"backpacking" Top 5 Page for this destination Hikes Tip by richiecdisc

Hikes, Grand Canyon National Park: 25 reviews and 58 photos

  D on her way back up, still smiling
by richiecdisc

The Grand Canyon offers some of the finest backpacking anywhere in the world. Don't expect solitude or a true wilderness experience. It's just too popular for that. But if you love great scenery, groomed trails, some pretty nice amenities, and a fairly safe environment to backpack, then Grand Canyon is the place for you. The trails are in great shape and very well marked. You should never backpack without a topographical map but if you're going to do it, this is one place you can get away with it.

The Bright Angel Trail even has rest stops that provide shade, toilets, and running drinking water. There are toilets at the campgrounds and at Phantom Ranch, you can even buy food/beverages. But do not expect a Disney experience in entirety. It is true there is water at designated spots on the Bright Angel Trail but it does break down occasionally. The day we hiked out one of the pipes burst so was not working at one of the stops. We were glad we'd filled our bottles at Indian Gardens campground. We were carrying water purification methods with us but the problem is, on the ascent, there just isn't any water of any kind. There are no streams or idyllic little lakes. Desert conditions should be expected. It's hot and very dry so hiking in the early part of the day is essential. You can make your trip easier by ordering meals at Phantom Ranch if you are camping at Bright Angel Campground but you'll still need to carry snacks for the hike down. This will add considerable cost to your trip and you may as well stay at Phantom Ranch or do the mule trip.

In general, plan on carrying everything you need for the duration of your stay on the canyon floor. It is a lot of work but it's an experience you will never forget. Nothing beats staying at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and there is no feeling like doing it under your own power. You literally feel on top of the world when you see Bright Angel Lodge after a few days of backpacking. And no, it's not just the promise of a shower and restaurant cooked meal. It's the feeling of accomplishment.

Website: http://www.nps.gov/grca

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jun 6, 2009
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“fairy tales can come true...”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 9

Have you been to Grand Canyon National Park?

  Share Your Travels