Grand Canyon National Park
Hiking Grand Canyon from Rim to River: An Adventure to Phantom Ranch
Hike and learn about the ancient landscapes of the Grand Canyon on some of its most awe-inspiring trails. Plus, spend two nights within the Canyon at historic Phantom Ranch!
Rating (5)
Program No. 8144RJ
6 days
Starts at
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Grand Canyon - South Rim
Yavapai Lodge West

Afternoon: Registration from 5 to 5:30 PM near the Hotel front desk.

Dinner: Dinner in the cafeteria with the group.

Evening: After dinner, we will have an orientation session and everyone will introduce themselves. You need to be in excellent condition for this program - meaning able to climb, with 15-20 lb pack, 4500 ft in a day (3 Sears Towers, 4 Eiffel Towers, or 341 stories.) Longest hike approx. 9.5 miles. If you are not sure you are ready for this trip, we strongly recommend you consider taking #6112 or #7704 first. Please Note: Because our cost are 100% prepaid at Phantom Ranch, there will be no pro-rated refunds for program days or activities missed. Any questions, call the provider. The Provider(Northern Arizona University) can be contacted at (928)523-2359; RoadScholarPrograms@nau.edu; and www.nau.edu/RoadScholar. Hiking in the Grand Canyon this time of year can be more rewarding because it provides an opportunity for solitude not found during most times of the year. A winter hike can be more challenging because of the chance of snow, ice and cold temperatures. If you have your own ice-walkers, feel free to bring them, If needed, in-step crampons will be provided for all participants.

Practice Hike
Grand Canyon - South Rim
Yavapai Lodge West

Activity note: Two hikes, in the morning a stroll along the rim; in the afternoon, 2 mile RT and 1000 vertical feet down and up, with packs.

Breakfast: Breakfast in the Cafeteria.

Morning: After breakfast, the group will have a short presentation on the Grand Canyon, and a question and answer session covering packing gear and "Leave no trace" ethics and hiking safety. We will also hike along the rim to acclimate to the elevation and prepare for the hike into the Canyon, with a discussion of Geology along the way.

Lunch: Lunch at a Grand Canyon Lodge Cafe, with a coupon provided.

Afternoon: Following lunch the group will do a practice hike with full packs, one and a half miles and over a 1000 feet down into the Canyon Along the Bright Angel Trail, and back to the rim. Along the way we will see the Historic Kolb Studio, Several Geologic Layers, and continue our discussion of both Human and Natural History at the Grand Canyon. Please note: The practice hike is important for the group leaders to assess everyone's ability to safely complete the hike. If you do not attend and complete the practice hike carrying the weight you will be carrying down, you will NOT be allowed to hike to Phantom Ranch the next day.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: After dinner there is an optional National Park Service Ranger presentation at the Shrine of the Ages Auditorium, or go to bed early for the big hike down tomorrow.

Hike to Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch

Activity note: 7.5 miles and 4600 vertical feet down with packs.

Breakfast: Early breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: After an early breakfast, shuttle to the South Kaibab trailhead. Begin the days long, 7.6 mile, 4,600 ft descent to Phantom Ranch. First stop is Ooh-Aah Point, you'll know why they call it that when you get there. At Cedar Ridge, while someone guards your pack from the marauding squirrels, follow the path to the fossil exhibit, originally built by the CCC and recently restored. Continue down past Skeleton Point and the switchbacks in the Redwall to lunch at the Tonto Trail Junction. We will stop along the way for Photo OPs, to discuss Geology and other aspects of natural history, and rest.

Lunch: Sack lunch on the South Kaibab Trail.

Afternoon: After lunch on the trail, we hike past the Tipoff and into the Inner Gorge to Panorama Point and the Black Bridge across the Colorado River to Phantom Ranch and check into cabin.

Dinner: Dinner at Phantom Ranch.

Evening: Optional ranger program (seasonally available) or star gazing or optional visit to the Phantom Ranch Canteen.

Layover Day
Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch

Activity note: Two optional hikes, 2-3 miles.

Breakfast: At Phantom Ranch we'll enjoy a plated breakfast served family style.

Morning: A layover day begins after breakfast. A optional guided hike is offered on the bridge to bridge loop, or up the Clear Creek Trail to Phantom Overlook or beyond. Or spend some time by yourself absorbing being at the bottom of the Grand Canyon by sitting by the creek, walking down to the Colorado River, taking photographs and relaxing.

Lunch: Sack lunch for your free afternoon.

Afternoon: After lunch, it's more layover day activities noted above; hike part way up the North Kaibab Trail, or kick back and look at one of the world's true wonders.

Dinner: Dinner at Phantom Ranch.

Evening: After dinner at the lodge, there will be an optional National Park Service evening presentation (seasonally available), stargazing, or an early turn in before the next day's hike out.

Big Climb To The Rim, Farewell Dinner
Grand Canyon - South Rim
Yavapai Lodge West

Activity note: 9.5 miles and 4600 vertical feet up with packs.

Breakfast: At Phantom Ranch we'll enjoy a plated breakfast served family style.

Morning: After early breakfast, begin the big climb to the rim. The hike will last throughout the day and will rise 4,600 feet over 10.3 miles. We start by crossing the Silver Bridge and hiking on the River Trail built by the CCC. At the mouth of Pipe Creek we startup the Bright Angel Trail. After we enjoy the improved Devil's Corkscrew (it is not nearly as steep as it used to be), we enter the Tapeats Narrow and pass the Great Unconformity.

Lunch: Sack lunch at Indian Gardens along the Bright Angel trail.

Afternoon: Following an early trail lunch at Indian Gardens, everyone has a chance to hike by themselves for the final push up 3060 feet to the rim. Travel across the Tonto Platform and up Jacob's Ladder to the top of the Redwall and the 3 mile Resthouse. Don't forget to glance up at the sky occasionally for a possible condor sighting, and back towards the Inner Gorge for a perspective on how far we have come. As we get closer to the rim, you sense of accomplishment grows with each step. Finally you are at the rim and you head to you room for individual check in and and a well deserved shower!

Dinner: Enjoy a celebratory dinner to reflect on your accomplishments.

Program Concludes

Breakfast: Breakfast in the Grand Canyon Lodge Cafe.

Morning: After breakfast there will be a final group gathering and program wrap. The program will end by 8:30 AM. We hope you enjoyed this Road Scholar program sponsored by Northern Arizona University and we look forward to hosting you in the future. Keep in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network and our NAU Road Scholar Facebook page www.facebook.com/nauroadscholar where you can share memories, picture and comments. Best wishes for all of your journeys.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback