6 NIGHTS | 55 MILES | THE CONFLUENCE
Starts in Flagstaff, AZ
Backpack the Grand Canyon to the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers on this Limited Edition experience.
Immerse yourself in a Grand Canyon journey of epic proportions on a week-long trek to the Conflunce, and beyond. The Confluence is where the turquoise-colored water of the Little Colorado River flows into the frigged, blue-green water of the Colorado River. Each trip will include up to four nights camping on the banks and beaches of the Colorado River, and two nights of camping with majestic views above the Redwall or Tonto. This week-long, all inclusive Grand Canyon backpacking experience will traverse up to 55 miles on some of the most remote, least traveled canyon trails including the Tanner, Beamer, Escalante Route and Grandview trails. While this trek is open to fit and motivated individuals of all ages and experience levels, several sections of trail have elements with exposure (ledges) and is not recommended for those with serious fears of height.
The Confluence was the first trip introduced as part of our Grand Canyon Limited Edition experiences (2022).
- Roundtrip transportation between Flagstaff, AZ meeting point and your trailhead
- Guided week-long trek through remote Grand Canyon terrain
- Opportunity to extensively explore remote Grand Canyon trails, side canyons, historical sites and beaches
- 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
- Priority access to future Limited Edition experiences
- 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 works
A $475 deposit is required upon registration with balance due 60 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). 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. Private customized Grand Canyon backpacking trips available via TSX Pods. Cancel up until the day of the trip without the risk of lost money. View cancellation policy.
Our multi-night Grand Canyon guided backpacking treks to the Confluence will traverse remote and rugged South Rim inner-canyon terrain including the Tanner, Beamer, Escalante, and Grandview trails. Final group size, as well as permit allowances, could result in some variation on which specific locations will be utilized for camp at each night. 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.
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. 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 – Tanner Trailhead to Redwall Camp (+/- 3.5 miles)
After reconvening in the lobby of Little America Hotel, Flagstaff at 8:00am, and loading up with water, we’ll head out to the trailhead where our hike begins on the rugged Tanner trail with a steep decent, then a long traverse out to our first camp atop the Redwall with breathtaking views of Colorado River, Tanner Rapids and the Palisades.
Day 2 – Redwall Camp to Palisades (+/- 8.5 miles)
On day two we will drop below the Redwall, with a morning hike across Furnace Flats to Tanner Rapids for lunch, and then continue upstream along the Beamer trail to camp along the river.
Day 3 – Palisades to Confluence and back (+/- 13 miles)
With an early start, our day hike will begin traveling east to the Confluence, where the waters of the Little Colorado intertwine with those of Colorado River. The a hot, tiring, dusty route with remarkable scenery along the cliffs high above the Colorado will be traversed without a backpack. We’ll retrace our steps and return to basecamp that evening for a hearty meal.
Day 4 – Palisades to Cardenas Beach Camp (+/- 6 miles)
Turning west, we’ll begin our hike along the river for the entire day, with time to enjoy the relaxing tropical beach side atmosphere of our Cardenas Beach Camp. Don’t be late for happy hour.
Day 5 – Cardenas Beach Camp to Escalante Beach Camp (+/- 6 miles)
Our hike will continue along the rugged and remote Escalante Route, as we climb roughly 1700′ while passing archeological sites of the Unkar Delta. Our hike will top out on a high perch with a breathtaking 180 degree view of the River before dropping quickly to postcard perfect sandy beaches and our camp at the mouth of Escalante Creek.
Day 6 – Escalante Beach Camp to Hance Creek (+/- 9 miles)
This day is high on attractions. We will hike through the awe-inspiring 75 Miles Creek, cross the Papago Wall with a stiff vertical hand and foot scramble, and descend the intimidating Papago Slide, carefully, as a team, before hiking beside one of the largest rapids on the Colorado River in route to Hance Creek.
Day 7 – Hance Creek to Grandview Trailhead (+/- 5 miles)
An early morning start, and a stiff climb, will move us through the multi-colored layers of Canyon wall, as we exit via the Grandview trail where our return transportation will be waiting. We’ll head back to Flagstaff for a final meal as a team, then home to brag, until our next adventure.
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 and 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 (flagstaff.littleamerica.com / 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 renting a car or taking a shuttle to Flagstaff. Reserve your shuttle spot in advance with Groome Transportation (groometransportation.com or 928.350.8466). You may also be able arrange customized shuttle service with Uber or Lyft.
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).
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.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
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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Mike P –
I am “extremely” fortunate to have been able to go on two TSX Challenges this year: in July the TSX Challenge Cross Sierra to Mt. Whitney and most recently the weeklong TSX Grand Canyon-Confluence Challenge (Oct-Nov 2022). This latest trip was expertly guided by David and we made it safely through the whole trip with the help of Dave and the teamwork of our group. As members mentioned on the Sierra trip, the “X” stands for “Extreme” and on this Grand Canyon trip I kept saying every day “I’m going to add an extra half X to this trip!” and “Man, are these really trails?!” (they really were trails, marked on the National Geographic Grand canyon map which I studied every day, before and after). Lots of down, lots of up, lots of up and down, lots of ledges, lots of scrambles, bouldering, lots of “are these trails?” (they are), lots of Challenges, hence the extra half X. But the whole thing is spectacular, new, and unlike anything I’ve hiked. The campsites were wonderful along the river. Escalante Beach one of the nicest beaches I’ve ever seen. The stars were spectacular. The food was delicious. We got used to going to bed early and rising at 530 am to get early starts and had time in the afternoons at each camp to explore the surrounding area. The scenery is so different it is etched into my memory. After we came home we searched the TSX website, signed up for another Challenge next year, and are training every day for it!
I went on the 7-night 8-day Confluence trek in Oct~Nov. I grew up going on overnight backpacking but never had backpacked for more than that; and in the last few decades have done only minimal exercising. I decided to open myself up to this new experience and challenge, knowing full well this was going to be perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It was certainly physically and mentally challenging, but I knew all along that our superb guide David and the rest of the group would get me through to the end. There were times I was miserable, but I learned through the week to summon strength from within and harness the encouragement and support from others to do what I absolutely would not have done before going on the trek. I think it’s important to know that the part of the trails are narrow and along ledges, high above the Colorado River. The next challenge I sign up for, I’m definitely going to train more deliberately.