800-715-HIKE 9-4:30 Every Day     Wildland Wires Sign Up!     Wild. Blog Trek & Travel
Grand Canyon Hiking Guides
Grand Canyon Guided Treks
Grand Canyon Backpacking
Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Tour
Grand Canyon Guided Backpacking
Grand Canyon Backpacking Tour
Grand Canyon Hiking Guides
Grand Canyon Hiking Vacation

Grandview Trek


  •   Guides Choice backpacking trip #2
  •   The spectacular Grandview Trail
  •   Great canyon solitude and quiet camps
  •   Desert springs and oases
  •   Only cave open to visitors
  •   Remnants of 19th century prospectors
  •   Possible day hike to the River


The Grandview Trek is a backpacking trip into a remote and quiet part of the Grand Canyon. It offers incredible views, fantastic natural and cultural history (including a 19th century mine and miner's cabin), great camping with plenty of solitude, and the opportunity (not guaranteed) to reach the Colorado River via a historic trail that is rarely used today.

The trip lives up to its name the moment we start hiking as stunning panoramas of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River explode in front of us. The scenery continues to inspire as we descend to Horseshoe Mesa, which extends into the Canyon like the deck of a battleship with expansive views in every direction.

We'll hike off the west side of the Mesa to Cottonwood Creek. From here you can expect exciting hiking, camping at remote desert oases, incredible views of the Inner Gorge and Colorado River, and the possibility of reaching the Colorado River via the Old Grandview Trail (if your itinerary has two nights at Cottonwood Creek). Our route circles around Horseshoe Mesa, re-ascends it, and takes us back to the South Rim, where we'll complete one of the best loop hikes in the Canyon! (The 3-day version with two nights at Cottonwood Creek is an out-and-back hike, not a loop hike.)

It is strongly recommended to book your Grand Canyon backpacking trip 4+ months in advance due to the Park's permit system. Backpacking permits are issued on the first of the month 4 months in advance (see deadlines for each month.) Permits for the most popular trips sell out very quickly during the initial lottery, so registering prior to the deadline of the month you're interested in is highly beneficial. You can also pick any dates, and you'll receive a 5% early registration discount!

We're Here to Help!
Backpacking Trip
Flagstaff, AZ
3-5 days
27+mi / 43+km
3 Days: $1035
4 Days: $1235
5 Days: $1455
Early Reg: $983-$1382

Taxes & Fees

Travel from Phoenix to Flagstaff

  Private Trips

  See Trip Dates

Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
  • Going Fast
  • Request a Reservation

Permitted and Confirmed Trip Dates
These trip dates are permitted and confirmed. Click on a date to book!

Pre-Permit Dates
Permits have not yet been issued for these months. It is best to book before the listed deadlines. You can pick any dates (listed or not) and receive a 5% discount! Click on a date or contact us to book. (Permit system details)
FEBRUARY 2021 (register before 10/1/20)
MARCH 2021 (register before 11/1/20)
APRIL 2021 (register before 12/1/20)
MAY 2021 (register before 1/1/21)
SEPTEMBER 2021 (register before 5/1/21)
OCTOBER 2021 (register before 6/1/21)

FEBRUARY 2022 (register before 10/1/21)
MARCH 2022 (register before 11/1/21)
APRIL 2022 (register before 12/1/21)
MAY 2022 (register before 1/1/22)
SEPTEMBER 2022 (register before 5/1/22)
OCTOBER 2022 (register before 6/1/22)

Don't see your dates?
Call us and add any pre-permit dates you want!
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 3,500 feet

We’ll begin this exceptional Grand Canyon backpacking tour by hiking down the Grandview Trail, a historic Indian route rebuilt by Pete Berry for his Last Chance copper mine. Pete Berry and partners staked the Last Chance claim in 1890 and worked the mine on and off until 1916. We'll hike to Horseshoe Mesa then drop off the west side to Cottonwood Creek, which is a remote camp nestled beneath a small grove of cottonwood trees. Cottonwood Creek is a spring-fed creek that trickles between pools near camp. Your guide will prepare a hearty dinner while you relax and soak up the views!

Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 1,500+ feet

Today is a layover day at Cottonwood Creek to descend the Old Grandview Trail, which is a spectacular 6 mile round trip hike to the Colorado River and back (1500 feet elevation loss/gain). This ancient trail, which was built in the 1800's by a miner and hasn't been maintained for more than 50 years, is unknown to all but a few who call the Grand Canyon their second home (rangers and guides mainly). It's rarely hiked and is a truly memorable experience in and of itself.

Please note: since this trail is not maintained its condition can vary and there are always some loose, exposed sections that may not be suitable for some guests. We do not guarantee reaching the Colorado River on this trip, but we do guarantee a tremendously scenic and adventurous journey into the Grand Canyon!

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles + day hike
  • Elevation Change: minimal

If you're doing the 3-day itinerary, you'll be departing today and hiking back out the Grandview Trail, which is the opposite of Day One. Day three, on the four and five day itineraries, is our hike across the Tonto Plateau, which is often compared to a kaleidoscope of mesmerizing 360 degree views that shift constantly as we make our way toward our next camp. Plan on having the Grand Canyon all to yourself today, as we're unlikely to meet more than one or two other hiking groups. This is Canyon Solitude at its finest! We'll be hiking east from Cottonwood Creek to camp at Hance Creek, which is another remote and quiet camp with a spring-fed creek trickling nearby. After dinner we'll stay up and enjoy the stars, which are unparalleled in this special, wild place!

Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,500 feet
  • Shuttle to the Flagstaff: 1.5-hour drive to Flagstaff

On the 4-day itinerary we'll be hiking out today. Please read below for information on the 5-day itinerary, which allow for an extra night on Horseshoe Mesa. If we're hiking out, we'll get an early start, enjoy a quick breakfast and begin our hike back to the South Rim. Our route takes us up a rugged trail to Horseshoe Mesa, where we'll stop in the shade of Junipers, have a trail snack and soak up some more views. Then we'll continue up the Grandview Trail back to where we started. An hour shuttle ride to Flagstaff gives us time to relax and reflect on the incredible journey we've just completed!

Horseshoe Mesa Variation (5 days)

Horseshoe Mesa Addition (adds 2 miles with little elevation change): we can spend one additional night at Horseshoe Mesa (making it a 4-day or 5-day itinerary) on our way out. After we've moved camp to the mesa we'll head out and explore some fantastic additions to the trip. Horseshoe Mesa is home to Cave of the Domes, which is the only cave in Grand Canyon National Park visitors are allowed into. Its opening is perched on top of a 500-foot tall cliff overlooking where we camped at Cottonwood Creek. We can also hike to the edge of the mesa for birds eye views of our day two hike across the Tonto Plateau

3-day Loop Variation

This trip is sometimes run as a 3-day loop hike with one night at Cottonwood Creek and one night at Hance Creek. It is the standard 4-day itinerary without the layover at Cottonwood Creek and Day 2 hike to the Colorado River. This variation is a phenomenal loop hike with iconic views, oases, solitude, and spectacular views of the Colorado River from the Tonto Plateu.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles and Microspike Crampons if necessary
  • 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • 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
  • Emergency communication device(s)

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, 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? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 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.


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.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on Grand Canyon backpacking trips 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 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • 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)
South Rim
Canyon Bottom

Camping on Backpacking Trips

backpacking tent

Backcountry Sleeping

Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

backpacking meals

Backcountry Cuisine

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

backpacking campsites

Amazing Campsites

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Sign Up for Wildland Wires

Get updates about new trips, Wildland news, special discounts and more!

Similar Trips

Granite Rapids in the Grand Canyon

Hermit Loop

Backpacking Trip

4-5 days
View from Horseshoe Mesa

Horseshoe Mesa

Backpacking Trip

3 days
Tanner-Escalante Route Backpacking Trip

Colorado River Traverse

Backpacking Trip

4-6 days