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Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Vacation

Phantom Ranch Rim to Rim

Highlights

  •   Hike south to north across the Grand Canyon
  •   Stay at historic Phantom Ranch
  •   Cross the Colorado River
  •   Enjoy the desert oasis of Ribbon Falls
  •   Soak in the cool waters of Bright Angel Creek
  •   Amazing natural and cultural history
  •   Wonderful lodge & picnic meals

Description

This trip combines two of Grand Canyon's most sought-after and unique experiences - hiking Rim to Rim across the Canyon and staying at historic Phantom Ranch - into one robust, incredible trip! On our all-inclusive, small group adventure, we hike down the famous Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch on Day 1, crossing the Colorado River on a bridge. We spend a day relaxing and exploring from the bottom of the Canyon, then ascend to the North Rim on Day 3.

Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon features 24 miles of amazing trail hiking plus optional trekking at the bottom of the Canyon. We soak up incredible views, pass a stunning waterfall (time dependent), enjoy historic Phantom Ranch, explore the Colorado River, and achieve the world famous feat of hiking across the Canyon. This trip is primarily offered in the summer months, which requires extra care and caution. For increased safety, our hikes begin in the cooler early morning hours well before sunup, which also offers guests the amazing opportunity to experience breathtaking Grand Canyon sunrises on the trail!

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Lodge-based Trek
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Flagstaff, AZ
3 days
24mi / 39km
Per Person: $1530

Taxes & Fees

Travel 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
  • Contact Us
Don't see your dates? Call us!
We can often customize dates for groups at no extra cost!
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Hiking Mileage: 9.3 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 4,500 feet
  • Accommodations: Phantom Ranch Lodge

Our tour begins with early morning pick up from your hotel in Flagstaff and shuttle to our starting trailhead. Today is an "alpine start" which means hiking well before the sun comes up. Hiking in the Canyon at night, by headlamp, is a magical experience. Northern Arizona has some of the darkest skies you'll see anywhere, so the shadowy cliffs that surround us are enhanced by thousands of dazzling stars and the amazing Milky Way. As we descend farther, the cliffs grow higher and higher above us until, finally, as the sun rises and its first rays hit the Canyon's walls, we are treated to an unforgettable light show. We'll stop to appreciate the sunrise and enjoy a tasty trail breakfast.

After breakfast we continue our descent past the lush oasis of Indian Garden and Garden Creek, down the famous Devil's Corkscrew (a dramatic, steep series of switchbacks) and along clear, cool Pipe Creek. We hit the Colorado River where Pipe Creek enters it, and we traverse the Colorado for 1.5 miles before crossing it on a suspension bridge and arriving at historic Phantom Ranch! We'll check into our accommodations, get settled, shower, relax and then meet for dinner. Dinner tonight is at Phantom, where you'll enjoy hearty ranch cooking at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!

Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 0-7 miles day hiking
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: < 1,000 feet
  • Accommodations: Phantom Ranch Lodge

This is a layover day and a chance to relax and absorb the magic of the Canyon or go on a memorable day hike. Remember your swimsuit for a soak in the cool waters of Bright Angel Creek, catch up on that book you’ve been wanting to read, spend quality time with your partner or family exploring the area, or join your guide for a customized day hike. Hiking options include an off-trail trek up a side canyon with cascades, pools and oases; a breathtaking hike paralleling the Colorado River a thousand feet above it on the Clear Creek Trail; or a relaxing walk on the River Trail.

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 14 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 5,800 feet
  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 4 hours

Like Day 1, today is an alpine start, meaning we'll be on the trail well before sunrise to take advantage of the cool early morning hours. Our hike takes us along Bright Angel Creek through the sheer walls of the Bright Angel Box. We'll come to Ribbon Falls as the sun begins to rise, or shortly after. Ribbon Falls is the final drop (~80 feet) of a mineral-rich cascade that erupts from a spring above us. The minerals, over time have built up a 20 feet high travertine deposit and small cave. We will rinse off in the refreshing water and enjoy some breakfast before continuing.

Our hike continues along Bright Angel Creek for another couple miles, then splits off to the west into a major side canyon. We'll pass Roaring Springs, a thunderous spring that provides water for both rims (via pipelines), then ascend past amazing views to Supai Tunnel and Coconino Overlook. At the Overlook, which isn't far from the North Rim, we'll stop for a little while to appreciate the amazing hiking we've done over the past 3 days! At the North Rim we'll meet our shuttle driver and begin our drive back to Flagstaff. What an absolutely amazing 3 days this has been!




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

  • 2 nights of lodging in the dorms at historic Phantom Ranch (Lodging Details)
  • All meals beginning with breakfast Day 1 through lunch the final day
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Transportation beginning and ending in Flagstaff, AZ
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Grand Canyon hiking guide
  • 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

Two dinners and a breakfast will be eaten at Phantom Ranch. Phantom Ranch dinners are pre-ordered and include steak, hikers stew or a vegetarian option. We'll do our best to accommodate your first choice of meals, but it will depend on availability. Also, the choices are served at different times, so if you'd like to eat with others in your group it's best to select the same meals each evening.

We provide the first and last breakfasts and lunches for the trip. 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
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • 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, 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 at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 2 and 4 am, although the exact time will depend on weather forecasts and current conditions. We will be back to Flagstaff normally before 7 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.


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.


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 this hiking tour is 6-7 guests and 1-2 guides, with a maximum of 7 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)
  • 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°
 

Accommodations

Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch Lodge

2 nights

The historical significance and backcountry location of this amazing, rustic lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon offers guests an unforgettable inn-based hiking experience!
(10-bed gender-specific dorms, bathrooms, showers, heat, A/C)

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