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North Rim Grand Canyon at sunset with lens flare credit L Cisneros
Day Tours & Basecamp Trips

North Rim Advanced Basecamp

Tackle this bold feat and discover the wonders of the North Rim of Grand Canyon.

  • Dates: June 6–9, 2024
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Trip Length: 4 Days
  • Cost: $950
  • Group size: 6

Take your hiking skills to the next level!

If you're seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure, you've come to the right place. These backcountry day hikes are not for the faint of heart—they are designed to test even the most experienced hikers.

Get ready to push your limits and conquer the most challenging hikes. These trails are for experienced hikers who thrive on pushing their physical boundaries. Lace up your boots and get ready to embark on a journey that will test your hiking prowess to the fullest.  

Prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty that unfolds at every turn, and let Grand Canyon work its magic on you. This program is designed to provide an unforgettable adventure, where you can truly appreciate the wonders of nature in all their grandeur. 

Roaring Springs at Grand Canyon National Park

Learn about Roaring Springs on the North Kaibab Trail with Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute!

Are you physically ready to hike the canyon?  

Hiking at the Grand Canyon is an adventure that demands both fun and serious preparation. This is not the type of terrain where you can simply go from couch, weekend fishing trips, or occasional rounds of golf to backpacking 7-10 miles and expect it to be a breeze. Let's face it, it can be a challenging first day, with constant downhill sections and the weight of heavy packs. We've had to make tough decisions and turn people around for their safety.  

That's why if you're joining us on this incredible journey, it is absolutely crucial that you train beforehand. Strengthening your joints, especially your knees, ankles, and hips, is of utmost importance. This rugged terrain is unforgiving, and we want to ensure that you not only have a fantastic time, but also stay safe and injury-free.  

Take the time to invest in your physical fitness and strength. Engage in a training regimen that targets the specific muscles and joints you'll be relying on during the hike. Incorporate strength training exercises that will build resilience and endurance. Remember, being in strong standing order will greatly enhance your Grand Canyon experience.  

If you sign up with GCCFI, we're here to support your preparation every step of the way. We will provide you with an example 60-day workout schedule that includes mobility, strength, and cardio exercises. Take it seriously and commit to going above and beyond those 60 days. Start right from the moment you sign up! Trust us, investing in your training will not only enhance your experience but also leave you happier and more fulfilled. Let's embark on this adventure together and make unforgettable memories!  

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the fascinating concept of "sky islands" in the desert Southwest, learning about their unique ecological significance.
  • Immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of knowledge, exploring diverse topics such as geology, pioneer and Native American history, archaeology, biotic life zones, and the importance of fire in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
  • Embark on a journey to remarkable locations that will take your breath away, including Cape Final, Cliff Springs, Bright Angel Point, and Point Imperial—the highest rim point in the entire park.
  • Indulge in awe-inspiring vistas and witness the world-famous North Kaibab Trail, offering a stunning view that will leave you mesmerized by the grandeur of the canyon.
  • Dive deep into the cultural and natural heritage of the region, uncovering the stories and secrets hidden within the North Rim's majestic landscapes.
  • Engage with knowledgeable guides who will provide fascinating insights into the history, geology, and wildlife that make this region truly exceptional.
  • Immerse yourself in a sensory experience, surrounded by breathtaking panoramas, captivating narratives, and the vibrant tapestry of life found within the North Rim.
  • Create memories that will last a lifetime as you explore the intersection of natural wonders and human history in this extraordinary journey.

Itinerary

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Portrait of Grand Canyon Field Institute tour guide Chris Zielinski

Chris Zielinski

Chris grew up hiking and running rivers in New England. He developed a deep love for the wild spaces of this world. After several years of guiding raft and hiking trips, he moved to Arizona to pursue a Master’s degree. Chris fell in love with Grand Canyon and the southwest’s unique landscape. He has worked on the rivers and trails as a guide and teacher for more than a decade. He has a deep sense of place and love for canyon country and loves sharing that passion with others.

Additional notes

Participants will be driven to the various hiking locations on paved and gravel roads.

Age Restrictions: Participants must be 17+ years older for this backpacking program

Cancellation Policy

Please notify our office as soon as possible should you need to cancel your registration. If you cancel or leave a trip for any reason:

  • 60+ days of program start date: full refund, minus a $100 administrative fee will be issued
  • 59 - 45 days prior start date: 50% refund will be issued
  • Less than 45 days to start date, or once trip has begun: we will retain your entire program fee with no exceptions.

Reserved spots are non-transferable to different programs. However, you may substitute members of your party, specific to the trip date with GCCFI approval, with no penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure date.

GCCFI reserves the right to cancel all, or a portion, of a trip for circumstance beyond our control. Circumstances might include, but are not limited to—public land closures, road closures, weather events, fires, or other natural events. Refunds are not offered in these situations. A full trip credit will be issued, minus any non-refundable expenses occurred by GCCFI if the program is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. GCCFI staff will work to change itinerary to another trail or move hiking locations to a safer area.

We reserve the right to cancel any trip if sign-up is inadequate to make the trip economically feasible for us to operate. In this event, we will give a full refund of the trip price.

GCCFI is not responsible for: air tickets, visa fees if applicable, gear, medical expenses, clothing, and any expenses occurred while preparing for this trip.

We HIGHLY encourage the purchase of trip insurance to help offset any costs incurred if cancellation occurs

What's included

Price for the class includes:

Our expert instructor.
Daily hikes/learning geology, ecology, and history of the canyon.
Camping on the Rim at the North Rim Campground-  we can only support tents or vans. No RVS or trailers. 
Transportation to various hiking locations during class.
Park entrance fee waiver.

What's not included

You are responsible for:

All of your day hiking and camping equipment (if choosing to stay at the North Rim Campground).
Food.
Transportation to and from the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
Guide gratuity (industry recommendation 15-20% of trip cost, read this article to receive more guidance)

Additional notes

Participants will be driven to the various hiking locations on paved and gravel roads.

Age Restrictions: Participants must be 17+ years older for this backpacking program

Cancellation Policy

Please notify our office as soon as possible should you need to cancel your registration. If you cancel or leave a trip for any reason:

  • 60+ days of program start date: full refund, minus a $100 administrative fee will be issued
  • 59 - 45 days prior start date: 50% refund will be issued
  • Less than 45 days to start date, or once trip has begun: we will retain your entire program fee with no exceptions.

Reserved spots are non-transferable to different programs. However, you may substitute members of your party, specific to the trip date with GCCFI approval, with no penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure date.

GCCFI reserves the right to cancel all, or a portion, of a trip for circumstance beyond our control. Circumstances might include, but are not limited to—public land closures, road closures, weather events, fires, or other natural events. Refunds are not offered in these situations. A full trip credit will be issued, minus any non-refundable expenses occurred by GCCFI if the program is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. GCCFI staff will work to change itinerary to another trail or move hiking locations to a safer area.

We reserve the right to cancel any trip if sign-up is inadequate to make the trip economically feasible for us to operate. In this event, we will give a full refund of the trip price.

GCCFI is not responsible for: air tickets, visa fees if applicable, gear, medical expenses, clothing, and any expenses occurred while preparing for this trip.

We HIGHLY encourage the purchase of trip insurance to help offset any costs incurred if cancellation occurs

Testimonials

Family of 4 standing and smiling for photo on rock edge at Grand Canyon

The Zelkovic Family

“Our day with the Field Institute exceeded all our expectations and we came away with a great respect for the canyon and for the work of the Conservancy. It was such a wonderful experience from beginning to end and hope we can return in the not so distant future to participate in one of your multi-day programs.”

Family of 5 standing and smiling for photo on rock edge at Grand Canyon

The Jankowskis

“Our family’s experience was nothing short of amazing! Slim (our guide) provided a perspective we would have never been able to get on our own and we learned so much. Her passion for the canyon and what she does came through too, which made our time something we’ll never forget!”

Five hikers standing on forest cliff edge overlooking Grand Canyon 2017

Amy Waits

“The guides were awesome – so educational and patient!!! Encouraging & helpful in every way. Such an amazing first visit to the canyon – Life changing to have experienced the GC up close & personal… Thank you so much!”

Group of hikers standing and smiling in front of canyon from ground level at Grand Canyon

Joe Sweeney

“I've brought many school groups to the Field Institute and the quality of instruction provides them with an understanding of Indigenous cultures, diverse ecology, and geologic history. Students leave with a stronger sense of self-confidence, an intimate connection to nature, and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Field Institute guide educating group of hiker tourists seated on beach with water and canyon in background

Andy M.

“Top to bottom, the Field Institute exceeded all of my expectations .... they ensured we packed wisely for our trip and saved me from lugging around 5 lbs. of junk I didn't need. Overall, it's packed with value that I don't think commercial outfitters would provide and delivered a deeply rich experience.”