grand canyon 6-DAY ADVENTURE ITINERARY

Ultimate Adventure

Ultimate 6 Day Adventure Vacation

Grand Canyon South Rim, Whitewater Rafting and Havasu Falls Backpacking Trip Itinerary

If you want to see it all in only six days, this is the adventure vacation itinerary for you. You’ll have a day to explore the national park at Grand Canyon’s South Rim before heading to Peach Springs, AZ for lodging that evening. You’ll enjoy the thrill of rafting the Colorado River with a full day of Grand Canyon whitewater rafting with Hualapai River Runners. The next four days will reveal the exquisite beauty of Havasu Falls as you backpack into the canyon. These spectacular turquoise waterfalls are heralded by pristine travertine pools, making some of the world’s best swimming holes and most spectacular hikes. This self-guided itinerary will reveal why this desert utopia attracts people from around the globe. The Ultimate Adventure itinerary is best started from Tusayan, AZ or Grand Canyon Village and includes Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Colorado River rafting, and backpacking to Havasu Falls. Learn more by reading the full 6 day itinerary below.

Self-Guided Adventure Details

Day 1 Grand Canyon's South Rim:

The best locations to begin this trip from are Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan or Grand Canyon Village (South Rim). Once you're on the road and ready to explore, head out to the South Rim to explore its awesome vistas, ancient ruins, and unparalleled hiking trails.

  • Begin your South Rim exploration at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and enjoy a short walk to the first breathtaking view of the canyon at Mather Point. From the Grand Canyon Visitor Center shuttle bus plaza, hop on the park’s free Kaibab/Orange shuttle bus route to travel to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
  • The South Kaibab Trail descends into the canyon and rewards you with awesome scenic views the entire time. If you’re just looking for a shorter adventure, hike the 1.8-mile round trip hike to Ooh-Ahh Point for a sweeping panoramic view. If you’re ready to explore even more, continue on to Cedar Ridge (3 miles round trip) where you’ll find a great spot to eat lunch and gaze up at the canyon rim above you.
  • After your hike, hop back on the shuttle bus (consider stopping at Yaki Point for one last breathtaking view) and return to the visitor center. Head out of the park via the South Entrance and make your way to your lodging in Peach Springs, AZ for a good night’s rest.

Day 2 Grand Canyon West Rafting (Self-Drive Guided Tour)

Book your Grand Canyon one day whitewater rafting trip in advance either online or by calling Hualapai River Runners.

  • On day two, your rafting adventure begins with a scenic drive through the Hualapai Indian Reservation to Diamond Creek where you will meet your guides and rafts.
  • Once you're geared up and on the mighty Colorado River, it's a short boat ride before you take a quick hike to picturesque Travertine Falls.
  • After the falls, hold on tight when the real adventure begins as you descend several major rapids, including Honeymoon Rapid and its Fangs!
  • After the technical whitewater, the Colorado River will become calm, offering you breathtaking photo opportunities around every corner, wildlife sightings, and unique cultural stories from your native river guides. Then it's a helicopter flight up to the rim of Grand Canyon and a shuttle back to your hotel in Peach Springs.

Days 3-5 Havasu Falls:

After a day of rafting adventure, you'll spend the next four days backpacking, hiking, swimming and camping at Havasu Falls. Unlike anything else, Havasu Canyon’s red rocks and graceful turquoise waterfalls make it one of the most amazing destinations on earth.

Guru Tip: Havasu Falls is our favorite 4-day adventure for this itinerary, but because of its popularity permits can be difficult to get. Although you still need to acquire high demand permits, a Bright Angel Loop hike or Grand Canyon Rim to Rim (with one-day add on tours) are great back-up plans. You can learn more about these and other Grand Canyon backpacking trips here. If you want to change up the trip or reservations aren't available don't worry, just check out our complete guide to Grand Canyon Tours and create you own custom itinerary for this part of the trip.

  • You’ll start your hike on day two at Hualapai Hilltop, following a 10-mile trail through beautiful red rock canyons to your awe-inspiring camp below Havasu Falls.
  • En route to your camp you will pass towering cliffs, ancient pictographs, and pristine streams before you arrive in Supai Village- the only place in the Grand Canyon still inhabited by native people.
  • After setting up camp, you still have two full days to explore the Havasu area which includes many more world-renowned waterfalls—Navajo, Mooney, New Navajo, Fifty-Foot and Beaver Falls. You can choose to take it easy and bask in the sun and swim in the beautiful white travertine pools below Havasu Falls or you can enjoy a spectacular hike to one of the other waterfalls in the canyon.

Day 6 Havasu Falls:

It pays to get an early start when you hike out of the canyon, so enjoy a little breakfast and hit the trail around sunrise. You’ll hike up along the graded and scenic trail back to Hualapai HIlltop, enjoying the views along the way for the last day of this adventure itinerary.

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