Top 5 Backpacking Trips in Grand Canyon

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Spend a week or a weekend on these wilderness routes.

1. Escalante Route

This 33-mile end-to-end trek descends from rim to river on the Tanner Trail and exits on the Grandview Trail. In between, you’ll negotiate an obstacle course of 15 spectacular miles that includes peering 1,000 feet straight down into the river from Unkar Overlook, scrambling through a slot canyon, traversing steep talus slopes, climbing up a 35-foot wall, climbing down a 150-tall rock slide and hiking across undulating meadows. While the days are demanding on the Escalante Route, the camping is cushy (at least by Grand Canyon standards). Most nights are spent at riverside campsites with soft sand, abundant water, and the soothing sound of rapids to lull you to sleep.

Recommended 5-Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Descend from South Rim via Tanner Trail to Tanner Rapids campsite

Day 2: Seventyfive mile creek campsite

Day 3: Red Canyon/Hance Rapids campsite (you can hike out here on the New Hance Trail for a shorter trip)

Day 4: East Tonto Trail to Horseshoe Mesa dry camp (fill up with water at Hance Creek)

Day 5: Grandview Trail to South Rim/Grandview Point.

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