This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants will carry daypacks weighing 15–25 pounds for 14 miles (6,000’ elevation loss) down to Phantom Ranch and 10 miles (4,300' elevation gain) up to the rim of the canyon. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike. The most difficult hikes are mandatory to complete the itinerary.
Both the descent and ascent to/from Phantom Ranch is challenging to even very fit hikers. We recommend a conditioning regimen beginning at least 2–3 months prior to departure which includes hiking with a daypack, walking or some other form of cardiovascular exercise.