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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Packrafting

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Adventure Details

Welcome to the Grand Canyon Bass Rim to Rim packrafting page! All the information you desire can be found amongst these pages.  All the information you desire can be found amongst these pages.  Simply click on the black tabs below to access all the information you need, i.e. pricing. Need more? Give us a call at 877-399-2477 or send us an email

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Packrafting

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The North and South Bass trails are about 25 miles west of the main trails in a little used section of the park. The Bass trails were the first used in Grand Canyon for tourism and the Bass Rim to Rim route is the original Rim to Rim route in the canyon. In order to get to the trailhead, you will need an off-road vehicle that can get you to the trailhead.  Expect to be driving on dirt roads for about 2 hours. This it allows for one night of camping on the North Rim before entering the canyon on the second day and one night of camping on the Colorado River at one of the major rapids in the canyon. Of course this itinerary features the amazing views that the canyon is famous for.

As featured in Outside Magazine, the Grand Canyon Bass Rim to Rim backpacking trip is an original type of Grand Canyon adventure. On this itineray, you will follow a Rim to Rim route that can only be achieved by paddling across the Colorado River in a pack raft. In addition to the regular backpacking gear, we outfit each member of the group with his or her own inflatable Alpacka raft, paddle and life vest that will be our transport across the Colorado River. The tour features Native American ruins, remains of old tourist camps, one of the cabins once visited by President Theodore Roosevelt and amazing views of the inner canyon in an area that few people reach when they visit the park. Need your trip outfitted? Click here for more information about JRI's outfitting services.

A version of this trip was also recently featured in the Chicago Tribune May 29, 2012.  Check out the article and the video for some great detail and visuals of what you will get to experience with this trip. They didn't carry packrafts so had to wait for someone to get them across!

*Route Variation - your specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability. This route requires a shuttle so you will need to be able to find some one to drop you off and pick you up.  There are no commercial shuttle companies that have regular service to either of these trailheads.

Need more information about the trails? Click the below links for the official North Bass and South Bass Trail descriptions from Grand Canyon National Park.
North Bass Trail

South Bass Trail

Day 1

It is best to spend the day driving as it is a long drive from Phoenix. Plus you have a couple hours of off-road driving until you reach the North Bass Trailhead. The drive is 7.5 hours from Phoenix-Metro and about 5.5 hours from Flagstaff. Once at the trailhead, you can camp the night on the rim and explore the area along the North Rim at Swamp Point. Swamp Point is a National Park designated camping area and must be reserved as part of your backpacking permit.

Day 2-4

Start your descent down the North Bass Trail. This is a steep and narrow trail, so the going is slow. There are three days to reach the river so there is no rush. The North Bass Trail is 13.5 miles (21.7km) long from the Rim to the River with a drop in elevation of 5,300 ft (1615.4m). The journey to the river takes the group past Teddy’s Cabin; along White and Shinumo Creeks, before reaching the beach campsites along the Colorado River downstream from Bass Rapids.

Day 5

If you haven't yet, today is the day to cross to the south side of the Colorado River via inflatable packrafts! And then begins he hike out of the canyon along South Bass Trail to the camp at the Esplanade. The distance from the river to the Esplanade is about 5 miles (8km) with a 3,150 ft (960m) elevation gain. Hiking time is about 4 to 5 hours and the group may spend some time hiking off-trail if time allows.

Day 6

On this day, there is a short 2.8 mile (4.5km) hike back to the top with a 1,250 ft. (380m) elevation gain. About half way to the top, you will pass by ancient Native American ruins that are tucked away up in the cliffs just yards off the trail. Once at the top, the you will have to travel along a 25 mile dirt road with some 4-wheel drive excitement as you drive back to Grand Canyon Village.


Reviews

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Rating   

Did the Rim to Rim Bass Trail Packrafting trip the last week of September 2017. Fantastic trip.

The Park Service gave a permit for the South Rim to North Rim route. We descended to the river the first day and had an extra night there lounging on the side of the Colorado River. Didn't see another soul on the trail.

We inflated the rafts and paddled across in the morning. That was really fun. Quite unique to hike down and paddle your own raft on the river.

The hike up to the north rim was just great. The North Bass is more primitive: there were sections where there was no trail, just stream beds or bushwhacking. Good places to have a great guide. We were able to do the slot canyon option which was spectacular. The last day up to the North Rim was long and hot, but the views were non-stop fantastic.

Highly recommend JRI. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and food was great. Equipment they provided was top notch. This trip is not for civilian hikers, but a must do to see the Grand Canyon south to north, top to bottom (and in the river) without anyone else on the trail.

Paul

Paul Kremer


10/13/17

Rating   

This was my first and only adventure into the canyon (so far) and I had the privilege of being on the maiden voyage of this trip. Nothing about this trip was short of amazing! If you're looking for an area of the canyon where you won't run into a ton of people, this is the trip. We saw about 8 people on the trail and one set of rafters over the 6 day trip. And it's always fun to tell people that I carried my own personal raft 20 some miles to cross the Colorado River. Our guide was amazing too! From his knowledge of the canyon to his great personality and cooking skills... he's good at what he does. Trip of a lifetime!

Sara


10/10/14

Rating   

This was my first and only adventure into the canyon (so far) and I had the privilege of being on the maiden voyage of this trip. Nothing about this trip was short of amazing! If you're looking for an area of the canyon where you won't run into a ton of people, this is the trip. We saw about 8 people on the trail and one set of rafters over the 6 day trip. And it's always fun to tell people that I carried my own personal raft 20 some miles to cross the Colorado River. Our guide was amazing too! From his knowledge of the canyon to his great personality and cooking skills... he's good at what he does. Trip of a lifetime!

Sara


07/11/13


ItineraryPricing

Trip Cost Per Person
Choose a price to find your trip dates!

5 Day

$438

seff guided

6 Day

$525

self guided

What's included?

Click here for complete information about our outfitting services.

 

 

 

  • 65-75 liter multi-day backpack
  • 2 person ultralight backpacking tent (1 tent per 2 people)
  • Sleeping bag appropriate for the season you are hiking (20 F to 45 F synthetic bag)
  • Therm-A-Rest Z-lite backpacking mat
  • 1 pair trekking poles
  • 1 backpacking stove and fuel (1 stove per 2 people)
  • Backpacking meals (dinner and breakfast)
  • Trip planning and logistics assistance

*Please note - Just Roughin' It is not a guide service for Grand Canyon National Park.  Just Roughin' It is providing trip planning and outfitting service and will not be physically present during your hike. Hikers are required to know their fitness abilities and limitations on any backpacking route they choose to apply for directly from Grand Canyon National Park.  Hikers will be required to sign a waiver when picking up the outfitter package.

Travel Protection

Now’s the time to consider purchasing a travel protection plan to help protect your trip investment. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0152.

Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 W20

 


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"My favorite hike is the Red Peak Pass in Yosemite. High mountain lakes, wide open meadows and the highest pass in Yosemite National Park - so views are endless. Best part is there are so few people to encounter - no 300 person line attempting the ascent up Half Dome! "
Kyle Sherman
5 years experience
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Email:info@justroughinit.com
Local:480-857-2477
Toll Free:877-399-2477