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Grand Canyon National Park 2022

 APRIL 27 - MAY 1, 2022

The southern Grand Canyon, from Havasu Canyon to the Little Colorado River, offers dramatic views and unique rock formations. The diverse, beautiful colors of the mile-deep gorge are a sight to behold. Awe inspiring evidence of erosion documents its history over geologic time and attracts visitors from near and far. Roughly 13,000 years ago, native Americans made their first impressions in the Grand Canyon while living and farming the arid land wherever possible. John Wesley Powell's exploration of the Colorado River in 1869 led prospectors, railroad men, and promoters to dream of ways to turn the wonders of the Grand Canyon into personal fortunes. Close inspection of the rock layers, from the Kaibab Limestone to the Vishnu Schist a mile below, often reveals archaeological evidence of their passage, as well as of the prehistoric creatures that preceded them. The rugged, sometimes steep and exposed, trails from the rim to the river provide access to immerse yourself in this wonderful place. Join San Diego Sierra Club's experienced leaders as they take you to explore the majestic area of Grand Canyon National Park South Rim.

We will travel in a chartered, air-conditioned bus up to Grand Canyon National Park, spending four nights either at Mather Campground or backpacking with the group of your choice. We’ll enjoy hiking, campfires, starry nights, and good company. We offer both base camp and backpack trips of varying difficulty for participants. Base camp participants will be able to choose which hike they would like to do each day.

This tent-camping trip is for adults only who are in good health and are physically fit. Participants must provide their own meals and camping equipment. Upon registration, you will receive an email confirmation and information about an optional pre-trip meeting to meet your leaders and ask questions (highly recommended for first-timers). A handout will also be available with suggestions about what to pack, weather, safety tips, etc. We look forward to having you join us!

For questions, contact April Armijo, the Trip Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Backpacking Trip or Day Hike is right for you. 

Trip #1
Type of Trip Base Camp / Day Hikes
Easy to Hard
Name of Trip Base Camp / Day Hikes
Leaders: Karen Nelson, Alice Fichandler, Assistant Leaders: Sharon Young, Tanya Ingorvate
Trip Rating: Easy to Hard
Event capacity = 17

All hikes on Trip 1 may be altered due to group interest, weather, and other factors. Day hikes are limited to 11 participants (including leaders)

Each day, your leaders will offer some fascinating hiking adventures of varying difficulty levels. Since these will be on a space-available basis, sign-ups will be announced at the campground on the evening before the hike. Should you decide to stay in camp instead, you can take the shuttle and go to the visitor center, restaurants or place of your choice. See below for some of the Day Hikes that will be offered. 

Rim Trail (E3-12A
One of the park’s most scenic trails. There are countless opportunities to view the canyon from several overlooks and viewpoints - perfect for taking amazing photographs of the canyon.Easy hiking with minimal elevation change, excellent walking, most of the trail is paved. Stretching from Hermits Rest on the rim’s western edge through the Grand Canyon Village to Pipe Creek Vista and with an elevation change of only 200 feet, the Rim Trail connects a series of scenic points is the easiest long walk in the park. Every viewpoint from Hermits Rest to Yaki Point is accessed by one of three shuttle routes, which means we can walk to a vista and shuttle back, or shuttle to a point, walk to the next and shuttle from there. 

Bright Angel Trail (M6C
For a harder hiking day, we can explore the first half of scenic Bright Angel Trail. This famous trail is deceptively easy on the steep way down, so we will set a knee-saving pace and allow twice as much time to hike up as it took to hike down. The maintained dirt trail follows a natural route along Bright Angel Fault and was first used by Havasupai to reach the water source at Inner Garden. We will appreciate their rock art above the trail. The trail offers shade and hydration opportunities, as well as some logical turn-around spots.

Bright Angel trail to Indian Gardens, with option to extend to Plateau Point. (H12E
Explore the beauty of the Grand Canyon on one of the most iconic trails. This famous trail is deceptively easy on the steep way down! We will lose, then regain approx. 2,100 ft. during the day, so we will set a knee-saving pace and allow twice as much time to hike up as it took to hike down. We'll enjoy wildlife and spectacular views. Approx 12 miles round trip if we go all the way to Plateau Point for matchless sights of the Colorado River. (Indian Gardens at approx. mile 4.5 could be a turnaround point, depending on group consensus, and would reduce the trip to a total of 9 miles.) There may be seasonal streams and waterfalls along the trail to enhance our views, but we should plan to carry our own water. Hiking poles and good hiking boots are highly recommended. Depending on weather, the trail near the rim may be icy and microspikes could be advisable. 

South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point (H6E
One of the park's prettiest trails and finest short, yet demanding day hikes. The only corridor trail that follows a ridgeline instead of a natural drainage route, allowing for unobstructed 360-degree views. The maintained dirt trail is steep and well-defined, with very little shade except from canyon walls (dependent on time of day). The steepness is misleading on the way down, where we will loose approx. 2,100 ft. by our turnaround point at Skeleton Point. Hiking backup will take us nearly twice as long to regain our starting elevation. With no water sources, we’ll need to carry our own. Hiking poles and good hiking boots are highly recommended. Depending on weather, the trail near the rim may be icy and microspikes could be advisable.

Horseshoe Mesa via Grandview Point Trail (S6E
Built in 1893 as a mining route, this is a rocky, exposed, and strenuous trail. Large steps and extreme drop offs intensify the steepness of the trail. Excellent canyon views. Must have hiking poles and good hiking boots. Depending on weather, the trail near the rim may be icy and microspikes could be advisable. Approx 2500' elevation descent, with the same to return to the trailhead. Expect the return up the trail to take about twice the time it took to descend. We must carry all of our water for the day.


Trip #2
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: Hermits Rest to Bright Angel
Leader: Kris Watkin,  Assistant Leader: Doug Goepfert
Trip Rating: H11E
Event capacity = 8
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 11 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: TBD

This trip will explore the Grand Canyon by dropping down from Hermits Rest into the canyon. We will spend each night at a different spot with two days traversing the Tonto Trail along the lower rim within the canyon. The first day will be a strenuous drop into Hermit Creek. Day two will have shorter mileage, and so time will be available to day hike to the Colorado River. The third day we will continue passing several streams and climbing and descending throughout the day. We finish with an early morning rise (sun rise on the trail) to ascend the Bright Angel trail to return. While this trip will be spectacular, expect steep descents, ascents and exposure.


Trip #3
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: Horseshoe Mesa Backpack
Leader: Doug Grover,  Assistant Leader: Monica Elrod
Trip Rating: H4D
Event capacity = 7
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 3 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: 4

Horseshoe Mesa stands 1200 feet above the expansive Tonto Platform. Moonless evenings offer broad views of the night sky and the Milky Way. We'll spend one night on the mesa during our descent to Cottonwood Creek and an additional night on the mesa during our return. After leaving the trailhead, water is available only at Cottonwood Creek.


Trip #4
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: The Escalante Route: Tanner to New Hance
Leader: April Armijo,  Assistant Leader: Margaret Elizondo
Trip Rating: S10E
Event capacity = 6
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 10 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: TBD

Join us on the South Rim’s premiere backpack: the Escalante Route, in its entirety, from Tanner Beach to Hance Rapids. Follow the footsteps of early Native American canyon dwellers, on foot paths improved by Seth Tanner and John Hance to work their mining claims. Highlights include Colorado River beach camps every night, the Papago Wall, Hance Rapids, Red Canyon and Native American dwellings and artifacts.

If this trip is not on your bucket list, do a Google search of "Escalante Route" and "Papago Wall" and you will quickly realize it should be. This trip will appeal to super fit, sure footed, fearless adventurers with enough upper body strength to hoist themselves up a 70 foot Class 2/3 wall with their packs. Some of the route is quite rugged, steep and exposed. Hikers with a fear of heights or falling will not enjoy this trip. 

If descending 5500' over 8 miles the first day, and climbing 4800’ over 5 miles on the last day, sound like fun and within your fitness capacity, please sign up. This is the first time the San Diego Chapter has offered this trip; don’t miss it!

Trip # 5
Grand Canyon Bus Trip - Staff and Leaders
This trip signup is for STAFF / LEADERS ONLY
Event capacity = 14

Please read our RESERVATION AND REFUND POLICY before you sign up for the trip.

Space: Limited to 47 participants (including leaders and assistants)
Cost: $325
Registration Opens: Wednesday March 2, 2022 at 6 am
Pre-trip Meeting: Thursday April 14, 6:30 on Zoom. Link to be sent to attendees

Departure: Wednesday April 27, 2022 at 8:30 am
Return: Sunday May 1, 2022 at approximately 10:00 pm

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