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North Rim Basecamp

Highlights

  • Enjoy the high country solitude, peace and quiet of the remote North Rim
  • Hike 3+ North Rim trails and 1 South Rim trail
  • Explore a remote, little-known North Rim trail with sweeping views
  • Return to the Rim each evening for showers, comfortable sleeping and campfires
  • Walk across the dizzying Navajo Bridge near Lee's Ferry
  • Visit the East Entrance Watchtower
  • Enjoy a final hike on the mesmerizing Grandview Trail


Description

The North Rim is a summer paradise with only 10% of the visitation the South Rim gets, cooler temperatures, shaded forests, more wildlife, and wonderful, remote areas with fantastic views. This tour is an opportunity to get to know the North Rim by enjoying the well-known highlights like Bright Angel Point and the historic Grand Canyon Lodge, as well as exploring remote areas that few people know about. It's also an extraordinarily great camping experience that feels a lot more like Colorado than the Grand Canyon.

Your guide will lead you on three hikes off the North Rim and one hike off the South Rim - the challenge of the treks will vary to allow for recovery and relaxation in between. We've hand-picked the hikes specifically for their uniqueness, adventure and scenic beauty. Some of the highlights include breathtaking views, incredible natural and cultural history, views of the Colorado River, stunning conifer and Aspen forests, ancient fossils, and remote wilderness. Each night you'll return to camp in the cool pine forests of the North Rim. A tasty dinner, comfortable camp, cozy campfire, and mind-blowing star-filled sky will be your setting in the evenings. Your guide will also lead moon-lit walks along the edge of the Canyon for those interested.


 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to the North Rim: 4-hour drive from Flagstaff
Hiking Mileage: 2.5+ miles
1-way Elevation Change: 600+ feet

Campground: North Rim or De Motte Campgrounds

On this Grand Canyon hiking tour, we'll pick you up at your hotel in Flagstaff and begin our drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. En route we'll cross the Little Colorado River and then THE Colorado River near Lee's Ferry, where the Old Navajo Bridge (built in the 1920's) is suspended 300 feet above the water. Your guide will drop you off so you can walk across the historic bridge and snap pictures of this amazing spot, which marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon. Occasionally we see California Condors perched on the rafters beneath the bridge.

After eating breakfast at the Old Navajo Bridge, we'll continue on our journey to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the famous Grand Canyon Lodge. We'll check out the lodge and its massive picture windows before hiking to Bright Angel Point, one of the most impressive views in the Canyon. After a hearty lunch we'll hike down the famous North Kaibab Trail to Coconino Overlook or possibly Supai Tunnel, two impressive overlooks in the Canyon.

Once the hiking is done we'll set up camp and enjoy our first tasty dinner of the trip. Each evening it's your option to shower and relax around the campfire, and/or go with the guide on a moon-lit walk on the rim.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 7+ miles
1-way Elevation Change: 500+ feet

Campground: North Rim or De Motte Campgrounds

Today is a very special day and in many ways the high point of this tour. We'll enjoy another relaxing breakfast before heading out to a remote, little-known trail. Our route takes us along the rim through pine forests to a phenomenally breathtaking spot. Our destination is a peninsula of rock that sticks out over the edge of the Canyon allowing stunning views in all directions. What's better is this spot is hardly known and we'll likely have the day mostly - or completely - to ourselves. If the group is feeling amibitious we can continue on for another mile or two into the Canyon. Once our hike is complete, we'll enjoy an outdoor dinner at another remote, awe-inspiring viewpoint we're able to drive to.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 5+ miles
Elevation Change: minimal

Campground: North Rim or De Motte Campgrounds

After a big breakfast we'll drive a short distance to our trailhead. Today's hike is on a beautiful trail that winds through the pine trees and aspen of the high North Rim (8,000 feet) past ancient fossil beds to the edge of the Canyon. Elk, deer, coyotes, fox, mountain lions, and even half-breed wild buffalo roam these forests and meadows regularly. The plant life is rich and lush, which is an amazing contrast to the desert ecosystems we'll be gazing down at inside the Canyon (and later walking through off the South Rim). Once we reach the edge of the Canyon, we'll traverse the North Rim to a stunning viewpoint. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the depths of the Canyon, explore this incredible area by extending our hike along the Rim, and then return on the same trail.


Day 4

Shuttle to the East Entrance: 3-hour drive from the North Rim
Hiking Mileage: 3+ miles
1-way Elevation Change: 1,200+ feet

Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5 hours

We'll break camp and drive again over the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry. We'll turn west and enter the Park from the East Entrance this time, where we'll stop at the famous East Entrance Watchtower. This amazing structure is a replica of a Native American tower found in the same location by early explorers centuries ago.

After driving along the famous Desert View Drive, we'll reach the jumping off point for our amazing hike on the Grandview Trail! As the name implies, phenomenal views abound on this hike! You can see for more than 100 miles on a clear Grand Canyon day from the top. Originally used by native peoples of the Grand Canyon, the Grandview Trail as we know it today was built as access to the Last Chance Mine when copper was discovered on Horseshoe Mesa in 1890. We'll hike down to Coconino Saddle, a low point on a ridge that separates two impressive side canyons. We'll enjoy a snack before turning back and relishing our hike back to the Rim.

After our hike we'll drive along the South Rim to stop at some of the more impressive viewpoints, then shuttle back to Flagstaff for the conclusion of our tour.



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and daypack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Grand Canyon hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona to the Grand Canyon and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

Your guide will prepare all the meals on your basecamp tour from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Breakfasts and dinners are normally prepared and eaten in camp, while lunches are normally eaten on the trail. You can expect a diverse, tasty menu and plenty of food!

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff (use this reservation page for a 10-60% discount at Little America) for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. We're happy to give you a ride to this meeting if you're not staying at Little America, but staying at one of our other recommended hotels. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Grand Canyon Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Flagstaff at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is a maximum of 9 guests and 2 guides (12 guests and 2 guides on private trips, but hiking will be done in two separate groups spread out on the trail). If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Grand Canyon

The weather in the Grand Canyon varies tremendously from the rim to the canyon floor, with as much as a 30 degree Fahrenheit difference. For this reason, the Canyon is truly a year-round hiking destination. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures at the South Rim and the Canyon bottom:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
         
 
Month
South Rim
Canyon Bottom
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
Dec-Feb
41°
18°
60°
38°
 
 
March
51°
25°
71°
48°
 
 
April
60°
32°
82°
56°
 
 
May
70°
39°
92°
63°
 
 
Jun-Aug
82°
53°
108°
75°
 
 
September
76°
47°
97°
69°
 
 
October
65°
36°
84°
58°
 
 
November
52°
27°
68°
46°