Premier Grand Canyon Hiking Company

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South Rim Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • Hike 3 South Rim trails, each with distinct character, views and features
  • Learn about the amazing natural and cultural history of the Canyon
  • Soak up phenomenal views on every hike and in between
  • Return to the Rim each evening for showers, comfortable sleeping and campfires
  • Feast on great outdoor-cooked meals
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner at the edge of the Canyon
  • Visit the best museums and visitor centers of the South Rim


Description

We created this Grand Canyon hiking tour for guests who want to have an adventurous, outdoor experience of the Grand Canyon, but also have access to showers and comfortable camping facilities. Highlights include three challenging day hikes whose locations span over thirty miles of the South Rim, a "sprinkled in" tour of the best Grand Canyon museums and visitor attractions, a sunset dinner on the rim prepared by your guide, and cozy camping just a ten minute walk from the edge of the Canyon. All fully included in the trip cost!

The day hikes will take you more than half way down into the Canyon, each illustrating the dramatic diversity of this magical landscape. Enjoy BIG Grand Canyon views, fossils, dripping desert oases, mining ruins, Native American history, and geologic phenomena. During the three days we'll "sprinkle" in a tour of the best museums and visitor attractions before enjoying our evening meals. After dinner we'll retire to our comfortable tents for much deserved rest and recuperation for the next day's activities!


 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
Hiking Mileage: 3-6 miles
1-way Elevation Change: 1,200-2,500 feet

Campground: Ten-x or Mather Campgrounds

On this Grand Canyon hiking tour, we'll pick you up at your hotel in Flagstaff and drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon through the East Entrance, where the initial views are sure to blow you away! We’ll stop at the Desert View Watchtower en route to the Grandview Trail. This amazing structure is a replica of a Native American tower found in the same location by early explorers centuries ago.

The well-named Grandview Trail takes us down a series of exciting switchbacks with seemingly endless views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. The trail was built by one of Grand Canyon's most famous miners, Pete Berry, in the late 1800's to extract some of the richest copper ore in the world. Eventually when his mine failed, he turned to tourism for a living, taking guests down his amazing, hand-cobbled trail. We'll descend down through geologic and cultural history, gazing into the depths of the Canyon and discussing the immense beauty and intrigue of this landscape.

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: 6 miles
1-way Elevation Change: 2,040 feet

Campground: Ten-x or Mather Campgrounds

We'll pick you up at your hotel in Flagstaff and drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon through the East Entrance, where the initial views are sure to blow you away! We’ll stop at the Desert View Watchtower en route to the Grandview Trail. This amazing structure is a replica of a Native American tower found in the same location by early explorers centuries ago.

The well-named Grandview Trail takes us down a series of exciting switchbacks with seemingly endless views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. The trail was built by one of Grand Canyon's most famous miners, Pete Berry, in the late 1800's to extract some of the richest copper ore in the world. Eventually when his mine failed, he turned to tourism for a living, taking guests down his amazing, hand-cobbled trail. We'll descend down through geologic and cultural history, gazing into the depths of the Canyon and discussing the immense beauty and intrigue of this landscape.

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.

After our hike we'll visit the Yavapai Geology Museum and do a short walk on the Trail of Time before returning to camp. Another evening of tasty outdoor cuisine, playing games, sitting around a campfire, and relaxation will wrap up this magnificent day.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
1-way Elevation Change: 1,700 feet
Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5-hour drive from the South Rim


Built by the Santa Fe Railroad as a route to Hermit Camp, the Hermit Trail leads us through fossil beds in the limestone and sandstone formations to Waldron Basin. From the high desert valley of Waldron, we will continue hiking along the top of the Red Wall with incredible views into a deep, seemingly bottomless canyon. One of the great highlights of this hike are the 260+ million year old reptile prints, complete with the swish of the creature's tail, permanently etched in a slab of sandstone next to the trail. Our hike's turnaround point is Dripping Springs, a desert spring that drips from the ceiling of a sandstone alcove, nourishing the desert with water.


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
  • Water bottles 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°