Hiking the Grand Canyon: Adventures On and Below the South Rim

Gain a deeper understanding of the Grand Canyon as you join experts for hikes on and below the South Rim. Naturalists provide insight into the canyon’s epic natural and human histories.
Rating (4.69)
Program No. 6112RJ
6 days
Starts at
13 Reviews
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4.69 Average

This was an especially cold October week in the Grand Canyon, but we donned our layers and hiked onward. The hikes overlooking the vistas were great: two going down (and back up !!) below the rim , and two on trails where we didn’t meet another person; the hikes were as described in the trip notes. We had bright, blue skies with nary a cloud. Our leaders were terrific; they were very knowledgeable about the Native Americans, canyon geology, and the flora and fauna. The lodging was basic economy (rooms clean and warm, however), and staying within the park was truly worth it (about a mile walk to the rim). We had just enough free time to enjoy sites within the park village. I recommend this trip.


I initially signed up for a "Challenging" Grand Canyon trip and then backed down to "Spirited," and I was glad I did because of the weather, especially the temperature and wind, the altitude, and my own physical capability. That said, this was an active trip and I felt fulfilled in all ways by the experiences provided.


The trails below the rim were challenging and the views breathtaking. The participants, leaders, and experience will be remembered for a very long time.


If you are interested in seeing one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, close and personal, this program will meet your expectations. The physical aspects of the hike are challenging and exhilarating!




This is an exciting and enriching program, a great way to learn about this amazing national park!


Hiking the Grand Canyon rim trails are a piece of cake since they're relatively flat. Hiking down into the Canyon is quite another matter because, obviously, one must hike back out. (No shuttle bus stops in the canyon, baby!) Be prepared, read the packet, listen to the guides, and know your abilities. It's challenging because of the higher elevation, the steepness, less oxygen, and you're heading back to the rim when you're already a bit tired. Whew! We did our initial descent on the Bright Angel Trail after lunch the first day. I think it was arranged that way so that we could see the unprepared park visitors merrily rushing down, then see scores of them sweating and dragging on their way out (often with crying children in tow.) It was an eye-opener. However, we were prepared, there was no rush on our returns, and we all did well on this trip. We had options for when we wanted to head back out. Most of my previous hikes had been uphill first with the downhills on the return (or a combination.) This trip was exhilarating because it was harder on the return and gave me more confidence in my abilities. Our guides, Bruce, Norm & Slim, were terrific.


To know a place, you need to spend time there. This is a perfect trip to get to know the Canyon in an intimate way, to experience its enchanting light, and to revel, unhurriedly, in its impeccable delights.


Add a date search so I can find programs offered during my specific date availability.


What a wonderful trip this was! Group leaders Bruce Banker and Kristen Hooten were really awesome. Bruce is a very experienced and knowledgeable guide and kept our group engaged and happy. He has a wealth of knowledge about this part of our world and is enthusiastic and happy to share it. Kristen is a nice young woman who helps keep the group on task. I learned a lot from these two trip leaders! My only complaint is about the food, which was universally awful. I think Road Scholar should either increase prices and improve food or reduce prices and leave participants to find their own food. If you’re looking for a great introduction to the Grand Canyon this is it, but just be aware that the food and lodging are not great.


My husband and I had a blast on this trip! Our leaders, Mike and Matt, were awesome and shared their good humor, knowledge of the area, and years of experience with us. We hiked inside and outside the park. Most of our hikes we were the only people there and the sites were amazing! One morning (on May 2!) we unexpectedly woke up to 6 1/2 inches of beautiful snow. None of us came prepared to hike in the snow and our leaders easily changed our plans for the morning. They took us to the Grand Canyon IMax to give the snow time to quit falling and then they took us hiking on a trail that's not even shown on the park map. It ended up being a gem of a hike - seeing the clouds lift out of the canyon, snow at the upper elevaton, and a beautiful view of the canyon! We always enjoy getting to know the other participants on the R.S. trips and this group was most enjoyable. I highly recommend this trip!


Outstanding program that is physically challenging but very rewarding especially as you ascend out of the Canyon and realize that you just completed something few others will even attempt.


If you fear getting away from you zone of comfort DO try Roads Scholar and this trip with these leaders. You will want to venture further out and more often

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