Top three reasons to go hiking in the Grand Canyon
Explore the Hermit Trail, an extremely diverse point-to-point trek
Experience historic pathways and epic panoramas on the Grandview Trek
Camp near soothing creeks and the roaring rapids of the Colorado River
Known for the epic day hikes, Grand Canyon National Park doesn’t slack on its multi-day offer either. The Hermit Trail is one of the most varied hikes in the area. The trail leads trekkers from the confining cliffsides of Hermit Basin high up to the wide-open Tonto Plateau, before descending into waterfall-packed sandstone narrows—it’s a great way to maximize your time in the park and see as much of it as possible. The Grandview Trek is a more underrated, but, as the name suggests, more panoramic hike. Once used by Native Americans and copper miners, this high-exposure classic is packed with extreme pitches and primo views of the entire park. It’s hard to find a bad hike here, and it’s even harder to stop at one. Find out more about the best hikes in the Grand Canyon from Liz Thomas, professional hiker and guidebook author.
September through May
Phoenix, AZ, is 3 hours away from Flagstaff, the starting point of the tour
Intermediate to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
4-Day Hiking and Backpacking Tour of the Hermit Trail
Explore the narrows, ruins, and spectacular mesas of the Grand Canyon on a four-day tour of the popular Hermit Trail. Traverse the Tonto plateau, explore whitewater sections of the Colorado River, discover ancient fossils, and spend nights in calm creek-side campsites with a knowledgeable guide.
5-Day Hiking and Backpacking Tour of the Hermit Trail
Four days in the South Rim aren’t enough for you? Explore the rims and valleys of the iconic Hermit Trail with an additional day hiking the Monument Creek trail to the Colorado River. Traverse schist narrows, spot bighorns, and fall asleep to the soothing sound of the rapids.
4-Day Hiking and Backpacking Tour of the Grandview Trek
Discover the remotest and quietest parts of the Grand Canyon on a 4-day hiking and backpacking tour. Trek the remote, crowd-free landscapes of Horshoe Mesa, Cottonwood Creek, and old Grandview with an experienced local guide. Stay in serene campsites, learn about the Canyon’s rich history, and uncover one epic panorama after another.
5-Day Hiking and Backpacking Tour of the Grandview Trek
Can’t get enough of the Grand Canyon? Hike the highs and lows of the Grandview Trek with an additional day at the Horseshoe Mesa summit. Ascend the iconic mesa and take in one of the most dramatic vistas in the park, with a bird’s-eye view of nearly the entire trail.
Hermit Trail Backpacking Trip
Day 1: Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden
Start your adventure with a 4.9-mile downhill hike to Indian Garden, a Havasupai spring site. Relax in the shade of the Cottonwood trees, dip your feet in Garden Creek’s ice-cold water, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Afterwards, reach a beautiful creekside camp where you’ll experience the total solitude of the Grand Canyon, as only one group is allowed there per night.
Hiking distance: 6.9 miles (11 km)
Elevation gain/loss: -3,060 ft (932 m)
Day 2: Monument Creek
Get an early start and trek westward along the Tonto Plateau to Monument Creek. It’s a long trail, but relatively well-groomed and flat. You’ll encounter two massive drainages, Salt and Horn Creek, with awesome views of the Canyon, the inner gorge, and the Colorado River. Spend the night at Monument Creek, huddled in a cozy campsite beneath Redwall limestone cliffs.
Hiking distance: 8.9 miles (14.3 km)
Elevation gain/loss: +800 ft (243 m)
(5-DAY ITINERARY ONLY) Day 3: Colorado River and the Granite Rapids
After a relaxing morning, break camp and hike down Monument Creek to the Colorado River and Granite Rapids. Traverse schist narrows and (possibly) meet the local bighorn sheep before accessing the Granite Rapids. Marvel at the thundering power of the Colorado River before setting up camp on the beach and enjoying a sunset dinner with views of the rapids.
Hiking distance: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Elevation gain/loss: -1000 ft (304 m)
Second to last day: Hermit Creek
Get up early, eat, pack up, and set out for the charming desert oasis of Hermit Creek. If you’ve got the time and energy, set up camp and embark on a day hike to Hermit Rapid, an awesome whitewater section of the Colorado River. After the hike, return to camp to enjoy a final backcountry dinner and celebrate your last sunset in the Canyon.
Hiking distance: 4-8 miles (6.4 – 12.8 km)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,200-2,200 ft (365-670 m)
Trek to the junction of the Tonto and Hermit trails, before ascending out the Canyon along the Hermit Trail. Switchback through the immense Redwall and contour some shelves above Hermit Creek. Enjoy the increasingly impressive views before reaching some beautifully constructed and hand-fitted rock slabs. A shuttle out the South Rim marks the end of your adventure.
Hiking distance: 8 miles (12.8 km)
Elevation gain/loss: +3,400 ft (1,040 m)
Grandview Trek Backpacking Trip
Day 1: Grandview Trail
Start with a bang by hiking down the Grandview Trail, a reconstructed Native American route. Hike to Horshoe Mesa, then drop off the west side to Cottonwood Creek, a small camp beneath a grove of cottonwood trees. Relax and enjoy the sound of trickling streams while your guide prepares a hearty dinner.
Hiking distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Elevation gain/loss: -3,500 ft (1,066 m)
Day 2: Old Grandview
Layover day at Cottonwood Creek to descend the old Grandview Trail, a spectacular centuries-old loop to the Colorado River. It’s a relatively unknown trail, so there’s a good chance you’ll have it all to yourself. Spend another night in the shade of the cottonwood trees.
Hiking distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)
Elevation gain/loss: 1,500 ft (457 m)
Day 3: Tonto Plateau and Hance Creek
Break camp and hike across the Tonto Plateau, often compared to a kaleidoscope because of the constantly-shifting 360-degree views. Once again, you’ll have the Canyon all to yourself, as you’re unlikely to meet more than one or two hiking groups. Camp at Hance Creek, a remote and quiet campsite near a spring-fed stream. After dinner, stay up and enjoy the starry skies.
Hiking distance: 5 miles (8 km) + day hike
Elevation gain/loss: minimal
Day 4: Horseshoe Mesa/Departure
If you’re on the 4-day itinerary, you’ll be hiking out today. Get an early breakfast and start hiking back to the South Rim. Follow a rugged trail to Horseshoe Mesa, where you get the chance to rest in the shade of the junipers and have a snack. Then, proceed up the Grandview Trail to the place you started. Riding home, take a moment to reflect and plan your next hike!
Hiking distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Elevation gain/loss: +3,500 ft (1,066 m)
(5-DAY ITINERARY ONLY) Additional day at Horseshoe Mesa
If you wish, you can spend one additional night at Horseshoe Mesa on your way out. After moving camp there, head out for a bird’s-eye view of your hike across the Tonto Plateau. The edge of the mesa feels like the edge of the world and features some of the most dramatic vistas in the Grand Canyon. Afterwards, hike out the same way you would on the 4-day itinerary.
Hiking distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Elevation gain/loss: minimal
Meet your guide
We just got home after completing the 4-day backpacking trip along the Grand Canyon’s Hermit Loop with Wildland Trekking. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable experience. Thanks to detailed packing instructions on the Wildland website, and suggestions for training, we were well-prepared for our journey into the Grand Canyon. Our guide, Tolman, was very knowledgeable about the Canyon. He prepared amazing meals every night that went far beyond freeze-dried camping packets. He made sure we always had plenty of filtered water. He made sure everyone in the group felt included. We always felt very safe with Tolman, which allowed us to relax and enjoy this memorable journey. We highly recommend Wildland Trekking (and ask for Tolman if you can), and we will certainly be using them for future adventures!!
The Grandview Trek in the Grand Canyon with Wildland Trekking was one of our best trips ever. The guides were experienced, talented professionals, which made the trip so much richer. They were also excellent cooks and the conversations with them about the area and their lifetime experiences was very interesting. Will definitely come back to Wildland Trekking in the future.
Trip of a lifetime! Grand Canyon is amazing and I will definitely be back. Tamara (our guide) was very organized and took good care of guest trekkers. It was my first time trekking and would recommend it to other folks who are ready to learn about trekking.
Had a great trip with our guide Magda. The small group made it possible for her to tailor the hikes to our level. The whole trip was challenging enough to feel great (though very tired) at the end without ever being overwhelmed.
Wildland Trekking gives you pre-trip information and a fitness plan to ensure you are ready to enjoy the trip of a lifetime. The staff and guides are available to answer questions you may have about gear needs and the trip. The guides do an excellent job pacing each day, preparing you for the day, and providing interesting stories and facts about the trail. It was an amazing trip, and I am planning another one with them!
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and 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, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Grand Canyon, refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s requirements for air travel to the US and Grand Canyon National Park public health 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 you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, certified hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Four or five days of hiking depending on your chosen itinerary
- Transportation from your accommodation in Flagstaff, AZ, to the trailhead and back
- Campsite accommodations
- All meals, from breakfast on day 1 to lunch on the last day
- Tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and multi-day backpack
- All emergency equipment
- Use of trekking poles
- All national park fees and permits
What’s not included:
- Transportation to Flagstaff
- Accommodations in Flagstaff
- Personal hiking clothes and gear
How fit do I need to be?
To participate in these adventures, strong fitness levels and some hiking experience are required.
For the Hermit Trail tour, you will be hiking for 8-10 miles (13-16 km) a day for 4-5 days, with up to 3,400 ft (1,040 m) in daily elevation change. You will be hiking through moderately rugged terrain with moderate height exposure while carrying a 35-45 lb (15-20 kg) pack.
For the Grandview Trek tour, you will be hiking up to 6 miles (8 km) a day for 4-5 days, with up to 3,500 ft (1,070 m) in daily elevation change. You will be hiking through moderately rugged terrain with very significant height exposure while carrying a 35-45 lb (15-20 kg) pack. This hike isn’t recommended for anyone who dislikes heights and extreme drop-offs.
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
- Three water bottles (at least 1L capacity each)
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes
- Wool or synthetic hiking socks — at least 3 pairs
- Hiking clothes
- Spare clothes for layering and 4-5 days of hiking
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Toiletries (hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Sleeping bag (can be provided by guide)
- 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 these adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 5:1, with a maximum of 9 guests per tour.
- The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
Hiking 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 younger than 18 but older than 12 may be permitted to join the tours on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
- Minors between 10 and 12 may be permitted to join a private tour.
- Minors younger than 10 aren’t allowed to participate in these tours.
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A $250 USD deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
- If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking and within 10 days of making their reservation, Client is entitled to a full refund minus a $50 USD cancellation fee.
- If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, but 10 days or more after making their first payment, Client is entitled to a full refund minus a $100 USD cancellation fee.
- For cancellations fifty-nine (59) to thirty (30) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total trip cost.
- After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Flagstaff, AZ, most people fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 3 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff. You will meet your guide for an orientation meeting at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip.
Your guide recommends spending the night before the tour at the Little America Hotel. This is why they’ve prepared a 10-60% discount using this reservation page. The following morning, your guide will pick you up and take you to the trailhead.