Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Rim-to-Rim Hiking—7 Day

Trip Length7 Days
Group Size4–9
Activity level
Starting from
$6,999 for REI Members
$7,699 for non-members
DeparturesMay 2024-Sep 2024

This legendary hike takes us from the North Rim to the South Rim of the famed Grand Canyon, enjoying stunning scenery and good company along the way.

The Grand Canyon beckons, and we must answer the call. Seasoned adventurers will discover themselves on the ultimate canyon hiking experience. We hike nearly two billion years into the Earth's geological past, through the vastness of the canyon's wilderness, then emerge again on the other side having spent two nights at renowned Phantom Ranch.

At Phantom Ranch, experience the maze-like depths of the canyon and relax on the banks of the raging Colorado River. Our time here is book-ended by two nights at a comfortable lodge perched near the rim of the canyon. The trip culminates with a group celebration of our accomplishment and a recap of the stories collected along the way. Quite simply one of Earth’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, the majesty of the Grand Canyon will not soon be forgotten.

On the climb out of the canyon via Bright Angel Trail, we find convenient rest stops, much-sought-after shade, and watering holes along Bright Angel Creek.

Trip Highlights

  • Hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, with a two-night stop at the famous Phantom Ranch
  • Walk back in geological history among the vastness of the Canyon
  • Enjoy freshly-prepared meals, comfortable accommodations, and expert guides
  • Explore the canyon's depths and relax on the banks of the Colorado River

Activities

This trip is rated Strenuous [5]. Trip members will carry their large daypack weighing 15-25 pounds 14 miles (6,000' elevation loss) from the North Rim down to Phantom Ranch and 10 miles (4,300' elevation gain) up to the South Rim of the canyon, maintaining a 2+ mile per hour pace which allows the distance to be completed safely and within the allotted timeline. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike. Due to the likelihood of extreme heat at Phantom Ranch during departures from mid-May to mid-September, hiking into the Grand Canyon requires an extra level of care, so our descent to Phantom Ranch can begin with an alpine start (as early as 1am) to best avoid hiking during the hottest time of the day. Although waking at such an early hour can be challenging, it will quickly become apparent that a Grand Canyon trail sunrise is a more than ample reward.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Four nights in hotels (double occupancy/same gender), two nights in mixed gender cabin(s) at Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon; guide leadership; round trip van transportation from Phoenix; meals as noted in the daily itinerary, snacks, and park fees.

Accommodations

Hotel (double occupancy/same gender); 4 nights; Phantom Ranch mixed gender shared cabin(s), 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Rim-to-Rim Hiking—7 Day
Day 1

Meet in Phoenix for our Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hiking Adventure

Meet our guides and fellow travelers this evening at our host hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. We'll head to a nearby restaurant where our guides will give a rundown of the trip itinerary, gear check, and packing tips, plus answer any questions you have. Over a tasty dinner and drinks we will begin getting to know each other in eager anticipation of our adventure. Hotel and dinner included.

Day 2

Travel past the Vermilion Cliffs to arrive at our lodge

Today we shuttle from Phoenix to Grand Canyon North Rim with some interesting stops along the way. We break at Cameron Indian Trading Post, which was established in 1916. It is now a famous showplace for fine Native American art and Southwest art. After crossing the Colorado River near Lees Ferry (the launch point for rafting the Grand Canyon), we stop for lunch at the base of the Vermilion Cliffs. Days end will find us settling into comfortable accommodations at Grand Canyon's North Rim. All meals included.

Hiking: 0–2 miles; Terrain: Mostly flat, well-maintained trail along the rim. Van transfer: 6 hours.

Day 3

Hike the Cape Final Trail, with vistas to the Colorado River and Angel's Window

After breakfast today we will stretch our legs and learn the Canyon's natural history on a moderate hike and scenic drive. The best views of the Grand Canyon are from its rim, 8,000' above sea level. From the trailhead, we follow the Cape Final Trail through beautiful Ponderosa Pine forest and arrive at the canyon’s edge with magnificent views into Marble Canyon, Mount Hayden and beyond. Following our rim hike, we will shuttle out to the remote peninsula of land leading to Cape Royal, which offers yet another fantastic vantage point. The remainder of the day will be spent packing our daypacks for two nights at Phantom Ranch and preparing for the challenge awaiting us in the morning. All meals included.

Hiking: 4.2 miles; Terrain: Maintained trail; minimal elevation gain/loss. Van transfer: 2 hours.

Day 4

Descend into the canyon on the North Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch

An early wake-up call signals the start of our big hike! Today's descent is 14 miles and 5,700' into the grandest of canyons through nearly every biological life zone in North America. As we drop from the alpine to the desert, each step takes us thousands of years back in geologic time through ancient oceans, deserts, lakes, and swamps. With mind-blowing vistas, 100' waterfalls, green spring-fed oases, plus fascinating trail design and workmanship, the North Kaibab Trail is a national treasure. At trails end we find Phantom Ranch nestled on the banks of Bright Angel Creek just before its confluence with the mighty Colorado River. Phantom Ranch, a former hunting camp founded in 1903, is our home for the next two nights in shared mixed gender cabins. All meals included.

Hiking: 14 miles; Terrain: Maintained rocky and occasionally steep trail descends from 8,241' at the trailhead to approximately 2,500' at Phantom Ranch for a total elevation loss of nearly 6,000'.

Important Note: Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon experiences higher temperatures than the North and South Rim and can differ by 30 degrees Fahrenheit due to the elevation difference. The potential for temperatures to reach triple digits at Phantom Ranch typically can occur between mid-May and mid-September. Heat mitigation strategies can include an alpine start (as early as 1am) to avoid hiking during the midday heat. Although waking at such an early hour can be challenging, it will quickly become apparent that a Grand Canyon trail sunrise is a more than ample reward. It’s a sunrise you will never forget! Our guides will keep you fully informed of each day’s schedule once your trip begins.

Day 5

Explore hidden depths of the park on the Clear Creek and River Trails

A day in the very bottom of Grand Canyon is all yours with the canyon walls blocking out the rest of the world affording a feeling of tremendous peace and tranquility. Today we have the option to hike the beautiful Clear Creek Trail and River Trail. Many participants choose to use this day for relaxation, cheering on the river rafters, socializing with other adventurers, or stretching out in the shade with a book and a cold beer. Photography and bird watching opportunities abound in this lush green riparian habitat fenced in by sheer walls of red rock. Your guides will be available all day to share with you the secrets of one of the world's most special places. All meals included.

Hiking: 3–5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: up to 1,000'.

Day 6

Climb to the rim via the Bright Angel Trail through Havasupai Gardens

The rising sun finds us preparing to conquer the canyon. Our exit is the classic trek on Bright Angel Trail. After crossing the Colorado River, the trail snakes its way up out of the inner gorge to the shady oasis of Havasupai Gardens. Here we will refuel and refill with water before tackling the steep ascent up Jacob’s Ladder through the Redwall layer. This hike is a tremendous challenge, so welcome the advice of your guides as they will provide you with helpful hints, strategies, techniques, and their insider knowledge of the keys to a successful ascent. With proper preparation, hydration, and diet the entire group will soon be high-fiving and hugging on the rim. We walk just a few more steps to our lodge perched right on the rim of the canyon. Tonight we celebrate our shared accomplishments at a lodge near the canyon's rim before retiring to our rooms for some well deserved rest. All meals included.

Tonight we celebrate our shared accomplishments at a lodge near the canyon's rim before retiring to our rooms for some well deserved rest. All meals included.

Day 7

A final hike and a stop in Grand Canyon Village ends our adventure

For those who can't get enough of the canyon, the fantastic Rim Trail awaits. We can hike one way along the rim. This is a great way to stretch your legs and get a birds-eye view of the route you traversed in the days prior. Other interesting cultural sites include Hopi House and the many interpretive centers. Following this relaxing morning, we drive to Phoenix, AZ arriving in the late afternoon. Lunch included. Breakfast is on your own.

Hiking: 0–3 miles optional; Terrain: Maintained trails with minimal elevation gain/loss. Van transfer: 4 hours.

Itinerary map for Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Rim-to-Rim Hiking—7 Day

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.

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What to pack

Contact Us

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Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.