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Flagstaff, Arizona
Colorado River Sunrise near Phantom Ranch

Backpacking: Havasupai Gardens

Perfect Introductory or Weekend Retreat Trip

Backpacking: Havasupai Gardens

$1055 per adult

Indian Garden Backpacking TripOur easiest Grand Canyon backpacking trip.

Desert oasis camping at its finest!

Looking for an “introductory” backpacking experience in the Grand Canyon?  Our 3-day, 2-night Havasupai Gardens (formerly known as Indian Garden) trip is an excellent beginner-level hike that is packed full of adventure! Hiking into the Grand Canyon from the South Rim and spending two nights at the refreshing Havasupai Gardens oasis, we will also day-hike to two spectacular locations nearby.

The first evening we will enjoy a sunset dinner at the stunning Plateau Point on the edge of the Granite Gorge. The second day takes us on a hike into the gorge to the Colorado River. This is a rare opportunity to venture to the bottom of the Grand Canyon without a full pack on! Following the famous Bright Angel Trail, opportunities abound for exploring side canyons, creeks, a sandy beach on the Colorado River, and more!


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


   Trip Type: Backpacking

   Duration: 3-4 days

    Distance: 15 miles

    Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

  Cost: 2024 – $1,055   |   2025 – $1,105

   Difficulty: Details

   Solitude: Details




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


Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail Header


Unbelievable vistas Towering canyon walls Beautiful Garden Creek
Wildflowers Starlit skies Historic trails
Desert oasis camping Colorado River & Beach
Havasupai Gardens
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  • Departure/Return Location
    Flagstaff, AZ


  • Shuttle to South Rim: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking distance: 4.5 miles plus a 3-mile day hike to Plateau Point
  • Elevation loss: 3,000’
  • Destination: Havasupai Gardens Campground
Following an ancient Native American path, the Bright Angel Trail twists and turns through a myriad of switchbacks as it descends to Havasupai Gardens.  This lush oasis, created by a perennial spring that once watered the gardens of the Havasupai natives, will be our home for two nights. We will set up camp and take some time to relax in this beautiful setting. By mid-afternoon, we will head out on a 1.5-mile, mostly flat day hike to Plateau Point. This breathtaking spot offers the perfect setting for dinner as we watch the sun go down over the canyon. The day ends with a peaceful stroll back to camp under a star-filled sky.
  • Hiking distance: 7 to 11 mile day-hike
  • Elevation loss: 1,500’
Without the burden of heavy packs, today we make our way down two creek beds into the basement of Grand Canyon. Garden Creek cuts a remarkable path through towering sandstone cliffs, and the reliable water source continues to provide a lush riparian environment. We depart the creek to descend a dramatic series of switchbacks known as “Devil’s Corkscrew,” then join up with Pipe Creek for the final descent to the river. If time allows, we may continue as far as the historic Phantom Ranch area on the opposite side of the river, or we may enjoy lunch at Pipe Creek Beach before reversing course back up to camp.
  • Hiking distance: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3,000’
  • Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5 hours
Our final day brings a challenging but rewarding climb back to the South Rim, where we will celebrate our accomplishment and reflect on all that we have learned and experienced. *Itinerary is subject to change and may occasionally be altered based upon weather, campsite availability, access restrictions, guest ability or injury, or other factors outside of our control.



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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