PRE 06 — Grand Canyon National Park: South Rim Camping and Classic Hikes
Please note: This itinerary has been revised as of July 2, 2015.
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 climb over the rim and explore the canyon’s inner reaches. This guided hiking trip with Arizona Outback Adventures will explore both the canyon rim and travel well into the mile-deep gorge—to a lookout poised just 1,300 feet above the Colorado River.
From Las Vegas we’ll travel to Grand Canyon National Park, staying in tents at a campground just steps from the precipice. In the morning, we’ll hike the West Rim Trail, a moderately flat, 6-mile route that traverses the canyon rim, offering spectacular views into the chasm from many points at an elevation averaging 7,000 feet. Hikers will have the option of using a park shuttle from the end point, or returning on foot, making for a 12-mile round-trip.
The next day we’ll follow the famed Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden. As you hike along you’ll take in breathtaking vistas around each turn. Temple peaks and buttes rise out of the canyon floor as the trail snakes downward through more than one billion years of geologic time. Before white settlers came west and ventured into the canyon, Native American tribes used the Bright Angel Trail for centuries. The sun will be splashed across the multi-hued rock layers, with wisps of cloud scooting above the towering temples and buttes. The trail involves a steep descent and a strenuous return, for a round-trip hike of 9 miles (or 12 miles if you take the optional extension to Plateau Point, a viewpoint overlooking the Colorado River).
The final day offers a short pre-dawn hike to view sunrise from Trail View Overlook, before heading back to Las Vegas for the core convention. The fee will include rental sleeping bag.
Activity level: Strenuous. Before embarking on a Grand Canyon hiking journey you should train to ensure your trip will be an enjoyable and memorable experience. For this tour you should feel confident in your ability to walk uphill steadily for as long as four hours—the hike out on the Bright Angel Trail involves a 4,000-foot elevation gain.
Cost: $405 Actives; $495 Associates; $540 Alumni, Spouses (maximum: 9)