Grand Canyon Backpacking

Grand Canyon Backpacking

While the Grand Canyon offers some great day hikes, the best way to experience all the canyon has to offer is on a multi-day backpacking trip. Grand Canyon National Park and other nearby destinations are a backpackers mecca and offer experienced hikers a lifetime of treks to explore. The Grand Canyon is a challenging place to plan a trip and its routes and trails are a step up from other destinations, but the effort is worth it once you step below the rim and take in the unparalleled beauty of Grand Canyon’s backcountry. The Grand Canyon also has some great hiking tours if you prefer a guided trip. Whether you visit Havasupai Falls, Bright Angel Campground, Horseshoe Mesa, or do a Rim to Rim, you'll be left memories that will last a lifetime! Read the guide below to learn more.

Popular Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips

Bright Angel Loop 

This is the classic Grand Canyon backpacking adventure. Starting on the South Kaibab, you will descend through 1.7 billion years of geologic history on a trail built for its expansive vistas. Using a suspension bridge to cross the Colorado River, you'll make your way to the historic Bright Angel Campground. After a night of camping under the stars, your hike will take you along the Colorado River, before climbing the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens. Ancient ruins, sunset dinner at Plateau Point, and camping in a beautiful grove of cottonwoods are all part of the second day of your trip. Day three will put you back on the Bright Angel trail. Your hike back to the rim of the Grand Canyon is a great opportunity to spot wildlife, and observe rock art on a path used since the time of the Ancestral Puebloans. Learn more about the Bright Angel Loop

Rim to Rim 

From the North Rim of the Grand Canyon you'll peer towards a destination that seems lifetimes away. After 24 miles of awe-inspiring views, your arrival at the Canyon's South Rim will evoke a sense of satisfaction rarely experienced in one's lifetime as you turn back to see where you started your journey four days earlier. From Alpine meadows and the Colorado River, to Ribbon Falls and Plateau Point, this hike lets you experience as much of the Canyon as possible in one trek. On this Grand Canyon backpacking adventure, you'll typically camp one night each at Cottonwood, Bright Angel, and Indian Gardens Campgrounds. With unlimited opportunity to explore, and unlimited miles for your hiking boots, this is one of the Grand Canyon's most popular backpacks. Learn more about hiking Rim to Rim

Indian Gardens

If you want to relax on your backpacking vacation, and still make it to the Colorado River, this is the hike for you. A more laid-back Grand Canyon hiking adventure, Indian Gardens is great camping experience for first time Canyon hikers and families. Don't worry though - all the beauty and excitement of the Grand Canyon are still at your fingertips. Hiking down the Bright Angel Trail in the footsteps of ancestral Puebloans, you'll make your way to camp at Indian Gardens, where you'll have time to rest or explore close-by ruins. After a relaxing afternoon, your guide will take you to Plateau Point for a sunset dinner at one of the most amazing Inner Canyon views. Free from the weight of your backpack, day two will entail a seven mile round-trip hike to the Colorado River, with plenty of time to rest up for a hearty breakfast and the hike out on day three. Learn more about hiking to Indian Gardens

Havasu Falls 

Havasu Falls is an amazing experience, with many options for travelers lucky enough to explore this special place. This adventure begins at Hualapai Hilltop, following a 10-mile trail through beautiful red rock canyons to an awe-inspiring camp below Havasu Falls. En route to your destination you will pass through towering cliffs, by ancient pictographs, and across pristine streams to Supai Village - the only place in the Grand Canyon still inhabited by native people. From here, you can access Havasu and other spectacular waterfalls heralded by pristine turquoise pools, making some of the world's best swimming holes and most spectacular hikes. Learn more about this this awesome trek to Havasu Falls.

Horseshoe Mesa 

Awesome panoramas, hidden caves and pristine streams are all part of the experience of the Horseshoe Mesa area. The gateway to Horseshoe Mesa is the aptly named Grandview Trail. This short but rugged route was developed for the Last Chance Mine when copper was discoverd here in 1890. Hoseshoe mesa is a great basecamp to explore the surrounding area, or spend a night for long Grand Canyon Treks.  Learn more about Horseshoe Mesa and the Grandview Trail.

New Hance Loop 

This advanced trek is one of the South Rim’s most challenging hikes. A steep descent down a trail rich with history will evoke your appreciation for Grand Canyon pioneers like John Hance who built this trail. The New Hance Loop takes you through amazing side canyons and riparian streams for a true Grand Canyon backcountry experience. Learn more about backpacking the New Hance Loop.


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