Thanksgiving 7 Day Backpacking Trip to Grand Canyon

I am planning to continue the Grand Canyon over Thanksgiving backpack tradition.  PLEASE NOTE:  THIS MEANS THAT THE TRIP WILL BE OCCURING OVER THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!  There will be costs associated with the trip, including the cost for the backcountry permit and for rooms on the rim which totals $115.00.  There is an additional cost if you want to eat dinner one evening at Phantom Ranch (this is optional & subject to availability).  There is also a $25 entry fee for the park which is payable to the Park Service when you arrive.

Bob F's Note - Jim's an avid Grand Canyon hiker and has logged thousands of miles in the Canyon during numerous backpacking trips.  He's also been organizing a Thanksgiving trip there for quite a few years now.  Over the course of the year he receives requests from people (including people who aren't members of our group) to be included on his next trip.  So this trip consists of members & non-members and is already nearly filled.  With that said, there are a few spots available and we'd like to see who is interested.  Here are the guidelines:

1.  You must be in good enough shape to complete this hike!  While this is one of the easier Canyon hikes it is still difficult because of the elevation loss and gain.

2.  You must be able to provide proof that you're physically able to complete this hike.  This can be done in a number of ways including having gone on a previous backpacking trip with our group or to some extent a tough hike with the hiking group or one of the other meetup groups.

3.  You must be willing to pay the $115 within one week of being notified there's a space available for you on this trip.  Once this is paid it is not refundable unless the spot is refilled and you make arrangements with that person to pay you the $115 you've already paid.

4.  If you are able to meet these requirements then please add yourself to the waiting list.  We will contact everyone by October 1 at the latest letting you know if there's a spot available.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us.  This waiver covers all trips and activities with our group so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "More/Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "Pages" section.

Trip Dates: November 26 (Tuesday) thru December 2 (Monday)*Please note:  If needed you could return home on December 1 (Sunday) but this would involve driving home on the same day that you hiked out of the Canyon

Drive Time to South Rim Lodging on Tuesday: 7 hours from ABQ

Lodging:  Shared rooms at Maswik Lodge

Directions to Lodging:  Will be posted well in advance of the trip 

Trip Rating:  Difficult  *If you have knee problems this is not the trip for you

Trip Description & Trail Lengths:

Tues, Nov 26 - Arrive at Canyon and stay overnight in Maswik Lodge 

Wed, Nov 27 - Early start down the South Kaibab trail to Bright Angel campground (6.8 miles - 4,780 ft elevation loss)

Thurs, Nov 28 - Leave Bright Angel campground, hike the North Kaibab trail to Cottonwood camp (7 miles - 1,680 ft elevation gain)

Fri, Nov 29 - Stay at Cottonwood camp - dayhiking

Sat, Nov 30 - Hike back to Bright Angel camp along the North Kaibab trail (7 miles - 1,680 ft elevation loss)

Sun, Dec 1 - Leave Bright Angel camp and hike out of the Canyon via the Bright Angel trail (9.3 miles - 4,380 elevation gain) *Stay overnight in Maswik Lodge

Mon, Dec 2 - Leave for home

Total Miles (excluding day hikes):  30.1 miles

Total Elevation Gain & Loss (excluding day hikes):  12,520 ft 

Elevation Range: 7,260 ft to 2,400 ft

Expected Temps: 

South Rim - around 50 high/upper 20's low                     

Bright Angel Camp - Upper 60's high/40's low

Cottonwood Camp - 50's high/30's low

*These temps are averages and can vary widely if a front moves through.  We will update these just before the trip when we have a better forecast.

No Dogs Allowed

Contact Jim or Bob F with any questions

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  • Jim

    Another great time at the Canyon over Thanksgiving! Really enjoyed everyone on the trip, both return hikers and new ones. Thanksgiving dinner was incredible! And, we ended up dropping off about 2 boxes of food to the Grand Canyon food pantry!

    December 11, 2013

  • Bob F

    Great trip, people and weather!

    1 · December 5, 2013

  • Bob F

    Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in our Grand Canyon trip and I wish we had enough spots for all of you. The trip is now filled with our permit limit. Sorry I couldn't send out a group email to all of you but Meetup doesn't give us that option any longer. We do a trip here every Thanksgiving so if you didn't get in this time there's another opportunity next year!

    October 14, 2013

  • Mark

    My brother (my +1) is hoping to fly into Flagstaff from Seattle. Can anyone driving through Flagstaff (everyone from ABQ) pick him up at the airport?

    October 8, 2013

    • Bob F

      Looks like we'll be heading through Flag around 1 pm on Tuesday. Would that work. Although we haven't exactly figured out the car pooling situation yet.

      October 8, 2013

  • Bob F

    Just wanted to update and let everyone know we're close to working through the waiting list and having this trip filled by next Monday or Tuesday. But, if we haven't contacted you yet there's still a possibility we will between now and then. Wish we had room for everyone!

    September 25, 2013

  • Ladybug

    Ok, will wait to hear. Fyi, I've been all over the trails u planned both backpacking and running top to bottom r/t. Very lovely and my favorite for thanksgiving (even stayed for the phantom ranch thanksgiving meal 1 yr).

    September 25, 2013

  • Bob F

    Ladybug, I sent you an email.

    September 25, 2013

  • Ladybug

    I received two separate emails tonight, one saying i'm on the waiting list and one saying i'm confirmed for this trip. Which one is correct?

    September 24, 2013

  • Lynn

    I really want in on this hike. This is the hike that I've been wanting to do all year. Well for five years now! In June, I hiked/camped the Virgin Narrows. I also was camping and hiking at different locations in NM and Co throughout Summer. I also just completed the Imogene Pass run in Quray (5000 ft of elevation gain). Please consider me if a slot opens up. Thanks!

    September 17, 2013

  • Tory

    How did Bob already get signed-up when RSVPs aren't open yet?? I want in too. :)

    August 11, 2013

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