Escalante Route

(12 customer reviews)

Original price was: $1,750.Current price is: $1,550.


Starts in Flagstaff, AZ

Explore remote slot canyons, scale jagged cliff ledges, and sleep on secluded beaches on a Grand Canyon backpacking experience in a class of it’s own.


Join us on the Escalante Route for a world-class experience backpacking rugged Grand Canyon terrain, exploring remote slot canyons and sleeping on secluded beaches of the Colorado River. The Escalante Route spends much of it’s time near the Colorado River’s edge, providing some of the most incredible river, rapid and Canyon vistas few Grand Canyon will never see. Our 3-night, 4-day journey utilizes the Tanner and New Hance Trails for Rim to River travel, and includes traverses of 75-Mile Creek slot canyon as well as scrambles over the Papago Wall and Slide. While no experience is needed, this trek is best suited for experienced backpackers or motivated individuals with an appetite to experience some of the Grand Canyon’s most remote, rugged and rewarding terrain.

What’s included

  • Roundtrip transportation between Flagstaff, AZ meeting point and your trailhead
  • Guided 3-night, 4-day trek to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back
  • Opportunity to sleep on the beaches of the Colorado River
  • All meals and snacks while in the back-country
  • Backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad if needed
  • Personalized pack-check prior to departure
  • Group gear and equipment
  • Flexible cancellation policy
  • Inspiration for a lifetime

What’s not included

  • Lodging in the front-country
  • Meals in the front-country

How it works

A $500 deposit is required upon registration with balance due 60 days prior to event. Trek dates may be adjusted +/- one day until permits are finalized 4 months in advance of departure (when Grand Canyon permits are issued). Maximum group size of 11, including two guides. An additional 5% charge will be applied when your reservation is made to offset new fees mandated by National Park Service. Book with confidence! Review our flexible cancellation policy.


Our Escalante Route experience includes travel along Tanner, Escalante Route, and New Hance trails for a total of 27 miles of rugged canyon hiking. Please note mileage is not indicative of difficulty. While the exact distance, camp locations, and direction of each trek may vary, here is a representative itinerary.

Evening before departure, pack-check overnight in Flagstaff

On the evening before your 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.

Day 1 – Lipan Point to Tanner Beach (+/- 7.8 miles )

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 4,000′ descent toward camp at Tanner Beach. We’ll have lunch above the Red Wall with an incredible overlook to the river below. Travel on day one will be slow and methodical as we manage the variables of rugged trail, steep descents, limited access to water and changing temperatures. Expect 7-9 hours of trail time (including breaks) from start to finish.

Day 2 – Tanner Beach to Escalante Beach (+/- 8.2 miles)

On day two we’ll follow the trail downstream with wide, sweeping canyon and river views before beginning a climb of 1,400′ to lunch with an unparalleled 180 degree view of the river. A quick descent will bring us to a creek bed floor which we will follow out to the Colorado River and camp on Escalante Beach.

Day 3 – Escalante Beach to Red Canyon (+/- 5.5 miles)

This is a feature rich day. After a leisurely morning by the river, we’ll hike to the back of 75 Mile Creek before dropping into the slot-like canyon for a walk back in time. Farther down river, we’ll continue as a team up and over the Papago wall, a 35 foot pack-on scramble over ledges, then continue to climb before descending the Papago Slide. This day typically is among the most thrilling and rewarding. We’ll stop at Hance Rapids to refill water before heading up Red Canyon for camp, enjoying sunset among it’s beautiful red and purple hues.

Day 4 – Red Canyon to New Hance Trailhead (+/- 5.0 miles)

An early, before-sun-up start will move us up and 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. The Hance Trail is among the burliest in the Canyon, with an intense “Go” section of uphill hiking. After topping out and celebrating as a team, we’ll return to Flagstaff, then home to brag.


Trek date confirmation

We apply for Grand Canyon permits through a lottery system on the 1st of the month, four months in advance of our planned trek date. Permits are typically issued within two weeks of submission. You’ll receive an email from us as soon as the dates for your trek are confirmed. Once confirmed, you can start making plans for transportation and pre-trek/post-trek accommodations.

Pre and post trek accommodations

Secure a lodging reservation in Flagstaff, AZ as soon as your trek dates are confirmed. You can request a TSX “corporate rate” at Little America Hotel ( / 800.865.1401) in Flagstaff. We will be hosting our pre-trek orientation at the hotel and will depart from the hotel on the morning of our hike (prices typically $125-$175 with discount). The nearby hotels on Lucky Lane are also a popular option and within walking distance (prices typically $75-$105).  If you plan on staying somewhere else, that is ok with us! Let us know where you end up and we’ll do our best to accommodate.


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 taking a shuttle or bus to Flagstaff, or renting a car. Reserve your shuttle spot in advance with Groome Transportation ( or 928.350.8466), or book your Greyhound Bus seat from Phoenix to Flagstaff in advance. You may also 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.


Don’t own a backpack, tent or sleeping bag? We provide all major gear for those who request it at no additional charge. We also take care of all group items like stoves, food, water filters, first aid and more. Your guides will do the cooking and dishes. Just show up with your personal items ready to hike!

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12 reviews for Escalante Route

  1. Stephanie

    Where do I start with the Escalante Route trip?
    For my first time experiencing the beauty of the Grand Canyon it was absolutely breathtaking. The canyon truly evolved through every mile of the trek. Even when the sun went down you could virtually see every star in the sky, which made it hard to want to fall asleep (even though you’re physically exhausted!).
    Not only was it my first time at the Grand Canyon, but it was also my first-time backpack and the TSX team was a huge part of my success. Charolotte was a terrific guide who gave us endless words of encouragement and yummy meals to get us through.
    This trip was a mental and physical challenge, yet extremely rewarding. It without a doubt has made it into my top three accomplishments. If you are a curious adventurer who’s up for a challenge this route is for you. I’m already eager to plan out my next trip with TSX.

  2. Regan (Taco)

    It took me this long to let the experience sink in. Grand Canyon trip of a lifetime. My wife and I did the TSX Grand Canyon Escalante Route with some friends and other team members we met as part of the group. (Go Scorpions) Chris was our guide and made us feel super at ease from the time we met on video preps when he asked us if we wanted our trek to be “spicy” all the way to the final meal on the trip home! The TSX experience started right away with plenty of prep and communication in the months leading up to the trip. My wife and I were prepared for the “hiking” but not gravity of the experience. The Escalante route was challenging, beautiful and spiritual. We saw things we would have never seen on our own and learned things about ourselves we would have never learned on our own.
    The only bad thing is finding the time and choosing what our next TSX adventure will be!

  3. Preston Resenbeck

    Dirk was awesome – it felt like hiking with a buddy I’ve known for years. I mentioned to him at one point it was kinda weird having him make me food every meal, haha, but he was cool about all of it! The trip was great – we kept trying to figure out what TSX describes as “spicey” on certain sections – I think we figured it out haha.

    All the training definitely paid off. I think the difficulty level was perfect for what I was anticipating too – loved climbing Papago Wall, loved the spicey / b’chassnis (as I kept telling Dirk haha) sections of washed out trails on the traverses. It felt really good to be so remote and spend some time with like-minded individuals.

    I also found myself making rookie mistakes (especially with my boots) – easily corrected – but since I hadn’t been out in such a long time I suppose that’s to be expected hehe. I can’t thank TSX and Dirk enough for the experience. It was so much fun.

  4. Anil

    Just completed the grand canyon challenge on the Tanner-Escalante-New hance route. Dara, our, guide took incredible care of us as we went through some incredibly varied terrain. Most people visiting the canyon will never see what you get to see on this trip. Want a pristine river beach?…you got that. Some slot canyons? You got that too. Not to mention the Papago Wall and Slide. Thanks TSX for a incredible experience!

  5. Marissa Tucci

    TSX makes backpacking accessible. I signed up for the Grand Canyon Challenge Escalante route without any experience and with no clue what to expect. TSX provided me with a tent and sleeping bag, and even accommodated my dietary restrictions on the trail. Thanks to our Guide and my amazing trail team, this was an absolutely unforgettable experience- I cant wait for my next trip!

  6. Isabella S. Ye

    The Grand Canyon Escalante Route 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 Chris 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!

  7. Scooter Sue Renovetz

    Grand Canyon Escalante was spectacular: the physical challenge, the mental challenge, the team strength, the guides’ knowledge and encouragement. This is not just a hiking trip, this is a life changing experience. More beauty and wonder, day and night than you can imagine. Thank you, Chris and Tolman, for this awesome chance to prove my mettle.

  8. Amanda Gass (Tiger)

    The Grand Canyon Escalante Route hike was my second trek with TSX — and it was truly spectacular. Everything about this hike lives up to the hype. It’s rugged, remote, challenging, breathtaking, and inspiring all at once. Chris and Dave are skilled, knowledgable, and conscientious professionals, offering just the right encouragement at just the right moments. The food is as good as everyone says it is, and really is a highlight of the trek. I went on this trip by myself, and emerged with many new friendships – the group bonded so well! Highly recommend. Worth it!

  9. Jill Lau

    AMAZING. EPIC. What a great time on the Escalante Route of the Grand Canyon with Chris and 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!

  10. Kellye Dykeman

    At age 61, and never had backpacked before, my family and I did the Grand Canyon trek with Chris as our guide. I have to say this was not on my bucket list as I am not much of a hiker/backpacker. But my family wanted to do it, so I put my big girl panties on and went along. Thankfully, Chris , being the professional that he is knew to not ‘load’ my pack up with too much. Thank you, Chris. Although I have to say I felt a bit guilty about that, but got over it quickly. 😃 Day 1 was exciting and trekking through the Canyon is just like no other. You will never truly get the feel of the Canyon from just the top. After about 8 hours down we made it to the Colorado River. Enjoyed the night there on the sandy beach and had a great pasta meal, with wine, prepared by Chris. Every meal prepared was delicious! One would never guess you could have such great food while backpacking. During the 4 days of this trip I would say I had many feelings. First, anxiety the morning before the trek, secondly, excitement as we started our trek down, thirdly, tired and just wanted to get it over with, and fourth a feeling of accomplishment of something I would never thought I could do. This was a very rewarding experience as I never thought I was capable of such. Thank you Chris for all the encouragement and support, it truly helped me get through. Anyone looking for a guide to backpack the Grand Canyon, look no further TSX Challenge is the company you want to use, they will not disappoint!

  11. Peter Callan

    Grand Canyon Escalante – Spring 2021
    There are many companies that can guide a trip to the backcountry, but none do it like TSX. Having hiked with firms all over the world, TSX are a cut above, way above, the rest. I just completed the Escalante route in the Grand Canyon, which was a trip to remember for a lifetime. Challenging, with outstanding scenery all under the expert TSX leadership of Dave and Chris. They carefully conducted pre-checks before we started, set the right pace, educated all along the way, pushed us when needed and cheered when we deserved it. The secret campsites were like something from a South Pacific postcard and the food, catered for individual tastes, was better than any city restaurant. TSX makes you feel like your part of a family, for whom they genuinely care. I can’t wait to join them again either in the Sierras or the Grand Canyon. Highly recommend them to anyone from novice to experienced, young to older.

  12. Un Kwon

    What a magical place. Slept outside on the beaches of he Colorado River each night on their new Grand Canyon Challenge “Escalante Route”. Enjoyed great food and a few river-chilled beers with our fantastic guide Tolman and new friends. Hiked 30 miles in the Grand Canyon with my husband. Can’t wait to go back and take my kids.

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