The Grand Canyon lives up to its impressive name. This scenic marvel has established itself as the world’s most well known and majestic canyon, as well as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It stretches 227 miles while averaging 10 miles in width and plummeting a mile straight down. What better location for what is arguably the most beautiful and awe-inspiring desert view on the planet? Whether you are viewing from above or hiking down below the rim, it is truly a place that will give you pause. Trust us; it will be an experience, unlike anywhere else in the world.
The Grand Canyon has plenty to offer beyond the epic views. No matter if you are a history buff, river rat, geologist, or ecologist, there is something for everyone in the canyon. Wildland Trekking’s guided tours offer a diverse array of ways to see, experience, and adventure in the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon hiking tours include guided backpacking trips, mule-supported hikes, basecamp hiking tours, inn-based hiking tours, and even day hiking options. No matter the length of your stay, there is a tour to accommodate your needs and make your Grand Canyon experience suit your desires and traveling style perfectly.
When to Go
Grand Canyon hiking is beautiful any time of year, but when planning your trip, there are three important questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of weather do I prefer when hiking, backpacking, or sightseeing?
- How crowded of an environment can I tolerate and still enjoy my experience?
- What activities would I like to participate in while I’m there?
Your answers to all three of these questions will help determine the time of year and type of tour best suited to your Grand Canyon trip.
The summer – mid-May through mid-September – is peak tourist season in Grand Canyon National Park. South rim temperatures average 80+ degrees Fahrenheit while the bottom of the canyon will usually sit around 100-degrees. Expect trails to be busy unless you get an early start, no later than 10 am.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon usually only sees about 10% of the visitors that the South Rims sees, even during peak summer days. This lower visitor rate allows for a more remote hiking experience regardless of high-season crowds.
Heavy afternoon rainfall is commonplace between July and September, but the storms generally do not last long. This time of year is considered monsoon season, and hikers should be careful when hiking in certain areas of the canyon that are prone to flooding. Hiking with our experienced guides and communicating with rangers before your trip is your best avenue to ensure a safe and informed experience.
Spring and Fall are the perfect times of the year to visit the canyon if you want fewer crowds and are comfortable hiking in daytime temperatures of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. During both seasons, however, temperatures can fluctuate significantly, and nighttime temperatures will be much lower. Remember to pack layers!
If you’re planning a visit in the Spring, you will also need to note that unpredictable weather conditions will keep certain sections of the park closed. The North Rim of the park does not open from winter closure until mid-May.
The winter months – November to February – are arguably the most peaceful time of year to visit the park, and an excellent opportunity to visit if you are a photographer. However, you must be willing to brave some colder temperatures. Daytime temperatures can change drastically day-to-day and will range anywhere from the mid-40s to low teens. Only the South Rim of the canyon has car access during the winter months as the North Rim roads are closed early in the season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the North Rim! Our Winter Rim to Rim backpacking tour explores both the South and North Rim from November to February.
Hiking through the Grand Canyon on a backpacking expedition allows for an intimate experience with the canyon, punctuated by unforgettable views. Our trips include moderately difficult excursions on classic Grand Canyon trails such as Indian Gardens. For the hardy hikers, we offer more demanding treks leading to the base of the canyon and beyond. Trip durations vary to accommodate your travel schedule and can be one night or up to a full week. With a wide variety of different backpacking trips to choose from, there is bound to be a trip that’s just right for you.
We offer mule-supported trekking to accommodate a broad range of ages and abilities, making this an excellent family option. This trip style allows you to experience the full splendor of a hiking expedition in the Grand Canyon, without the heavy packs. Mules do the heavy lifting and will carry all your equipment in and out of the canyon. Keep in mind that you will still be hiking on this trip, and it is important to be in good physical health.
Wildland Trekking offers several amazing Inn-Based tours covering the Grand Canyon. These trips give you full reign to hike and explore the canyon to its full potential, without sacrificing comfort. Day-hike to some of the very best views and landmarks the Grand Canyon has to offer and end each day with a hot shower, gourmet meal, and comfortable bed. You will have the opportunity to experience both the North and South Rim of the canyon as well as other scenic locations nearby. Get to know the canyon on foot while not having to sacrifice everyday comforts you enjoy!
For hikers looking to camp at the Grand Canyon without hefting gear every day, our basecamp tours are for you. Spend three days exploring the South Rim, or divide your time between North and South with a four-day tour. Both tours offer you the unforgettable experience of hiking and sleeping in the Grand Canyon, while only carrying a light daypack for each hike. Relax, take in the views, and enjoy our beautiful forested campgrounds located within the park boundary.
Need to Know
Whether you are visiting Grand Canyon National Park on your own or with one of Wildland Trekking’s tours, there are several items you need to know regarding your trip booking and travel plans.
Primary Departure Cities For The Grand Canyon
Flagstaff, AZ is the primary starting point for our Grand Canyon trips, along with Tusayan, AZ and the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim in certain circumstances. These locations allow for decreased travel time on the first day of your tour and offer more flexibility if unforeseen delays arise.
Visit your trip’s specific landing page on our website and look under the logistics tab to determine the exact meeting location for your group. This meeting location will then drive your hotel and transportation arrangements as your Grand Canyon trip begins to take form.
You will likely be flying into either Las Vegas, NV or Phoenix, AZ (we recommend flying into Phoenix as it is closer to our departure locations). You can book a shuttle or rent a car to reach Flagstaff, AZ, from either airport. The South Rim of the canyon is located 80 miles northwest of Flagstaff, and all transportation is included once your tour has begun.
Once you settle on the perfect Grand Canyon trip for you, be sure to book your spot with us as soon as possible. Depending on the trip style and the time of year, our tours fill up fast. We’d hate for you to miss out on the trip you want. Plus, if you book a backcountry trip before the permit process, you will receive a 5% discount!
Remember, your first step is to book your trip with us. You can then move forward with the rest of your travel needs once Wildland has confirmed your trip dates. This planning includes your flights, pre- and post-trip lodging, and transportation to the canyon or pick-up-point.
There are shuttles available from both Las Vegas and Phoenix airports to Flagstaff, AZ. However, many of our guests choose to rent a vehicle. This option offers more convenience for scheduling and a buffer against those unexpected traveling occurrences. Having a rental vehicle also grants you the luxury of moving at your own pace and adding a little impromptu sightseeing to your trip, if you wish.
You will need to arrange for a place to stay pre and post-trip. The vast majority of our Grand Canyon tours depart from Flagstaff, AZ and we will pick you up and drop you off at any hotel you choose in the origin city. We recommend staying at Little America as it is the location for many of our tour orientations. This hotel also allows for luggage storage during your trek, and Wildland clients receive a 10-60% discount on their stay.
A Grand Canyon excursion is a dynamic trip that requires proper preparation when booking. This preparation means giving yourself some wiggle room before and after the trip. Try to book flights with at least one day before and after the scheduled departure and return dates of your trip to ensure that you will be able to make it on time. Our guides will always do their very best to keep your excursion on schedule, but we must still allow for unexpected circumstances to arise.
For more information regarding travel logistics, please visit Wildland Trekking’s Travel Resource page and consult the Grand Canyon section.
There you have it hiking friends! We’ve covered the base information you need to start planning an incredible Grand Canyon hiking adventure. Pick the time of year that works for you, select one of our guided trip options, plan your travel, and voila; your next hiking vacation is a go!
Have more questions? Send us an email or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453). We’re here 7 days a week from 9:00 to 4:30 Mountain Time to make sure your trip planning goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information about all your options, check out our Grand Canyon page on the website with the button below! Individual trip pages have detailed itineraries, trip specifics, travel information, and more.