Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Days: 3 Days

Distance: 15 mi/24 km

Difficulty: Intermediate

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: $900/person

*All commercial trips in Grand Canyon National Park are subject to a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is included in the advertised trip cost. 

Trip Description

This Grand Canyon hiking tour is the perfect trip for those looking to get a taste of Grand Canyon’s wilder side in just a few days. The Grandview Trail was built in the 1890s to access Pete Berry’s Last Chance Mine and remnants of the original trail work can still be seen today. This steep but well-traveled route leads hikers quickly down 2500 feet to Horseshoe Mesa, a broad flatland formation offering some of the best views found below the rim. From your primitive, backcountry campsite you will have the opportunity to explore beautiful Cottonwood Creek with its impressive sandstone narrows, old mining relics, an impressive limestone cave perhaps catch a glimpse of the canyon’s wildlife. Each night you will be treated to some of the best sunsets night skies in the Southwest. The quiet and solitude experienced on this wonderful backpacking trek will certainly reward and rejuvenate your senses!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1:
Depart Flagstaff early for the scenic drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Grandview Trailhead. After final preparations, we will begin our 3 mile trek down into the Canyon, stopping regularly for breaks, snacks and photo opportunities. Don’t let the mileage fool you…the trail is steep and demands your attention with each step. Once on Horseshoe Mesa, your guide will setup camp and prepare a delicious lunch before heading out for some afternoon exploration. The east and west ‘arms’ of the mesa offer spectacular views of the Colorado River, North Rim and Palisades of the Desert. In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner and a gorgeous sunset.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 3 miles + day hiking, 2500 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:
Arise early for a cup of hot coffee as the sunrise paints the surrounding canyon in gorgeous colors. After a tasty breakfast, your guide will lead you on a rewarding day of exploration. Cottonwood Creek is a watery oasis with lush vegetation, impressive sandstone narrows and inviting pools. Explore its depths or relax by the creek in the shade of a cottonwood tree. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to explore the impressive Cave of the Domes, the most accessible limestone cavern in Grand Canyon. At the end of the day, kick back and enjoy the views while your guide fixes another tasty dinner.
Distance & Elevation: 6 to 8 miles, 1000 foot descent/ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
Arise early for sunrise coffee and prepare for your hike back up to the South Rim. Your guide will prepare a hearty breakfast and pack up camp before we set out, retracing our steps up the Grandview Trail. Along the way, look back in awe at the landscape you spent the last few days exploring. One last lunch at Grandview Point on the South Rim and then it’s back to Flagstaff.
Distance & Elevation: 3 miles, 2500 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch
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.

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

September: 21-23, 27-29

October: 4-6, 14-16, 26-28

2019 Dates

March: 20-22, 25-27

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.