This trip is rated Strenuous . Participants will carry daypacks weighing 15–25 pounds for 14 miles (6,000' elevation loss) from the North Rim down to Phantom Ranch and 10 miles (4,300' elevation gain) back up to the South Rim of the canyon the very next day. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike.
Both the descent and ascent to/from Phantom Ranch are challenging for even very fit hikers. We recommend a conditioning regimen beginning at least 3–6 months prior to departure which includes hiking with as much elevation gain and loss as possible with a weighted daypack, layering in as much additional cardiovascular exercise as manageable. We ask you to review your personal health and preparation plan with your medical physician prior to traveling.