Leave it all behind. Venture into the Grand Canyon this Spring.
3 NIGHTS | 25-30 MILES | COLORADO RIVER
MARCH 31 – APRIL 3, 2023
9 PARTICIPANTS, 2 GUIDES MAXIMUM
Rise with the sun, move through rugged terrain, swim in the mighty Colorado river, sleep under starry night skies - all in the company of adventurous women of all ages and backgrounds.
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Join a group of women to explore one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Never been backpacking before? Hiked the whole PCT? All experience levels are welcome!
This three-night, four-day Grand Canyon Challenge backpacking trip drops nearly a mile below the rim and traverses 25-30 miles of some of the most remote, least-traveled terrain in the Canyon. Women, gals, trans and non binary pals of all ages are welcome. Just bring your personal items, positive attitude, and be ready for an experience that can empower and inspire for a lifetime.
- Guided 3-night, 4-day hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back
- Opportunity to sleep on the beaches of the Colorado River
- Roundtrip transportation between Flagstaff and your trailhead
- Personalized pack-check prior to departure
- All meals and snacks while in the back-country
- Group gear and equipment
- Backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad if needed
- Flexible cancellation policy
- Inspiration for a lifetime
What’s not included
- Meals in the front-country
- Lodging in the front-country, pre- or post-trek
How it worksA $475 deposit is required upon registration with balance due 60 days prior to the event. Trek dates may be adjusted +/- one day until permits are finalized 4 months in advance of departure (when Grand Canyon permits are issued). Typical group size of 6, maximum group size of 9, excluding guides. Private, family and modified itinerary trips available through TSX Pods. Looking for a longer trek? Check out our Grand Canyon Limited Edition experience. An additional 5% charge will be applied when your reservation is made to offset fees mandated by the National Park Service. Cancel up until the day of the trip without the risk of lost money; see our amended COVID-19 cancellation policy for details.
"A Powerful Experience"
Read what our 2021 and 2022 trek participants had to say...
The Grand Canyon Challenge has been truly an amazing experience that I’ll remember for life! This is my first backpacking trip, and I’ve never carried a 30+lbs pack ever before. Looking back, I cannot believe I completed this challenge and can’t help but feeling so proud of myself. There so many things to remember for this trip – spectacular views, remote and rugged trails, awesome Team 4 Fab 5 members who supported me all the way through, and our guide who ensured my safety all along, cheered me up when I was pushing hard, and cooked awesome meals for all of us. I can’t wait to go out with TSX Challenge again for the next adventure!
AMAZING. EPIC. What a great time in Grand Canyon with TSX. It was my first time backpacking and camping although I run quite a bit of trails. It was difficult for sure but the team was there every step of the way. Great food, company, but most of all support to get through the hard parts. As I reached the top I was overwhelmed with tears as to my (our) accomplishment. I highly recommend TSX and plan on doing another trip in the future!
While the exact distance, camp locations, and direction of each trek may vary, here is a representative itinerary. Pre and post-trip hotel accommodations are not provided. Once your trek dates are finalized and registration confirmed, secure a lodging reservation as soon as possible.
Evening before departure, pack-check overnight in Flagstaff
On the evening before your Grand Canyon Challenge trek start date, we’ll convene at 6:00pm for a one hour group orientation and pack-check in the main lobby of Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ. At orientation we’ll hand out backpacks, tents and sleeping bags to those who requested them. We’ll also get to know our team, preview the trail and talk safety. If we anticipate significant heat in the Canyon during the first day of your trip, we may provide the option to camp near the Rim to ensure a before-sun-up early morning trail start (trek-by-trek basis).
Day 1 – Intense downhill
After reconvening in the lobby of Little America Hotel, Flagstaff at 5:00am, we’ll head out to the trailhead where our hike begins with a steep 3,000′ descent toward the Tonto Platform, an inner plateau within the Canyon roughly 1,000′ above the Colorado River. The first day is typically the most difficult day of the trek. There may be narrow sections of trail with significant exposure, sections of steep descent over loose rock, and waist-high drops that require scooting or hand and foot down scrambling. In addition, water sources are typically unreliable until we reach camp. This will make travel on day one slow and methodical. Expect 8-10 hours of trail time (including breaks) from start to finish for the 7 to 9 mile day.
Day 2 – Undulating trail
On day two the trail typically undulates until we drop below the Tonto’s ledge, above the gorge floor, and into one of the many side canyons and washes that lead to the Colorado River. A quick descent will bring us to a creek bed floor which we will follow out to the Colorado River and camp.
Day 3 – Moderate uphill
After a leisurely evening, or morning by the river, we’ll retrace our steps then continue up and onto the Tonto trail. This day typically offers some of the most impressive views of the Grand Canyon. While hiking the Tonto you can see a thousand feet down into the inner gorge, thousands of feet up to the Canyon’s rim, and miles across the Canyon divide within the same breathtaking glance.
Day 4 – Intense uphill
An early, before-sun-up start will move us up, and off the Tonto, then into the multi-layered, multi-colored walls of the Grand Canyon as we climb almost 4,000 feet to exit the trail and return to civilization. After celebrating as a team, we’ll return to Flagstaff, then home to brag.
Trek date confirmation: We apply for Grand Canyon permits on the 1st of the month, four months in advance, and are notified by the park service of our exact permit dates within two weeks. You’ll receive an email from us as soon as the trek dates for your week are confirmed. At that time, you can start making plans for transportation and pre-trek/post-trek accommodations.
Pre and post-trip accommodations: Once your Grand Canyon Challenge trek dates are finalized, secure a lodging reservation in Flagstaff, AZ as soon as possible. You can request a TSX “corporate rate” at Little America Hotel (flagstaff.littleamerica.com / 800.865.1401) in Flagstaff where we’ll be having our pre-trek orientation, and where we will meet the morning of our hike (prices typically $125-$175 with discount). The nearby Roadway Inn & Suites is also a popular option within walking distance (prices typically $75-$105). If you plan on staying somewhere else, that is ok with us! Just let us know where you end up and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
Transportation: If traveling by air, Flagstaff is the preferred airport. There is a free hotel shuttle to Little America Hotel from the Flagstaff airport. If flying into Phoenix, consider renting a car or taking a shuttle to Flagstaff. Reserve your shuttle spot in advance with Groome Transportation (groometransportation.com 928.350.8466) or you may be able arrange customized shuttle service with Uber or Lyft.
Arrival time: When scheduling flights or planning your drive, please allow enough time to arrive no later than 7pm the evening before your trek begins so that you can attend the pre-trek orientation (typically scheduled between 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Little America Hotel, Flagstaff lobby).
Departure time: We plan on exiting the trail between 12pm and 2pm on the last day of the trek. However, the last day is always uphill, and there can be some variability based on individual fitness and preparedness. Please plan your return transportation accordingly. If flying out of Flagstaff on the same day, we suggest scheduling flights for departure no earlier than 4:50pm. Staying one additional night on the South Rim or in Flagstaff, and departing the following day is also popular option.
Joining a TSX experience is easy. Don’t own a backpack or tent? Not a problem. We provide backpacks, tents and sleeping pads for those who need them, at no additional charge. We also take care of all group items like pots, stoves, food, food storage, water filters, first aid and more. Your guides will do the cooking and dishes. Just show up with your boots and personal items, ready to hike!