Type: Basecamp hiking + float trip
Days: 4 Days
Distance: 20 mi/32 km
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 is included in the advertised trip cost.
This is the perfect family vacation for a summertime visit to the Canyon! The Grand Canyon’s North Rim features the park’s best views but without the crowds typically found along its more popular South Rim. Why no crowds? Simply stated, it’s more remote and it takes longer to get there. But for those willing to make the journey, the rewards are many. You will spend your days hiking and visiting rarely seen views that easily surpass those on the South Rim. Stroll through cool pine forests or explore the world below the rim by day. Each night will be spent at your comfortable campsite in the forest, where you will be treated to delicious meals prepared by your guide while relaxing by the fire and gazing upon the unbelievable night sky. And trip culminates with a float trip on the Colorado River through stunning Glen Canyon. Let our guides handle all the work while you focus on just enjoying every moment of your vacation. This fantastic Grand Canyon hiking tour is a favorite of our guides and will undoubtedly leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Depart Flagstaff early for your scenic drive through Northern Arizona. Enjoy the many colorful rocks of the Painted Desert, Navajo Reservation, and Vermillion Cliffs. We will stop along the way for our first hike in Cathedral Wash, an exciting narrow canyon that leads to the banks of the Colorado River in Marble Canyon. Here we will enjoy a tasty lunch on a sandy beach before heading back to the car for the remaining drive to the North Rim. A short walk out to Bright Angel Point offers unbelievable views of the canyon. We then visit the beautiful North Rim Lodge before heading to camp. Your guide will take care of everything. You can just sit back and enjoy the surroundings as we prepare a delicious dinner by the campfire.
Drive Time: 2 hours to Cathedral Wash, then 1.25 hours to North Rim
Distance & Elevation: ~5 miles, 500 foot descent/ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today’s hikes will explore trails below the rim, as well as through the forests along the rim to remote views. Enjoy classic Grand Canon scenery as you descend through the multi-colored layers of ancient rock along the North Kaibab Trail. In the afternoon, we venture out towards Cape Royal and explore the gorgeous Ponderosa pine forests on our way to a remote, seldom-visited viewpoint. Return to camp for a hot meal and some rest and relaxation by the campfire.
Distance & Elevation: 6-10 miles, 1500 foot descent/ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today’s journey will bring us incredible views from the rim as we explore one of the lesser-traveled trails in the park. The Widforss Trail winds along the rim through beautiful forests of spruce, aspen and fir, and past ancient fossil beds towards a spectacular and secluded viewpoint. Don’t expect to see too many other people out here. You’ll feel like you have Grand Canyon to yourself! Enjoy some free time in the late afternoon to relax around camp, visit the lodge for a cold drink on the patio or explore the nearby Transept Trail.
Distance & Elevation: up to 10 miles, minimal elevation change
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This last day of the tour will feature a wonderful float on the Colorado River through the scenic grandeur of Glen Canyon. This 14-mile stretch of river starts directly at the base of Glen Canyon Dam and passes beneath 2000 foot walls of gorgeous red Navajo sandstone, ending at Lee’s Ferry, the official beginning of Grand Canyon. We will then travel back to Flagstaff, arriving around 5:30 pm.
Drive Time: 2 hours to Colorado River, then 2 hours to Flagstaff
3-Day Options: A shorter itinerary can be customized for any group of 3 or more. Call for details.
*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: day pack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
- All necessary cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils
- 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 camping 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.
Due to a campground closure at the North Rim, this trip is not available until 2021.
June: 14-17, 23-26
July: 1-4, 14-17
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.
When booking your Grand Canyon hiking trip, make sure that you book out at least 4+ months in advance due to Grand Canyon National Park’s permit system. The deadline to apply for backpacking permits is on the first of the month, 4 months prior to the month you intend to hike (i.e. January 1 deadline for all May trips, February 1 for June, March 1 for July…etc.).