This trip is rated Strenuous . Participants will be carrying backpacks of 30–45lbs over steep and rocky terrain 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 3,700'–5,000' per day on most days. Sections of the trail will be exposed and pass near cliff edges. This trip is not recommended for those with vertigo or an extreme fear of heights. We strongly recommend practicing with 30–45lbs in the pack you intend to use for the trip and making sure your hiking boots are broken in before departure. This is not a beginning backpacking trip. Previous experience is highly recommended and we ask you to review your personal health and preparation plan with your medical physician prior to traveling.
We kick off our adventure early this morning in Kanab, UT, where we meet for an orientation and gear check. With our packs ready and our appetites for adventure primed, we head out on a 1.5-hour caravan over paved and gravel roads to our North Rim trailhead. After a few final adjustments, we leave the rim behind and start our descent into the inner canyon. We conquer the challenging “50 Switchbacks” before hiking across the Esplanade to a breathtaking campsite overlooking the inner canyon. Dinner included.
Backpacking: 6–11 miles on rocky and exposed terrain with steep descents, Elevation loss: -2,000’–5,000’; Caravan transfer: 1.5 hours
After a peaceful night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we break camp, don our packs, and set out for another amazing day on the trail. Descending farther into the canyon, we travel through an area of cultural significance dating back to prehistoric times. The Tapeats Amphitheatre is home to three remarkable waterways, serving as a welcome oasis to intrepid travelers for centuries. We follow in their footsteps, enjoying the unique opportunity to splash, cool off and explore before a final push to our camp along the Colorado River. Breakfast and dinner included.
Backpacking: 7 miles on rocky and exposed terrain with steep descents, Elevation loss: -3,200’
Our destination today is Deer Creek, which many consider the most beautiful spot in the Grand Canyon. As we ascend from the canyon floor, we’ll be treated to remarkable views of the Colorado River, soaring hoodoos and layer upon layer of colorful rock. En route to camp, we don our amateur geologist hats to hunt for prehistoric relics and fossils. Our final reward for the day is a splash in gorgeous Deer Falls, where we cool down, relax and commune with new friends and nature. Breakfast and dinner included.
Backpacking: 8 miles on rocky and exposed terrain with steep ascents, Elevation gain: +1,800’
To beat the heat, we rise early and hit the trail as sun breaks. Our path across the Esplanade is the perfect primer for a climb back up the “50 Switchbacks”. Along the way we’ll enjoy our last glimpses of the interior canyon and the diverse ecosystem we’ve gotten to know so well. Finally, a last push brings us back to the rim where we bid new friends and the remarkable Grand Canyon farewell. Our finishing time varies due to many factors, so we recommend making return travel plans for the following day. Breakfast included.
Backpacking: 9 miles on rocky and exposed terrain with steep ascents, Elevation gain: +3,200’