The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike

The Grand Canyon | Arizona
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

  • Trip Highlight

    From North to South Rim: cross the Grand Canyon in just four days

  • Trip Highlight

    Varied habitats teeming with rare and endangered species

  • Trip Highlight

    Feel the mighty Colorado River carving through layers of ombre rocks

Even Teddy Roosevelt thought the Grand Canyon was a bucket list destination, claiming that every American should see its unparalleled beauty. Take Teddy’s counsel, ditch the crowds and enjoy the canyon in all its splendor on the 24-mile Rim-to-Rim trail. Hiking from North to South Rim is like using a geological time machine: witness 250-million-year-old strata lying back to back with 1.2 billion-year-old rocks featuring the mighty Colorado river carving through the gorge. Visitors say pictures don’t do justice to its red-rock chasms, so see for yourself why Teddy’s right—after all, it is one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders!

The rim-to-rim hike is one of the most popular trips in the Grand Canyon and is thus subject to an extremely competitive permit lottery system. Contact us with your desired dates and we will try to score a permit for you and your group!

Season

May through October

Nearest city

Flagstaff, AZ is just under 2 hours away

Duration

4 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hiking Trip

4 days

Over 270 miles long and more than 6,000 feet deep, the Grand Canyon in Arizona houses countless layers of rock formations that tell a story two billion years in the making. Instead of marveling at its beauty for only several hours like most visitors, why not go on a trek that takes you right across it? The four-day Rim-to-Rim trail shows you the Grand Canyon as a geological phenomenon offering a record of three of the four eras of geological time. Apart from walking through steep-walled canyons rising above the incising Colorado River, catch glimpses of rare and endangered species, and enjoy sunsets from the plateaus. Don’t forget to stargaze—the park is a designated International Dark Sky Park!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at the North Rim

Meet your guide in Flagstaff, Sedona, Williams, or Tusayan and drive four hours to the North rim of the Grand Canyon. Hike 7 miles (11km) through dense conifer forests on the North Rim and Sonoran Desert inside the Canyon. While en route, you’ll also pass by the Redwall Limestone and Sonoran Desert, past Redwall limestone and Roaring Springs, a rushing cascade tumbling from the canyon walls. Reach Cottonwood Campground and make camp for the night.

Bridge across a ravine on the Kaibab Trail below the North Rim deep in the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

Day 2: Bright Angel Camp

Break camp and hike another 7 miles (11km) down to Bright Angel Campground, including a side hike to Ribbon Falls. The camp sits at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, adjacent to the Colorado River and the historic Phantom Ranch, built in the 1930s. There’s a plethora of side canyons waiting to be explored, but if you feel like taking it easy, sit by the river watching rafts passing by.

Waterfall cascading over the rocky rim of the Bright Angel Canyon into the mossy green oasis of Ribbon Falls deep in the desert wilderness of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.

Day 3: Indian Garden

Pack up and make an early departure for the Bright Angel Trail. Proceed along the Colorado River and up Pipe Creek until you reach the Garden Creek. From there, hike upstream to Indian Garden and as you arrive there, set up camp for the night. On your last night in the Grand Canyon, you’ll hike to Plateau Point, enjoying the sunset and one of the most unique viewpoints you’ll ever experience.

Sunset Lights Up a Plateau in the Grand Canyon in Arizona from the South Rim

Day 4: South Rim and Departure

Enjoy your final breakfast in the Grand Canyon before continuing the scenic ascent to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail. Exit the Grand Canyon and take a drive back to Flagstaff, Sedona, Williams, or Tusayan.

Please keep in mind, despite best efforts to stick to a set itinerary, plans can occasionally change based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

South Rim Grand Canyon before sunset, Arizona, US
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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Grand Canyon

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Grand Canyon please refer to Grand Canyon National Park Operations Update.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Four days of hiking
  • Transportation to and from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan, and Sedona
  • All backpacking equipment
  • All meals during the hike
  • Accommodation in the Grand Canyon

What’s not included:

  • Accommodation prior to and after the trip
  • Transportation to Arizona

How fit do I need to be?

This four-day rim-to-rim traversal might pose a challenge even to avid adventurers. You need to be able to hike four to seven miles per day while carrying a full daypack. Due to its length (24 miles), change in elevation (up to 4,000 feet in a single day) and temperatures prone to dramatic swings, this trip is suited for intermediate and advanced hikers. To ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, you should consider yourself healthy and active before taking on this challenge. If the trek is too difficult, there are plenty of less strenuous Grand Canyon hikes to get started on.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
  • Hiking poles — optional
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

  • For the private adventures, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1. 
  • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 

Hiking Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • Minors as young as 13 may join the hike, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

If you cancel or leave the trip for any reason:

  • 60+ Days prior to trip start, within 10 days of making your reservation: a full refund minus $50 per person administrative fee
  • 60+ Days prior to trip start, after 10 days from your first payment: a full refund, less a $100 per person administrative fee
  • 59 – 30 days prior to trip start: refund of 50% of the trip cost
  • Less than 30 days prior to trip start or once the trip has begun: no refund, trip credit or transfer of payments.

Permit lottery system

The rim-to-rim hike is one of the most popular trips in the Grand Canyon and is thus subject to an extremely competitive permit lottery system. Even if you book the trip, securing a permit is not guaranteed.

In case your guide fails to secure a permit for you, you can choose to receive a 100% refund of your deposit, or you can transfer the deposit to one of these awesome alternative multi-day hiking tours in the Grand Canyon. Scoring a permit for these backup itineraries is much easier, so we definitely recommend checking them out.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Flagstaff, most people fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International. From there, it’s a 2-hour drive to Flagstaff. You can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

Your guide can pick you up from Flagstaff, Williams, Sedona, and Tusayan. Let them know in time to make the proper arrangements. Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet.

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Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
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