Backpacking-Grand Canyon National Park

This trip is full but if you are intersted in a Fall 2013 trip, please let me know when in the fall would be good for you!

For those of you who have never been to the Grand Canyon, or those who have only viewed her splendor from the Rim, or perhaps you have ventured into the depths but the magic tugs at you to return, then please read on.

We invite you to join us as we enjoy mid-spring coolness and inner canyon warmth as we backpack for six days in the beauty and awe of Grand Canyon National Park. This trip departs the Louisville area in the afternoon on Thursday, May 2, 2013.   Roundtrip transportation is provided in the fee and we will travel Thursday night, Friday and arrive at Grand Canyon National Park on Saturday. During travel, we will camp out on the overnights. Upon arriving at the Grand Canyon, we will camp the first night on the South Rim with time on Saturday for viewing panoramic overlooks and a trip to the visitor’s center.

We will begin hiking after breakfast Sunday and descend deep into the canyon. We will spend another five nights down in the canyon, making our way to the Colorado River, getting a multitude of unique views along the way, including waterfalls, beach campsites along the Colorado River, and panoramic views of the canyon that can only be experienced in person. The last full day returns us to the rim (via a route the offers the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen) and civilization with a celebration dinner and overnight bed and breakfast lodging in historic Flagstaff, Arizona. We will depart Flagstaff early on Saturday, May 11 and arrive back in the late afternoon/early evening of Sunday, May 12.

Note: If you wish to fly out on your own, you will need to be in Flagstaff, Arizona no later than noon local time on May 4, 2013 and we can provide your ground transportation from there. We can pick you up at the airport in Flagstaff or a hotel or other convenient location. We can then drop you back off in Flagstaff or the Flagstaff Airport early on Saturday, May 11. There is no reduction in the fee as the transportation portion is a fixed cost of the trip.

This trip is rated "Challenging", but can be accomplished by anyone with reasonable fitness and is comfortable carrying a backpack with their own gear and a portion of group gear and food. Daily activity (except for one layover day for side hiking or relaxation) ranges from 4-8 hours hiking per day and may cover distances up to 8.2 miles. Terrain may be hilly or mountainous with some steep ascents and descents and some rougher trails. Elevation changes up to 3,000 feet per day at altitudes between 4000 and 7000 feet. Here is a summary of daily mileage in the Canyon: Day 1-8.2 miles all downhill (slow and steady); Day 2-Optional 3 mile side hike, then 3.5 miles with some ups and downs; Day 3-2.2 miles to camp with as much side hiking and exploration miles as you desire; Day 4-layover day on the beach with as much side hiking and exploration miles as you desire; Day 5-5.1 miles, mostly uphill, some down; Day 6-8.2 miles all uphill (easier than going down and with light packs).   For references on this trip from other LHM members who have taken this trip in the past, please contact the Event Host.

Included in the cost of the trip is roundtrip transportation, camping fees enroute and return, park entrance fees, campground fees in the park, backcountry camping fees, permit fees, all meals while in the park and backcountry, all group equipment (tents, stoves, fuel, water filter, first aid kit, food storage system), bed and breakfast lodging the final night, and the final night's celebration dinner.

This trip is being conducted as a private trip and open to Louisville and area Hiking Meetup members and done so at the anticipated cost of the trip.

Price per person: $695 if trip fills; $795 per person with 8-10 going; $895 per person with 6-8 going (based on double occupancy).

A similar trip with these amenities normally runs between $1400 - $1600 per person without any transportation.

A deposit is required to hold a spot and for us to make accommodation reservations.

What is not included: meals during travel (however, you will have the opportunity to contribute and share in some snacks, sandwiches and finger foods to be brought on the trip-a small refrigerator is onboard), personal equipment (a list is provided upon registration), souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, and any other items of a personal nature.

If you have any questions, please contact the Event Host.

If you would like to join this trip, please read carefully:  Contact the Event Host via email and indicate your intentions to join. In doing so, provide your email address where you can receive additional information and forms. The Event Host will then provide you with additional trip details and how and where to make a deposit for the trip.  A $250 deposit is required within 7 days after you RSVP and to hold your spot.   The Event Host will manually add/remove any RSVP to this Meetup Event based on deposits made. Final payment is due no later than April 1, 2013.

This trip is being conducted as a private trip and open to Louisville and area Hiking Meetup members.  However, this trip will be utilizing resources of LHM sponsor Green Earth Outdoors (vehicles, equipment, etc). Therefore, each participant will be required to read and sign an acknowledgment of risk and release, provide a completed medical history form, as well as a trip application and food preference survey to better understand and accommodate everyone on the trip. These forms will be provided via email upon your registration.

The Event Host is available prior to the trip to assist you with planning, gear selection, conditioning advice and other preparations. We hope you can join us as this is a spectacular bucket-list trip.

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  • Vicki

    Well, I don't see Doug's questions, but here's my answers. I vote Saturday evening 6:30ish, with a pot luck and yes, to any or all attendees!!

    July 17, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    For those of you who don't have or haven't friended me on Facebook here are links to the albums I created. I hope this works. I divided my pictures into 3 groups. Warning there are a lot of pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed yours and the fond memories of our time together. https://www.facebook.com/john.ni...­

    https://www.facebook.com/john.ni...­

    https://www.facebook.com/media/s...­

    May 20, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Would it be okay to invite past, future and potential Grand Canyon participants?

      July 17, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      August 17 is good, any time is good, and food is good. I will bring some myself. I say invite all of the above.

      July 17, 2013

  • Bob Walker

    Only the 16th and 17th work for Sherri and me. We're out of town during the other weekend.

    July 14, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Those dates should be ok for me as well, Doug...

    July 14, 2013

  • Vicki

    Hi Doug, Any of those dates work for me. Look forward to seeing everyone!

    July 14, 2013

  • Ryan Yates

    Was wonder if it's possible for me to attend also, I plan to go on the Fall trip and would love to get some insight on what to be prepared for. etc.

    May 29, 2013

  • Vicki

    Hi Everyone, I have been crazy busy since we returned and still nursing some horrible sinus stuff that grabbed me at the end of the trip and I cannot shake. Haven't forgotten trying to get together. All the pics are so good and I am missing you all! This weekend is full and so is the next. Any ideas??

    May 21, 2013

  • Carol H

    My photos are on Facebook. Here's a link where anyone can view them: https://www.facebook.com/media/s...­

    May 14, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    What a great trip with wonderful people! Rick and Jill took good care of everyone and I learned so much!

    1 · May 12, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      You can come on my 50 miler next week . . .

      1 · May 13, 2013

    • Bob Walker

      50 miler? Who's driving?

      2 · May 13, 2013

  • Stephen Kovaka

    Stunning, spectacular, very well organized and led, exhausting, and tons of fun.

    2 · May 12, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      And special thanks to Rick and Jill. I can't recommend them highly enough as trek leaders. They clearly had every detail of this trip worked out and they were excellent company along the way. Truly, they went the extra mile. I was deeply touched when Rick hiked back down from the rim to give an energy boost to several of us at the rear of the hike out on the last day. Congratulations to GEO for providing such a high quality Grand Canyon experience.

      1 · May 13, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      I agree, they went the extra mile for everyone....

      May 13, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    WOW does not adequatly discribe this trip. Thanks to Rick and Jill for your guidence and helpfullness during the trip. You truely made it a wonderful experience one that will stay with me until my dying days. Which I hope will be a long time from now. I have been working on my pictures and still can't believe the views, and can't wait to see all of yours.

    3 · May 13, 2013

  • Bob Walker

    It was the trip of a lifetime. Jill and Rick made the hike safe and fun. It was a great group to be with-- can't wait to get everyone together.

    2 · May 13, 2013

  • Carol H

    This was a trip that I will never forget! Unbelievable scenery and fun people! I loved hiking out of the canyon in the wee hours of the morning.

    4 · May 12, 2013

  • Vicki

    As a beginner backpacker, I wasn't sure what to expect. To find adjectives to describe the Canyon from the rim to it's depths is difficult. Add to that the experience of hiking inside it's beautiful walls and I can tell you, it was the trip of a lifetime. Yes, our leaders Rick and Jill, were attentive, fun and informative and I felt safe the entire time with their guidance. It is a gamble as to who your travel mates are. I could not have picked a more diverse, supportive, interesting and fun-loving group than those that chose that time to explore the grandness of the canyon. I am grieving not being there. Flushing toilets and hot water, technology and menus don't hold a candle to the sheer freedom my soul felt last week. It is a trip that will always be at the top of my travel experiences. Thanks Green Earth and all my trail buddies. We Rock!

    3 · May 13, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      Sparky, you added so much to the trip as our unofficial and elected Trip Director! I'm glad you were there.

      2 · May 13, 2013

  • Douglas Wagoner

    Another great trip to this natural wonder. I'm looking at doing a trip in the fall and several have expressed interest in one form or another and I've added those names to a list. If this trip interests you, please let me know. I will have firm details and dates by June 10.

    1 · May 13, 2013

  • Kris Dunn

    Wonderful trip thanks to all the great people who put this on and participated.

    2 · May 12, 2013

  • Sherri Schleigh

    Argh, since I'm a "+1", I can't officially rate the event. It was clearly a five star event. Rick and Jill are great hike leaders, very generous and I appreciated their flexibility and generous spirit. What a wonderful experience. Thanks to all of you for making this such a special week. See you on the trails....

    3 · May 12, 2013

  • Sherri Schleigh

    I had a wonderful time (mostly...lol). It was a pleasure meeting new hikers and reacquainting with familiar ones. Thanks for an awesome experience!

    2 · May 12, 2013

  • Douglas Wagoner

    Everyone is back safe and sounds. A great trip! Thanks everyone for your participation and contribution to a successful trip.

    May 12, 2013

  • Michele Perez

    This trip sounds fabuous! ...and is on my bucket list. I would love to see photos when you return. I have been restricted lately by back issues but hoping one day I will be able to manage things enough to join you on a future trip.

    May 9, 2013

  • Bob Walker

    Yes, I know we're on vacation and time doesn't matter, but here's some sunrise/sunset information. The GC is on MST all year round. Therefore, there's a 3 hour difference with Louisville (EDT). Sunrise in the GC is approximately 5:30 AM, and sunset is 7:15 PM MST.

    May 2, 2013

  • Bob Walker

    Here's the forecast for the upcoming Grand Canyon adventure.

    South Rim (6,242 FT Above Sea Level):
    SAT: LO 36F (9AM), HI 73F (6-7PM)

    Hermit's Rapids (2,886 FT Above Sea Level):
    SUN: LO 57F (8-9AM), HI 90F (5-6PM)
    MON: LO 56F (9-10AM), HI 88F (6-7PM)
    TUE: LO 57F (9-10AM), HI 85F (6-7PM)
    WED: LO 56F (9-10AM), HI 85F (6-7PM)

    There's no sign of rain for Saturday through Wednesday. The maximum winds will be 15 mph out of the southwest during the late afternoon. I don't have a forecast for beyond Wednesday.

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Vicki, I'm using Crocs, plus they come recommended by others as well....

    May 1, 2013

  • Vicki

    Would Crocs work for camp shoes, or should they be sturdier?

    May 1, 2013

  • Vicki

    My anxiety was somewhat relieved when I viewed some videos on the National Park website about hiking the Canyon. Very informative!

    May 1, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Getting excited but very nervous! Am I the only one who is nervous?

    May 1, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    Came across an interesting blog last night while looking for trail information and thought I would share. The writer has hiked down the Hermit trail and Monument Creek trail. Very well writen and beautiful pictures. www.theblondecoyote.com is the site. Look under the tab "greatest hits" for the Grand Canyon. See you all on Thursday.

    May 1, 2013

  • lynn jenni

    I would love to attend the fall trip!

    1 · April 26, 2013

  • Stephen Kovaka

    Consider bringing a pair of lightweight binoculars - I am. There is a lot to see at long distances in and above the canyon. I will be happy to share mine, but with 11 people others might want to bring their own.

    April 24, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      Prime! Mine (9oz.) came the next day, no extra charge.

      April 25, 2013

    • Carol H

      Couldn't use Prime. Outside vendor.

      April 25, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    I was reviewing the packing list for our trip and noticed that it mentioned bringing unscented Lip balm. Do we also need to bring unscented deodorant or is this not a problem. I was also wondering if a 4 oz. sunscreen be enough or would 8 oz. size be needed.

    April 24, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      Good questions...

      April 24, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Scented items, with the exception of natural scents that repel deter insects in repellents, should be avoided in the backcountry. It is just more stuff that has to go in the food storage. Deodorant wasn't on the list. The amount of sunscreen you need is based on your susceptibility to sunburn, what you plan to wear/exposed skin. More is better as you don't want to run out.

      April 24, 2013

  • Carol H

    Last year, my kids and I were backpacking in the Wind River range, Wyoming to meet up with Michael E and Patricia. We encountered one person on the way in and I knew her. (Talk about a small world!) She's from Maine and teamed up with us for a couple of days in the Teton Wilderness back in 2010. She remembered me as the Coyote Tales Woman. I don't know if you all are familiar with coyote tales, but coyote is famous among Native Americans as a trickster and there are many tales about him, from traditions all over the U.S. Some are pretty ribald. On long backpacking trips, I usually read a coyote tale each night. Hope that's OK for this trip. I'll try to pick tales from the region.

    2 · April 17, 2013

    • Michael E

      The legend of Carol "The Coyote Tales Woman" is told by through hikers, grizzly bears, and sandhill cranes all along the CDT

      1 · April 18, 2013

    • Carol H

      Haha Michael! This group probably won't get to hear the sandhill crane tale. Probably a good thing.

      April 19, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    I know the original departure time is 2pm but wanted to let you know I can leave earlier if the group wants. Also what time should we be there to help load up the equipment. I also Google Mapped the address and it showed Cordon IN, as the city associated with that street address, is that the same location or did I put in something wrong.

    1 · April 18, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      John et al, I'll be sending out a note soon to confirm what availability everyone has regarding the departure time. The earlier the better. Whatever time that is, 30 minutes prior is plenty. Regarding the map, if you in Georgetown as the city, it should show the correct location. There is an identical address in Corydon. I'll send directions with the email.

      April 18, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      I can get there in the AM as well!

      April 18, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    I have a question for Doug or anyone else who has an opion. I have been traing with my backpack doing 6-8 miles and 35 lbs. Is that the best way to train or should I do longer hikes without the pack doing 10+ miles. Also does the B&B have a hot tub to soak all our sore muscles after we climb out.

    1 · April 17, 2013

    • Carol H

      Wow, cabins sound great!

      April 17, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      12 miles? Uh, oh......

      April 18, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Also, who is bringing the boombox?

    NO seriously, does anyone ever bring their i-Pad for this or would I get frowned at for this?

    1 · April 16, 2013

    • Carol H

      I had never heard of them (and, gosh, my first career was archaeology). They look interesting. There is also the Tony Hillerman series, based mostly on the Navaho reservation around Chinle. My favorite of his is The Thief of Time.

      April 18, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      I really like their 3 book series following the DeSoto invasion of Florida and his march thru the south, told from the point of view of the native people. But of course, this is not southwestern in theme.

      April 18, 2013

  • Carol H

    Hope I don't make anyone squeamish, but here's link to a page about women's hygiene on Andrew Skurka's (famous backpacker) website. Since Grand Canyon is dry with lots of UV light, I'm going to try a "pee rag" this year. http://andrewskurka.com/2013/fe...­

    April 17, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Carol, thanks for sharing and good points. We generally go prepared to deal with issues should they occur or if nature gets off schedule, but prevention is the best medicine.

      April 18, 2013

  • Carol H

    I have a couple of questions for Douglas: 1) how bad are mosquitoes in the canyon and 2) will GEO be providing us with any maps? If yes (on the maps), will they be detailed enough for us to use for exploration (on those days that we have time for it)?

    April 16, 2013

    • Tony Shulthise

      I can tell you that the best exploring can be found at your first stop at Hermit's Rest. Head North and you see some really cool rock formations and end up at the river in a couple miles. Head South and you follow a creek up toward the rim as far as you want to go with a lot of cool sights along the way. The only problem is that most people are pretty whipped after the first day of hiking down so its harder to make yourself spend time exploring on Day 2. Its pretty rewarding if you do though. The exploration after we set up camps was 90% of the fun I had in the GC.

      April 16, 2013

    • Carol H

      Thanks, Tony!

      April 16, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    I've tried to hike just about every weekend and carried my pack a couple of times ...

    1 · April 15, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      Do have a sleeping pad? I've still got that Thermarest I promised you.

      1 · April 15, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      Stephen, friend is letting me borrow his....thank you for thinking of me!

      April 16, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Anyone else getting pumped for this???!!!!

    April 14, 2013

    • Carol H

      I was just going to post a similar comment and saw this one. Yes, I'm pumped!!!! And Steven's hiking every weekend and getting stronger? He's going to leave us all in the dust.

      1 · April 16, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      No doubt there'll be plenty of dust to go around . . .

      2 · April 16, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    You bet, it seemed so far away just a few days ago and now its just around the corner. I will be driving in from Dayton, OH via Cincinnati to Lousiville if anyone is along my route let me know maybe we could car pool at least a little way. John

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • Kris Dunn

    I was unable to make the meet and greet because we were out of town for Spring Break. Anything I missed? Any other planned get togethers?

    April 1, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Kris, We just covered the daily itinerary and answered questions. Only about 1/2 the group was there. I'm available to answer questions, etc. and will be in communication via email a couple more times before the trip, but at this time, there are no more plans to get together again as a group.

      April 1, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Hey Doug, is it too late to place some orders for gear tonight?

    March 20, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Not to place an order but too late to bring the gear as I've already left the shop to run other errands. Sorry.

      March 20, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      No problem...

      March 20, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    It is going to be very hard to make this meet and greet tomorrow unless I can bring my son. Is this ok, he's 6???

    March 19, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      OK with me - I'd like to meet him too.

      March 20, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      As long as he doesn't challenge any of us to a drinking game, I'm fine with it :). I'd like to meet him too! There is a patio (inside) area next to the bar we can sit at that kids can be in that will still allow our group some conversation time.

      March 20, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Doug, do you recommend bringing one of those collapsible buckets for washing? Also, what soap is good?

    March 3, 2013

    • Emily Cross

      Teresa, I will need to buy a bucket and soap anyway for other trips I will be making but you are more then welcome to use mine!

      March 16, 2013

    • Stephen Kovaka

      One thing that works well (and is light) is a gallon heavy duty plastic bag. Put your socks, shirt, undies, whatever in the bag, fill with water and a little soap, and squish it around, or even carry it in one of the mesh pockets outside your pack. Works like a washing machine. Rinse out a few times and hang to dry.

      March 20, 2013

  • Ryan Yates

    Will there be another trip plan for this year?

    March 15, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      I may do a fall trip if there is enough interest.

      2 · March 16, 2013

  • Nancy King

    Can't mAke it after all

    March 10, 2013

  • John & Teresa Nichols

    You should have recieved my deposit and completed froms by now if you haven't please let me know. I am looking foward to our trip. Please feel free to post my picture to the attending list.

    March 1, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    So are only 9 going now?

    Also, gear question......it says "travel mug with lid".....what's the reason fro the lid? Just curious, thanks!

    February 13, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Any non breakable camping cup is fine. I like lids to keep things warm longer and good for saving leftovers from breakfast to eat on the trail later. Use whatever works for you.

      February 13, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    Oops, looks like 10...;)

    February 13, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Our plan is to still go with 11. Some others are interested outside of the LHM group. I'll update everyone soon on the roster.

      February 13, 2013

  • Emily Cross

    I was curious if everyone going knows one another? I haven't met anyone yet.

    January 18, 2013

    • Erin Aghamehdi

      I also didn't know anyone on the Grand Canyon trip, still had a fantastic time! Trust me, when you spend 20+ hours in a van riding with everyone, you'll get to know each other pretty quickly ;)

      1 · January 20, 2013

    • Denise

      that is the truth!

      January 30, 2013

  • Carol Miles

    Just a suggestion, not sure if it could work. For trips like this with high demand and limited space, could you offer a lottery? For example, after a week, 11 names would be drawn from those interested, etc. Would give folks more time to consider the commitment and at least a chance of getting to go. I dunno? This filled up so fast! Hope you all have an awesome trip!

    January 25, 2013

    • Douglas Wagoner

      Carol, Thanks for your comment/suggestion. I've offer this trip since 2009 and it has always filled up, but only partially with Meetup members. The fact that it filled quickly this time was suprising, but it is easy for people to just say Yes to attending, as some did without fully committing or even seeing if they could attend the trip with work/family, and then coming back later and dropping out. It only allows for people to pay a deposit upon RSVP through Meetups Paypal account and that has many limitations. In the past I would not allow RSVP's but manually add people once I knew they were committed and paid a deposit, but that too has limitations. Doing a lottery is a good suggestion, but I wouldn't be sure how to mitigate the same issues above of people entering and ultimately being selected, but then not fully committing, without collecting a deposit to be part of the lottery, and then having to refund it for those who aren't selected, which can get messy.

      January 26, 2013

11 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Backpacking-Grand Canyon National Park

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 30 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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