Map of Winter Hiking and Camping in Grand Canyon: Rim to Rim including United States Of America

Hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim in winter and sleep under the stars

Hike the Grand Canyon’s most famous trails, see both rims in winter and experience diverse micro-climates on an epic six-day hiking adventure. This trip takes you down the South Kaibab Trail, which has arguably the best views in the Grand Canyon, up the North Kaibab Trail to the North Rim and back to the South Rim via the spectacular Bright Angel Trail. Starting and finishing on the South Rim, you’ll see waterfalls, Native American ruins, box canyons and more – it’s an incredible adventure. Sleep under the stars, see all the best sights and take in spectacular Grand Canyon views without the crowds on this very special small group hiking trip.


Start
Flagstaff, United States
Finish
Flagstaff, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Walking & Trekking, Winter Active
Code
SKXWG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 9

Why you'll love this trip

  • Hike to Ribbon Falls where delicate ribbons of water tumble down a craggy rock face and you walk behind the veil of water created by the 100 foot high falls.

  • During winter at the Grand Canyon, there are less tourists and snow regularly dusts the ground and the dramatic canyon valleys and peaks, creating a spectacular sight.

  • Keep a lookout for rare flowering plants such as redbud trees and stream orchids, and squirrels and coyotes as you hike through the Grand Canyon’s semi-arid High Sonoran desert environment.

  • Soak up the pristine natural surroundings in camping spots that put you right in the heart of stunning wilderness areas with top-of-the-line tents and all your camping gear provided.

  • Enjoy freshly prepared, delicious backcountry dinners prepared by your leader and admire sparkling stars overhead if the weather is clear.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. 

  • This is a walking trip so a good fitness level will help you enjoy all the included walks and activities. 

  • The Grand Canyon is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. On winter trips, there can be snow and the temperature often drops to minus 7 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) in the evening. It is important to be fully prepared and follow the recommended clothing list closely.

  • Winter weather can be unpredictable in the Grand Canyon so we may need to make itinerary changes to keep the group safe and well at all times. If this occurs, we will do our best to find comparable activities and experiences.

Itinerary

Meet your guide between 4am and 7am at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff and begin your Grand Canyon adventure on the South Kaibab Trail, a popular hiking route that offers spectacular views both up and down the Grand Canyon. You’ll hike along a well-maintained trail to the Bright Angel Campground, your camping spot for the first night of the trip. This camp is one of the most charming in Grand Canyon National Park as it’s situated at the bottom of the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River and adjacent to Bright Angel Creek. Campsites are shaded by tall, spreading cottonwoods, piped drinking water is available, and nearby Phantom Ranch offers a snack bar if you feel like a treat. After you’ve settled into your tent, join your group for a hearty dinner.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • South Rim - South Kaibab Trail Hike
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 1.5 hours and today’s hiking distance is approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) with an elevation loss of 1465 metres (4800 feet).
After breakfast, break camp and join your leader and group for the hike up the North Kaibab Trail, to the Cottonwood Campground. Along the way you’ll make a detour to a fantastic waterfall – Ribbon Falls. The water tumbles down the 100 foot rock face in delicate ribbons and has created a travertine spire beneath the falls due to its high mineral content. In warm weather, many people go swimming in the ice cold pool at the bottom of the falls but at this time of a year a walk behind the falls is more tempting. Cottonwood Campground will be our staging point for the next day’s hike to the North Rim.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon - North Kaibab Trail to Cottonwood Campground Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s hiking distance is approximately 11 kilometres (7.2 miles) with an elevation gain of 488 metres (1600 feet).
After a hearty early breakfast, you’ll start your hike towards the North Rim. This hike is fantastic for natural history buffs as you’ll hike up through a semi-arid High Sonoran desert environment at mid-canyon to a dense mixed conifer forest on the rim. Keep an eye out for rare flowering plants such as redbud trees and stream orchids and squirrels and coyotes along the way. If you think the views are incredible near the bottom of the hike, wait until you get to the top! Once you arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the view before the hike back along the same route to camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • North Rim - Traverse Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s hiking distance is approximately 22 kilometres (13.6 miles) with an elevation gain and loss of 1268 metres (4161 feet).
After breakfast, you’ll break camp and retrace your steps to Bright Angel Campground. What goes up must come down so - unlike your previous walk along this trail - you’ll mostly be heading downhill this time around. Enjoy a different perspective on the stunning scenery that surrounds you as you hike to your camp for tonight.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon - North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s hiking distance is approximately 11 kilometres (7.2 miles) with an elevation loss of 488 metres (1600 feet).
After breakfast, break camp and set off on the Bright Angel Trail alongside the Colorado River and arrive at Pipe Creek where you’ll enjoy a rest. From here, you’ll hike up Pipe Creek past its junction with Garden Creek to Indian Garden – a spring site that watered seasonal Havasupai garden plots for centuries. After you’ve enjoyed a break, it’s a short final hike to our camp for the night – Indian Garden Campground – another enchanting Grand Canyon camp with shade and water.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon - Pipe Creek Trail to Indian Garden Campground Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s hiking distance is approximately 7 kilometres (4.5 miles) with an elevation loss of 460 metres (1500 feet).
A relaxed morning and delicious breakfast will precede a beautiful hike as we continue our ascent via the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim where we’ll look back over our trip and reflect on the beauty of this place and our accomplishment in achieving something that few hikers have experienced. On arrival, you’ll be transferred back to Flagstaff where your adventure began and your Grand Canyon hiking tour will come to an end.
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon - Bright Angel Trail Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 1.5 hours and today’s hiking distance is approximately 8 kilometres (4.8 miles) with an elevation gain of 915 metres (3000 feet).

Meals

5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (5 Nights)

Included activities

  • South Rim - South Kaibab Trail Hike
  • Grand Canyon - North Kaibab Trail to Cottonwood Campground Hike
  • North Rim - Traverse Hike
  • Grand Canyon - North Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground Hike
  • Grand Canyon - Pipe Creek Trail to Indian Garden Campground Hike
  • Grand Canyon - Bright Angel Trail Hike

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Winter Hiking and Camping in Grand Canyon: Rim to Rim trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

It is strongly recommended to book your Grand Canyon backpacking trip 5 months in advance due to the Park’s permit system. Backpacking permits are issued on the first of the month 4+ months in advance. Permits for the most popular trips sell out very quickly during the initial lottery, so registering prior to the deadline of the month you’re interested in is highly beneficial.

1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
2. Travellers on this particular trip are not required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
3. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
4. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details.
5.This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking, an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.
6. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff. Early on the morning of day 1, between 4am and 7am, you will be picked up from that hotel and we also recommend you book a pre tour night there.
7. A single supplement is available. The single supplement applies to all nights of the trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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