Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden

Guided Grand Canyon Backpacking

Visiting the Grand Canyon is a dream shared by millions of people around the world. Every year travelers come from far and wide to stand on the edge of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, but relatively few of them climb over the rim and explore the canyon’s inner reaches. Embark on a guided backpacking trip and the adventure of a lifetime and join the elite group of individuals who have experienced the intricate wonders of the Grand Canyon.

This exciting backpacking expedition descends into the canyon from the South Rim and winds down the famous Bright Angel Trail to the ages-old campground at Indian Garden.  The second day of our backpacking trip is the perfect time to feed your inner curiosity about the diverse ecosystem within the canyon walls. Options for the day include a shorter hike out the Plateau Point Trail to sweeping views of the river rushing along 1300 ft below or for more of a challenge some may prefer to push on down the Bright Angel trail to the Colorado River itself.  The return trek up the Bright Angel Trail takes a good deal longer than the descent. Gaining over three thousand feet of elevation, it affords an entirely different perspective from the views you experienced on the way into the canyon. Your guide will give you plenty of opportunity to rest along the way. Your group will reach the South Rim by early afternoon and where your lunch in Grand Canyon village will be well-deserved after the morning’s hard work. There will be some time to rest at the Rim and shop for souvenirs before boarding the van for the return.

Duration:  3 days/2nights

Departs:  Old Town Scottsdale (DATES)

Includes:  Round-trip transportation from Scottsdale, all permits & entry fees, skilled guide(s), all meals (lunch day 1 thru lunch day 3), kitchen & group gear (cooking utensils, stove, fuel, water filter, food storage, dish washing necessities), personal mess-kit (bowl, mug, fork, spoon).

Not-Included:  Personal insurance and expenses; Pre- or post-trip lodging; Airfare to and from Scottsdale, AZ; Airport transfers; Breakfast Day 1, dinner Day 3; Sleeping bag, Sleeping pad, Backpack, Tent (rentals available); Trekking poles (complimentary upon request).

Cost:  $795/person + $35/person permit fees
Price is based on shared occupancy.  Solo occupancy upgrade available for an additional $25/person +tax; A $500.00 per person deposit is required to hold your reservation on any trip. The balance is due 60 days prior to your trip departure date.  Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure.

Skill level:  Advanced - backpacking in the Grand Canyon is strenuous due to the distances and elevation gain/loss.

Notes:  RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  All Grand Canyon tours are group tours; minimum 2 guests.  Please inquire for available dates.  Private backpacking tours are available for an additional fee.  

CANCELLATION POLICY
All cancellations must be made in writing via email or fax. Cancellation fees abide by the following schedule:
-91 or more days prior: Full refund for all trips
-61 to 90 days prior: Forfeit of deposit (30%)
-31 to 60 days prior: 50% of trip cost
-0 to 30 days prior: 100% of trip cost (no refund)

Trip Itinerary

Overview

Backpacking Bright Angel trail is the perfect way to become acquainted with the Grand Canyon. Along this famous corridor trail, you will never be too far from beacons of civilization, yet carrying your own gear and relying only on your guide, your group, and yourself it becomes easy to quickly adopt the circadian rhythms of the surrounding wilderness.

DAY 1: SCOTTSDALE TO GRAND CANYON, HIKE TO INDIAN GARDENS

Your guides will pick you up from your hotel in Scottsdale at 6am and transport by van to Grand Canyon village and Bright Angel trailhead. The hike along Bright Angel Trail retains the closest contact to civilization that exists within the walls of the canyon, made apparent by water spigots at Mile-and-a-Half and Three Mile rest houses and the occasional fellow hiker. As we descend, the trail cuts through a fault in the imposing Redwall limestone, the highest continuous cliff band in the canyon and greatest barrier to inner canyon travel. Look for signs of wildlife as you hike along, but don’t forget to look out towards the towering temples and buttes rising from the canyon floor. Battleship sits quite noticeably just to the west of our route and be alert to catch a glimpse of Sumner Butte, Brahma Temple, or Cheops Pyramid. Our camp for the next two nights is situated in the cool shade of giant Fremont Cottonwoods, near the perennial springs that for centuries watered the gardens of the Havasupai Indians. Soak your feet in the cool waters of Garden Creek and relax while your skilled guide prepares a delicious dinner for the group.

  • Hiking: 4.6 miles (7.4km), elevation -3,060 ft (933m)
  • Meals: breakfast on your own, lunch and dinner provided
  • Lodging: Camp at Indian Gardens

DAY 2: HIKE TO THE COLORADO RIVER

The second day of our backpacking trip is the perfect time to feed your inner curiosity about the diverse ecosystem within the canyon walls. Options for the day include a shorter hike out the Plateau Point Trail to sweeping views of the river rushing along 1300 ft below or for more of a challenge some may prefer to push on down the Bright Angel trail to the Colorado River itself. The path follows along Garden Creek and descends into Pipe Creek Canyon by the tight switchbacks known as Devil’s Corkscrew. Look for a thin waterfall where Columbine Spring trickles down the west wall of Pipe Creek Canyon. At the mouth of Pipe Creek, there is a short trail down to the river itself. Pause and rest in the shade at River rest house before returning to camp. Today is full of incredible opportunities to intimately experience the unique canyon landscape and wildlife. At the end of the day you will find yourself in a pleasant stupor of calm and relaxation, the perfect chance to hang out around camp and marvel at the brilliance of the Milky Way above.

  • Hiking: Multiple options – Plateau Point hike, 3 miles (4.8km); Hike to the river, 6.4 miles (10.4 km) and +/- 1,320 ft (402 m)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner will all be expertly prepared for you
  • Lodging: Camp at Indian Gardens

DAY 3: ASCEND THE BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL AND RETURN TO SCOTTSDALE

Taking advantage of the cool morning air, your guide will help you to break camp and get an early start on the hike out of the canyon. The return trek up the Bright Angel Trail takes a good deal longer than the descent. Gaining over three thousand feet of elevation, it affords an entirely different perspective from the views you experienced on the way into the canyon. Your guide will give you plenty of opportunity to rest along the way. Your group will reach the South Rim by early afternoon and where your lunch in Grand Canyon village will be well-deserved after the morning’s hard work. There will be some time to rest at the Rim and shop for souvenirs before boarding the van for the return. Arrival back in Scottsdale is typically by 6pm.

  • Hiking: 4.6 Miles(7.4km), elevation gain +3,060 ft (933m)
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch included, Dinner on your own
  • Lodging: On your own

Note about itinerary changes: We do our best to operate each trip as closely as possible to the published itinerary, however there are sometimes forces outside of our control that could require us to make adjustments to the operations of a trip. These include but are not limited to weather, natural disasters, road closures, park closures, campsite availability, emergency guest illness or injury.

 

Request Information

Backpacking is a very challenging endeavor and each route will require a certain level of fitness, capability and in some cases, experience.  Our goal is to ensure that you do not get in over your head to the extent it requires an evacuation.  Our staff is eager to work with you to put together the adventure that's best for you and your group.

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Arizona Backpacking Company