Meet your guides and fellow backpackers at 6am at our host hotel in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. We?re then off by van to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival at the South Rim our guides conduct an orientation and gear-check before we hit the Bright Angel trail. As we descend into the heart of the canyon, the trail cuts through the Redwall Limestone of Bright Angel fault, making our trip into the inner canyon possible. Along the way we catch glimpses of canyon landmarks like the Battleship, Sumner Butte, Brahma Temple and Cheops Pyramid. Our camp for the next two nights is Indian Garden, situated near the perennial springs of Garden Creek, which for centuries watered the gardens of Havasupai Indians. Light breakfast; lunch and dinner included.
Backpacking: 4.8 miles, Elevation loss: 3,060'. Van transfer: 3?4 hours
Today we drop our heavy packs and head into the heart of Grand Canyon National Park, to what many consider the most famous destination within the canyon: Phantom Ranch. Along the way we travel along the infamous switchbacks of Devil?s Corkscrew, taking in breathtaking views while passing through two billion years? worth of Vishnu Schist. After reaching canyon bottom, we wander along the Colorado River before enjoying an afternoon break at Phantom Ranch. Once back at Indian Creek we'll have the option of an evening hike out to Plateau Point, or we can simply relax in camp. All meals included.
Backpacking: 3?10.2 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,254'. Optional hike to Plateau Point: 3 miles
We hit the trail early to take advantage of cool morning temperatures. Our first mile of trail climbs gently, giving us a nice warm-up before we ascend Jacob?s Ladder, a series of tight switchbacks up the Redwall Limestone. A well-earned break at Three-Mile Rest House provides a great opportunity to catch our breath. The Rest House also happens to be a historic agave roasting site used by the ancestral Puebloans more than a thousand years ago. At last, after a final push, we celebrate our accomplishment with a much-deserved, highly rewarding lunch along the South Rim.
We estimate arriving back in Scottsdale at about 5:30pm today. But please note this time may vary depending on group pace, trail conditions, weather, traffic and other factors beyond our control. To be safe, do not book travel out of the Scottsdale/Phoenix area until after 8pm today. Breakfast and lunch included.
Backpacking: 4.8 miles, Elevation gain: 3,060'; Van transfer: 3?4 hours