Trip Details

Type: Lodge-Based Hiking

Days: 2 or 3 Days

Distance: 23 mi/37 km

Difficulty: Intermediate +

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: $1600 (3 Days), $1300 (2 Days)

*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. 

Trip Description

Our Phantom Ranch hiking tour will offer you one of the most famous hikes in the world! And it’s great for people who are new to Grand Canyon and not interested in camping. We start our hike on the famous South Kaibab Trail, which offers the shortest possible route to the Colorado River and the bottom of Grand Canyon. On the way down the trail, you will enjoy spectacular views of Pipe Creek Canyon, Cremation Canyon, the North Rim and Inner Gorge. The idyllic Phantom Ranch is our home for the next two nights. Our second day will be spent exploring the trails and hidden secrets in the bottom of the Canyon. Hike all day or spend some time relaxing beneath a shady cottonwood tree, gazing up at the towering canyon walls surrounding you. There are many options for this day that can suit the needs and desires of everyone. The last day we climb back to the top of the South Rim on the historic Bright Angel Trail. Our Phantom Ranch hiking tours offer the best way to experience a few nights below the rim without having to rough it too much!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1:
This classic Grand Canyon hiking tour starts on the famous South Kaibab Trail. It’s nothing but fantastic views from top to bottom on this well-traveled route. Upon reaching the Colorado River, we cross the impressive Black Bridge, just a few minutes from our home for the next two nights at Phantom Ranch. Enjoy a refreshing shower when we arrive and a little time to relax before a delicious dinner. In the evening, take in a ranger-led program while the night sky fills with an unimaginable number of stars.
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 4800 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:
Our second day affords us the opportunity to explore the many wonderful side canyons and trails in the bottom of the Canyon. Hike up the Clear Creek Trail to stunning views of the Colorado River. Explore the narrows of Phantom Canyon and its delightful pools and waterfalls. Or feel free to spend your time relaxing by the creek or cat-napping under a shady cottonwood tree. The day is yours to enjoy as you decide.
Distance & Elevation: Variable, depending on chosen hike
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
After an early breakfast we will begin our hike back up to the South Rim. Enjoy stunning views along the Colorado River before heading up Pipe Creek along the Bright Angel Trail. This trail offers a wonderful contrast to the views found along the Kaibab Trail on Day 1. Keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep and the endangered California condors soaring overhead. Enjoy a tasty lunch along the way while taking in the sweeping views across to the North Rim. You will thrill at the feeling of reaching the trailhead in Grand Canyon Village, knowing that you have just completed one of the greatest hikes in the world.
Distance & Elevation: 9.5 miles, 4400 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch

*2-Day Itineraries follow Days 1 & 3 of the above described itinerary.

*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, trekking poles, traction devices (for icy conditions)
  • Two nights accommodations at Phantom Ranch
  • 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
  • Park entrance fees

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.

Please Note: The Phantom Ranch dorm accomodations are currently closed due to a major renovation project on the wastewater treatment system. Any listed dates below will include shared cabin accommodations. You might also consider our Bright Angel Loop as an excellent alternative to the Phantom Ranch tour.


2021 Dates

No remaining dates in 2021.


2022 Dates

No dates currently available.

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

When booking your Phantom Ranch hiking trip, it is recommended you contact us at least 10+ months in advance dfor the best chance of finding availability. Reservations become available 13 months in advance and we often have extensive waitlists in place up to 2 years in advance.