Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips
Backpacking trips in Grand Canyon National Park should be on every adventurous traveler's life list! Whether it's for an overnight hike or a week-long expedition, backpacking into the Grand Canyon is one experience you'll never forget! At Wildland Trekking we employ expert hiking guides and provide top-of-the-line gear, exceptional meals, local transportation, and an absolute commitment to fun, safety and comfort.
You can peruse our list of Grand Canyon backpacking adventures below. We offer trips with a range of Difficulties, from moderate hikes like the Grand Canyon Classic and Indian Garden trips to extremely demanding trips like the Colorado River Traverse, and everything in between. Also, register four months in advance and save 5% on any of our scheduled Grand Canyon backpacking tours or stock/porter supported treks (doesn't apply to Inn-based, basecamp and Havasu Falls tours)!
Top Grand Canyon Backpacking Tours
"While anyone can 'hike' the backcountry of the Grand Canyon, Wildland Trekking made this a bucket list backcountry experience not to be missed. Our guide was a host, leader, and navigator through the 'Wonders of the Grand Canyon.' He was considerate of all hikers capabilities and was truly a servant leader in meeting our needs. I give this trip two thumbs up and 5 stars!"
- Albert Wallace
More About Grand Canyon Backpacking
Important Things to Know About Backpacking the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon offers willing adventurers some of the best hiking and trekking experiences in the world. It's an extremely unique environment for many reasons. First you're hiking down into the Canyon, as opposed to up in the mountains (which people more accustomed to.) Second, the Grand Canyon is an arid desert where water is a precious and scarce resource, and temperatures in the summer can be 110+ degrees in the shade (see information on Grand Canyon heat). In winter the trails can be icy requiring hiking crampons. Finally, the canyon walls are sheer and staying on route is critical. Bottom line if you're going to join a guided backpacking trip, the Grand Canyon is an excellent place to do it.
The Wildland Backpacking Experience
Our Grand Canyon backpacking trips are top-notch experiences that have earned the #1 spot on Trip Advisor's "Outdoor Activities in Grand Canyon." When you join one of our trips you can expect to have a knowledgeable, professional guide who is passionate about the Canyon and about backpacking. You can expect wonderful outdoor cuisine, excellent gear, and dialed-in logistics with the help of our incredible support staff. You will learn about the amazing natural and cultural history of the Canyon and leave knowing you've had an experience that would have been difficult to match hiking on your own.
Joining the Right Trip
We offer many trips in Grand Canyon, which can seem daunting. The first question to ask is how difficult of a trip you'd like to tackle. Our backpacking tours in the Canyon start at level 3, which is appropriate for fit, active people with good health. Level 4 requires a higher level of fitness but is ok for novices. Level 5 is for very fit people looking to have a serious, demanding adventure. The next question is whether you'd like to hike a famous trail like the South Kaibab, North Kaibab, or Bright Angel, which make up the iconic Rim to Rim route (also Grand Canyon Classic and Indian Garden treks). Or would you like to venture off the famous trails into true Grand Canyon wilderness on the Hermit Loop, Horseshoe Mesa Trek, Grandview Trek, or others? And of course the number of days is something to take into account. You can always call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll help you pick the right trip!
The Famous Rim to Rim
Without a doubt, the famous Rim to Rim hike is the most popular backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. We run it as a 4-day trip, but it can be done as a 2-day or 3-day trip as well, and it can be done South to North, or North to South. The primary campsites used on this tour are (North to South) Cottonwood Campground, Bright Angel Campground, and Indian Garden. The trails are North Kaibab down to the Colorado River, and then Bright Angel Trail up to the South Rim.
More Corridor Backpacking Trips
The "Corridor" is the central part of the Canyon that stretches from the South Rim Village across the Canyon to the North Rim park facilities and hotel. It is comprised of the South Kaibab Trail, Bright Angel Trail, and the North Kaibab Trail. Aside from being home to the Rim to Rim, it also includes Indian Garden Campground, Bright Angel Campground, Phantom Ranch, and Cottonwood Campground. Our Corridor trips are the Grand Canyon Classic (South Kaibab - Bright Angel Loop), and the Indian Garden Trek (up and down Bright Angel Trail, with 2 nights at Indian Garden Campground.) Finally, the Hermit Loop begins in the Corridor on the Bright Angel Trail, but then heads west on the Tonto Trail through wilder and more remote country, ascending out the Hermit Trail.
Wilder and More Remote Trips
As one heads outside of the Corridor, the Grand Canyon instantly morphs into a dramatically wilder and more remote wilderness. We offer several backpacking trips outside the Corridor. The most adventurous are our Wonders of the Grand Canyon Tour, Packrafting Rim to Rim, and Colorado River Traverse, all Level 5, 6-day trips with intensely beautiful scenery and incredible natural features of the Canyon. The Packrafting Rim to Rim, as the name suggests, crosses the Colorado River in packrafts. Shorter trips (3-4 days) on the wilder side include Grandview Trek, New Hance Loop and Horseshoe Mesa Tour.
Being Aware of Hyponatremia
One potential condition that must be managed on a Grand Canyon backpacking trip is hyponatremia. This life-threatening condition occurs when someone is sweating profusely and drinking lots of water to the point that there isn't enough sodium in their blood. This is a common condition when hiking in the summer months in Grand Canyon. To avoid this scenario drink plenty of water, but also add electrolytes to your water and/or eat lots of salty, sweet snacks throughout your hike each day. Wildland guides are trained to spot the early signs and symptoms of hyponatremia and prevent it by ensuring guests consume plenty of salt. Read more about hyponatremia.