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 Arizona-Utah Tour 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!
Take a backpacking tour into the heart of Grand Canyon and immerse yourself in one of the natural wonders of the world. At 277 miles long, 6000 ft deep and up to 18 miles wide, the scale is simply stunning. Most visitors to the Grand Canyon never get beyond the rim, and that’s a shame since to truly experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon you need to hike down into it. Better yet, is to hike to the Colorado River at the bottom and spend a couple nights inside the canyon. On this guided tour, we’ll do just that. You’ll start with one night in a comfortable lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, meet your guides, and talk about the adventure to come. Then spend 3 days and 2 nights hiking the classic South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Trail loop. Rubicon’s founder Matt Brown has been organizing backpacking trips in Grand Canyon for nearly 15 years and considers this our company specialty. In addition to taking care of all the logistical considerations, we can also provide all the necessary camping gear you will need: tents, sleeping bags and pads, backpacks, etc. Your experienced guides do all the work to make your tour as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
For three days the rush of the modern world falls away as you descend into Grand Canyon with the river threading its way below you as the rim rises above. You’ll spend one night at Bright Angel Campground at the Colorado River near the legendary Phantom Ranch. The next day you’ll hike up along the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden Campground and enjoy more great panoramic views. After spending the night here you’ll head back up to the South Rim where you’ll spend your final evening.
Days will start with breakfast at our hotel, or at the 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 on your own. The Grand Canyon is particularly well suited to fall, winter, and spring hikes. Colder weather at the rim is ideal for hiking, and warmer temperatures near the bottom are comfortable without the overwhelming heat the region experiences in the summer. Temperatures at the bottom of the Canyon are typically 25-30 degrees warmer than at the rim, so we can enjoy cool days for hiking and comfortable evenings at camp.
Grand Canyon Village – After arriving in Phoenix either rent a car or have a shuttle service pick you up, and drive through Arizona’s surprisingly varied beautiful landscapes to Grand Canyon National Park. Spend your first night at the rim at the comfortable El Tovar Hotel and enjoy a wonderful dinner at the classy hotel restaurant where your guides will meet you to talk about your hiking tour.
Bright Angel Camp– You’ll start in the morning trekking down into the Grand Canyon on the very scenic South Kaibab trail. This trail is steep, almost 4800′ downhill; but you will have all day, so there will be plenty of time to stop and take in the vistas.
You’ll pass Ooh-Ah point and Cedar Ridge as you descend layer after scenic layer, deep into the canyon. Eventually you’ll pass through rock layers approximately 2 billion years old and cross over the Colorado River to the oasis of Bright Angel Campground. The campground sits along Bright Angel Creek and is pleasantly shaded by huge cottonwood trees. Here, you’ll find bathrooms and running water. Later in the evening you’ll head over to historic Phantom Ranch which is nearby for a well-deserved drink and dinner.
Indian Gardens Camp – Continuing through the inner corridor of the Grand Canyon, you’ll hike along the Colorado River and up the Bright Angel trail. Today you’ll hike about half-way up reaching Indian Garden Campground shortly after lunch. This beautiful campground is filled with huge cottonwood trees, and also has bathrooms and running water. You can take an afternoon detour out to Plateau Point, an easy walk from Indian Garden to one of the best viewpoints in the Canyon.
Grand Canyon Village, Departure – After breakfast in the morning, you’ll continue on the Bright Angel Trail, hiking 3000 feet up in about four hours to return to Grand Canyon Village. Topping back out of the canyon at the South Rim after such a journey is a truly unique and rewarding experience understood only by those who have ventured into its depths. We should finish this hike around noon at which point you’ll bid farewell to your guides. You can spend the remainder of the afternoon taking in the vistas and relaxing at Grand Canyon Village before moving on to your post trip destinations.
Small group guided tour with guaranteed departures