Grand Canyon
South Rim BaseCamp
A Geologist Experience
Trip Details

Type: BaseCamp Hiking and Bike Cruising

Trip Code: GCSB

Duration: 5 Days

Distance: 22 mi hiking, 8 mi biking/53 km

Fitness: 2
Comfort: 2
Solitude: 2

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: $1300/person

Trip Description:

The Grand Canyon South Rim BaseCamp tour includes everything you want in the Grand Canyon.  We will watch the stars twinkle at night from our comfortable and private camp in the Coconino National Forest, then attack and revel in the sweeping views, incredible geology, and plentiful beauty of the Grand Canyon by day.  Our group will take a unique hike each day in a different part of the Grand Canyon, truly celebrating the uniqueness of each trail, and top off our hiking tour with an exciting bike ride along the rim trail.  Along the way you will enjoy the grand geology, scenery, and the comforts of our BaseCamp, with excellent food prepared by your geologist/guides, solitude under the stars, and wonder. 

  1. Colorado River, Grand Canyon
  2. South Rim Grand Canyon
  3. Desert View, Grand Canyon
  4. Grand Canyon South Rim
  5. Hermit Trail, Grand Canyon
  6. South Bass Trail, Grand Canyon
  7. Grandview Point, Grand Canyon
  8. House Rock Wash, Grand Canyon
Request a Reservation!
Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Grand Canyon South Rim BaseCamp tour begins as we arrive at our private campsite just outside the National Park boundary in the Coconinon National Forest.  After your geologist/guide sets camp, we will head into Grand Canyon National Park, stopping at the historic El Tovar Hotel and the nearby Visitor's Center to snap some photos and orient ourselves in this Grand place.  We'll grab a quick lunch, then head down the Bright Angel Trail to 1.5-mile resthouse as an introduction to Grand Canyon and all of its wonder.  After we come topside, we'll return to camp for the evening, where your geologist guide will prepare a tasty dinner while you count the stars.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 3 miles, 1000 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Today’s Grand Canyon adventure starts with a hearty breakfast at camp before making our way into the National Park.  We will take an adventurous 4-wheel drive trip out to Bass Point, likely seeing a herd of wild mustangs, and the South Bass Trail.  Our descent into Bass Canyon will take us down to the Esplanade, a wonderful, broad terrace on the Supai Group, punctuated by Mt. Huethawali in the distance.  A great lunch upon the Esplanade, with sweeping views down into Bass Canyon and the Inner Gorge will precede our trek back topside. We will enjoy another comfortable night in camp under the stars. 
Distance & Elevation: 6 miles, 2000 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive Time: 4 hours

Day 3:

Our third day in Grand Canyon offers more dramatic vistas, along with some great mining and cultural history on the Grandview Trail.  This trail, one of the finest in the Grand Canyon, offers a nice challenge while treating its hikers to tremendous views to the North Rim, down into the Inner Gorge, and across several geologic features that are important to the Canyon's history.
Distance & Elevation: 6.5 miles, 2500 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Day 4 in Grand Canyon offers our first peek at the Colorado River, as we cruise out to House Rock Wash to do some non-technical hiking and canyoneering near Marble Canyon.  As we descend this adventurous canyon, you will be treated to a first-hand view of how canyons like Grand Canyon form, with slow, yet dramatic water-driven processes that sculpt the land.  We will have a delicious picnic lunch at the Colorado River before we head back topside, returning through Desert View to stop and marvel at excellent views of the eastern Grand Canyon from the Desert Watchtower.
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 1000 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Our final day at Grand Canyon's south rim is all about taking it in one last time.  Today we will hop on some cruisers and take a scenic bike ride along the Rim Trail.  We will stop at several viewpoints along the way to revel in the majesty of Grand Canyon, taking one last look before packing up camp and heading back to Flagstaff.
Distance & Elevation: 8 miles, minimal descent
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 1.5 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff to Grand Canyon and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail and in camp that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be available, and meals will be served cafeteria-style on covered tables.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Flagstaff, AZ
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most basecamping trips in Grand Canyon will accommodate 6 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Flagstaff, AZ and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Flagstaff. You will want to fly into either Phoenix (2 hour drive) or Flagstaff. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Flagstaff. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Flagstaff and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there.

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Flagstaff by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
June: 16-20
July: 6-10

2018 Dates
June: 16-20
July: 6-10

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.