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Arizona

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

Program No. 6112RJ
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.
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,649

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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 12 - Mar 17, 2023
Starting at
1,649
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
1,799
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 12 - Mar 17, 2023
Starting at
2,109
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
2,379
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
2,379

At a Glance

Hike through stands of pinyon-juniper and around yucca and agave, as you venture along and below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Travel back through geological time, with naturalists providing insights into the landscape’s epic natural and human histories. Descend below the canyon’s rim on the historic Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. See more of this natural wonder than you ever imagined, with hikes along the western rim viewpoints and others at some of the park’s eastern most points, Desert View Watchtower and the Palisades of the Desert.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hike 3-6 miles daily over uneven terrain, high steps, desert vegetation, rocky areas, elevation changes up to 1,200 feet. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Venture out on hikes on and below the rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Learn from experienced naturalists about an array of topics ranging from the surrounding landscapes to current park management issues.
  • Enjoy an “off-the-beaten-path” hike at the Palisades of the Desert, the eastern Grand Canyon’s sherbet-colored cliffs with distant views of the historic Desert View Watchtower.

General Notes

Select dates are Micro Group departures, with 12 or fewer participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Mike Masek
Mike Masek is a wilderness skills instructor, herbalist and ethnobotanist living in Flagstaff, Ariz. In addition to his current work with Road Scholar, he is adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University where he teaches traditional uses of native plants and outdoor survival skills. He also teaches programs at the National Parks and Coconino Community College. He has spent a lifetime exploring the canyons and deserts of the American Southwest and loves to share these treasures with others.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Mike Masek
Mike Masek View biography
Mike Masek is a wilderness skills instructor, herbalist and ethnobotanist living in Flagstaff, Ariz. In addition to his current work with Road Scholar, he is adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University where he teaches traditional uses of native plants and outdoor survival skills. He also teaches programs at the National Parks and Coconino Community College. He has spent a lifetime exploring the canyons and deserts of the American Southwest and loves to share these treasures with others.
Profile Image of Carl Bowman
Carl Bowman View biography
With a bachelor’s degree in biology and having spent 25 years of his life on the South Rim, Carl Bowman knows the Grand Canyon well and specializes in relating the Canyon’s varied and constantly evolving geologic stories. He worked for the National Park Service from 1974-2013, and during his career served as a janitor, wildland fire fighter, archaeologist, ranger, and scientist. A long-time student of the Grand Canyon, Carl has shared its stories with park visitors, staff, university classes and lifelong learners.
Profile Image of Kristin Hooten
Kristin Hooten View biography
Kristin Hooten has spent the majority of her life in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. She earned a bachelor's degree in Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Kristin has worked in the outdoor industry in different capacities and enjoys her ongoing education with the surrounding region. When not in the office or field, she is found enjoying the great outdoors either on a paddleboard or in her camper.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Life in Stone: Fossils of the Colorado Plateau
by Sadler, Christa
Like pages in a book, the layers of sedimentary rock that are exposed on the Colorado Plateau tell us much about the diversity of environments that have come and gone over a period of hundreds of millions of years. This region is recognized as one of the finest earth-science laboratories in the world. Analysis of the fossil record and new discoveries across the plateau are answering questions, solving mysteries, and making connections that help us understand the history of life worldwide. "Life In Stone" tells the story of past environments and current discoveries with numerous illustrations and lively text written for a general audience.
A Field Guide to the Grand Canyon
by Whitney, Stephen R
This book describes and illustrates the area's plants and animals, and offers fascinating in-depth information on the natural history and geology of this dramatic region.
Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery
by Ranney, Wayne
Ranney explains how rivers in general can physically carve canyons, looks chronologically at the numerous theories that have been presented by successive generations of geologists regarding the Grand Canyon's formation, and describes a plausible sequence of geologic events that could create such a landscape. Numerous color photographs, detailed illustrations, and maps are provided.
Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region
by Anderson, Michael F
A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
by Stegner, Wallace
Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West.
An Introduction to Grand Canyon Prehistory
by Coder, Christopher M.
People have inhabited Grand Canyon for the past twelve thousand years. Evidence of their lives exists throughout the canyon; but it is up to their ancestors and archaeologists to interpret those remains for us. This book provides a popular look at the architecture, art, and tools of prehistoric Puebloan peoples, as well as information about modern-day Native American tribes.
I Am the Grand Canyon: The Story of the Havasupai People
by Hirst, Stephen
I Am the Grand Canyon is the story of the Havasupai people. From their origins among the first group of Indians to arrive in North America some 20,000 years ago to their epic struggle to regain traditional lands taken from them in the nineteenth century, the Havasupai have a long and colorful history. The story of this tiny tribe once confined to a toosmall reservation depicts a people with deep cultural ties to the land, both on their former reservation below the rim of the Grand Canyon and on the surrounding plateaus. In the spring of 1971, the federal government proposed incorporating still more Havasupai land into Grand Canyon National Park. At hearings that spring, Havasupai Tribal Chairman Lee Marshall rose to speak. "I heard all you people talking about the Grand Canyon," he said. "Well, you're looking at it. I am the Grand Canyon!" Marshall made it clear that Havasu Canyon and the surrounding plateau were critical to the survival of his people; his speech laid the foundation for the return of thousands of acres of Havasupai land in 1975. I Am the Grand Canyon is the story of a heroic people who refused to back down when facing overwhelming odds. They won, and today the Havasupai way of life quietly continues in the Grand Canyon and on the surrounding plateaus.
Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon
by Dolnick, Edward
On May 24, 1869 a one-armed Civil War veteran, John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. The Grand Canyon, not explored before, was as mysterious as Atlantis—and as perilous. The ten men set out from Green River Station, Wyoming Territory down the Colorado in four wooden rowboats. Ninety-nine days later, six half-starved wretches came ashore near Callville, Arizona. Lewis and Clark opened the West in 1803, six decades later Powell and his scruffy band aimed to resolve the West’s last mystery. A brilliant narrative, a thrilling journey, a cast of memorable heroes—all these mark Down the Great Unknown, the true story of the last epic adventure on American soil.
The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
by Fedarko, Kevin
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal. The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.
Introduction to Grand Canyon Geology
by Price, L Greer
This overview of Grand Canyon geology is perfect for the first-time visitor or the seasoned Grand Canyon traveler. Chapters cover the basic principles of geology, the history of geological exploration at Grand Canyon, the canyon's structural features, and the Colorado River. Includes over 70 photos and illustrations, an index, and glossary.





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