Trip Details

Type: Backpacking/Camping

Days: 4 Days

Distance: 24 mi/39 km

Difficulty: Intermediate

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: $1275/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 is the most famous hike in Grand Canyon! A Rim to Rim backpacking trip offers the best overall impression of the Canyon because it allows one to truly see the diversity of the North Rim and the South Rim. We begin backpacking in the cool spruce and fir forests of the North Rim, descending the North Kaibab Trail. As we make our down this relatively wide and well-maintained trail, the dramatic views unfold with every turn.  We pass Roaring Springs, an idyllic watery oasis bursting from the canyon wall. Near the banks of Bright Angel Creek, Cottonwood Camp offers an intimate and peaceful first evening to enjoy the setting sun on the soaring cliffs. The wondrous Ribbon Falls and serpentine turns of The Box highlight your second morning, with the afternoon offering the opportunity to explore historic Phantom Ranch & the Colorado River or relax beneath the shady cottonwoods in Bright Angel Camp, our home for the evening. We then cross the mighty Colorado and continue our trek southward, up to Indian Gardens and Plateau Point where we’ll enjoy sunset at one of the most incredible vantage points in the park. Our journey ends on the South Rim on Day 4.

A Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hiking tour is the finest way to experience what this incredible National Park has to offer. Since 1999, this has been one of our most popular tours and our guides are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the business. Let us show you the trip of a lifetime!

 Click here for our 5 & 6 Day Winter Rim to Rim tours!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1:
The Grand Canyon Rim to Rim tour departs Flagstaff early for a beautiful drive through the Navajo Reservation & Painted Desert, across the Colorado River and along the Vermilion Cliffs and Kaibab Plateau to our starting point 8000 feet above sea level. We descend the spectacular North Kaibab Trail to Cottonwood Campground. Enjoy stunning canyon scenery as you traverse along towering cliffs and dramatic gorges, past Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Creek. The evening skies are magical as the sunset colors fade to night and an unimaginable number of stars take their place.
Drive Time: 3.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 4160 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:
We rise with the sun, enjoy a tasty breakfast and head back out on the trail. Tonight’s home will be Bright Angel Campground, a short stroll from Phantom Ranch and the Colorado River. But along the way we’ll stop to admire the remarkable Ribbon Falls, tucked away in a beautiful little alcove off the main trail. Continuing on, the wide open views we’ve been enjoying give way to the sinuous narrows of The Box. This fabulous stretch of trail follows the creek closely as the black cliffs of the Vishnu Schist rise immediately beside us, a thousand feet overhead, eventually opening up as we approach camp. Enjoy a cold lemonade or frosty beer in the late afternoon at the Ranch followed by a delicious dinner prepared by your guide.
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 1600 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
After breakfast we will begin our trek up to Indian Gardens with side hiking options and some beautiful pools to cool off in. Enjoy stunning views along the Colorado River before heading up Pipe Creek and the famous Bright Angel Trail. Late in the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely 1.5 mile hike out to Plateau Point, the finest place in Grand Canyon to watch the sunset.
Distance & Elevation: 4.5 miles, 1500 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
After packing up camp we begin our final ascent, 4.5 miles and 3000ft to the South Rim. The ever-evolving view will assure you stop regularly to take photos and catch your breath. This is also your best chance to catch a glimpse of the endangered California Condors soaring overhead. A big, tasty lunch and some time on the rim will allow you to celebrate your accomplishment before our shuttle driver brings us back to Flagstaff.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 4.6 miles, 3000 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch

*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.

2019 Dates

June: 13-16, 17-20, 19-22, 28-July 1

July: 2-5, 5-8, 8-11, 14-17, 20-23, 28-31

August: 2-5, 12-15, 21-24, 25-28, 29-September 1

September: 2-5, 3-6, 4-7, 7-10, 9-12, 11-14, 15-18, 19-22, 20-23, 21-24, 22-25, 25-28, 29-October 2

October: 6-9, 7-10, 10-13, 13-16, 14-17, 20-23, 23-26, 29-November 1, 30-November 2

* Try our Winter Rim to Rim, Hermit Loop, or Clear Creek for comparable trips in the winter months.


2020 Dates

Grand Canyon issues permits for backpacking/camping trips 5 months in advance via a lottery system. We can request permits for any date you like so be sure to contact us before the deadlines (noted below). Permits for the most popular trips will sell-out immediately during the initial lottery. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you contact us prior to the deadline for the month you are hoping to hike. Pre-registration is free!

May: Call or email us before January 1 to request your preferred dates.

June: Call or email us before February 1 to request your preferred dates.

July: Call or email us before March 1 to request your preferred dates.

August: Call or email us before April 1 to request your preferred dates.

September: Call or email us before May 1 to request your preferred dates.

October: Call or email us before June 1 to request your preferred dates.


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