2113
Arizona
Backpacking Grand Canyon: The Ultimate Rim to Rim Experience
For backpackers, there’s not greater thrill than hiking the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim. Come experience the thrill as you join experts to hike and learn about this natural wonder.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2113RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,195
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration / Introductions / Program Orientation
Flagstaff, AZ
D
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Afternoon: Check into hotel after 3:00 PM, register for program between 4:00 - 4:15 PM in hotel meeting room or lobby. Introductions and Program Orientation follows begin at 4:15 PM. You need to be in excellent condition for this program - meaning able to climb, with 35 lb pack, 4500 ft in a day (3 Sears Towers, 4 Eiffel Towers, or 341 stories.) Longest hike approx. 8 miles. If you are not sure you are ready for this trip, we strongly recommend you consider taking #8144 or #7704 first. Any questions, call the provider.The Provider, Northern Arizona University, at (928) 523-2359; or; RoadScholarPrograms@nau.edu; and www.nau.edu/RoadScholar.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: After dinner Program Orientation continues.

DAY
2
Canyon Rim Hike / Camp at Indian Gardens Campground
Grand Canyon, AZ
B,L,D
Grand Canyon Campground

Activity note: 4.6 miles 3060 vertical feet with packs. 3 miles 150 vertical feet optional hike without packs

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Travel by van to the canyon rim. Stretch, review hiking plan, Put on the packs and begin the journey. Hike down The Bright Angel Trail through 500 million years of rock layers, 3000 vertical feet and 4.5 miles. The Bright Angel Trail is the most used trail into the Grand Canyon, and has been used for thousands of years by everyone from animals, archeo-hunters, prehistoric and historic indians, explorers, miners, tourist, even Teddy Roosevelt. Begin discussions about Grand Canyon Geology.

Lunch: Sack lunch along the trail.

Afternoon: Arrive at Indian Gardens campground. Set up camp. Optional hike for those wanting additional challenge - a 3.0 mile r/t to the excellent canyon views at Plateau Point and your first view of the Colorado River.

Dinner: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Evening: After a trail prepared dinner, kick back and relax under the stars.

DAY
3
Hike to Bright Angel Campground / Canyon Geology / NPS Ranger Presentation
Grand Canyon, AZ
B,L,D
Grand Canyon Campground

Activity note: 4.7 miles 1400 vertical feet hike

Breakfast: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Morning: Following breakfast, break camp, put on packs and continue hiking down the Bright Angel Trail, through the Tapeats Narrows, past the Great Unconformity, along Garden Creek and Pipe Creek to the River Trail. We then hike to Bright Angel Campground. We hike about 4.5 miles and 1800 vertical feet down.

Lunch: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Afternoon: Arrive in campground, set up camp. Free time to explore the Bright Angel Creek/ Phantom Ranch area. Continued discussions on Canyon geology and biology.

Dinner: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Evening: After dinner, a presentation by NPS ranger. Optional trip to the canteen at Phantom Ranch.

DAY
4
Layover Day at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!
Grand Canyon, AZ
B,L,D
Grand Canyon Campground

Breakfast: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Morning: Layover day. Short easy hike with fanny pack on bridge loop about 2-3 miles, and ~200 vertical feet. Discuss river ecology and the effects of the dams on the Grand Canyon.

Lunch: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Afternoon: Free time to hang out in camp, sit with your feet dangling in Bright Angel Creek, hike up the Clear Creek Trail, explore Phantom Canyon, go to the afternoon ranger program, and/or visit the Phantom Ranch Canteen for its ice cold lemonade and beer.

Dinner: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Evening: Free time to hang out in camp, go to the evening ranger program, and/or visit the Phantom Ranch Canteen.

DAY
5
Hike to Cottonwood Campground / Hike through the Box / Visit Ribbon Falls
Grand Canyon, AZ
B,L,D
Grand Canyon Campground

Activity note: 8 miles 1600 vertical feet hike

Breakfast: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Morning: Break camp after breakfast and begin the ascent, rising 1600 ft over 7.6 miles. We hike through "The Box", A Narrow gorge carved by Bright Angel Creek through 1.8 billion year old Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite. Once out of the Box, the canyon opens up as we enter the Grand Canyon Supergroup of rocks, and we approach Ribbon Falls.

Lunch: Lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hiking, with a stop at Ribbon Falls, an amazing waterfall onto a travertine pillar surrounded by a relaxing grotto, that the Zuni Pueblo Indians hold sacred. After Ribbon Falls, we continue on to Cottonwood Campground with its shady Cottonwood and Live Oak Trees.

Dinner: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

DAY
6
Hike to N Rim / Scenic ride through Grand Canyon back to Flagstaff / Celebratory Dinner
Flagstaff, AZ
B,L,D
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Activity note: 6.9 mile 4240 vertical feet hike

Breakfast: In-field meal prepared by staff and participants.

Morning: After breakfast and early camp break, begin the final climb to the N Rim. This is the big climb which will become one of your favorite war stories in the retelling. We will hike up about 4200 vertical feet in about seven miles through some of the most spectacular scenery the Grand Canyon has to offer.

Lunch: Lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: After lunch, hike to the North Kaibab Trailhead, (and enjoy a stop at the N. Rim Lodge if we get out early enough), relax and ride back to Flagstaff through the Kaibab Plateau, Vermillion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Echo Cliffs, the Painted Desert, the Little Colorado River Valley, Cameron and the San Francisco Peaks.

Dinner: Celebratory dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: After a hot shower in the hotel, dinner at the restaurant, program wrap-up and farewells.

DAY
7
Departures
Departures
B

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Check out.