Meet your guides and fellow backpackers at 6am at our host hotel in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. We’re then off on a 3–4 hour van ride 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 South Kaibab trail. The South Kaibab is the shortest trail into the heart of the canyon, and while snaking down to the Colorado River it offers unobstructed views from Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge and The Tip Off. Once at the floor of the canyon we have an opportunity to explore a wide variety of highlights, such as The Black Bridge, Phantom Ranch and Boat Beach. Finally, after a full day of adventure we enjoy a hearty meal before curling up for a night of rest at Bright Angel campground. Light breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Backpacking: 7 miles, Elevation loss: 4,780'; Van transfer: 3–4 hours
After a peaceful night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we break camp, don our packs, and set out for another full day of outdoor adventure. Today we cross The Silver Bridge and traverse the Colorado River until reaching the mouth of Garden Creek. Our guides share their extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna found within the canyon walls while we keep our eyes peeled for whiptail lizards, bighorn sheep and the endangered California Condor. Tonight’s campsite is within the Indian Garden campground, near perennial springs that have provided water to the Havasupai Indians for centuries. All meals included.
Backpacking: 4.7 miles, Elevation gain: 1,320'; Optional hike to Phantom Ranch and/or Plateau Point: 1–6 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. Finally, 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