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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZONA

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
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
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.
Elizabeth from Sedona, AZ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/08/15 - 05/13/15
If you love the outdoors and enjoy hiking in beautiful scenery, and if you are in good physical condition, I encourage you to consider hiking rim to river in the Grand Canyon with Road Scholar.

David from Staten Island, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/08/15 - 05/13/15
A bucket list trip for us! We did it, we had fun, we met interesting people and we learned more than we thought we would from our leader/instructors.

Kenneth from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/30/15 - 05/05/15
The trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon did not disappoint. To step below the rim and to walk the switchbacks, all the while learning of the geology of the Colorado Plateau and the forces which created the canyon, fulfilled a dream for both my wife and me. The physical effort was a challenge, but the leaders helped us with practical hints for conserving energy and with setting a reasonable hiking pace.

Santosh from Chevy Chase, MD Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/24/15 - 03/01/15
I agree with Bruce, Michael, Jim and Lynn; it was a great hiking trip. Group leader Jennifer and co-leader Joanna did a fantastic job to make this experience the most memorable for me any other participants.

Leslie from Winona, MN Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 03/02/15 - 03/07/15
This is a fantastic trip! Our guides Lisa and Carl were superb --extremely knowledgeable. If you follow the instructions on physical preparation for the trip you won't have any problems. It was actually easier than I had expected. Do it! I think the best time to go if I were to do it again, would be in April to see some of the blooming vegetation at the bottom of the canyon.

Bruce from Saint Louis, MO Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/24/15 - 03/01/15
If you prefer to lounge around your massive hotel suite, ordering room service; if you disdain to get some dust, or mud, or rain on your new hiking clothes; if a flight of stairs is something you avoid because you don’t want to get out of breath, then this trip is probably not for you. But if you don’t mind bunking with 6-10 of your new, best friends; if consuming hearty meals because you will need the energy is OK with you; if you count among your primary characteristics a love of, or at least at tolerance of, significant mental and physical challenges, then you should definitely consider this trip. In my mind, you need two things. First, you need to be in decent physical shape, whether it be from hiking, jogging, biking, backpacking, or the gym. Second, if you do not have the right equipment, then get it. And then practice with it, because climbing or descending 16-22% grades for nearly 5000 feet is different from any of the above. Wherever you live, and I live in the flat-as-a-pancake Midwest, you can find a few hundred feet of elevation change, and once you do, hike it in circuits with a 20-25 lb. backpack, so that you are accumulating a thousand feet or more of elevation change. If you have any doubts about your abilities or your preparation, call the program. I did, and they were very straightforward in their suggestions and guidance. And, if you do all of this, you will be prepared to fully experience an environment that floods the senses on scales of beauty and grandeur virtually unmatched anywhere else. You will not be sorry you did.

MICHAEL from KALAMAZOO, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/24/15 - 03/01/15
We just got back this week from participating in the RS hiking trip from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch and back. It was a wonderful trip and experiencing the Grand Canyon from above and below was spectacular. Our guides were terrific. They are knowleable, experienced, warm, friendly, and even funny. They made an amazing trip even better. We enjoyed a variety of weather conditions that included sun, warm, cold, rain, and snow. The trails on the way down were icy requiring cramp-ons for the first part of the day and were very muddy in spots on the way back up. The trip was challenging, particularly the long day hike back up to the south rim. We trained for this trip as recommended by lots of day hikes with weighted packs, poles, and hiking boots which made a big difference in our comfort level traveling both down and back up the canyon. Accomodations at the south rim and at Phantom ranch were quite comfortable. Phantom ranch is designed for group bunking. The showers and bathroom were gender specific and very nice and clean. The food supplied was very good and included vegetarian options for those so inclinded. The photographic possibilities are endless. This is a truly magnificent place. Were else can you touch rock formations that are close to 2 billion years old. Don't pass up the chance to take this trip but come physically prepared.

Jim from Suches, GA Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 02/24/15 - 03/01/15
I endorse what Lynne said about the February trip. Jen and Joanna did a great job ensuring that we had all forms of weather and trail conditions for our experience; snow, sleet, rain, mud, even some sunshine... A real Bucket List check off for me.

Lynne from Florence, KY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/24/15 - 03/01/15
The Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch trip was awesome! Leaders Jennifer and Joanna are very competent and personable. The trip was well planned and executed. The other participants enhanced my experience. It was one of the 3 or 4 most strenuous trips I had ever done, but well worth it. Make sure you have prepared for it. Lynne from Florence, KY

Steven from Cincinnati, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/15/14
Took this fantastic trip in September. This is THE best way to see the Grand Canyon: up close and personal. Our Guides Jeff and Joanna were awesome. They knew the Canyon, kept us informed, safe, and always having a great time. Our fellow hikers are now considered very good friends. Great trip!

Terri from Fairmont, WV Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/15/14 - 11/20/14
Go ahead & take the challenge! This trip is a hikers dream...absolute bliss on the trails & the Phantom Ranch is super cool & funky!!!

Paul from Sun City, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/15/14 - 11/20/14
This is an excellent program. I learned a great deal about the Canyon. The Road Scholar staff made the entre experience worth while. Jeff and Jen are not only great instructors but excellent outdoors persons. They obviously love what they do and gladly share their knowledge and expertise. Program materials on training for the hike should be taken very seriously as it (the hike) is very strenuous.

Mitchel from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/15/14 - 11/20/14
Very well organized trip by our leaders Jeff and Jen. They did a very good job explaining the outstanding area that we were visiting, organizing our walks and ensuring that the group had a successful trip down to the Phantom Ranch and back up to the rim. The Grand Canyon was very high on my list of places to experience, especially walking down to the Phantom Ranch and spending some time there. I would highly recommend this trip, but beware that it is a long, long walk in the park.

Carey from Red Deer, AB Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 11/15/14 - 11/20/14
This is an incredible program. The scenery is breath taking. However, adequate physical preparation is extremely important and greatly increases one's enjoyment of the strenuous hiking required. Most of the participants in our program were in their seventies and most seemed adequately prepared.

Linda from Spearfish, SD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/22/14 - 09/27/14
Step by step, our expert guides led us down through many layers of geologic history to the floor of the canyon. We left our modern day worries behind, mesmerized by the stillness and beauty of the surrounding landscape. One of the most enjoyable aspects of our rim-to-rim adventure was having the opportunity to experience the canyon with wonderful people who, like us, love to hike. Wayne and Linda from SD

Mary from Mt Pleasant, SC Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/15/14
Our group was so fortunate to have Jeff and Joanna as our expert guides. They prepared us by telling us what to expect, what we would see and how to pace ourselves so we would be able to safely complete the hike. Their knowledge of Grand Canyon science and lore was amazing and added to the fun and wonder to the trip. Their meticulous planning was reflected in the smooth flow of everything throughout the week. The beauty of the Grand Canyon was overpowering to the senses and I have not been able to stop talking about my magnificent trip since I have been back!

Mary Jo from Villa Hills, KY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/15/14
What an amazing adventure! I went out of my comfort zone on this trip as I have a fear of heights. The beauty of the canyon makes you forget your fears. Our guides Joanna and Jeffrey were extremely knowledgeable and very patient. What wonderful memories!

Annemiek from Diamond Springs, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/22/14 - 09/27/14
This was a great hike down and up through the ages. The combination of physical challenge and surrounding beauty is a fabulous one and I highly recommend taking on this challenging hike! Our group was great and perfect in size and we learned a lot about geology and nature in general. Go for it! Annemiek

Elaine from Unadilla, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/22/14 - 09/27/14
The program far exceeded my expectations and challenged me in many ways. Both instructors were very knowledgeable and passionate about hiking, nature and the canyons. Hiking in the Catskills in a cool forest setting and my active lifestyle did not prepare me well for the challenges of elevation, endurance, and temperature. Mike W. was especially helpful and encouraging and went above and beyond on my behalf. Our group was cohesive, interesting, encouraging, and warm. I am very grateful that I participated in this program. I would highly recommend this program.

Kathy from Louisville, TN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/22/14 - 09/27/14
9/22/2014-9/27/2014 Kathy and Doug Louisville, TN As newer hikers we found this to be the most wonderful experience ever. Our guides Mike and Michael were fun and knowledgeable to insure an unforgettable experience and keep us safe. The people in our group became our family along the way, and we hope to get together for future hike. VanGo shuttle service got us from the airport with additional information along the way. One of the top five trips EVER!

Jan from Seaside, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/15/14
Allan and I really enjoyed this Roads Scholar trip. Our guides were fantastic and it was quite a thrill when we made it to the top.

Jodi from Katy, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/10/14 - 09/15/14
This is a fantastic trip! Our guides, Joanna and Jeff, were professional, helpful, and very knowledgeable regarding all aspects of the Canyon. The scenery is breathtaking and I am so very happy I went!

Donna from Fairburn, SD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/20/14
if you want to face a physical challenge in gorgeous surroundings, as well as learn about science and history, this program is for you. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you just may surprise yourself--I know I did!

Michaelette from Black Hawk, SD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/20/14
Had a wonderful experience on hiking the Grand Canyon. Thank you for letting me complete an item on my bucket list.

Kathleen from Spokane, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/20/14
Great instructors/leaders, accommodations and meals! Great group of participants! Most amazing adventure of a lifetime!!!. We learned so much! Definitely challenging, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience the Grand Canyon in this way!

Nancy from Olathe, CO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/29/13 - 12/04/13
Road Scholar allowed me to fulfill a life long dream of hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and staying at Phantom Ranch. The program was very well planned and organized. All I had to do was pack up and hike. The instructor provided some good insight into minimizing fatigue in the descent into the canyon which I will apply to future hiking endeavors.

Neal from Fishkill, NY Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 11/29/13 - 12/04/13
My wife and I just completed the Grand Canyon trip to Phantom Ranch. This is a trip that I have wanted to do for many years but also realized that it was difficult to obtain reservations at the Phantom Ranch. I would highly recommend this trip where all of the logistics at the Grand Canyon are taken care of by Road Scholars. Jeff and Lissa were excellent leaders that were able to relate immediately with our group and made the hike fun and enjoyable for all that participated. If you have never been the inner gorge of the canyon you are in for a life time experience that you will probably always remember.

Anthony from Stoke-on-Trent, NA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/17/13 - 11/22/13
A wonderful and inspiring walk down and up the Grand(eur) Canyon. The leaders were excellent and other fellow travellers great company. One needed to have prepared for the hikes as they were challenging but there was always support on hand if struggling at any time. Anthony Osborne Stoke-on-Trent England

Wesley from Lexington, KY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/17/13 - 11/22/13
A very interesting, informative, and challenging program. And worth every minute of training that is required to be prepared for it. If you are able to apply and be accepted for this program, go for it. You will not be disappointed!


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"Bright Angel Trail: approaching Indian Garden" Uploaded By: Stanley
"Bright Angel Trail: approaching Indian Garden" Uploaded By: Stanley

Uploaded By: Stanley

"Going up the Bright Angel Trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"Morning on the Bright Angel Trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"A beautiful trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"Getting closer to the river" Uploaded By: Stanley

"South Kaibab Trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"Heading down South Kaibab Trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"South Kaibab Trail" Uploaded By: Stanley

"My son the youngest in the group only reached the rim 15 minutes ahead of his Mom." Uploaded By: Anne

"What a fabulous group to hike with! I miss them already!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"We're still fresh after the day's long hike up to the rim." Uploaded By: Michelle

"We did it! Eight hours! We're ANIMALS! (At least that's what Bruce says...)" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Ahhh! The top!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Up and up we go!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Up and up we go!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Spectacular!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Yes, we DID climb up that path in the background! Still more to go!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Our seasoned Road Scholar traveler saying goodbye to his up close and personal look at the Colorado. Just 7 more hours to the rim!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Beautiful cottonwoods at Phanton Ranch." Uploaded By: Michelle

"O'dark thirty and ready for the hike up the Bright Angel Trail to the rim!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"O'dark thirty and ready for the hike up the Bright Angel Trail to the rim!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"On our rest day at the bottom: one of many of our mini-lecture stops on a hike. Jeff and Bruce were awesome leaders!" Uploaded By: Michelle

""Happy hour" at the canteen after a day's hike on the rest day at Phanton Ranch." Uploaded By: Michelle

"Cabins at Phanton Ranch." Uploaded By: Michelle

"Morning view from Phanton Ranch." Uploaded By: Michelle

"The beautiful Colorado River; still a long way to get down to it!" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Our fearless leaders, Bruce and Jeff, with Irene." Uploaded By: Michelle

"Our star hiker: 81 year old Paul! (Way to go, Daddy!)" Uploaded By: Michelle

"Dawn on the river trail." Uploaded By: Kathleen Attended: 02/13/11 - 02/18/11

"Passing mule train." Uploaded By: Kathleen Attended: 02/13/11 - 02/18/11

"Down the South Kaibab trail." Uploaded By: Kathleen Attended: 02/13/11 - 02/18/11

"Down the South Kaibab trail." Uploaded By: Kathleen Attended: 02/13/11 - 02/18/11

"Heading towards the inner canyon" Uploaded By: Eileen Attended: 11/01/09 - 11/06/09

"Heading down the S. Kaibab Trail." Uploaded By: Eileen Attended: 11/01/09 - 11/06/09

"Descending S. Kaibab Trail March 3, 2010" Uploaded By: Diane Attended: 03/01/10 - 03/06/10

"View about half way down S. Kaibab Trail" Uploaded By: Diane Attended: 03/01/10 - 03/06/10

"Spring on the Canyon floor." Uploaded By: Diane Attended: 03/01/10 - 03/06/10
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"Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon!" Uploaded By: Rich

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Included
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5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips

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