Premier Grand Canyon Hiking Company

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Portered Indian Garden

Highlights

  • Light day pack hiking with help of porters
  • Great for summer, camping at a shaded canyon oasis
  • Spectacular sunset dinner at Plateau Point
  • Day hike to the Colorado River on Day 2
  • Phenomenal views throughout the trip
  • Exceptional backcountry cuisine

Description

Our 3-day, 2-night Portered Indian Garden Trek is the most comfortable way to reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the summer. Porters carry your gear down to camp and back out, allowing you to hike with only a light day pack. Indian Garden offers cooler temperatures than at the bottom of the Canyon and luxurious shaded camping! We'll reach the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch on Day 2 via a roundtrip day hike. (Read more about the porter service on this trip).
We'll descend the most famous trail in the Park - Bright Angel - to the shaded oasis of Indian Garden, which for centuries served as a seasonal agricultural plot for the Havasupai Indians. Above loom the towering limestone cliffs of the famous Red Wall, and in front of us views of the Canyon stretch all the way to the North Rim.

The first evening we'll hike to Plateau Point for a sunset dinner, and the second day will take us to the very bottom of the Canyon on a long and exciting day hike. We'll enjoy one more memorable dinner in the Grand Canyon before hiking back out the Bright Angel Trail on day 3.

Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

Please note: Due to Grand Canyon's permit system, it's beneficial to register 5 months or more in advance, and you'll receive a 5% discount for doing so. Click here to read more about permits.


Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
Hiking Mileage: 4.8 miles
Elevation Loss: 3,000 feet


This multi-day Grand Canyon hiking tour begins on the Bright Angel Trail, where we wind our way down 3,000 feet of switchbacks to a broad bench called the Tonto Plateau. Becaue this trip is portered, we'll be hiking with light day packs, which makes for very pleasant hiking! Indian Garden is a perrennial spring that watered ancient Havasupai garden plots for centuries. Now it is a cool, shaded oasis that makes for a perfect summer camp or mid-canyon camp from which to access the Colorado River on a day hike. We'll set up camp and then hike to Plateau Point (1.5 miles along a mostly flat trail) for a sunset dinner at one of the most stunning viewpoints in all of Grand Canyon! This sunset dinner is for many guests the highlight of the entire trip. Following dinner, we'll hike back to camp and settle in for the evening.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 6+ miles
Elevation Loss/Gain: 1,500 feet


After a hearty breakfast we’ll make an early departure to take advantage of the cool hiking hours of the morning. Today's destination is the Colorado River and the bottom of the Grand Canyon! We'll hike along Garden Creek, an enchanting spring-fed creek with hanging gardens and waterfalls. Our route will take us down a series of switchbacks called "The Devil's Corkscrew", then along another charming creek, Pipe Creek. Eventually we'll find ourselves on the shores of the Colorado River. If time and conditions allow, we may hike down to Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch, or we may enjoy a picnic lunch at the River and then hike back to camp from there.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet
Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5-hour drive from the South Rim


A casual morning and delicious breakfast will precede a beautiful hike out as we continue our trip back to the rim via the Bright Angel Trail. It’s a 4.8 mile hike from camp to the South Rim, where we’ll look back over our route and reflect on the beauty of the Grand Canyon and our accomplishment in achieving something that few have had the privilege of experiencing.


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 technical backpack
  • Porter service to carry the bulk of gear and food (Read more about the porter service on this trip)
  • 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

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). 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, a lightweight stuff sack for your belongings that will be going with the mules, 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 trip is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 9 guests and 2 guides. 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°