Grand Canyon Backpacking

Last Updated on August 20, 2020

The backpacking tour is always enjoyable and minds refreshing. And if Grand Canyon is such a place where you can enjoy both mind refreshing sceneries and adventure. But hiking in this area is a bit different from other regions.

Grand Canyon Backpacking

As a new hiker in Grand Canyon, you must have to know some basic rules and ideas. We are going to describe those for you below. These will be much helpful for you.

About Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is about 358 miles long trail where 126 miles is maintained. Approximately 5 million people go to see the beauty of this national park and enjoy the adventure.

You’ll able to taste the life at the rims of Grand Canyon. There are some camping options in Grand Canyon. For the beginners, the Indian Gardens, Bright Angle Camp Ground, and Cottonwood Campground are best.

Bright Angel Campground is situated at the river, and the Cottonwood Campground is at the North Kaibab trail. And for the experienced backpackers, there has also some different options. Such as overnight trip at Horseshoe Mesa, New Hance Trail for hiking towards Hance Rapids.


You have to grab the permit for your trip to go to the Grand Canyon at first. The license is given by the Backcountry office of National Park Service. For permission, you must have to apply four months before your desired starting date for the camp.


Preparation is an essential part of any work. If you make a plan to go for a backpacking trip in Grand Canyon than you must have to prepare yourself for that, there you may have to walk 8 hours a day.

So, you must have to be trained. Your ankles must have to prepare for walking through the loose rocky surface or to uphills with your backpack. In regular days, try to carry 3 liters of water with each person.

And in summer carry 4 liters. If possible, try to take a water filter with you because spoiled water can make you ill. And being ill in a trail is not good at all.

Carry plenty of salty snacks in your backpack. The climate of Grand Canyon is arid. There, your body will sweat a lot. That can drive you to hypernatremia. It can affect your brain. So, to refill the lacking of salt and water, eat some snacks then water after you sweat every time.


Weather plays a vital role in hiking or backpacking trips. You can enjoy the trip entirely if the weather stands with you. But your trip can be washed away if the weather becomes nasty.

Hiking or backpacking in the Grand Canyon is a bit tough. There you may have to ride about 5 thousand feet and face more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit temperature from rim to inner side.

So, prepare yourself carefully to meet a very hot situation in the desert area of the Canyon. Spring and fall are the best time for backpacking tour in Grand Canyon. You can set your goal to start the trip in April or October. There are some different routes to enjoy the Canyon. Some of them are described here.

Route 1-Escalante Route

This route is about 33 miles long. This is an end to end trek. This trek starts from the rim of the river which is near Tanner Trails and ends at Grandview trail.

There has 15 spectacular miles obstacle course included 1000 feet straight down to the river. You have to climb up a 35 feet wall there and climb down a rock slide of 1500 tall. You may make a plan of 5 days to enjoy this route.

Route 2-Hermit/Tonto/Bright Angel

This is a classic route of Grand Canyon. The route starts at Hermit Trail and ends at the Bright Angel Trail. In this long way of about 25 miles, the route crossed the Tonto Tail.

Here in this relatively flat, you can enjoy the perfect beauty of Grand Canyon. To enjoy this trail, you can make a plan for four days where you will pass every separate day in every different point of this trail.

Route 3 -Grandview-Tonto-Bright Angel

This is a high mileage hiking route which is 35 miles long. It is a Tonto Tail centered route. That means the route has gone through the Tonto Trail.

The route starts from South rims Grandview point and off to Horseshoe Mesa, Cottonwood Creek than turned west to Grapevine Creek and Lonetree Canyon through the Tonto Trail. Like Escalante route, you can make a plan to pass this trail at 5-days where the final night you will camp at Indian Garden.

Route 4-The Horseshoe Mesa Circuit: This is a 16 miles long trail that starts from Horseshoe Mesa and gone to Cottonwood ad Hance Creek. You will enjoy the natural beauty of these places from water and creekside camps.

The length of this trail is concise. So, you can make three days and two nights plan to enjoy the trail. On the first day, start from Grandview and walk towards Hance Creek through the Miner’s Spring Trail, which is only 6.5 miles long.

On the second day begin your journey to Cottonwood Creek which is only 5 miles. And on the final day, climb back to Horseshoe Mesa at first. Then start a hike towards Grandview Trailhead. This length is only 4.5 miles.

Route 5-The South Kaibab-Bright Angel: This is a great route to enjoy and experience the beauty of Grand Canyon. In this 18-mile trail route, you will be wondered by viewing the natural sceneries from rim to river.

Like Horseshoe Mesa Circuit, this route is also a small route. SO, you can make a 3-days plan here. On the first day walk towards Bright Angel campground from South Kaibab and then Phantom Ranch.

This is 8.5 miles long. At the second day, start your hike to Indian Gardens from Bright Angel trail. Here you have to walk 5 miles. On the last day start to Bright Angel Trailhead which is only 4.8 miles long. You can spend one day more to enjoy the beauty of the bottom of the canyon.

Final Words

Hiking is always a great resource of mind refreshment. And Grand Canyon is a great place to pass the leisure near to nature. For an adventurous hiking or backpacking trip, you must have to know the formalities and the rules of hiking here in Grand Canyon.

Here in this article, we tried to provide the necessary information about backpacking in the Grand Canyon. We hope you will be enough help and prepare yourself properly for the next backpacking trip on that place.


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