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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Backpacking: Grand Canyon Classic

South Kaibab and Bright Angel Loop

Backpacking: Grand Canyon Classic

$1155 per adult

Grand Canyon Classic Backpacking Trip Canyon MinistriesThe Grand Canyon Classic loop is a hiker favorite.

A great way to get into the heart of the canyon. 

Hike down the spectacular South Kaibab Trail and back up the famous Bright Angel Trail.  Relax in a desert oasis at Bright Angel and Havasupai Garden campgrounds. Enjoy incredible vistas, amazing sunsets, and starlit skies.

This trip is packed full of adventure yet short enough to fit into a long weekend.  Opportunities abound for exploring side canyons, creeks, a sandy beach on the Colorado River, archaeological ruins, and even the historic Phantom Ranch.

Perfect for families, individuals, or small groups, this hike serves as a terrific introductory adventure into the Grand Canyon!


Be sure to click the tabs above for additional trip details and information.

   Trip Type: Backpacking

   Duration: 3-4 days

    Distance: 17 miles

    Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

  Cost: 2024 – $1,155   |   2025 – $1,205

   Difficulty: Details

   Solitude: Details





Questions? Send us an email or give us a call at 928-251-3000.


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Unbelievable vistas Towering canyon walls Beautiful creeks and streams
Wildflowers Starlit skies Historic trails
Desert oasis camping Colorado River crossing Indian Garden
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  • Departure/Return Location
    Flagstaff, AZ


  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking distance: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation loss: 4,800’
  • Destination: Bright Angel Campground

Our adventure begins with a hike down the South Kaibab Trail.  This trail is unique at the Grand Canyon in that it follows an exposed ridge line.  As a result, it offers some of the most stunning views you can find, starting with the very first step.

We will spend time enjoying the scenery and examining the geology at many points of interest, including Cedar Ridge, Skeleton Point, the Tip-off, and the Kaibab Suspension Bridge across the Colorado River.  We will ultimately settle into a relaxing evening at Bright Angel Campground.

  • Hiking distance: 4.5 miles, plus optional 3 miles round-trip to Plateau Point
  • Elevation gain: 1,500’
  • Destination: Havasupai Gardens Campground

Today’s journey begins with a hike along the river.  After enjoying the breathtaking Inner Gorge, we will eventually begin our climb up out of the “basement” and into Havasupai Gardens, our second campsite.

After a time of respite in this beautiful oasis, we’ll venture on a side hike out to Plateau Point.  This breath-taking spot offers the perfect setting for dinner as we watch the sun go down over the canyon.

  • Hiking distance: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3,000’
  • Drive to Flagstaff: 1.5 Hours

Our final day brings a challenging but rewarding climb back to the top, where we will celebrate our accomplishment and reflect on all that we have learned and experienced.


Request a fourth day and we will plan two nights at Bright Angel Campground. A full layover day provides additional opportunities to explore features such as The Box, Clear Creek Trail, and Phantom Creek. Or we can soak in the views while lounging on the beach by the Colorado River!



What we provide

  • A professional guide with wilderness medical training and a passion for the biblical message of the canyon
  • All necessary equipment: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles, crampons/microspikes in winter
  • All cooking and eating equipment: bowls, cups, utensils
  • Seven meals, starting with lunch on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day, all prepared by your guide (We can generally accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions.)
  • Snacks
  • Entrance fees and backcountry permits
  • A complimentary copy of Your Guide to the Grand Canyon, an excellent book on the geology of the Grand Canyon from a creation perspective
  • Emergency equipment: first-aid kit and satellite phone

What we do not provide

  • Transportation to and from Flagstaff
  • Lodging before or after the scheduled dates of your trip
  • Clothing, including raingear and footwear
  • Personal items, including toiletries and sunscreen
  • Water bottles or hydration bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight

What you should bring

  • Clothing: we will provide a detailed list of recommended items when you register
  • Toiletries, sunscreen, and lip balm
  • Water bottles
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Personal items such as a Bible, book, writing or sketching materials
  • Camera


Meeting location

The evening before your trip we will meet for orientation at a convenient location in Flagstaff.  The following morning we will pick you up at a predetermined location for the shuttle trip to the South Rim.


The orientation is an important time of preparation for our journey.  We will check all equipment for proper fit, review important safety information, and discuss logistics.  We will also examine some important passages of scripture to set the stage for what we will be seeing over the coming days.

Starting and ending time

At orientation, your guide will inform you of your start time for the next morning.  This may vary depending upon several factors, but we generally will get started on the first day between 5 am and 7 am. End time will also vary based upon hiking speed, weather conditions, and other factors.  We will typically be back to the rim on the final day by mid-afternoon.


It is impossible to eliminate all risk from any outdoor adventure. The Grand Canyon, in particular, is an extreme environment with many opportunities for illness and injury. Our guides are all certified Wilderness First Responders, which means they have gone through intensive training to prepare for a wide variety of emergency scenarios in a backcountry context. If you have specific questions about safety, medical conditions, or fitness requirements, please give us a call.

Group size

A typical trip will consist of up to 5 guests and 1 guide.  Larger groups of up to 9 guests can be accommodated, but may require more advanced planning.

Age restrictions

Children must be at least 12 years old to participate in most backpacking trips.  This may be negotiable for private trips or in special circumstances.  Please contact us with any questions regarding this restriction.


Temperatures vary greatly at the Grand Canyon, and popular weather apps can often be misleading.  When looking up a weather forecast, be careful to determine whether your source is providing information for the top of the canyon or the bottom; it is not always clear at first glance.  The temperature at the bottom of the canyon is typically 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than at the top. When you register, we will provide a list of recommended clothing, and your guide will address season-specific weather expectations with you ahead of time. For detailed weather information, please visit the park service’s weather page: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-condition.htm


Flagstaff is the closest large town to the Grand Canyon and offers many hotels if needed, as well as outfitter shops for last-minute gear purchases.  The drive from Flagstaff to the canyon is approximately 1.5 hours.  An airport is available in Flagstaff; however, many guests find it more economical to fly into Phoenix. From the Phoenix airport, you can rent a car and drive approximately 2 hours to Flagstaff.  Alternatively, Groome Transportation offers daily shuttle service from the Phoenix airport to Flagstaff and from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.
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