Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch-Havasu Canyon Hiking

Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and stay two nights at the historic Phantom Ranch. Explore the blue-green waterfalls of Havasu Canyon on this challenging tour of two of the most hard-to-get-to areas in Grand Canyon National Park.

It’s challenging to find a tour that guides you down to Phantom Ranch for a two-night stay, stays at the historic El Tovar lodge for one night, and allows you an additional two nights to thoroughly explore the waterfalls of Havasu Canyon.

This epic hiking adventure immerses you into the intimacy of the Grand Canyon while appreciating the vastness of this diverse canyon country.

Very active hikers will enjoy the challenge of descending and then ascending two different areas of the canyon over the next six days while learning about local history and Native American cultures.

 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.

Day 1. Drive from Flagstaff, Descend South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch

You’re off and running with an early start – meet your guides at 7:00 a.m. at the Little America hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona and begin the two-hour shuttle to the South Kaibab trailhead on Grand Canyon’s south rim.

After a shuttle across the Kaibab Plateau to the Grand Canyon, you begin your trek on the South Kaibab trail, considered to be the most scenic of the South Rim trails. This route leads you to a series of viewpoints, each offering a different perspective of the colorful mile-deep chasm.

After descending into the Inner Gorge, hike across the Colorado River via the “Black Bridge” before heading up Bright Angel Canyon to the oasis of Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch is the only lodging facility below the canyon rim and can only be reached by mule, foot, or rafting on the Colorado River. Completed in 1922, it offers a main lodge/cantina, rustic cabins, and dormitories built of wood and native stone that blend into the natural beauty and solitude of the area.

The evening activities include a hearty dinner, ranger-led talks and socializing in “The Cantina”, the hub of social activity for Phantom Ranch guests and backpackers. (L,D)

South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch (7.5 miles, 4,780 feet elevation loss)
Flagstaff to South Kaibab trailhead shuttle (2 hours)

 

Day 2. Clear Creek Trail, The Box, Colorado River Trail

Another early day – 6:30 a.m. breakfast allows you ample time to explore the canyon during the cool temperatures of the day. You begin the morning with a short hike on the Clear Creek Trail, which trail climbs up steeply to the Tonto Platform and exquisite views of the Colorado River below.

Descending back to Bright Angel Canyon, the next trek is to explore upstream from Phantom Ranch at The Box, where schist rock walls of 1200 feet tower above the trail enroute to Phantom Canyon.

After a prepared sack lunch, the afternoon is free to relax, recuperate and recharge for tomorrow’s climb back out of the canyon. The Colorado River, just a 15 minute walk along Bright Angel Creek, is a great place to socialize with rafters and hikers alike.

Later in the day, walking the River Trail loop is a great opportunity to catch the setting sun’s rays shining on the canyon walls along the Colorado River. (B, L, D)

Clear Creek Trail (2.8 miles, 800 feet elevation gain/loss)
Phantom Canyon Trail (3.0 miles, 300 feet elevation gain/loss
Colorado River Trail (2.3 miles, 250 feet elevation gain/loss)

 

Day 3. Bright Angel Trail 

This morning starts earliest of all with a 5:00 a.m. breakfast to allow you to get on the trail early, enjoy hiking, and then beat the mid-day heat of the canyon.

After crossing the Colorado River on the Silver Suspension Bridge, you follow the River Trail beneath the 1,000-foot vertical walls of the inner gorge before starting up the switchbacks of Devils Corkscrew.

The first re-watering stop after exiting the Inner Gorge is Indian Gardens, the halfway point in distance – but only a third of the way up in elevation. This oasis of cottonwood trees planted in the early 1900s provides welcome shade to heat-weary hikers as well as a social gathering place for trail stories.

The climb from Indian Gardens starts with a mile of sun-beaten trail before ascending the steep switchbacks of Jacobs Ladder up through the Redwall section, one of the most prominent layers in the Canyon. You will have two more water stops at the 3-Mile House and 1.5-Mile House before ascending through the Coconino Sandstone layer and the “Homestretch” section to the South Rim.

The El Tovar Hotel, your luxurious accommodations for the evening, is a five minute walk from top of the Bright Angel trailhead. Opening its doors in 1905, this Mary Jane Colter-designed grand hotel has hosted such luminaries as Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein.

Tonight you can celebrate your accomplishments from the first half of your trip, enjoy a gourmet dinner at the El Tovar’s acclaimed five-star restaurant, and prepare for the excitement of the next three days.  (B, L, D)

Bright Angel Trail (9.5 miles, 4,400 feet elevation gain)

 

Day 4. Hualapai shuttle, Havasu Canyon hike

Today is the start of your second three-day exploration – you’ll hike to Havasu Canyon, an oasis of lush vegetation, sparkling waterfalls, and turquoise pools encased in travertine. The Havasupai Indians have not allowed roads to invade their wild and pristine canyon home – the only way in is by foot, mule or helicopter.

After a morning shuttle to the top of Hualapai Canyon, you descend the different sedimentary layers carrying only light daypacks while your luggage is transported by mule train to remote village of Supai and the Havasupai Lodge.

As you descend, the stark desert environment of Haulapai Canyon gives way to shear red desert walls and the lush vegetation along the Havasu Creek that feeds the falls farther downstream. (B, L, D)

South Rim to Hualapai Hilltop shuttle (3.5 hours)
Hualapai Hilltop to Supai hike (8 miles, 2,000 feet elevation loss)

 

Day 5. Havasu Canyon “Waterfall Spa Day”

Today is the start of your second three-day exploration – you’ll hike to Havasu Canyon, an oasis of lush vegetation, sparkling waterfalls, and turquoise pools encased in travertine. The Havasupai Indians have not allowed roads to invade their wild and pristine canyon home – the only way in is by foot, mule or helicopter.

After a morning shuttle to the top of Hualapai Canyon, you descend the different sedimentary layers carrying only light daypacks while your luggage is transported by mule train to remote village of Supai and the Havasupai Lodge.

As you descend, the stark desert environment of Haulapai Canyon gives way to shear red desert walls and the lush vegetation along the Havasu Creek that feeds the falls farther downstream. (B, L, D)

New Navajo and Rock Falls, Havasu and Mooney Falls (6 miles, 300 foot elevations loss/gain)

 

Day 6. Havasu Canyon hike, Shuttle back to Flagstaff

The last of the early morning breakfasts awaits at 6:00am as you bid farewell to this canyon paradise and start hiking back up to Hualapai Hilltop. Before leaving Supai, be sure to mail a postcard from Supai, the only village in America where mail is still transported via a mule pack train.

You’ll be back on the plateau rim at approximately noon and begin the shuttle back to Flagstaff, with a stop in Seligman on historic Route 66 for lunch, before concluding our action-packed and fun-filled week at approximately 5:00 p.m. (B, L, D)

Supai Village to Hualapai Hilltop hike (8 miles, 2,000 foot elevation gain)
Hualapai Hilltop to Seligman shuttle (1.5 hours)
Lunch in Seligman on Route 66 (1 hours)
Seligman to Flagstaff shuttle (1.25 hours)

 

*(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

While the above information describes a typical itinerary, the tour’s actual itinerary may vary due to changes in transportation, weather, lodging availability, local events or safety conditions. We reserve the right to alter the tour due to these circumstances should the need arise.

 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.

Tour Dates:

May 12-17, 2013

Prices (based on double occupancy):
6-12 guests:  $2,795 per guest
Single Supplement:  $400 (single rooms not available at Phantom Ranch)

Price Includes: Lodging (double occupancy), transportation on tour, meals as indicated on the tour (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), professional hiking guides, national park fees.

Price Excludes: Airfare, travel insurance, meals not included in the above itinerary, personal expenses in hotels (phone, laundry, room service, etc.), gratuities for guides and other gratuities, and costs incurred as a result of bad weather, delayed flight or other situations beyond our control.

Single Supplement Policy:  All tour pricing is based on double occupancy lodging. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve your tour at least 90 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement of half the standard single supplement (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early.

 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.

Activities:  Hiking

Rating: Challenging

Group Size:  6-12 guests

Length:  6 days/5 nights

Meeting Time & Place:  Day 1 at 7:00 a.m. Little America Hotel, Flagstaff, AZ (Airport code FLG).

From Flagstaff Airport – Several Flagstaff hotels, including the Little America and the Radisson Woodlands Hotel, offer complimentary shuttle service from the airport for registered guests (inquire at time of reservation).

Popular taxi companies are Sun Taxi (928-779-1111) and A Friendly Cab (928-774-4444). Fares from the airport to downtown locations are approximately $7-$10.

From Phoenix Airport – Arizona Shuttle, www.arizonashuttle.com (800-266-8060) offers a shuttle from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to the Flagstaff Amtrak Station Visitor’s Center in downtown Flagstaff seven times daily. Cost is $70-$80 with several shuttles per day.

Please verify actual shuttle times and allow ample travel and connection time. Rates and availability are subject to change.

Departure Time & Place:  Day 6 at approximately 5:00 p.m. Little America Hotel, Flagstaff, AZ (airport code FLG). Do not schedule Flagstaff airline departures earlier than 7:30 p.m. If you are flying out of Phoenix, plan to depart the next day.

Weather and Climate: Due to the alpine environment, weather is variable throughout the day and by elevation. Dressing in layers will be essential to your comfort throughout the day.

Rain is possible at any time and weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so having rain gear is highly recommended. At the same time, the sun is strong at higher elevations, and therefore adequate precautions should be taken to prevent sunburn, even on cool, sunny days.

Physical Preparation:  This tour is designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active, have a spirit of adventure and possess a positive attitude.

Most hikes are 3-4 hours in the morning or afternoon with a lunch stop in between. It is very important that you realistically assess your physical condition with regard to the demands of this trip. All participants must be in good overall physical condition. The more physically prepared you are for this tour, the more you will enjoy this unique, adventure experience.

We encourage you to call us and talk more specifically about any questions you have on the activities, your fitness, and any other aspects of the trip – please don’t be shy!

Special Note: You will need a daypack (or small backpack) with sufficient capacity to carry your camera, sunscreen, water, a pair of sandals or flip flops, and whatever change of clothing you will need for a two night stay at Phantom Ranch.

Pack light – you will be carrying this load both into and back out of the canyon. We also recommend that you physically train with a pack on your back to get used to the feel and the extra weight.

 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.

Day 1, 2, 3. Phantom Ranch, (928) 638-2631

Tucked beside Bright Angel Creek on the north side of the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch is the only lodging facility below the Canyon rim.

The Ranch can only be reached by mule, by foot or by rafting the Colorado River and is a popular stop-over point for hikers and mule riders traveling to the bottom of the Canyon via the famous Bright Angel or Kaibab trails.

The ranch was designed by architect Mary Jane Colter and completed in 1922. The rustic cabins and main lodge are build of wood and native stone and do not intrude on the natural beauty of and solitude of the setting.

Overnight accommodations consist of dormitory spaces and cabins, both cooled by air conditioning. Each accommodation is furnished with a set of bunk beds, all bedding, cold water sink, toilet, liquid soap and towels. Showers are provided at a central location.

Day 4. El Tovar Hotel, (928) 638-2631

The El Tovar, the premier lodging facility at the Grand Canyon, opened its doors in 1905 and was most recently renovated in 2005.

In the past, the Hotel has hosted such luminaries as Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Western author Zane Grey, and many others.

Today, El Tovar retains its elegant charm. Located on the Canyon rim, it features a fine dining room (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), lounge and curio shop with newsstand. El Tovar offers its guests Concierge and room service and is a Registered National Historic Landmark.

All accommodations include cable television, telephone, full bath, air conditioning and feature triple sheeting on the beds.

Day 5, 6. Havasupai Lodge, (928) 448-2111

The Havasupai tribe owns and manages the 24-room Havasupai Lodge. The nearest lodging facility is 75 miles away in Peach Springs.

The Havasupai Reservation is largely dependent on tourism as the primary revenue generator of the Havasupai Tribe and individual tribal members. Each year, over 20,000 visitors hike, ride horses, or fly by helicopter the last 8 miles into the canyon where the Havasupai Indians live.

Tourists from around the world come to Havasupai to see this remote Indian village tucked away in the Grand Canyon, to see the last U.S. mail mule train in the country, to see the turquoise blue water and travertine pools of Cateract Creek, and to see the beauty of Navajo, Havasu and Mooney Waterfalls, and to camp, swim and play in this unbelievable setting.

 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.



 

For more information about this tour or to book your next group adventure, contact us today and we will create a fun and exciting adventure you will cherish forever.

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