Toroweap Natural & Cultural History

Trip Type: Natural and Cultural History Classes

Hike Level: Moderate

Date: October 29- November 1, 2018 (3 Days)

Group Size: 10

Price: $750 for members, $775 for nonmembers


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Slower-paced backpacks to established campgrounds on developed trails. Learn More


Located in the little-visited western portion of the park, the Toroweap area reveals clues to the geologic history of Grand Canyon, including both the nature and timing of its formation, and that of the western Colorado Plateau.

Additionally, Toroweap Overlook and vicinity occupy parts of the Esplanade—a broad bench in the western canyon formed by the Esplanade Sandstone formation of the Supai Group—with some of the canyon's most dramatic scenery. It has extremely varied ecological diversity, and has attracted people for more than five thousand years.

Trip Highlights
  • Sit high over the Colorado River at the Toroweap Overlook
  • Learn about the historical, and ongoing, geologic processes that created the canyon during a series of hikes, visits to dramatic overlooks, and camp-time conversations
  • Topics will include a discussion of the various types of rock, canyon formation theories, depositional environments, and the fossil record
  • Field excursions to springs and bedrock pools allow for discussion of the natural history and also the peoples who called the area home for the past several millennia



Photo description: Esplanade pools
Photo description: Toroweap sunrise
Photo description: View from Vulcans Throne
Photo description: Nampaweap petroglyph


Meet in Fredonia, AZ, for a short introduction of the class and ourselves, and discuss gear and logistics. We will then drive out to Toroweap Campground.


A thorough exploration of the Toroweap area including: the Tuckup Trail, Toroweap Overlook, and Vulcan's Throne.

Visit the Nampaweap site, an extensive rock art site with over 500 petroglyphs, which is of particular regional importance and illustrates many different types and generations of rock art styles.

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Wayne Ranney, MS

Wayne Ranney has been intimately associated with the canyon since 1975, when he worked as a backcountry ranger near Phantom Ranch. He is a professional geologist, writer, river and trail guide, and educator, with a specialty in interpreting the landscape evolution of Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. Notable books by Wayne include Carving Grand Canyon, Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau and Sedona through Time. Wayne has an easygoing leadership style that blends well with his knowledge, experience, and love of Grand Canyon. Participants who attend his classes come away with not only a clearer understanding of how this landscape may have evolved through time but an appreciation for how humans beings have interacted with it and have been shaped by its power and sublime beauty.

What's Included

Price for the class includes:

  • Our expert instructor.
  • Daily hikes and geology discussions.
  • Camping at Tuweep Campground.
  • Park entrance fee waiver.

What's not included

You are responsible for:

  • All of your camping & hiking equipment and food.
  • Transportation to and from the canyon.
  • Lodging outside the Park before or after your trip.
  • Gratuity for your guide.

Get started

Book this trip online

Or call (866) 471-4435
Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM Arizona MST