Grand Canyon Challenge

(73 customer reviews)


Trek nearly a mile below the rim backpacking rugged Grand Canyon terrain to sleep and swim on secluded beaches of the Colorado River.



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Leave everyday constraints behind and find fresh inspiration on a three-night, four-day guided Grand Canyon Challenge backpacking trek. We take motivated individuals, band them together, and backpack nearly a mile below the rim hiking rugged Grand Canyon terrain to sleep and swim on secluded beaches of the Colorado River. Our spring and fall treks traverse up to 30 miles on some of the most remote, least-traveled routes in the Canyon. Each Grand Canyon Challenge backpacking experience is all inclusive, and open to fit and motivated individuals of all ages. Just bring your personal items, positive attitude, and be ready for an experience that can inspire for a lifetime.

What’s included

  • 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
  • Inspiration for a lifetime
  • Flexible cancellation policy

What’s not included

  • Meals in the front-country
  • Lodging in the front-country, pre- or post-trek

How it works

A $450 deposit is required upon registration with balance due 45 days prior to event. Treks dates may be adjusted +/- one day until permits are finalized 4 months in advance of departure (when Grand Canyon permits are issued). Routes utilized include the Escalante Route, Boucher-Hermit, New Hance-Grandview and Hermit-Bright Angel trails based on permit availability, experience level or participant request. Typical group size of 6, including one guide. Maximum group size of 11, including two guides. Private, family and modified itinerary trips available through TSX Pods. An additional 5% charge will be applied when your reservation is made to offset new fees mandated by 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.

Gear Checklist


All of our Grand Canyon Challenge experiences traverse remote and rugged South Rim inner-canyon loops between the Rim and River. Routes utilized include the Hermit-Boucher loop (26 miles), New Hance-Grandview loop (22 miles), and Hermit-Bright Angel loop (30 miles). Select trips will utilize the Escalante Route between Tanner and New Hance (27 miles). Individual experience levels, group size, as well as permit allowances, will determine which routes will be run on which dates to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for all. You may also opt into or out of our Escalante Route experience by request. 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.

Pre and post-trip hotel accommodations are not provided. Once your trek dates are finalized, secure a lodging reservation as soon as possible (skip to logistics).

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 glace.

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.


The first day of your trip will likely be the most challenging. Some teams will be descending down the old Boucher or New Hance routes. Others will experience the slightly more forgiving, but no less intense Hermit trail. These are among the most difficult trails in the Grand Canyon. Three things make them exceptionally challenging.

First, there will be narrow sections of trail with significant exposure. There are also sections of steep descent over loose rock and waist-high drops that require scooting. On the Boucher route, there are sections that will require some hand and foot down scrambling. This will make travel on day one slow and methodical to ensure the safety of everyone in your group. Expect up to 8-10 hours of trail time (including breaks) from start to finish for the 8 to 9 mile day.

Second, theses trails are fully exposed with limited opportunities for shade, which means there is an increased risk for heat related illnesses.

Third, with the exception of the Hermit Trail, there are no reliable water sources on these routes until we reach camp. In certain instances, we may not reach reliable water sources until the morning of the second day. When combined with the long duration of trail time, and full sun exposure, there is increased risk of dehydration.

To ensure a safe experience, here are a few things we will do as a team to overcome these challenges.

First, on day one we'll be hiking closer together as a team. If there are any sections of trail where we believe your balance or footing may be more secure without a pack, your guide will offer to take your pack for you. Throughout the trail we'll need everyone's eyes, ears, and voices working together and looking out for one another. Voices of encouragement and high 5's important as well!

Second, to minimize risk of heat exposure, we'll plan on getting an extra early start. This means a departure time from Flagstaff of between four and five AM so that we can hit the trail shortly after daybreak to maximize our trail time during the cool morning hours.

Third, everyone will be asked to carry at least 3 liters of water for the hike down. Your guides will carry additional water to ration out to the group for backup on an as needed basis.

Fourth, our day-two itinerary typically involves shorter distances over better trail, and extended time at the river to allow recovery and renew the spirit.

These unique challenges also present opportunity. You'll be traveling through some of the most remote and secluded regions of the Grand Canyon accessible by foot. It will be difficult to find words to describe what you'll witness, and the magnitude of your accomplishment! Though some people have tried.


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 ( / 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 $90-$140 with discount). The nearby Roadway Inn & Suites is also a popular option within walking distance (prices typically $45-$85).  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 Arizona Shuttle ( / 928.226.8060) or you can arrange customized shuttle service from A Friendly Cab ( / 928.774.4444).

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!

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73 reviews for Grand Canyon Challenge

  1. Mark Zirkelbach

    TSX has consistently provided a hiking experience that surpassed my expectations on both an individual level and our group. You can’t help but to feel welcomed, supported, and mostly very motivated to embrace the adventure that is being provided.
    My complaints are few; the trails are too challenging, the views are too awe-inspiring, the Team is too good and mostly the experience is so perfect it will be hard for anything to surpass it. If you want to backpack in the wilderness and get off the grid to enjoy a unique hiking experience – TSX Challenge will not disappoint you!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Brad Stutz

    I would highly recommend this trip for anyone wanting to experience the Grand Canyon. The route was challenging but doable. Scenery was fantastic and the trip down to the Colorado River was a high light. The guides were friendly and fun to be around.

  5. Jill Cross

    I did the May 2021 Grand Canyon trip and loved it! I’d never been to the Grand Canyon before and really enjoyed see it up close – though parts of it kicked my butt – that’s me, not the trail – would highly recommend to anyone thinking about it! Our guide was wonderful – the entire trip was well planned and executed. The people on the trip were all really nice and a pleasure to spend time with, and so glad I could do this fun trip with my brother.

  6. Ray H (a.k.a. the Professor)

    Team 8 Boucher – Hermit Trail
    The Grand Canyon remote wilderness experience provides beauty and challenge. This is my second trip with TSX and I’ve take one of my children each time. The Grand Canyon was my 21 y.o. daughter’s first backpacking trip and she can’t wait for the next outing. Chris is an excellent guide providing motivation and fun along the way. The Team 8 family was great with a lot of humor and good company. TSX’s treks will stretch your ability and provide a great sense of accomplishment as the team pulls each other through.

  7. Casey Reed Jr, “Wide Angle”

    Boucher Trail to Hermit Trail Loop – May 2021
    Another 5 star experience with TSX! It was my first time at the Grand Canyon and I don’t think I’d want to experience it any other way. The terrain is rugged but doable for most outdoor enthusiasts. I’d highly recommend this route for new backpackers even though it will still challenge seasoned veterans at times. I’m excited to get back on the trails with Chris and the TSX family.

  8. mike reed

    Awesome trip thru the Grand Canyon! Trip #3 for me with TSX and they never disappoint. Very challenging yet rewarding experience. I will be booking another trip next year for sure.

  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. Lisa Rettig

    Awesome trip to the Grand Canyon with Andy aka Wags and Kristin aka Doc. We laughed, cried and had a great time. One the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done. It was a bucket list item for me and it did not disappoint. Def recommend TSX !

  12. jeff pickett

    First time I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and I’m glad it was with TSX. This is my third TSX trip and they never disappoint. Also, TSX is great at making everyone feel welcome and like a small family out there.

    Also, brought my kids on this one (13 & 14). I (and my wife) had no doubt that not only would the three of us have fun with TSX, but also come back safe and with little to no blood lost (successful).

    Wonderful time. Just debating what I do next.

  13. Heidi Stec

    The Grand Canyon was never at the top of my list but after an amazing first experience with TSX on the Trans Sierra Trek (2019), I decided that any trip with them would not disappoint. If you read through the reviews you will notice there are many repeat customers. You will be very well supported and well fed with any of these trips but the training falls on you. Be prepared and it will be way more rewarding. As far as the Grand Canyon-it’s more than a big hole! Just go, already!

  14. Owen Lee

    I AM OBSESSED WITH TSX!!!!!!!!!! Very informative, great food, great group, great guides. Cannot recommend this enough.

  15. John Lee

    Set out with Team One for the first trip of 2021 into the Grand Canyon. I am 58 and went with two of my kids, 23 and 19. None of us had ever been backpacking before or done more than a few-hour day hike. We all had a wonderful time. We started off in blowing snow, which changed to rain and then cleared to cloudless skys under a full moon on our first night. Pictures do not do the canyon justice. It is simply spectacular. We had a great group of trekkers and our guides Chris and Kristin were excellent. Very helpful and informative. Exhausting, but highly rewarding days. Great fun to camp at Granite Rapids, swim in the 47 degree Colorado river and watch rafters shoot the rapids. Extremely arduous last day – 10.5 mile, 9.5 hour hike from river to rim but worth every step. Fantastic bonding experience with my kids. Tasty food and interesting conversations with everyone along the trails. At the end I told myself that I would not be doing that again anytime soon however, after three days I am already looking for what’s next. Most highly recommended.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ali Hartman

    Fabulous trip with an awesome crew! Thank you TSX Challenge and Tolman for a great Grand Canyon experience! Super spicy piece of cake!

  19. Kathryn Cooper

    Backpacking the Grand Canyon this October was beyond incredible. One of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

    After training twice/week all summer I was physically prepared for the uphill days but totally unprepared for the downhill day (pro tip; find a very steep hill and practice hiking down using poles before you go).

    I was absolutely blown away by the stunning vistas and complete lack of other people. It felt like we had the entire canyon to ourselves. The weather was perfect in every way, not a cloud in the sky the entire four days. The night we stayed on the Colorado river there was a full moon that words could not do justice.

    Our guide was an extremely skilled backpacking guide and a really cool guy. He was our physical guide, emotional support, he cooked (really delicious food) and cleaned and supported us every step of the way. There is no way we could have organized this trip or found our way down the New Hance trail on our own. TSX made the planning easy, all we had to do was show up and keep trying.

    Thank you Chris and TSX for an incredible, once in a lifetime adventure!

  20. Zetta

    Thank you so much for an amazing experience. For the rest of our lives we will reflect on it. The skills, knowledge and professionalism of the TSX team is truly unparalleled. You all have a gift. We feel so blessed to have seen the Canyon that way and challenge ourselves – physically and mentally. Thank you!

  21. Rick Reicker

    I knew this would be an experience of a lifetime but several things stick out to me as extraordinary. When I look back at our pictures from the washout approaching the Colorado river to the point of our departure at the top of the New Hance trail, I find it nearly impossible to believe that we could go as far as we did in a day. Looking back down at the river we camped at upon our exit was even more awe inspiring. The scale of the canyon is humbling our ability to traverse it was inspiring. TSX made everything SO easy for us. Watch the packing video and follow the instructions and you will be all set. We had everything we needed and nothing we didn’t. Also extraordinary was how well we ate on this trip. We started every morning with hot coffee, and I kid you not, they made me the best breakfast sandwich I think I have ever had (Buttered and toasted ciabatta roll stacked with munster cheese, 2 real eggs and 2 slices of Canadian bacon) Every meal had left overs and the only dehydrated food along the whole trip was powdered milk for the coffee. Just incredible. We had to dig deep on the way out but were treated to a number of surprises including old prospector equipment a copper mine and a visit from a big horn sheep. Despite my still aching quads, every step of this adventure was a pleasure and one I will never forget. Thank you TSX!

  22. Praneetha

    Well organized Grand Canyon trip. My first backpacking and backcountry experience, with lot of inhibitions. Amy, aka Sunshine, her trail name, was the guide and emerged a super hero. She glued the team together, and assumed the burden of the injured, pacified all complaints, and exhibited successful managerial skills. My trip was a success largely due to her active interventions. Reassured me that I will survive on another trip. Reinforced confidence in TSX choices and ability.

  23. Anita Alvarez (verified owner)

    Where to begin!! I was completely challenged- mentally, emotionally, and most- physically. Again, this is not a trip to be taken lightly, and I would not want to be a beginner backpacker on this trip. The trails were tough and if you have a fear of heights, you’re screwed! Haha. I loved the Canyon. It is magnificent. The colorful ancient, rock formations, the river, the flowers, the frogs… I love that we were out there for much of the time and saw no one else. That sense of being one with nature. I loved our group! We had a great team approach and I felt supported by everyone. I loved dunking in the Colorado River after a long days hike. I loved Matt cooking for us, that I did not have to worry about that. I was inspired and awestruck by the incredible, magical beauty, and at the same time challenged by the arduous trails, rugged and awesome terrain, and the elements like strong winds and sun! Honestly, the depth of the canyon experience just keeps expanding. It is a part if me. The experience has stayed with me and magnificent images and feelings keep emerging. Something in me shifted. Hard to explain. Magical….

  24. Richard (aka the stoic scholar) (verified owner)

    Thoroughly enjoyed my 4 day trip into the grand canyon with TSX challenge and our guide Matt. Jumping into the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon and then camping in the shade of a big cottonwood tree near New Hance Creek were the highlights of the trip for me. The food was excellent and everything that Matt did to help us out was greatly appreciated.

  25. Sheila Green (verified owner)

    It’s taken me a few days to organize both my photos and my thoughts. Ultimately, I’ve come to the realization that there are no words or images that can properly convey the magnitude of my experience hiking the Grand Canyon. I was overwhelmed by the majestic natural beauty of the Grand Canyon and even more blown away by the strength and camaraderie of my group of friends. This was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life and I am grateful to all who helped make it happen.

  26. David Kernea (aka Southern Comfort) (verified owner)

    Visiting the Grand Canyon was a bucket list item for me and this trip exceeded my expectations. The beauty of the Grand Canyon is simply beyond what words can describe. The Boucher – Hermit loop was rugged but took us to an isolated part of the canyon where we saw only one other hiker for the first three days. I wanted to experience the Grand Canyon away from crowds but probably would not have done so without a professional guide.

    TSX Challenge handles all of the logistics and planning (including great food) so all you have to do is show up with a packed backpack and mental strength and determination. I am grateful for all Matt and Chris did to make this trip such an amazing experience and I am already looking forward to my next trip to the Grand Canyon and other trips with TSX Challenge.

  27. Deb Weber (Mountain Rose) (verified owner)

    I can’t thank you enough for all the time and care you put into our recent Grand Canyon adventure. Both the Sierra and Grand Canyon trips have tested me physically and mentally. With your help I am proving to myself that I can do hard things – an important life skill. You have also shown me beautiful parts of this great country that few people see. It truly is Inspiration for a Lifetime. Thanks!

  28. Jason Akel

    Incredible experience. Unique route 99.99% never see of the Grand Canyon. Great professional guides and meals. TSX Challenge did it right all the way.

  29. Jan A. Gazenbeek

    Breathtaking, both literally and figuratively. A beautiful world wonder. There is no place on earth quite like it. Being in the canyon will blow you away when you see its scale and variety of scenery. Words will fall short to describe it. You must experience it yourself.
    Meeting the various challenges along the Boucher route will give you a better idea about what you are made of. You use mental toughness to overcome them. But the guides and your teammates will have your back. You will value the camaraderie you built up with them.
    Having the logistics being taken care of is a huge plus. The leadership Matt and Chris provided was not only professional but created full confidence that they would give the support for you to meet this Grand Canyon Challenge.
    Thank you Matt, Chris and all my teammates for your support, laughter and helping hand. It was a pleasure and privilege sharing this experience (my sixth with TSX) with you.
    El Tanko (trail name, worn with pride).

  30. Ashley aka “Bubbles” (verified owner)

    Backpacking all the way down and back up the Grand Canyon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – but also the most rewarding! Being able to see the vastness of the canyon with the help of everyone in this special group is something I will never forget. Thanks for the amazing experience TSX Challenge – truly inspiration for a lifetime!

  31. Erin Z. (verified owner)

    Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge in 2017, Hell For Sure Challenge in 2018, and the Grand Canyon Challenge in 2019. This is the best one yet. Ready for the fourth.

  32. Kim Petersen (verified owner)

    More than I expected! Our guide Matt was amazing and so helpful throughout the trip. Experience of a lifetime! I trained for 4 months prior and was glad I did! It made my trip so much more as I was physically conditioned to take on the rough trails and high elevations. I plan on doing more trips in the future and look forward to having Matt again as my guide.

  33. Joan DeRango

    Truly a life changing experience. My daughter and I took the challenge at the end of March. Chris was our guide and he was awesome. Knowledgeable, encouraging, experienced and just an all around good guy. I’m 57 years old and this was my first long distance, overnight, back-pack adventure. It was physically and mentally challenging for me personally but in the most positive of ways. I would highly recommend this adventure, it is an experience you’ll never forget and never regret.

  34. Gale Force

    I wanted to say Thank You again. Our four days in the Grand Canyon with TSX is an experience that has impacted my life in so many positive ways. It challenged me and allowed me to let go of a number of old, limiting beliefs that I have carried with me for a long time and for that I am truly grateful. To have been able to share the experience with my daughter only added to the fulfillment. We both so enjoyed your company over the past 4 days. It was a pleasure to get to know you. I’m certain our paths will cross again. I look forward to it.

  35. Dan “Trader Joe” Rubino (verified owner)

    Thoroughly happy with my experience and am already filling out permit requests to head back to the Canyon in the fall (rim to rim)! Besides boot-camp, this was the most exhilarating and terrifying experience I have encountered. The views go without saying and physical component (for me) was appropriate for someone with confidence and a few months of training beforehand. Amy, our guide, was intensely knowledgeable and maintained an abundance of energy – even in the cold Colorado River! Though I was with a group, I was still able to maintain a safe measure of independence. (Though next time, I will bring my own snacks – from Trader Joe’s of course!) This challenge, or maybe another, is something I would do again with TSX.

  36. Sarah Flynn

    For “spring break” I went on a 35 mile, 4 day backpacking trip thru the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful, inspiring, and one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Together as a team we overcame physical and mental obstacles. On the trail we strengthened friendships and made new ones. It was the hike of a lifetime.

  37. Kathy

    I can’t say enough about what a great experience our Grand Canyon Challenge was! Chris and Christina were amazing! We were thoroughly taken care of from beginning to end. This was something we had discussed doing for years and it was such an amazing experience. We had a great week with our good friends catching up. The support the TSX team gave us made this trip possible for us amateur hikers. I recommend this to anyone who is ready to take on a bucket list item that they don’t feel they could do on their own.

  38. Mitch

    We loved our trip to the Grand Canyon. Great trails and incredible views. Our guides Chris and Christina were great and took care of everything, and made everyone feel comfortable regardless of experience. Hiking the canyon is a unique experience made easier with the support of TSX.

  39. leslie

    So happy that my friend Bud recommended TSX for our Grand Canyon trip. My husband and I went with our friends who moved out of state several years ago so it was fun to be on the trip with them and catch up on the beautiful trails. I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t feel super prepared before the trip but Chris and Christina took care of everything. The food was great, knowledge of the trails was great and even when it started raining the first night they made sure our stuff stayed dry. All roses, no thorns for me on this trip!

  40. Stacey

    I am forever changed, having explored the Grand Canyon with TSX. Sharing the journey with my close friends, I was humbled by the beauty, and serenity of my surroundings. Chuck and Tolman are two of the most, positive, patient and kind guides I’ve ever met. I’m ready for the next adventure!

  41. Karen

    Adventure awaits! Having not hiked in over 20 years I was intimidated and apprehensive to make the journey. Our guided experience exceeded my expectations. To make the journey with friends under the guided support of Tolman and Chuck was a trip of a lifetime. TSX guides are extremely professional, knowledgeable about the terrain, history and wildlife. I truly enjoyed learning more about the native habitat and embracing life in the Canyon. If you are open to the challenge you will be lead by supportive guides who are there to help you succeed. The Canyon is magical place, offering those who make the trek a unique experience.

  42. Hanna C :)

    I loved our guides Tolman and Chuck! At first I was skeptical about a guided trip. I am a seasoned backpacker and am used to planning my own trips. Having experience guides definitely was a luxury and added a new dimension to my experience. I learned so much about the history of the Grand Canyon and new tips about backpacking (such as the amazing recipes). The trip far exceeded my expectations. If you are on the fence… JUST DO IT. Life is too short to not spend some money, get out in nature with awesome people, and not only live but THRIVE!

  43. Lynn

    My daughter Stacey told me it was an experience of a lifetime and life changing for everyone of her girlfriends. Thank you for helping the ones that were struggling with emotional changes in their lives and for showing each one of these remarkable ladies that they had more strength within themselves than they thought they had. BTW, Love all their names you gave them♡ Sincerely Lynn ( Stacey’s Mom♡)

  44. Tina G

    Definitely a Five Star adventure. The terrain was unbelievably gorgeous and the hike was challenging, but doable. Our guide, Tolman, made the experience completely unforgettable by his patience, kindness, knowledge, and positive attitude. He was constantly reassuring us that we could do it and he was right. For a first time backpacker, this trip was so much more than I expected. I highly recommend TSX for anyone who wants the adventure of a great hike without all the work of preparing your own meals and acquiring permits. Thank you Tolman for your patience and encouragement!

  45. Cherril G

    Loved this trip with my girlfriends. It was the first time backpacking for the majority of our group, and we swallowed up the beauty and the experience. Tolman was the BEST and we each wanted to adopt him as our son. He is extremely experienced and knows the Grand Canyon trails inside and out. We felt very safe with him as our guide. I would definitely recommend TSX to anyone new to backpacking, or anyone that wants to be pampered a bit by not planning the food, route, and permits. TSX is the best!

  46. Vicki

    We just got home, after completing the Grand Canyon trek with our guide Tolman. For me, it really was a challenge. But lots of magic, smiles and beauty. We ate only delicious meals. I give a strong recommendation.

  47. Colleen P

    My trip with TSX was my first backpacking trip- ever. I was pretty nervous, but TSX made me feel comfortable and welcome. They were very patient and walked me through the process (what to pack, how to pack, sizing of gear etc). They are very professional and provide ease in what could be an otherwise uneasy situation. The guide, Tolman, was super kind and knowledgeable, and his passion for his job definitely shines through and excites you as well. The experience was awesome and whether you are an experienced backpacker, wanting to try it for the first time, or somewhere in between, they have you covered!! This will not be my last trip with TSX!

  48. D. Leal

    Amazing experience through the Grand Canyon. As many have noted above, it’s hard to explain the grandeur and scale of the Canyon without experiencing it first hand. Our guide, Tolman, was knowledgeable, kind, and encouraging. I took along my 14 year old son and together we made memories for a lifetime. The routes chosen and the campsites selected were excellent. Often times we had the trails to ourselves and it was not until the last evening that we saw more than a handful of people. Having the tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags provided was greatly appreciated by someone who does not do a considerable amount of camping (and would like to avoid the expense associated with purchasing these items). Perhaps the Trans Sierra Challenge next? Who knows. Thank you for providing some excellent memories.

  49. Patrick Pudelek

    Five star all the way! My wife and I had a great time and enjoyed the challenge.

  50. Tony C

    An AMAZING backpacking experience! My wife and I absolutely LOVED the TSX Grand Canyon Challenge! The Grand Canyon was absolutely breathtaking! We just completed our trip April 9-13, and all the wildflowers and cacti were in full bloom. I have only done a couple minor overnight camping trips in my life, but nothing on this level. I really enjoy hiking, and the outdoors, but the planning and time to set up a trip like this would never happen on my own. TSX’s service in handling all the logistics, food and gear was a huge service in creating a truly memorable experience! It was indeed challenging, but Chris and Robert made the hike manageable, fun and I finished feeling more knowledgeable about hiking, backpacking and the Grand Canyon than I ever would on my own. I think I ate better on this trip than I do in my regular day-to-day, as well.

    All in all, I would highly recommend this trip to pretty much everyone I know. Being a shorter trip than the original TSX Challenge, it fit my schedule as an educator perfectly over my Spring Break! Hats off to Chris and the whole TSX team for putting on a top notch guided backpacking experience!

  51. Amy

    Do not miss! It’s the experience of a lifetime!

    This was my second trip with TSX and it did not disappoint! I brought my best friend along for the ride as well as a friend I made while backpacking the Sierras with TSX previously. We had an amazing time both strengthening our bond and getting to make friends with the others on our trip. I find these backpacking trips to be the best place to bond with people quickly while enjoying an incredible experience together! TSX’s routes are thoughtful, well-planned, and always stunning. I can’t wait to be back in the Canyon again! 🙂 Our guides were amazing and knowledgeable of the Grand Canyon’s history, which kept things fun and interesting the whole time.

  52. Leslie Vincent

    My friend and I do day-hikes all over southern california (from Mt Baldy to Temescal and all points between), but as a newbie to backpacking & camping, I would never have felt comfortable or safe attempting the Grand Canyon on our own. Chris and Tolman are total pro’s in every sense, from their knowledge of the terrain to working with people of all abilities and making a cohesive, fun group atmosphere for everyone. I came away from this experience not only with a great sense of pride in a huge accomplishment, but also with a group of new friends that I can’t wait to see again – we laughed ’til our sides hurt, and every day ends with a high five, good food, and something warm to drink. If you’re looking for a challenging adventure with skilled guides, this fits the bill! You can be confident that these guys have your back the whole way.

  53. Brooke Bennett

    If you want to really experience one of the seven wonders of the natural world there is no better way to do it then with TSX. The Grand Canyon experience with them was beyond what I expected and one I will never forget. I loved how our guide’s Tolman and Chris were both there for you when you needed help but also allowed you to experience the canyon at your own pace. The knowledge of the trail as well as other areas of the Canyon was awesome and their cooking skills were definitely on point. I would recommend this trip to everyone who wants to challenge themselves and come back even stronger then when they left on this trek of a lifetime.

  54. Dawn Gall

    If you every wanted to hike the Grand Canyon, yet you did not want to do it alone, I highly recommend TSX Challenge! Chris made sure I was safe but was not intrusive and allowed me to have my own experience of the Canyon.
    I’m not an experience hiker/camper but Chris and his company made my Grand Canyon trip an amazing one. From the time we stepped off the rim and started our descend down it was breath taking. Everywhere you looked the view was just spectacular and each day brought me a lifetime of memories. Upon reaching the end of our trip were my tears were of joy and accomplishment.
    Be part of that 1% of people that go beyond the rim and enjoy our beautiful National Park!

  55. DeeAnn

    All I can say is WOW! This was my 1st backpacking trip at age 51 and will continue to do more. This was truly an amazing experience for me both physically and mentally. The TSX Challenge is by far the best way to be (much needed) 100% unplugged from work and social media. We were completely worry free due to our guide “Chris” who made sure we had all the tools to be successful. Everyday was a new challenge with new incredible views that can’t be seen anywhere but “IN” the beautiful Grand Canyon. I cannot explain the flood of emotions I felt when we reached our daily destinations but the tears were not of pain or disappointment. I HIGHLY recommend TSX Challenge. Great Guide, Great Food. Amazing in every way!! You will NOT be disappointed!! Thank you a 1000X Chris for the experience of a lifetime!
    I have to give a shout out to KEEN Women’s Koven Waterproof Mid Hiking Boots and Ecosox Bamboo Socks (hiking and outdoor). Not gonna lie.. my feet were sore but absolutely blister free and due to my lack of preparation I bought these boots the day before the trip so they were NOT broke in.

  56. Kevin Ishizu

    My 15 year old son and I went on the Grand Canyon trip and really enjoyed it. It was our first time backpacking and we were certainly anxious about the challenge. The TSX team did a great job contacting us weeks before our departure to make sure we were purchasing the right gear and supplies. We opted to use their packs, sleeping pads, sleeping bags and tent. All of the gear was high quality and clean. It allowed us to travel light and focus on our specific gear. Our very friendly guides met with the hikers the evening before and spent time with us to make last minute adjustments to our gear based on the weather. I would highly recommend TSX to beginner – intermediate backpackers that want to try the sport before investing in gear and need some reassurance before taking on such a challenge as the Canyon. Advanced backpackers might also want someone to help them coordinate permits, food, and transportation in and out of the canyon – especially those that haven’t been to the Canyon to find those secret camp sites. Ultimately my son and I made it and have amazing memories and some quality, non-electronics based, time together.

  57. DJ

    Just Do It! This backpacking trip will inspire you!!
    Only when you hike down the trails, sleep under the stars, see the deer and mtn goats, swim in the Colorado river, experience the majestic cathedral views from below the rim, will you truly understand the Canyon’s grandeur.
    Seriously, you’ll have an experience that few people will ever know.

    This is my 2nd hike with TSX Challenge. Their guides will take excellent care of all the group details, provide good food and you’ll make new lifelong friends.

    As Phil said, get yourself in shape so you’ll have the most enjoyment.

    After this …
    then do the TSX Trans Sierra challenge!
    Just once in your lifetime, you have to stand on top of Mt. Whitney!

  58. Jan Gazenbeek

    The Grand Canyon Extreme Challenge was a marvelous experience. Only when you really are going down into the canyon will you realize its majesty, scale, flora, fauna and incredible views. You will get to know your hiking companions and share this fantastic adventure. When you get to the Colorado river and plunge into it you will feel the satisfaction of reaching one of your bucket list goals rush through your body. There really are no words to adequately describe the emotions you will experience on this trip. The guides are very knowledgeable and are safety conscious. They will take care of you without any doubts. My advice is to be in good shape. This is not a “Walk in the park”.
    Jan Gazenbeek, 73

  59. Philip Bradley

    The scale of the Grand Canyon is difficult to appreciate without hiking to the bottom, swim in the Colorado and hike back to the top. I am not an expert hiker and found the TSX group to offer exactly what I was looking for. Chris and team handled all the difficult arrangements, food, cooking and logistics leaving the hiking to me all while ensuring I was safe; both in the equipment needs, equipment use and my physical well being. This is a challenging hike you shouldn’t take lightly. Exercise, get out and hike and be fit enough to really enjoy the adventure. I loved every minute of it.

  60. John Rich

    Great trip to the Grand Canyon last week. The team at TSXChallenge are awesome. They were very helpful in planning and preparation. It was so nice to not worry about navigation or food. Their instructional video was easy to follow to pack. I brought my own gear, TSX provided excellent gear to some of our team members. The guides were approachable, encouraging, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. It was evident to me that the TSX guides have a passion for the work they do vs seeing it as a job. I highly recommend TSXChallenge. You will unplug from your normal life, re focus on important priorities, make new friends and create memories you will never forget. I intend to go on another trip and bring my sons.

  61. Brighty

    In. Cred. Ible. This trek was everything I could have hoped for and more. If you’re looking for a luxe experience this isn’t it, but if you’re looking for a real backpacking expedition, look no further; you’ve found it! Millions visit the Grand Canyon, but only a tiny percentage of those folks ever venture more than a mile or so in. This trip earns you membership to a very exclusive club: those few who get to see the canyon up close and personal; from the bottom up. With any luck, you may even get to sleep out under the stars on the banks of the Colorado River! We had no equipment of our own; TSX provided all we needed and it was great stuff. I think the best things I can say about this trip are that, rather than having a professional guide, it felt like we were hiking with a really great friend who just happened to have mad backpacking skills. The second thing is that my partner, who had previously been on no more than an 8 mile day hike, now wants to do the Mount Whitney trek! Yes. It was that good! For that last thing alone I can’t thank you enough Chris.

  62. Harry Allen

    TSX trips are truly a profound experience! I had two reactions to going on the Grand Canyon Challenge. The first can be described by that scene from Office Space where the main character has a transformative experience and turns into a badass. All his friends are shocked by his new attitude and suddenly he’s wanted by everyone at work simply because of this attitude. Finishing the Grand Canyon challenge kind of feels a little bit like that.

    You might also look at it as an experience in wonder as I have. Accomplishing a major feat like a backpacker make you feel like a badass – you return with a whole new perspective. Experiencing natural wonders, and having to work to do it, far exceeds the experience of anything you could buy, drink, smoke or otherwise consume in urban life. Wildness is out there, and ready to take on with a TSX trip.

  63. Woody Repulles

    What an AMAZING trip and inspirational experience. This was first time backpacking and surely not the last. I’d highly recommend this trip to anyone interested.

  64. Jay A

    Do it! Unforgettable group and personal experience. It was my first time backpacking and now looking to get out there again…soon. You need to get in the Canyon to truly understand and appreciate it.

  65. Dan

    This was a truly amazing experience. Chris is was very familiar with the landscape, had everything covered, and secured the most picturesque campsites. I had minimal backpacking experience prior to my trip, and I left feeling like a pro! I would recommend this trip to anyone; it was sufficiently challenging, and thoroughly enjoyable.

  66. Angela

    Had a great time! Thanks Alex!

  67. Kelly

    Like the site says, this company provides a service basically comprised of trail access, trail knowledge, preparation and guiding. Personally, I don’t know that I could have provided all of that for myself at all, and certainly not at a price or inconvenience to myself which would be better. I greatly enjoyed my guide, Alex. Of course, the Grand Canyon is just incredible. I am really, really happy I took this trip.

  68. John D

    An amazing adventure! Exploring the Grand Canyon has always been on my wish list, and this trek was perfectly planned from start to finish. I can’t think of a better way to spend 4 days in one of the crown jewels of our national park system. The guides were friendly and personable, and I enjoyed learning new camping techniques I can bring with me on future wilderness trips.

  69. Elizabeth

    I participated in this trek with my thirteen year old granddaughter and it was the trip of a lifetime for the two of us. She had the best time and I was so proud watching her face the challenges and overcome obstacles this trail presents. I felt like I watched her grow up in just a few days. No doubt, this is a tough and sometimes scary trek, and for the first few miles, and off and on during the first day, I really wondered if we could do it—-but the guides were very encouraging and helpful, and the otherworldly beauty of the Grand Canyon kept us going. We’ll be talking about it for a long, long time.

  70. Greg L

    What an amazing trip. 35 miles over 4 days and 3 nights, just the right amount. The views were incredible. Every step you take, there is a different perspective of the canyon. Our guide was great and the food was excellent! I will be enjoying the memories from this trip for the rest of my life.

  71. cmski11

    I participated on the March 15-18 trek in the Grand Canyon and the experience was better than expected. Liked the attention to detail with planning and logistics, and really enjoyed the extra time we had to spend at the Colorado river. Thank you for the great experience! Proudly wearing my Grand Canyon Xtreme Challenge shirt to the gym : )

  72. B Fairley

    The Grand Canyon challenge exceeded my expectations. If you want to get out to a location seen by very few people and really challenge yourself physically and mentally, you would love this adventure. The guides are very organized and experienced. Our guide was so encouraging and also prepared us excellent meals. The trek trail has such amazing views that they are hard to describe in words. The trek covers a wide array of gorgeous landscapes. I highly recommend TSXChallenge’s guided trips.

  73. Robert

    Awesome trip and experience. Highly recommend to anyone who want to experience the ‘real’ Grand Canyon. Its hard work and relaxing at the same time.

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