North Rim Writing on the Edge

Trip Type: Photography, Art & Yoga Classes

Hike Level: Easy

Date: June 7-9, 2019 (2 Days)

Group Size: 10

Price: $300 for members, $325 for nonmembers


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Walks on level terrain typically on paved trails. Learn More


It’s been said that the Grand Canyon defies words. With this workshop we plan to put this theory to the test! Participants will use nature—both around them, in the Grand Canyon’s beautiful environment, and within them, through thoughts, associations, and memories—as a catalyst for creative writing.

Trip Highlights
  • Expect to experience the canyon muse: sweeping views, ancient rocks, telltale fossils, curious critters, and diverse plants

  • Combine practical techniques of observation with a variety of imaginative writing invitations

  • Hike some of the North Rim's secluded trails

  • Experience stunning sunsets and sunrises from the world-famous North Rim

Photo description: Finding inspriration
Photo description: Forest composition
Photo description: Shady spot below the Rim
Photo description: Sunset reading


Topics include: assembling the nature writer’s toolkit, using the five senses (and more) to pay attention, and making connections.

Hike/write along the Transept Trail toward the North Rim Lodge along this gentle rim trail full of wildflowers and canyon views, stopping to write along the way.

Evening options
After-dinner stroll to enjoy a golden sunset over nearby Transept Canyon; campfire story sharing

Topics include: big issues hidden in small small things, the element of surprise, and origin stories.  
Short hike/write options: Bright Angel Point or the Widforss Trail.

Hike/write along exceptionally scenic, 20-mile drive to Cape Royal. Hike/write options include: Cape Royal, Angel’s Window, Cliff Springs, Walhalla Ruins/Overlook.

Evening options
Sunset at Bright Angel Point and/or Grand Canyon Lodge ranger talk and/or campfire storytelling.

Topics include: Your “voice” and “style,” and how to combine those into artful story-telling.

The final day’s hiking adventure: we’ll take our lunches with us on a below-the-rim hike on the North Kaibab Trail. Participants will choose a distance they feel comfortable with; we will stop and write along the way.

Evening option
“Reading to the Canyon.” We will decide on a suitable location—perhaps Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint on the North Rim, where the west-facing cliffs of the Marble Platform glow ever more brilliant as the sun sets, then fade into purple shadow.

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Thea Gavin

In 2011, Thea spent three life-changing weeks at the North Rim as National Park Service Artist-in-Residence; now she returns to Grand Canyon as often as possible to wander and write, both along and below the rim.

After teaching writing at Concordia University Irvine from 1997-2017, Thea took an early retirement to allow her to spend even more time outdoors, writing and leading creative writing adventures.

A native of Orange, CA, Thea loves her local wild lands and works to educate others about the importance of native flora through her work on the Board of Directors of the Orange County chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Thea's poems and essays have appeared in a variety of chapbooks, journals, and anthologies, including New Poets of the American West; On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories; and Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon.

What's Included

Price for the class includes:

  • Our expert instructor.
  • Guiding to secluded locations.
  • Park Entrance Fee Waiver.
  • Camping on the Rim at the North Rim Campground.

What's not included

You are responsible for:

  • All of your hiking gear (and camping equipment if you chose to camp).
  • Transportation to and from the canyon.
  • Lodging or camping in the park before or after your trip.
  • Gratuity for your guide.

Additional notes

Open to all skills levels.

Download Class Syllabus

Download Recommended Gear List

Get started

Book this trip online

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