The Grand Canyon is simply breathtaking in its beauty and in its sheer size, it’s a massive 6,000 feet (1,828 metres) deep at its deepest point and 15 miles (24km) at its widest. In its entirety, the Grand Canyon stretches a colossal 277 miles (445.7 km).
Trekking the Grand Canyon
This adventure challenge involves trekking through the stunning landscape of the Grand Canyon and on your trek you’ll learn all about the geological history of the canyon, which the river has carved through over millions of years.
You’ll visit amazing sites including Sedona, with its fascinating red rock formations, Oak Creek, Mogollon Rim and the stunning turquoise waters of Havasu Creek and the Havasu waterfalls.
Day-to-day Grand Canyon trek itinerary
In order to maximise your enjoyment of your trip to Arizona and trekking the Grand Canyon we recommend a trip duration of at least ten days.There are many tour guide operators or charities you could choose to travel with and each will offer a different itinerary. The itinerary below is an example only and may vary.
Day 1 – Fly to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
Check into your hotel after your journey and relax for the evening before your adventure begins tomorrow.
Day 2 – Phoenix to Kaibab
In the morning you will be collected from your hotel and transported north through the Sonoran Desert and into the stunning red-rock canyons of north central Arizona. The two-hour drive finishes at Sedona where you disembark to explore the amazing red-rock formations of Oak Creek Canyon, an area that is of great spiritual importance to Native Americans.
A 4.9 mile (8km) trek brings you to the great monolith of Cathedral Rock, where you will enjoy lunch by the creek before the transport take you on a fascinating two-hour tour of the canyon. The drive takes you from the canyon floor to its rim at 7,001 feet (2,134 metres) where you continue to your hotel accommodation at Kaibab.
Day 3 – Kaibab to the Grand Canyon
After breakfast you will be driven to the Grand Canyon National Park where you leave your vehicles to descend into the vast depths of the Canyon. It is a three-mile trek to reach the Canyon bottom from the rim above to stand in awe at the sheer magnificence of the Canyon above you. It really is amazing to think that the sheer rock walls all around you have been formed simply by the erosion of river water.
After some lunch it’s time for the three-mile trek back to the Canyon rim. This is a steep uphill ascent and can be very hot in the Arizona sun so take plenty of water and sun-block!
Day 4 – Kaibab to Hualapai
A one-hour, early morning vehicle ride takes you from your hotel to an Hualapai Hilltop at 5,400 feet (1,646 metres). From the hilltop your trek descends into a labyrinth of red sandstone formations before stopping for a quick lunch, then continuing on to trek past the awesome 80 feet (24 metres) Navajo and 100 feet (30 metres) Havasu waterfalls before setting up camp for the evening in a stunning setting by the falls.
Day 5 – Hualapai to Beaver Falls
After an early breakfast your trek continues deeper into the Canyon, down to the wonderful Mooney Falls. From Mooney Falls a steep, challenging (and wet!) descent brings you to Beaver Falls. This is a really fun-packed descent with opportunities for swimming and jumping off small waterfalls. You will then camp overnight near to the falls.
Day 6 – Beaver Falls to Carbonate Canyon
Day six is a relatively easy days trekking with some leisurely walking in Carbonate Canyon and a climb up to Esplanade for an amazing view of the falls and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
Day 7 – Carbonate Canyon to Las Vegas
Day seven is spent ascending back out of the Canyon. Once you reach the top the feeling of achievement will be amazing and this is an experience you will never forget. You as well as everyone else will have huge smiles on your faces, as you sit around the campsite fire looking back over a truely amazing trek.
Day 8 – White water rafting
After a week of tough trekking it’s time to relax and have some fun. On day eight you race down the white water rapids of the Colorado River and enjoy a day of adrenalin-packed fun.
Day 9 – Carbonate Canyon to Las Vegas
On day nine you are collected from your campsite at the Grand Canyon and transported to a hotel in Las Vegas. Here you can relax your weary body in a hot jacuzzi before heading into town to enjoy the glitter and glamour of this 24-hour city and celebrate your fantastic trekking experience in style!
Day 10 – Fly home
How to get to the Grand Canyon
An adventurous and budget way to trek the Grand Canyon is to simply book a flight to Phoenix and then find some guides to take you. This would be a very easy way to organize your adventure and may save you some of the costs associated with using a tour operator.
If you have a busy work or social life with limited time, then we recommend booking your expedition via a reputable Grand Canyon trekking tour operator.
Using a reputable tour operator brings many benefits:
- Well-planned itineraries with good on-route accommodation, food and sightseeing opportunities.
- Well trained and knowledgeable guides.
- An office including staff who you can ask questions due to their first hand knowledge of the walk.
When booking your walk always make sure you know what is and what is NOT included in the price for example visa fees, airport taxes and travel insurance.
Who can trek the Grand Canyon?
The walk can be challenging and has an overall grading of reasonably strenuous activity but anyone who is reasonably fit and is looking for a challenge can trek the Grand Canyon!
Regardless of your level of fitness, it is always good advice to have a full medical check-up before deciding whether or not to tackle the Grand Canyon. Also when you are planning your trip, ensure you have had at least one rest day after flying to Phoenix to recover from any jet lag or travel fatigue.
Always consult your doctor for a list of all the medical requirements for a trip to the U.S. and trekking the Grand Canyon. There are currently no vaccinations required or any risk of Malaria when traveling to the U.S, although it is advised that your primary course and boosters are up to date before you travel to the States.
Why not trek the Grand Canyon for a charity? Get sponsored for your trip and raise loads of cash for a worthy cause. Not only will you have trekked through the most amazing landscape in the world but you'll have helped other people too... the feeling of achievement will be fantastic!
As well as raising money for a worthwhile cause, if you do decide to go with a charity the good news is they take all the hassle out of organising the trip. You don’t need to worry about booking your flights or accommodation and all the other stuff – all you need to worry about is getting in shape.
Feeling inspired? Why not view our list of Partner Charities and pick a great cause to support.