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South Bass

South Bass Grand Canyon hiking trips "There was no where to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars." - Jack Kerouac

Grand Canyon: South Bass Backpacking Trips


Grand Canyon South Bass Trail

Seclusion and beauty at its best. South Bass trail is a 16-mile, out-and-back hike and is one of the Grand Canyon's best kept secrets.

Imagine standing 1,000 feet below the rim of Grand Canyon and hearing nothing more than yourself breathing.  That is what you will experience on the South Bass Trail.  After driving 20 miles along a four-wheel-drive road, the South Bass trek begins at one of the first commercial trails ever constructed in the Grand Canyon. Now all but abandoned, the South Bass trail will allow you to experience hundreds of years of history from the Anasazi ruins of 1040 A.D. to the camp of William Wallace Bass, one of the early members of the Grand Canyon tourist trade from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  This South Bass trail is in great shape for a trail over 100 years old and that sees very little foot traffic.  The best part -  it will take you to some of the most peaceful places in the canyon where even the wind bareley makes a sound.

Aside from the South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop trip, this is the only other trip that easily allows you a night's stay by camping in the bottom of the Grand Canyon by the Colorado River.  Even better though, you will get to spend it on Bass Beach.  While there, we will explore many of the ruins of Bass's camp and the Ross Wheeler, a boat abandoned in 1915. 

We can camp on the banks of the Colorado River where we may encounter river rafters on a one-night stop. If you don't feel like carrying a backpack to the bottom, we can stay the night on the Esplanade and day hike to the Colorado River with a three-day trip. The hike to the Esplanade is 1.7 miles with a 1,246 foot drop in elevation.  Note: the Esplanade is a dry camp (no water) so you may be required to carry additional water for caching.

If you are looking for more adventure, inquire about our South Bass Packrafting Trips!

Number of days: 2 - 3

Mileage: 15.6 miles / 25 km

Elevation Gain/Loss: 4,396 ft / 1,340 m

3 Day Itinerary and Trip Details
4 Day Itinerary and Trip Details
5 Day Packraft Itinerary and Trip Details

Trip Ratings

  • Difficulty 6
  • OH @#%&! 6
  • Solitude 10

Trip Cost/Person

3 days 4 days Packraft
From Phoenix $875 $1075 $1375
From Flagstaff $825 $1025 $1325

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Trip Ratings - Have you been on this trip? Write a Review

Rating: 54321

Our South Bass Trail Packraft trip was outstanding. Our group (4 people total) had an excellent guide who was very knowledgeable about the land, the rocks, the plants and the "living dirt"! He provided us with daily nourishment for our hiking and refueiling. And he provided French-pressed coffee every morning to our delight. The equipment that Just Roughin' It provides is top of the line. No injuries, bruises or blisters from the JRI equipment. This was an experience of a lifetime for me. I had never hiked or camped inside the Canyon before and this was very rewarding for me. I went with my son and we both had a great time and took hundreds of pictures. Would I use JRI again? Absolutely!

By Greg Valchar on 2013-05-08

Rating: 54321

Ever since I got back I have not stopped talking about how great the trip was! Just Roughin' It was a perfect set up for a couple of college students. It was so nice to be picked up & dropped off from our hotel, food was MUCH better than I expected, and our tour guide was amazing. I actually miss her...she was the nicest person I have ever met & she had so much knowledge about the canyon. Our trip could not have been any more perfect. The ONLY thing I could complain about was when I had an allergy scare, the only medicine available was expired...but luckily I was okay! Like I said...BEST TRIP EVER! & and we are already talking about doing another trip with Just Roughin' It when we are able to pay for it again!:)

By Katie T. on 2012-11-23

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