- 6 days, 6 nights of self-guided hiking
- Extra night camping is the night before the trip just outside Grand Canyon National Park
- This tour is appropriate for high intermediate to advanced hikers with good fitness
- Includes daily gear transport, Ready Camp Kitchen gear and setup, water and firewood
- Trip starts and ends in Flagstaff, AZ
- Total group size limited to (12) per trip
- Cost: $645 per person
- May 19th – May 25th
- September 22nd – September 28th
TOUR DESCRIPTION (Passage Map)
Hiking near the North Rim of Grand Canyon is a world-class destination that very few have discovered. Hikers tend to head for the rim-to-rim adventures within Grand Canyon or along the Rainbow Rim, but some of the greatest miles of trail within the entire state can be found along the AZT between East Rim and the Utah border. This high elevation adventure is challenging and you’ll struggle to breathe normally at 9,000 feet. The good news is that running north along the Kaibab Plateau, you descend all the way down to 5,000 feet. Aside from an occasional downed tree, the trail is in excellent condition and wildlife is abundant. With the sun at your back and diverse vegetation every day, this will be six days you’ll never forget.
We created this trip for those who don’t want a guide, don’t want to be supported during the week and generally just want their own self-serve adventure with a bit of logistical assistance. Each day we relocate a very deluxe camp setup (provided by Ready Camp) of (2) 10×10 canopies, full kitchen, dry firewood, camp chairs, fresh water, coolers of food and beverages (you purchase prior to trip) and all your personal gear like tents, bags and clothing. You can go as cheap or deluxe as you want on food, beverages and amenities!!
Our meeting point for this trip is the Days Inn Flagstaff, West Route 66 in Flagstaff, AZ. We will be leaving for our night’s camp near the North Rim at 2pm, so your shopping needs to be done by then. There is a Safeway grocery store very close to the hotel. We will arrive at 10am with any coolers needed for your groceries and beverages.
This hike begins as dramatically as it ends, and before you start hiking north you’ll want to take a short walk down the North Kaibab Trail and see one of the seven natural wonders of the world from its most spectacular vantagepoint. Peering into Bright Angel Canyon from the North Rim might be one of the best views in the world, but it’s only one of three unforgettable viewpoints you’ll experience over the next four days. The first ten miles of this day’s hike gain over 1,000 feet in elevation, which is no easy task considering you start above 8,000 feet. The trail rises and falls (but mostly rises) in and out of small drainages before entering the Kaibab National Forest. Camp will be waiting here from the previous night. Hike length is 13 miles.
After a few miles of beautiful stands of ponderosa pine you’ll reach The East Rim View. The view from the East Rim Viewpoint is among the most underappreciated in all of Arizona. From this viewpoint you gaze out across Saddle Mountain Wilderness, Marble Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs and Navajo Mountain in the distance. It’s absolutely stunning. Once you’ve soaked it all in, start running along the excellent singletrack to the north. The trail just keeps getting better as you pass Dog Lake and the lush open meadows of Tater Canyon. Hike length is about 12 miles.
Today we reach the outskirts of the burn area caused by the 2006 Warm Fire. Hiking through here is picturesque and enchanting, and you’re unlikely to see any other people. The trail continues to climb and descend through minor canyons until you pass Crane Lake and approach our camp near Telephone Hill. Hike length is about 8.5 miles.
Today begins a gradual descent along the sloping Kaibab Plateau along the AZT. You’ll leave the spruce, fir and aspen forests behind and enter the ponderosa pine zone. Aspens can still be found here, and are the dominate life form in the area where the Warm Fire obliterated the forest in 2006. You’ll enjoy great views to the east and feel like you’re flying for the final miles into camp – the trail descends nearly 1,000 feet within the last five miles. Hike length is about 15 miles.
Another outstanding day of hiking through the Kaibab National Forest. The trail undulates through dense forest, descending very gradually throughout the day. Deer outnumber people here 1,000 to 1, and since mountain lions like deer you can count on sharing the forest with a few big cats. Although you’ll probably never see them, look for scat and tracks on the trail. And remember, you don’t have to outrun the mountain lions…just hike a little faster than someone else on this trip. Hike length is about 14 miles.
The final day of this adventure may be the finest, as you hike from the piñon-juniper forest down across the sagebrush flats of southern Utah. The trail rises and falls for the first five miles, and after cresting one small rise you’ll catch your first glimpse of Coyote Buttes, Buckskin Gulch and the otherworldly colors to the north. We have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t gasp from the beauty. From here, the soil changes from grey-brown to red – hinting at the sandstone paradise that lies to the north. Today’s route goes quickly, especially at the end. You’ll descend 1,500 feet on excellent trail, with most of that happening in the last three miles. The trip concludes at the State Line Campground at the border of Arizona and Utah – the northern terminus of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. The drive back is equally impressive, beneath the Vermilion Cliffs and across the Navajo Nation. Hike length is about 14 miles.
- Shuttle Van and driver
- Luggage, gear and cooler/food relocation
- Ready Camp kitchen and general gear
- Alcoholic Beverages – we can haul and keep them cold though!
- Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
- Weather Control – Mother Nature has a mind of her own
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and then a shuttle to Flagstaff, AZ. We recommend arizonashuttle.com