and 7am. *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 shop 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.

2018 Dates

April: 8-12, 22-26

November: 5-9, 19-23

December: 19-23, 27-31


2019 Dates

January: 7-11

February: 4-8

March: 10-14

April: 8-12

More dates to come soon…

Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!

Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.