Grand Canyon Backpacking – South Rim

From: $760

per person dbl occ

Dates: Apr-May - see all dates

Total Days: 4

Activity Level: 5

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI Member: $760

Non-member: $835

2015

REI Member: $775

Non-member: $875

Trip Dates:

2014

South Rim: Grandview
Route —
  • Apr 3–6 Sold out
  • Apr 10–13 Sold out
  • Apr 17–20 Sold out
  • Apr 24–27 Sold out
South Rim: Hermit's Rest Route —
  • May 1–4
  • May 8–11
  • May 15–18 Sold out
  • May 22–25

2015

South Rim: Grandview
Route —
  • Apr 2–5
  • Apr 9–12
  • Apr 16–19
  • Apr 23–26
South Rim: Hermit's Rest Route —
  • Apr 30 – May 3
  • May 7–10
  • May 14–17
  • May 21–24

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-9

Activity Level: 5

Activities:

  • Backpacking

Accommodations:

Backcountry camping, 3 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Backpack from the South Rim to the canyon floor
  • See stunning rock formations at an astonishing scale
  • Challenge yourself with 4 days of hiking through unsurpassable terrain
  • Get a new perspective on the Grand Canyon looking up from the bottom
  • Learn local history and see a surprising diversity of plants and wildlife

The Grand Canyon is truly one of America's greatest natural wonders. Avid backpackers around the world seek out its mystic depths in search of a true personal challenge. Along our way from the South rim to the Colorado River at the Canyon's floor, we see astounding rock formations, springs and waterfalls, and fossils and relics revealing the immense history of the region. We camp at scenic sites with opportunities to rest and cool off in the canyon's waters.

This challenging trip is designed for experienced and fit backpackers. We hike on steep, rocky trails with dramatic elevation gains and losses. A physician's release is required of all participants. Our reward is the time spent below the rim—an experience unlike any other, and a milestone accomplishment for avid backpackers.

Also check out our North Rim backpacking itinerary for more options to explore this national treasure.

Itinerary Summary

  • Route Variation - Our specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent on permit availability.
  • Day 1 - Welcome to the Grand Canyon! We begin our descent into the canyon.
  • Days 2-3 - Continuing our exploration, we move on to our next camp.
  • Day 4 - We make our exit hike up to the rim, taking in final views of the Grand Canyon.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Route Variation - Our specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent on permit availability.

    REI will include a detailed itinerary in your final departure materials. Regardless of the selected route, be prepared for daily hiking on steep and sometimes exposed trail with mileage of up to 11+ miles and elevation changes of up to 5,000'. Our two most common routes include highlights such as:

    • Grandview (April): Exploring Horseshoe Mesa, Last Chance Copper Mine and Hance Rapids, soaking in spectacular views of Vishnu Temple, Wotan’s Throne, Angel’s Gate, and much more.
    • Hermit’s Rest (May): Explore Hermit Rapids, the remains of the original Hermit Railroad Camp built by Santa Fe Railroad Company, Lookout Point, and much more.
  • Day 1 - Welcome to the Grand Canyon! We begin our descent into the canyon.

    Meet your guides and the other group members inside Grand Canyon National Park at South Rim Market Plaza in front of the General Store at 8am sharp. We'll use this time for a brief orientation, group gear distribution, and a pack check. Shortly thereafter we caravan to the trailhead where stunning views await. Our legs warm up quickly as we begin our descent along the steep and rocky trail into the canyon. At camp, guides prepare our meal. A canopy of stars rewards us after a long day. Dinner included.

    Backpacking: ~8-10 miles; Elevation loss: ~4400 ft.

  • Days 2-3 - Continuing our exploration, we move on to our next camp.

    After a hearty breakfast each morning, we pack up and hike to our next camp. Depending on our route, we'll see spectacular sites like Hance Rapids, the Grand Canyon Supergroup Layers, Redwall Cliffs, Vishnu Temple, and the Colorado River—amazing examples from 1.7 billion years of Earth's geological history. Scenery includes beautiful river views, other-worldly rock formations, and ample star gazing. We end our days at a comfortable camp and recharge with a freshly-prepared dinner. Breakfast and Dinner included

    Backpacking: ~5-11 miles; elevation gain/loss varies depending on route.

  • Day 4 - We make our exit hike up to the rim, taking in final views of the Grand Canyon.

    Today we make our exit ascent to the canyon rim. An early start takes advantage of the coolest part of the day as we climb up the rocky trail. Depending on time, we may make a brief side trip for more views of the canyon. At the rim, we take in a final view of this dramatic chasm and say our goodbyes. Finishing time is generally in the late afternoon but can vary greatly based on trail and weather conditions, hiking speed of the entire group and other circumstances beyond our control. As a result, we recommend delaying travel plans until the following day. Breakfast included.

    Backpacking: ~8-9 miles; Elevation gain: 3500-4000 ft.

    Note: Trip members will need to bring a variety of quick foods for snacks and lunch each day. Granola bars, drink mixes, trail mix, bagels, hard cheeses, salami, jerky, tuna packets (not cans), crackers, packets of nut butter (not jars), apples, etc. are all good choices.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. This trip is operated rain or shine.

Important Information about Air Travel

Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and backcountry permit fees.

Not Included

Transportation from your hometown to group meeting point; park entrance fees ($25 per private vehicle or present your National Parks pass); transfers to/from trailhead; insurance of any kind; 3 lunches; snacks and energy food; energy drinks; alcoholic beverages (please do not bring); soft drinks; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Closest Airport(s)

Major: Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Phoenix, AZ: 230 miles
McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, NV: 272 miles
Smaller: Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, AZ: 80 miles

Qualifications

This trip is rated Strenuous [5].  Participants will be carrying their own backpacks with weights of 30-45 lbs for up to 11 miles per day. Participants should be prepared to hike over steep, rocky and sometimes exposed terrain, with constant and dramatic elevation gains and/or losses of up to 5,000 feet per day on most days. This is not a beginning backpacking trip. Previous backpacking experience is a prerequisite for participation and a physician's release is required.

Food & Hydration

Bring your own variety of quick foods to be eaten as lunch and grazed on constantly throughout the day each day. Energy bars, trail mix, bagels, salami, and salty snacks are all good choices. Staying adequately hydrated requires a mix of water and electrolyte replacement. You will need to be able to carry a minimum of 4 liters of water.

Weather

Daytime temperatures within the canyon usually range between 70o - 90o F but can sometime climb even higher. Evening temperatures drop into the 60s-70s or even lower. While rain in general is rare, there is always the possibility of rain, so adequate raingear is important, even in this arid landscape. The Grand Canyon is a very unique environment, and it is important to note that the temperature on the rim of the Grand Canyon is significantly colder than at the bottom of the canyon, due to a difference in elevation of over 5,000 vertical feet.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. A limited number of single accommodations are available, and are assigned only as necessary.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Grand Canyon Backpacking – South Rim Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

Daytime temperatures usually range between 60° - 90° F but can sometimes climb even higher. Evening temperatures drop into the 40s - 50s or even lower.  While rain in general is rare, there is always the possibility of precipitation, so adequate raingear is important to have along.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Tents
  • Cooking gear
  • Stoves and fuel
  • Water filter
  • Group first aid kit
Mandatory Gear
  • Backpack (60-70 liter capacity)
  • Hiking footwear (comfortable and well broken-in; heavy waterproof boots not recommended)
  • Four to five 1-quart water bottles or hydration system equivalent (bring at least one 1-quart bottle even if using a hydration system)
  • Headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Bowl or cup (not both)
  • Eating utensil (only one)
  • Clothing (No more than 2 of anything. Bring a lightweight long sleeve COTTON shirt for sun protection/moisture retention. Cotton retains moisture and keeps you comfortable in hot, arid climates)
  • Sunscreen (travel size)
  • Sleeping bag (rated around 20-35º for April and late Sept/Oct trips; 40º+ for all other trips
  • Electrolytes, enough for 4 liters of water (provided but if you have a favorite feel free to bring your own)
  • TP system: zip loc baggie with toilet paper (not a full roll), wet wipes, and 1 Ziploc gallon baggie to carry out used TP
  • personal items (meds/vitamins/etc)
  • pack cover (or garbage bag)
  • rain jacket (lightweight, waterproof and breathable)
  • Lunch food & snacks (a wide variety of dense, high-calorie, salty, sugary, fatty foods that you enjoy eating)
Recommended Gear
  • Sleeping pad
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Bandana
  • Hiking poles
  • Camp shoes (lightweight sandals or flip-flops)
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste (travel size or share)
  • Camera
  • 1 luxury item (book, iPod, cards, journal, pillow)
Optional Clothing for trips departing April, late September and October
  • Lightweight fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Mid- or lightweight thermal top & bottom
  • Down jacket or vest (optional)
  • Hat
  • Gloves

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresGrand Canyon Backpacking
 
4.9

(based on 55 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (54)
  • Activity level (50)
  • Group camaraderie (47)
  • Exceeded expectations (45)
  • Food (45)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (25), Avid adventurer (22), Casual/ recreational (5)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (48), Active adventures (40), All the details planned for me (40), I liked the itinerary (36), Good value (32)

      Reviewed by 55 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Challenging Hike

      By TK

      from New Jersey

      About Me Biker, Casual Adventurer, Hiker, Runner

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

          This was a great trip that did not disappoint.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I always wanted to hike the Grand Canyon and this was a great way to experience the canyon.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Swimming in the Colorado River for 5 seconds since it was too cold. The views and the challenge. Tom and Todd are great guides and cooks!
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Make sure you are in great shape, bring plenty of snacks and wear comfortable hiking shoes.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Come ready to be awed and challenged

          By Btown Hiker

          from Bloomington,IN

          About Me All About The Next Hike

          See all my reviews

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Activity Level
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Views Views Views

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

              After doing both north & south rim trips, the guides ask me to compare - hard to do. I enjoyed BOTH and especially love my "canyon peeps"- what tremendous groups both times! In terms of canyon features & physical challenge, the north rim "wins" for me, but only by degrees. North has more elevation, is more remote, wild and isolated & the water features are more stunning (Thunder River/Falls, Deer Falls, Tapeats Creek). That said, each has unique and memorable parts that are definitely worth seeing. So, you just need to hike BOTH rims at some point in your life!

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • Did REI North Rim in 2012 and wanted to do a south rim backcountry trip with guides Tom and Todd. Not disappointed a bit!! The trip was great and guides stellar in every way.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • The vistas & the kindred spirit of the group. Planning is spot-on and the guides have this figured out so you can totally enjoy and marvel at the wonder of the canyon and the amazing people you hike, camp and share the experience with for 4 days. LITERALLY... prepare ... to be amazed.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • If you read the reviews, there is a clear theme -prepare, train, and listen to the guides on what to pack (& importantly, what NOT to pack). They are pros and can make the trip a better experience in the canyon environment if you heed their advice. Atlanta Julia is right on with her comments (except she was no "weak-link"- she rocked it and hit the rim Day 4 before me!). It is not a casual hiking trek and passion for the challenge is a critical ingredient.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Canyon 2013 late-April

              By CanyonTrekker

              from Bloomfield Hills, MI

              About Me Casual Adventurer, First-Time Adventurer

              Pros

              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Great Adventure
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience

              Cons

              • Physical Preparation
              • Wildlife

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                Guides are good and pleasant company and I miss their breakfasts and dinners today. You might study of bit of geology in preparation just because its all about the rocks; There is little wildlife or vegetation. If you physically prepare, the trip will be pleasant, and mentally and personally challenging.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • Strenuous adventure, visited a place I wanted to go, very professional, high quality organization and guides
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • The first step in and last step out of the canyon. Guide prepared meals
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Conditioning, conditioning, conditioning, and develop leg strength. the one-day hike from river to rim is a physical feat.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A-Mazing!

                By Julia D Atlanta

                from Atlanta, Georgia

                About Me Casual Hiker

                Pros

                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                    I was the "weak link" of our group. I thought I trained adequately, but I didn't. I can easily run 8 miles a day.. not enough... I have a very active job...not enough... Train Train Train and WITH a weighted pack... Get good, lightweight shoes. Pack lightweight and listen to what the guides tell you to bring and not to bring. Bring a inflatable sleeping pad. A very lightweight sleeping bag is all you need in the summer. Lightweight camp shoes, I did not bring any and wished I had. This will allow your day shoes to dry out. Bring a positive attitude. Some of my camp mates poked fun at me a little for choosing a Level 5 instead of a 3... I was probably conditioned for a 3... So if you doubt, maybe start with a 3 and graduate to this level. It was amazing no matter what. Just TRAIN :)

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I chose this trip because I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon from down below with experienced guides.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Backpacking with Tom and Todd (our guides), is much like attending basketball camp with Michael Jordan and Lebron James as your instructors. They are the best. Both very considerate, knowledgable and patient. The food was amazing. Group dynamic was amazing. 8 strangers, coming together with a common goal and amazing scenery.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • GET IN SHAPE. This is not your grandma's trail. There is NOTHING smooth about this trail. If this is your first or second adventure, be mentally and physically prepared and you will have an amazing experience. Bring a positive attitude. TRAIN!!
                     
                    5.0

                    Great hiking with great guides!

                    By NateM

                    from New York, NY

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Activity Level
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                        Many guides are either knowledgable, well-organized or good at building group comraderie, but few are all three the way Todd and Tom were - absolutely fantastic guides!

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • Wanted a tough multiday hike in a beautiful location with good company that I didn't have to plan myself!
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Bathing in the ice-cold Colorado, and enjoying countless beautiful views with great company
                         
                        5.0

                        Don't miss this trip!

                        By Btown Hiker

                        from Bloomington,IN

                        About Me All About The Next Trip

                        See all my reviews

                        Pros

                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Quality Equipment Provided
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                            It was a challenging trip and different from main corridor hiking. Tom and Todd are absolutely the best- lots of teaching moments and good times. Their vast experience (and love for the canyon)were invaluable. Our group was fantastic, helpful, supportive and we shared a lot of great moments & laughs.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • Love the Grand Canyon and have hiked main corridors but would not have attempted backcountry without guides. Wanted to try REI out for future trips.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • There is no single highlight. Guides, our group, views, being in a place that very few trek, learning, reflecting - if you enjoy (rigorous)hiking (& tent-camping), this is a win-win-win experience.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Listen to the guides - especially on the packing/weight! My only regret was that I left my hiker-cup in the car (coffee gets cold fast in a bowl)! Plan, prepare, and train so you can enjoy every minute of the trip. Next time, I would ditch the hiking boots and wear trail runners or shoes to avoid wet-boot hiking!

                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Perfect!!!!!

                            By JohnnyNJ

                            from NJ

                            About Me Casual Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                                The trip was amazing. The guides were fun, friendly, and very informative. The group I had was a great mix of people who all enjoyed each others help, conversation, and company.

                                I highly recommend this trip to anybody looking to get away, and take a challenge.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, Destination
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • Wanted to challenge myself and get out of touch for a few days.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The ENTIRE TRIP!!!
                                 
                                5.0

                                A Grand Adventure!

                                By 40something

                                from Philly

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                                    You are travelling to one of the greatest natural formations on earth. The best way to experience it is to go 'all in.' To earn you way down to the river and back out again is very rewarding. Many kudos to the guides too. They give you the confidence in their skill and knowledge right away. I wouldn't have gone without being accompanied by such experienced pros.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • With limited time for getaways I wanted an adventure that mixed strenuous physical activity with education and fun. This trip fit the bill.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Looking back over my shoulder after the final ascent.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • More than anything, I'd say prepare yourself physically for the grind. The better shape your in the more you'll get out of it. We were fortunate to have an intrepid group with us. Also, stick closely to what the guides tell you to bring. If they say you don't need it, you don't, and vice versa.

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great trip!

                                    By Likes to Walk

                                    from Philadelphia, PA

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                                        Tom and Todd really are great guides. They know the Canyon and are a wealth of information. They also are good guys, and you will enjoy their company.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • I wanted to see the "real" Grand Canyon and wanted a physically challenging experience, with guides. This trip fit the bill perfectly.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • Our trip took us to a couple of creeks (and waterfalls) that flow into the Colorado; these truly were magnificent and were an absolue highlight of the trip. So was the food - Tom and Todd's cooking was outstanding.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • You need to be in GREAT physical shape to handle this trip. Train, train, train, especially with a backpack (35-40 pounds). The downhill parts are by far the hardest part of the trip - be ready. Bring hiking poles (or at least one) and have lots of electrolytes and/or energy bars; you will need them. Pack as lightly as possible -you will not need as much gear as you think - but be sure to bring water bottles and/or a water bladder. Also, invest in a good sleeping pad; it will be money well spent. Enjoy!

                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Words will never do justice...

                                        By Domenick

                                        from New Jersey

                                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                                        See all my reviews

                                        Site Member

                                        Pros

                                        • Activity Level
                                        • Exceeded Expectations
                                        • Food
                                        • Group Camaraderie
                                        • Guides
                                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Backpacking:

                                            Absolutely life changing, soul recharging adventure! This is a " must experience" for any individual with an interest in the desolate beauty of the north rim. Words, pictures, will never ever do it justice. The immense power of the canyon views, waterfalls and constantly changing terrain fills every sense with an incredible gratitude and respect of this wonder of nature. Please please please prepare for this trip physically. It is incredibly challenging in many ways. I am convinced that no matter how hard you train, you will still find it difficult in one way or another. I consider myself an athlete who trains regularly, backpacks often and pushes myself physically on a regular basis, and yes I was still working hard on this trip. If you have any reservations about your physical capabilities, choose a trip rated 3-4, not this one. That being said, if you are up for the physical challenges and are adequately prepared, it will be a life changing soul charging adventure.

                                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                            • I wanted to experience the vast beauty of the canyon from the inside and go where few venture. I had a great experience with REI adventures on a previous trip and wanted to challenge myself both physically and mentally.
                                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                            • The views, the challenges, the waterfalls, the Colorado river, the narrows.... Too much to list! The guides were incredible. Tom and Marcy were the best and deserve enormous gratitude for their knowledge, patience and inspiration.
                                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                            • Pack light and trust the guides regarding equipment/food/water based on the forecast. If they say leave it.... Leave it, you'll be happy you did. Highly consider trail runners or light hikers instead of big bulky boots. In any case, wear what you train in. Consider weight when purchasing equipment, you total gear cannot exceed 35 lbs( it will be weighed).

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