Custom Grand Canyon Backpacking

Trip Description

There are a number of excellent backpacking opportunities in Grand Canyon that you won’t find listed under our regular offerings. Most of these trips will be more physically demanding and cover some of the most challenging trails in the park. But we can also offer great trips for those who are new to backpacking or who might only have one or two nights available for a trip. As with all of our trip offerings, our Custom Backpacking trips include all the necessary gear, all food and trail snacks, the required backcountry permits, and a professional, licensed guide.

For those looking for a good challenge and plenty of solitude, you might consider the amazing Escalante Route, which is not only one of the most spectacular hikes in Grand Canyon but also one of the most difficult. The New Hance Loop offers a similar challenge and remarkable scenery.

But if time is short and you’re new to backpacking, perhaps one or two nights at Havasuapai Gardens Campground along the Bright Angel Trail is a good fit and a great introduction to hiking and camping in Grand Canyon. And the Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa is an excellent option for a quick one or two night trip that involves a healthy dose of wilderness and solitude, as well as short miles with the backpacks on and plenty of time to explore from your beautiful campsite.

There are plenty of options and we always eager to discuss these with you and help you plan the perfect trip. As with all Grand Canyon trips, these are best planned at least 5 months in advance, based on how the Grand Canyon backcountry permit system operates.


Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Days: Minimum 2 Days

Distance: Variable

Difficulty: Beginner to Expert

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: Variable

*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 Itinerary

Specific itineraries vary for these trips and are based on a number of factors including group interests and fitness, desired hike length (number of days), time of year and permit availability. Contact one of our trip specialists to discuss custom options for your group. You can also join existing trips as space allows.

For custom itineraries, we recommend booking at least 5 to 6 months in advance. However, we can often find excellent itineraries for your group on shorter notice, as well. Most custom itineraries require a minimum of 4 participants, particularly during the months on March through June, as well as September and October.

However, here are a few itineraries that might be of interest:

Escalante Route: Tanner to New Hance (5 Days, Advanced+)

New Hance Loop (4 or 5 Days, Advanced)

Horseshoe Mesa (2 or 3 Days, Intermediate)

Havasupai Gardens (2 or 3 Days, Beginner+)

Call 1-877-272-5032 to speak with a trip specialist about planning your Custom Grand Canyon Backpacking Adventure today!


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

Travel Logistics

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.

Where do meet our guides?

We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:00pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the Little America Hotel 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 Little America Hotel (recommended) can leave their cars at the hotel. The hotel 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.

Trip Dates

2024 Dates


This page will be updated as Custom Trips are booked and only if space is available for others to join.


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

Guest Testimonials

Guest Testimonials

Best In The Business! I can’t say enough good things about Four Season Guides! They are truly the best. I have been traveling the world for over 30 years and have been on countless guided tours and few companies can approach the level of professionalism these folks display. I have now been on 7 trips with Four Seasons and have had the pleasure of travelling with 4 different guides from the company. All of them are fantastic at what they do: extremely knowledgeable, outgoing, fun, safety-orientated, excellent cooks (chicken fajitas in the Grand Canyon backcountry!!!) and extremely accommodating to each and every participant in the group.

At this point, FSG is custom-fitting trips to my (and my friend’s) desires, meticulously planning new adventures for us every year. And every year, it’s the one event I look forward with unrivaled anticipation.

I have travelled with one of the other top-rated companies here on Trip Advisor and, although the trip was enjoyable and successful, the guide was obviously not as familiar with the area, nor as experienced at handling a diverse group of people. Just goes to show the benefit of going with the guys who have been doing it the longest. Four Season Guides definitely have the most talented folks I’ve seen in the outdoors!

My undying gratitude to “the Brians”, Scott, Dave, Bob, Omar, Ryanne and everyone else at FSG. You guys are the BEST and I can’t for for another 10 days in the backcountry this fall! Look no further…Four Season Guides is the Best In The Business” – Alan P.

When booking your Grand Canyon backpacking 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.).