• Header-B-Grand-Canyon-Man-View_1960x900
  • Header-C-Grand-Canyon-Two-Hikers-at-Water_1960x900
  • Header-D-Grand-Canyon-Group_1960x900
  • Header-E-Grand-Canyon-Photographer_Lizard_1960x900
  • Header-F-Grand_Canyon_pink_sunset_1960_x_900
  • Header-G-Grand-Canyon-Lizard_1960x900
  • Header-H-Grand-Canyon-Brian-Cooling-Off_1960x900
  • Header-J-Grand-Canyon-Relaxing_1960x900
  • Header-O-Grand_Canyon_yellow_sky

Grand Canyon National Park - 2021 CANCELED

May 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 the Coordinator, April Armijo, 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.

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

Space: Limited to 47 participants (including leaders and assistants)
Cost: $265
Registration Opens: Friday, April 17, 2020 at 6 am
Pre-trip Meeting: Tuesday May 5, 2020 at 6:15 pm at North University Community Library, Community Room,  8820 Judicial Drive, San Diego, CA 92122

Departure: Wednesday May 20, 2020 at 8:30 am
Return: Sunday, May 24, 2020 at approximately 9:00 pm

Trip Rating: A variety of difficulty from easy to strenuous. Please see individual hikes below.

Trip 1
Type of Trip Base Camp / Day Hikes
Easy to Hard
Name of Trip Base Camp / Day Hikes
Leaders: Monica Elrod, Mike Fry         Assistant Leaders: Melody Eues, TBD
Trip Rating: Easy to Hard
Event capacity = 14 including leaders and assistants 

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 chosen. See below for some of the Day Hikes that will be offered:

Rim Trail (E3-12A)
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. Every viewpoint from Hermits Rest to Yaki Point is by shuttle. We will see sights such as the Trail of Time, keep an eye out for California condors, admire the green of Indian Garden, and enjoy Mohave and Hopi Points which offer great views of the Colorado River.

South Kaibab Trail (H6D)
One of the park’s most scenic trails and a shorter day hike.  This corridor trail is the only one that follows a ridgeline instead of a drainage route, allowing for unobstructed 360-degree views. The maintained dirt trail is steep, with very little shade except from canyon walls.

Bright Angel Trail (H12D)
This trail offers wonderful views every step of the way. The trail is a natural route along Bright Angel Fault first traveled by Havasupai on their way to reach the water source at Indian Garden.  The trail has lots to see with plants, animals, ancient pictograph panels and historic structures.

Trip 2
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: Monument Creek
Leader: Michael Taylor, Assistant Leader: Rose Williams
Trip Rating: H10D
Event capacity = 6 including leader and assistant

We will be backpacking down Hermit Trail, staying the first two nights at the Monument Creek campsite. On our non-backpacking day, we hike down to the Colorado River and view the Granite Rapids. On the third day we will backpack along the Tonto Trail to Horn Creek campsite. On the last day we will rise early and backpack up the Bright Angel Trail and catch the bus home.

Trip 3
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: Horseshoe Mesa Backpack
Leader: Doug Grover, Assistant Leader: TBD
Trip Rating: H7E
Event capacity = 8 including leader and assistant
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 5 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: 2

The trip explores the area around Horseshoe Mesa, an aptly named structure standing 1200 feet above the expansive Tonto Platform. 100 years ago, Horseshoe Mesa was the location of copper mining. Remnants of that activity are still visible. After a knee-pounding, 4000-foot descent over 5 miles, we'll spend one night at each of the creeks that flank the mesa. On the 5 mile return trip to the rim, we'll dry camp at Horseshoe Mesa. Views from both arms of the mesa are immersive. The moonless evening should offer broad views of the night sky and the Milky Way.  Although not maintained, the trails should be in decent condition. The upper one mile of the trail has some exposure. Good boots and hiking poles are recommended. After leaving the trailhead, water is available only at the two creeks. Carrying extra water is advised.

Trip # 4
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: New Hance Trail to Grandview
Leader: Kris Watkin, Assistant Leader: April Armijo
Trip Rating: S8E
Event capacity = 8 including leader and assistant
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 8 per day, Number of Day Hike Miles: 6

New Hance Trail via Red Canyon to the Colorado River, returning via Hance Creek, Horseshoe Mesa to Grandview Trailhead. A strenuous trip with some amazing views. This trip will take one of the oldest (historical), least traveled & shortest trails to the river. The trail is not well maintained and will involve some route-finding as we traverse approximately 7+ miles and 5600 ft down to the river. We will set up camp two nights at the river near Hance rapids. Second day we will have a day to explore the area with daypacks. Third day, we begin the ascent from the River, camping at Hance creek after 6 mi and 2750 ft elevation gain along the Tonto trail. The final morning will involve a very early start to traverse 5 miles and 5000 ft to make the Rim in time for our pick-up to catch the bus back to San Diego.

Trip # 5
Type of Trip: Backpack
Name of Trip: the Escalante Route: Tanner to New Hance 
Leader: John Plander, Assistant Leader: Caleb Thibodeaux
Trip Rating: S9E
Event capacity = 8 including leader and assistant
Number of Backpack Days: 4, Number of Backpack Miles: 27, 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 riverside 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 100’ Class 2/3 wall with their packs.  All trails are quite rugged with steep and exposed sections.   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 # 6

Grand Canyon Bus Trip - Staff and Leaders
This trip signup is for STAFF / LEADERS ONLY
Event capacity = 1

HTML tutorial

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet