Are you interested in a private guide? A private guided tour is booked specifically for you and your friends and family. You choose the dates that work best for you and choose the itinerary that feels right. We can help you make any custom changes you like to our guided itinerary and we will take care of all the details. Hotels are booked, meals are planned, and your own private guide will be waiting, so all you need to do is show up and enjoy your trip!
At 277 miles long, 6000 ft deep, and up to 18 miles wide the scale of Grand Canyon is simply stunning. Most never get beyond the rim, and that’s a shame because to truly experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon you need to hike down into it. Furthermore, to hike clear across this geologic marvel is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trek for even the most well-traveled outdoor enthusiast. On this private-guided tour we’ll do just that. Spend your first night in Grand Canyon Village at a comfortable lodge on the South Rim, perhaps dining at the classy El Tovar Restaurant. Your guides will meet you the next morning to discuss the trip, outfit you with gear, and help you pack up before departing on our journey driving through northern Arizona’s wild and surprisingly varied landscape to the pine-forested North Rim. Perhaps after a short evening hike, we’ll spend the night at the North Rim Lodge in preparation for the descent that begins the following day. We will then spend the next 4 days and 3 nights hiking down the hidden gem that is the North Kaibab Trail, across the Colorado River, and up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim. We can provide all the necessary camping gear – tents, sleeping pads, backpacks – and your experienced guides do all the work to make your tour as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. This is truly an experience for the ages!
Our days will start with breakfast at our hotel, or campground prepared by your guides, which gives us the energy needed for the day ahead. Then we’ll be out on the trail, exploring the wonderful landscapes the Grand Canyon has to offer. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We get a lot of compliments on our imaginative lunches – making them something to look forward to as well. We should finish our hikes around 4 pm, giving you time to relax, or perhaps do a bit of exploring around camp on your own while your guides prepare dinner.
The Grand Canyon is particularly well suited to fall, winter and spring hikes, but please note the very short window for this trip. The North Rim typically closes because of snow and lack of access in late October and does not open again until mid-May. The exact date varies every year depending on conditions, but when the North Rim is closed, rim-to-rim hiking is not practical. While this hike can technically be done in the summer, we feel it’s a bad idea and potentially dangerous. Temperatures at the bottom of the Canyon can reach 120 F during the summer months, and the somewhat cooler temps of early October are really ideal for this trip.
Grand Canyon Village, South Rim – To get to our Rim to Rim tour you can fly into Phoenix where you can rent a car, or we’ll help arrange a shuttle to bring you to the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park. After arriving at the park you can take a short walk along the rim, and settle in to your comfortable lodge. Sunsets at Grand Canyon are almost always stunning and not to be missed, especially if this is your first visit to the park!
North Rim Lodge—Your guides will meet you this morning at your hotel to discuss your trip, help gear up and pack, before boarding the trans-canyon shuttle that will deliver us to the North Rim of the canyon. The North Rim is visited by just a fraction of those who see the South Rim each year which makes this part of the park feel a bit more secluded. Daylight permitting we’ll enjoy a brief evening hike and make any last minute preparations before having dinner together and spending the night at the wonderfully rustic North Rim Lodge.
Cottonwood Camp –Today the real journey begins at the North Kaibab Trailhead at over 8,200′ above sea level. This trail starts down through dense pine forests and soon leads us through the Supai Tunnel two miles below the North Rim. We’ll descend past Roaring Springs to eventually reach Cottonwood Campground about 7 miles from the top. At 4,080′ in elevation, this camp is–as the name suggests– nestled back from the trail amidst large stands of cottonwood trees, making it a great place to spend the night.
Bright Angel Camp – After breakfast we’ll continue on the North Kaibab Trail, dropping 1600 feet of elevation and another 7 miles on the way to Bright Angel Camp. On the way we’ll follow cursive Bright Angel Creek past Ribbon Falls, eventually reaching this tributary’s end at the Colorado River. There is plenty to explore near camp here before heading over to the infamous Phantom Ranch nearby for a cool beverage and dinner. This place feels like a remote oasis and is set right on the banks of Bright Angel Creek Although most of our clients have little trouble sleeping after two days of backpacking in Grand Canyon, the stars overhead and the quiet rush of the creek usually removes all doubt of a relaxing night at this camp.
Indian Garden Camp — Continuing on this morning we’ll cross over the Colorado River and begin our ascent of the Bright Angel Trail, through two-billion-year-old granite and schist formations. Today we’ll hike about half-way out of Grand Canyon to Indian Garden Campground, reaching our destination shortly after lunch. Indian Garden is another beautiful campground set in a lush riparian corridor with huge cottonwoods all around. We can take an afternoon detour out to Plateau Point, an easy walk from Indian Garden to one of the best viewpoints of the inner canyon.
Grand Canyon Village, South Rim, Departure – Today, after breakfast we’ll make our final push up the Bright Angel trail, hiking 3000 feet and about 4.5 miles up to return to Grand Canyon Village. After climbing layer upon layer of vividly colored sandstone, limestone, and shale we should reach the rim around noon time. Topping back out of the canyon after such a journey is a truly unique and rewarding experience understood only by those who have ventured to the bottom on foot! At this point you will bid farewell to your guides, although you may choose to linger here at the park for the afternoon before departing for your post-trip destinations.