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South Kaibab Trail
Backpacking & Hiking Trips

Rim to Rim: South to North

Reverse the typical route and hike the canyon's rims from South to North.

  • Dates: October 27–31, 2024
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Trip Length: 5 Days
  • Cost: $1,675
  • Group size: 11

Get ready for a unique and thrilling adventure!

Most Rim-to-Rim hikes follow the traditional North to South route, but going in reverse adds an exciting twist. It means more time to enjoy Cottonwood Camp and Ribbon Falls, making the journey even more fun! Going South to North is a challenging way to experience Rim-to-Rim.

The miles are longer, and the daily elevation change is more demanding compared to the traditional route.It's perfect for those with Grand Canyon backpacking experience seeking a one-of-a-kind adventure. Rim-to-Rim experience, then a South to North journey is calling your name. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure amidst the breathtaking beauty of Grand Canyon. 

Trip Highlights

  • Embark on the adventure of a lifetime, checking this bucket list trip off your to-dos
  • Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wonders beneath the rim, creating unforgettable memories
  • Experience the unparalleled thrill of triumphing over this demanding trail
  • Your safety is our top priority, ensuring a secure and exhilarating adventure throughout
  • Reward yourself with an extraordinary camping experience under a canopy of twinkling stars
  • Fall asleep to the melodies of Bright Angel Creek and awaken to vibrant fall foliage dancing in the breeze
  • Receive a comprehensive 60-day workout schedule from GCCFI, with mobility, strength, and cardio exercises.
  • GCCFI provides logistics information and transportation to and from the trailhead


Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Image learn fieldinstitute instructor bio miles 2017

Melanie Miles


Melanie Miles, originally a native of England, was a teenager when she first visited the Grand Canyon and immediately fell in love with its landscape, geology, and natural & cultural history. From her home base of Prescott, AZ, she has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and naturalist. Melanie leads groups throughout the world, teaching natural history, earth science, climbing, environmental education, and backcountry skills.

What's included

Price for the class includes:

Expert and educated instructors who are a treasure trove of knowledge, enhancing your hiking journey with their insightful interpretations and enriching your overall experience

Comprehensive gear list, complete with accompanying videos to guide you through the gear selection process

Food and menu planning ideas

Receive a comprehensive 60-day workout schedule from GCCFI, with mobility, strength, and cardio exercises

Expedition First Aid kits

Rat sacks

Group water filter

Satellite phone

Transportation from North Rim to South Rim 

Backcountry permits for backpacking into Grand Canyon

What's not included

You are responsible for:

Your backpacking equipment and gear 


Transportation to and from the canyon

Lodging in the park before or after your trip

Guide gratuity (industry recommendation 15-20% of trip cost, read this article to receive more guidance)

Additional notes

Recent comparable backpacking experience is a prerequisite for all rim-to-rim backpacking programs

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


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.”