5-Day Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hiking Trip

ArizonaGrand CanyonPhantom Ranch
Tour Length
5 days, 4 Nights
Guide Type

Hike from Grand Canyon’s North Rim to the Colorado River and ascend to the South Rim over 5 days on our 5-Day Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hiking trip! Join us for one of the world’s most sought after adventures – hiking rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. This guided Grand Canyon hiking tour was selected by National Geographic as one of the 50 Tours of a Lifetime. A journey through geologic time, it is a must do Grand Canyon vacation for all adventurous travelers. This is a strenuous Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hiking trip for which we require a written letter of approval from your doctor.

I am still on a hiker’s high two days after completing this trip. The trip was very well organised - pick ups, food, clarity of schedule - just about every aspect was taken care with perfection!Mira

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip ground transportation from Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Rim-to-rim luggage shuttle
  • Meals starting lunch Day 1 through dinner Day 4, lunch Day 5
  • Water and snacks
  • 1 night lodging at North Rim Lodge (or equivalent based on availability), 2 nights lodging at Phantom Ranch, 1 night lodging on the South Rim
  • Dining and housekeeping gratuity
  • Professional Wilderness First Responder certifed guide

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Grand Canyon National Park entry and commercial fees

Not Included ​​​​​​​

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Air transportation to and from Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging
  • Breakfast Day 1, breakfast Day 5
  • Day hiking pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

Upgrades + Additions

Solo Accommodations Upgrade – $289 pp

All accommodations are shared occupancy by default. Purchase this upgrade to have a tent to yourself.

Non-Participant Package – $695 pp

*Limited to one non-participant per hiker, only available in partnership with a hiker already booked on a trip.

Package includes:

  • Round-trip transportation from the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in Old Town Scottsdale
  • National Park entry fees
  • Trans-canyon Shuttle Reservation (transportation from North Rim to South Rim)
  • Meals: lunch and dinner Day 1, dinner Day 4, lunch Day 5
  • Lodging on Days 1 and 4
  • Bottled water and snacks while in AOA vehicle

Does not include:

  • Day 1 breakfast, Day 2 meals, Day 3 meals, Day 4 breakfast and lunch, Day 5 breakfast
  • Airfare to and from Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations (we recommend the Holiday Inn Express and have special rates there)
  • Lodging on Days 2 and 3
  • Airport transfers
  • Optional AOA Guide gratuities
  • Personal insurance and expenses

Gear Rental

  • 30 to 40 liter day hiking pack ($25 per pack)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)

Optional Additions

  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).


2019 Rates

  • TOUR PRICE $ 2445 pp 2445 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 118 pp* 118 pp

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

Do you have five minutes to save $25? Use the promo code 25for5 at checkout and get $25 per person off your trip price when you take 5 minutes to complete your guest profile and sign your waiver! Profiles and waivers are due no later than 1 week after booking to cash in on this promotion!

See our Promos & Discounts page for a list of multi-day trip promotions that may apply!



Select Month

September 2-September 6
sold out!
September 6-September 10
sold out!
September 11-September 15
October 2-October 6
sold out!

There is still space available on our 2019 3-day Rim to Rim trips! Check it out here.

We maintain a waitlist should participants drop off of a trip. Please call us or fill out the form under “Check Availability” to be added to that list. We get our dates one year in advance, if you’re planning ahead of that we can add you to our early contact list.

Hikers pass Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch cabin

8:00am Today we shuttle from Scottsdale/Phoenix to the Grand Canyon North Rim with some interesting stops along the way. We break at Cameron Indian Trading Post. Established in 1916, it is a famous showplace for fine Native American and Southwestern art, as well as a perfect lunch spot. Then we’ll explore Navajo Bridge, just downstream from Lee’s Ferry which is the launch point for most Grand Canyon rafting trips on the mighty Colorado River. Days end will find us settling into the quaint cabins of Grand Canyon’s North Rim Lodge (or equivalent based on availability) before enjoying a sunset stroll and dinner in this spectacular setting.


0‐2 miles


Breakfast on own, lunch and dinner included


North Rim Lodge (or equivalent based on availability)

Hikers pass Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch cabin
Aerial view of Rim to Rim hikers crossing Grand Canyon bridge

Get ready for a challenging trek into the heart of the canyon! Today’s hike is 14 challenging miles downhill, a 5,700 ft descent into the grandest of canyons! Expect that on this day we will be hiking at a pace of 2 miles/hour for 7 hours. On today’s trek we traverse through nearly every biological life zone in the North America and as we drop from the alpine to the desert, each step takes us thousands of years back in geologic time through ancient oceans, deserts, lakes and swamps. With mind-blowing vistas, fascinating trail design and workmanship, 100-foot waterfalls, plus green spring-fed oases, the North Kaibab Trail is a national treasure. At trails end, we find Phantom Ranch nestled on the banks of Bright Angel Creek just before its confluence with the Colorado River. Phantom Ranch was originally founded in 1903 as a hunting camp and named by Mary Jane Colter after nearby Phantom Creek. This will be our home for the next two nights and is the only Grand Canyon lodging below the rim of the canyon.

Heat Protocol

Today’s challenging 14 mile descent will begin with an “alpine start.” The exact timing will be at the discretion of the guide, but hikers can expect to eat breakfast and begin hiking well before sunrise. There is a certain allure to these early summer mornings. Grand Canyon’s North Rim is extremely remote which means there is very little light pollution and incredibly dark skies and bright stars! As the morning approaches, you’ll witness the canyon awaken and have the rare treat of experiencing your first canyon sunrise deep within the backcountry. Arriving at Phantom Ranch at an early hour allows for more time to relax in the inner canyon, soaking your feet in the Colorado River or enjoying a cold beer at the Canteen.


14 miles (trailhead is at 8,200 feet – Phantom Ranch is at approximately 2,500 feet – TOTAL elevation loss of 5,700 feet)


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


Phantom Ranch same-gender dormitories

Aerial view of Rim to Rim hikers crossing Grand Canyon bridge
Hikers sit in stream on Grand Canyon Rim to Rim trip

Today we plan to hike the beautiful Clear Creek and River Trails. However, many participants choose to use this day for relaxation, cheering on the rafters, socializing with other adventurers, or stretching out in the shade with a book and a cold beer. All our meals will be at the famous Phantom Ranch Canteen. Enjoy the solitude or mix with other intrepid canyon hikers in the very bottom of Grand Canyon as the steep walls block out the rest of the world, affording a feeling of tremendous peace and tranquility. Photographic and bird watching opportunities abound in this lush riparian habitat. Your guides will be available all day to share with you the secrets of one of the world’s most special places.

Heat Protocol

The inner canyon can be especially relaxing in the summer temperatures. The hot days force you to slow down and appreciate the views. Rise early today and stretch your legs while your guide leads you on a fun hike or instead just enjoy a coffee by the river until the day warms up. Follow the lead of the wild animals that call the canyon home, mornings are for activity, afternoons are for siesta.


3‐5 miles


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


Phantom Ranch same-gender dormitories

Hikers sit in stream on Grand Canyon Rim to Rim trip
Back view of hiking group on Grand Canyon Rim to Rim trip

The rising sun finds us preparing to conquer the canyon. We will ascend the Bright Angel Trail, a classic Grand Canyon trek! After crossing the Colorado River, the trail snakes its way up out of the inner gorge to the shady oasis of Indian Garden. Here we will refuel and refill with water before tackling the steep ascent up Jacob’s Ladder through the Redwall layer. While always a tremendous challenge, your guides will provide you with helpful hints, strategies, techniques, and their insider knowledge of the keys to a successful ascent. The ascent up Bright Angel trail is a constant climb with an average grade of 10%. With proper preparation, hydration, and diet, the entire group will soon be high‐fiving and hugging on the rim. Tonight we celebrate our shared accomplishments at historic El Tovar Restaurant before retiring to our rooms at one of the several rim-side lodges for some well-deserved rest (call to inquire about lodging for your specific departure).

Heat Protocol

As on your descent into the canyon, it will be extremely important to begin today before the sun is up. Hiking out of Grand Canyon is extremely challenging so your guide will be very conscientious of your water consumption and exertion as the temperatures rise. The hike along Bright Angel trail boasts the welcome oasis of Indian Garden approximately halfway through your hike. Depending on the day’s temperatures, group fitness and comfort levels, it is possible your guide may require an afternoon siesta at Indian Garden to wait out the hottest part of the day in the shade before continuing on to your destination at the Rim. Here you can relax beneath shady cottonwood trees and soak your feet in Garden Creek. We encourage you to take a load off and appreciate these extra moments beneath the bustle of the Canyon Rim.


10 miles (Phantom Ranch is at approximately 2,500 feet – trailhead is at 6,800 feet ‐ TOTAL elevation gain of 4,300 feet)


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


One of the South Rim’s lodges, usually Kachina or Thunderbird

Back view of hiking group on Grand Canyon Rim to Rim trip
AOA tour guide hugs fellow hiker

For those who want a fantastic final hike to conclude your Grand Canyon vacation, the Rim Trail awaits. Using the shuttle system you can hike one-way along the rim and it is a great way to stretch your legs and get a bird’s‐eye view of the route you traversed in the days prior. Other interesting cultural experiences include Hopi House, condor talks, and the many interpretive centers. Following this relaxing morning we will begin driving back to Scottsdale/Phoenix with a stop for lunch en‐route. We will return between 3:00pm‐5:00pm.


0‐3 miles optional


Breakfast on own, lunch included


On your own

AOA tour guide hugs fellow hiker

Nitty Gritty

AOA’s adventures might challenge you, but we don’t want them to surprise you, these Nitty Gritty details can help you decide if this the right trip for you.

Comforts of Home

Cell service: This area has very limited cell service, you should expect to be unreachable by phone.

Accommodations & Meals

This trip stays in historic lodges. The North Rim lodge offers comfortable beds, heat and AC, but is otherwise very rustic. In the canyon we stay in the Phantom Ranch dormitories. These are gender-segregated rooms with comfortable bunks for 12 people. You may wish to bring earplugs for optimal sleep.  The restaurants in the park lodges often have slow service at meals. Phantom Ranch does not manage for all dietary restrictions, but with advance planning AOA is always able to supplement food for guests.

Age & Group Size

Minimum Age: 14
Max Group Size: 9

Hiking & Weather

This trip is very challenging. Hiking into Grand Canyon from the North Rim requires you to hike downhill continuously for 14 miles. Because of Grand Canyon’s climate, you may be required to begin hiking in the wee hours of the morning to avoid heat. The following day you must hike uphill continuously for 10 miles. Weather on this trip can vary wildly from snow on the rims during spring and fall to extreme triple-digit heat in the canyon.

Van Transports

The drive to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim is long, expect to be in the van 6-6.5 hours and about 4-4.5 hours on the return from the South Rim to Scottsdale.

Trip Ratings

Fitness 4.5 | Comfort 3.5 | Solitude | Participation 2