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Hiking Grand Canyon from Rim to River: An Adventure to Phantom Ranch

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Program #8144RJ

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6 Days | 5 Nights
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Lynne Clayton Jan 09, 2015 at 06:02 PM

I just took the last opening for the Feb. 24 trip. Is anyone else coming from N.KY. or the Cincinnati, OH area? Lynne
Deb Chaffin May 02, 2015 at 02:49 PM

Did you get to go on the trip? I was scheduled and had to cancel because of a medical condition. Did you enjoy it?

Bruce Perrin Dec 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I am scheduled for the Feb 24 hike. When might I expect the Program Pack you mention in the description? If it will arrive later than the first week of January, is it possible to arrange for an earlier mailing? Thanks - looking forward to it.
Deb Chaffin Dec 29, 2014 at 01:29 PM

Bruce, I was looking forward to the packet, then found out it was on line. You can go to your account, then click on program documents. You will find the packet near the bottom of the page. Or you can click on this link, https://s3.amazonaws.com/pdf.roadscholar.org/prepmats/20150224_8144_1-7DOZVL.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIOKG4QXPH4Z6EFWQu0026Expires=1419964034u0026Signature=zV2LQ7WHiQ9B6gZoPoW%2FnNJO2J4%3D
Bruce Perrin Dec 29, 2014 at 07:35 PM

Got it. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Bp

Louis Krug Dec 11, 2014 at 06:43 PM

Do I need to take a sleeping bag to Phantom Ranch?

Hi Louis, you do not need to bring a sleeping bag to Phantom Ranch. All bed linens including a nice blanket are included. You will only need to carry your personal gear. Most participants' packs are about 12-17 pounds when packed.

Jodi Abbott Aug 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM

I am going on this program Sept. 10th. Should I bring a bathing suit? Are we allowed to swim in the Colorado River while we're at the bottom?

Hi Jodi, we do not recommend a bathing suit. If you do decide to get in the river it would only be a very quick dip as the water is quite cold. It is not safe to swim in the river due to cold water and swift current so we never recommend it. A better option would be to get into Bright Angel Creek, but for that you could just put your feet in the water or sit in it (the water is warmer than the river) in your quick drying hiking clothes. We hope this helps with your packing decisions.

Hiam Gozaine Aug 27, 2014 at 05:54 PM

I signed up for the Nov15-20th hike.I will be flying to flagstaff.i just want to know the detail of the pickup from the airport.iam so looking forward to this trip.

Hi Hiam, please call our office at 928-523-2359 or 800-411-3086 so we can discuss details of your shuttle to the S. Rim of Grand Canyon. Normally we pick up at the Flagstaff Visitor Center and depart from there at 2:30 pm.

Barbara Friedman Jul 17, 2014 at 11:23 PM

We are hoping to do this trip, but after looking at weather for the March 2015 we are concerned about ice on the trail. is that less of a problem if we postpone until the fall. The cold is less of the concern that difficult walking conditions
Robert Simpson Aug 03, 2014 at 11:24 PM

You are right to be concerned. A couple of years ago I tried to take a grandson down the Bright Angel to Indian Gardens, but had to give up after we both fell due to ice on the trail. I don't know what RoadScholar does about refunds in such circumstances.
Robert Simpson Aug 03, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Forgot to say our hike was in early March.

Barbara, we provide in-step crampons which grip the ice for all of our participants. We actually use them on our practice hike so everyone can see how secure they make you feel on an icy trail (along with hiking poles). They aren't really needed for more than about the first mile, if at all. Everyone is amazed at how well they work and they don't add much extra weight. I would not let the presence of ice keep me from signing up during March. Ice may keep others off the trails, but not Road Scholar! This time of year there are fewer people in the Canyon which makes the experience even better.

Catherine L Jun 29, 2014 at 09:44 AM

Looking forward to the 09/22/14 hike !

We're looking forward to having you!

MELISSA TOWN Jun 16, 2014 at 01:08 PM

My husband and I have been talking about doing this trip, but the warnings are off-putting. We hike the Olympic National Park/Forest pretty regularly--what level of difficulty would be good to practice for this trip?

Hi Melissa, Thanks for your inquiry. We intentionally make the warnings severe since this is one of the most difficult hikes in the Road Scholar Catalog. We have a 4,600’ elevation change on our hike down day and hike out day. Highest elevation is 7,000’ and our lowest elevation is 2,400’. When participants don’t take the training seriously they can arrive unprepared and may not be able to make the hike. We are concerned that anyone not prepared will slow the rest of the group down and/or jeopardize group safety. Our program materials – which generally arrive 2-3 months ahead of the program start date -- state: We recommend that you do aerobic exercise 5 days a week. By aerobic we mean something that makes you hot sweaty and breathing hard! One of these days should be putting some serious miles in the boots you are planning on wearing on the program, with your pack on with weight in your pack. Step exercises, a Stair Master, a stairwell in a tall building (or stadium), bleachers at the local high school, or bicycling are highly recommended, as they will strengthen the leg muscles you will rely upon the most. If hiking is not an option, then stairs are on absolute must. One of the best ways to train for a Grand Canyon hike is a stairwell with a backpack on your back carrying at least 15 lbs. in your pack. Go both up and down stairs, over and over, and OVER. Real stairs are better than a stair machine, because it works both the up and down muscles. You can use anything to weight your pack such as telephone books, canned foods, etc. In addition to building strength you will need to counteract the effects of the thinner air at Grand Canyon by building cardiovascular stamina. Swimming, running, and cycling are great for the lungs and cardiovascular system. You should be doing these aerobic exercises five days a week from now until your backpack begins. In addition to having well broken in boots, do your practice hikes wearing the boots you plan to use on the hike. This will get your feet used to the actual boots that you will wear during the trip. The better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy your trip. If you take your training seriously – and it certainly sounds like you do or you wouldn’t have inquired -- you should have no trouble with the difficulty of this trip. We also call each participant prior to the trip to answer questions and find out how their training regimen is progressing. We find, after running this program for over 10 years, that this system works well and a greater number of participants arrive well-prepared and with diminished anxiety about this epic hike. Feel free to call us at 800-411-3086 if you have additional questions or concerns.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips


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