Coach Stephanie recommends the 7 Best Grand Canyon National Park backpacking trips. It is one of the most iconic destinations in the United States, attracting millions of visitors annually.
While many visitors take in the stunning views from the rim, others explore the park’s vast wilderness on foot. Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is a unique and rewarding experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty and solitude.
For those looking to plan a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon, there are countless options to choose from. To help narrow down the choices, this article will highlight seven of the best backpacking trips in the park. Each trip offers something unique, from stunning vistas to hidden waterfalls, and all are sure to leave a lasting impression on those who embark on them. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a first-timer, there’s a trip on this list for everyone.
Best Backpacking Trips – Rim to River to Rim Adventure
For those looking for a challenging backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park, the Rim to River to Rim adventure is a popular option. This trek takes hikers from the South Rim down to the Colorado River and back up to the North Rim, covering a distance of approximately 24 miles.
South Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail
The journey begins at the South Kaibab Trailhead, which offers stunning views of the canyon. Hikers will descend steeply down the trail, passing by Ooh-Aah Point, Cedar Ridge, and Skeleton Point before reaching the Colorado River. Along the way, hikers will be treated to breathtaking views of the canyon walls and the river below.
After reaching the river, hikers will cross the Silver Bridge and make their way to Phantom Ranch, where they can spend the night and rest up for the return trip.
Phantom Ranch Overnight
Phantom Ranch offers a variety of accommodations, including dormitory-style cabins and private cabins. Hikers can also enjoy a hot meal at the ranch’s canteen, which serves breakfast and dinner.
The return trip to the South Rim begins on the Bright Angel Trail, which offers a more gradual ascent than the South Kaibab Trail. Hikers will pass by Indian Garden and Three-Mile Resthouse before reaching the top.
Overall, the Rim to River to Rim adventure is a challenging but rewarding backpacking trip that offers stunning views of the Grand Canyon. Hikers should be prepared for steep descents and ascents, as well as changes in temperature and weather conditions. Proper gear and supplies are essential for a safe and enjoyable trip.
North Rim Remote Exploration
For those looking for a more secluded backpacking experience, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a variety of remote trails to explore. Here are two options for those seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure:
North Kaibab to Roaring Springs
This 15-mile round trip hike takes backpackers from the North Kaibab Trailhead to Roaring Springs, a natural oasis in the middle of the canyon. The trail descends over 3,000 feet through a series of switchbacks before reaching the springs, which provide a refreshing break from the desert heat.
Backpackers will need to obtain a permit to camp at Roaring Springs, but the stunning views and peaceful surroundings make it well worth the effort. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for the hike back up to the rim, as the ascent can be strenuous.
Cape Final Trail Hike
For a shorter but no less rewarding hike, the Cape Final Trail offers breathtaking canyon views from a remote and less-traveled area of the North Rim. This 4-mile round trip hike takes backpackers to Cape Final, a rocky outcropping that offers panoramic views of the canyon and surrounding landscape.
The trail is relatively flat and easy to navigate, making it a great option for those looking for a less strenuous hike. However, backpackers should still come prepared with plenty of water and snacks, as the remote location means there are no services or facilities nearby.
Overall, the North Rim offers a unique and rewarding backpacking experience for those willing to venture off the beaten path. With its stunning views and remote trails, it’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the best backpacking destinations in the world.
Can’t Miss Backpacking Trips Havasu Falls Excursion
The Havasu Falls Excursion is a popular Grand Canyon National Park backpacking trip. It is on my bucket list. My friends and I had our reservation, but it was cancelled during the pandemic. It is known for its stunning waterfalls and turquoise blue waters. This trip is an excellent option for those who want to experience beauty while enjoying a refreshing swim.
The Havasupai Trail is the main trail that leads to the Havasu Falls Excursion. This trail is approximately 10 miles long and begins at Hualapai Hilltop.
The trail is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the canyon. It is recommended to start the hike early in the morning to avoid the day’s heat and allow enough time to reach the campground before sunset.
Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls
The Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls are two of the most famous waterfalls on the Havasu Falls Excursion. Mooney Falls is a 200-foot waterfall located about 3 miles from the campground. The trail to Mooney Falls is steep and requires the use of chains and ladders to descend. Beaver Falls is located about 2 miles from Mooney Falls and requires crossing the river multiple times. Both waterfalls offer stunning views and refreshing swimming holes.
Overall, the Havasu Falls Excursion is a must-see backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park. The turquoise blue waters and stunning waterfalls make for a memorable and refreshing experience.
Challenging Backpacking Trips – Escalante Route Challenge
The Escalante Route is a challenging backpacking trail that offers stunning views of the canyon’s rugged terrain. This route is not for the faint of heart, as it requires high fitness and experience. However, for those who are up for the challenge, it is an unforgettable experience.
Tanner Trail Start
The Escalante Route begins at the Tanner Trailhead, which is located on the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. The trailhead is accessible via a dirt road that requires a high-clearance vehicle. From the trailhead, hikers will descend steeply down the Tanner Trail, which is a challenging trail that requires careful footing.
Seventyfive Mile Creek
After descending the Tanner Trail, hikers will reach the Colorado River and cross to the other side. From there, they will continue up the Seventy-five Mile Creek drainage. This is a remote and rugged section of the Grand Canyon. Hikers will need to navigate through boulder fields and scramble up steep inclines.
Overall, the Escalante Route is a challenging but rewarding backpacking trip for experienced hikers. It offers stunning views of the Grand Canyon and a sense of accomplishment for those who complete it.
Tonto Trail Traverse
The Tonto Trail Traverse is one of the most popular backpacking trips in Grand Canyon National Park. It is a 70-mile trail that runs along the Tonto Platform, a broad shelf separating the inner and outer canyons.
Grandview Point to South Kaibab
The Grandview Point to South Kaibab section of the Tonto Trail Traverse is a 24-mile trek. It takes about three days to complete. The trail starts at Grandview Point and descends into the canyon, offering stunning views of the Colorado River. Then follows the Tonto Platform and offers incredible views of the inner and outer canyons. The trail ends at the South Kaibab Trailhead.
Hermit Trail to Bright Angel
The Hermit Trail to Bright Angel section of the Tonto Trail Traverse is a 30-mile trek. It takes about four days to complete. The trail starts at the Hermit Trailhead and descends into the canyon, offering stunning views of the Hermit Basin. After that, it follows the Tonto Platform and offers incredible views of the inner and outer canyons. The trail ends at the Bright Angel Trailhead.
The Tonto Trail Traverse is a challenging but rewarding backpacking trip. It requires good fitness and experience. The work in training is worth the stunning views and incredible scenery. Backpackers should be prepared for extreme temperatures, rugged terrain, and limited water sources. It is recommended that backpackers bring a water filter, extra food and water, and proper gear for the trip.
Clear Creek Trail Trek
The Clear Creek Trail Trek is an excellent option for those looking for a challenging backpacking trip. This trek offers stunning views of the canyon and a chance to explore some of the park’s less-traveled areas.
North Kaibab to Clear Creek
The trek begins at the North Kaibab Trailhead and follows the North Kaibab Trail for approximately 14 miles. Hikers will pass through a variety of landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky outcroppings. The trail is well-maintained, but hikers should be prepared for steep inclines and rocky terrain.
After reaching the Clear Creek Trail junction, hikers will follow the Clear Creek Trail for another 9 miles. This section of the trek is less-traveled and offers a chance to experience the solitude of the canyon. Along the way, hikers will pass through Clear Creek Canyon, which features stunning rock formations and clear streams.
Cheyava Falls Detour
For those looking for an additional challenge, a detour to Cheyava Falls is possible. This adds an additional 3 miles to the trek, but offers the chance to see one of the park’s most beautiful waterfalls. The trail to the falls is steep and rocky, but the views are well worth the effort.
Overall, the Clear Creek Trail Trek is a challenging but rewarding backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers should be prepared for steep inclines, rocky terrain, and changing weather conditions. However, the stunning views and chance to explore the park’s less-traveled areas make this trek a must-do for experienced backpackers.
Boucher Trail Adventure
The Boucher Trail is a challenging backpacking trip that rewards hikers with stunning canyon views and a sense of solitude. This trail is not for the faint of heart, as it involves steep descents and ascents, and there is no water available along the trail. However, for experienced hikers looking for an adventure, the Boucher Trail is a must-do.
Hermit’s Rest to Boucher Creek
The Boucher Trail starts at Hermit’s Rest and descends steeply into the canyon. Hikers will be rewarded with stunning views of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyon walls. The trail is rocky and uneven, so hikers should wear sturdy hiking boots and use trekking poles for added stability.
After descending for several miles, hikers will reach Boucher Creek, where they can set up camp for the night. There is no water available at Boucher Creek. Hikers should bring plenty of water or be prepared to filter water from the creek.
Tonto Platform Campsites
From Boucher Creek, hikers can continue on the Boucher Trail to reach the Tonto Platform. Followed by a series of flat areas along the Tonto Trail. These campsites offer stunning views of the surrounding canyon and are a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
Hikers should be aware that no water is available along the Tonto Platform. Bring plenty of water or be prepared to filter water from nearby creeks. The Tonto Platform campsites are popular, so hikers should plan to arrive early to secure a spot.
The Boucher Trail is a challenging but rewarding backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers should be prepared for steep descents and ascents and bring plenty of water and sturdy hiking gear. Enjoy the stunning views and a sense of solitude. The Boucher Trail is a must-do for experienced hikers looking for an adventure.
Training for your Backpacking Trips
Coach Stephanie can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to train for their next backpacking trip. With her extensive knowledge and experience in the outdoor.
She can provide personalized training plans and coaching to your needs and goals. Coach Stephanie can help you develop your fitness. Build your confidence and mental resilience for any challenges on your journey.