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South Bass Trail


Adventure Details

Welcome to the Grand Canyon South Bass backpacking page! 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.

South Bass Trail


The South Bass trail is a remote and historic trail in Grand Canyon National Park that cuts from the South Rim of Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and lies about 25 miles (40.2 km) west of Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel Trail. This tour features Native American ruins, remains of old tourist camps and amazing views of the inner canyon in an area that few people reach when they visit the park. This is also a great way to get to camp on one of the many beaches of the Colorado River at the bottom of Grand Canyon with out seeing other hikers, or anyone for that matter - maybe a river trip or two.

Just want a 3 day adventure? Simply take off the first day of camping in the rim and plan to start the trek to the river the same day we drive to the trail head.

*Route Variation - Our specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability.

Looking for some other options similar to this trip? Check out the South Bass Packrafting 5 Day or the Hermit 3 Day trips.

Need more information about the trails? Click here for the official South Bass Trail description from Grand Canyon National Park.

Day 1

We will meet you at the hotel, drive to the canyon, and then along dirt roads in the park until we reach the South Bass Trailhead. The drive is 6 hours from Phoenix and about 3.5 hours from Flagstaff. Once at the trailhead, we set up camp for the night and explore the remains of William Wallace Bass's 100-year-old camp on the rim. If time allows, we head over to Ruby Point in the afternoon to soak in the view from one of the most scenic points on the rim. 

Day 2

Today we start our descent down the South Bass Trail. This trail is steep in sections but absolutely flat for about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) along the Esplanade, which is a high plateau in the canyon. The hike to the Colorado River is 8 miles (12.9 km) with a drop in elevation of 4,440 ft (1,353m). On this night we will camp on the south-side beach of the Colorado River along Bass Rapids.

Day 3

Today we start our hike out of the canyon along the South Bass Trail to our next camp at the Esplanade. The distance from the river to camp is about 5 miles (8km) with a 3,150 ft. (960m) elevation gain. Total hiking time is about 4 to 5 hours. Once on the Esplanade, we take a cross country, off trail hike on the plateau out toward Spencer Terrace for some incredible views of the inner canyon. This is one of the few places you can hike off trail with relative ease.

Day 4

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. It usually takes about two hours to hike out from here. Once at the top, we will head to Grand Canyon Village for souvenir shopping and lunch before heading back to the hotel to complete your journey. 


Share your experience!    Review this trip


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!

Greg Valchar



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!:)

Katie T.



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

3 Day


Early Booking Price (5+ months booked in advance)


Best to book 5+ months in advance.

4 Day


Early Booking Price (5+ months booked in advance)


Best to book 5+ months in advance.

What's included?

  • Round trip transportation from Fairfield Inn Scottsdale North (Phoenix area). 
  • All permits, fees and taxes. 
  • All food while on the trail prepared on the trail by your guide.
  • Double occupancy tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, trekking poles. A single tent is available for an additional $50.
  • A certified, medically trained guide that will lead you safely on your journey.
  • An unforgettable experience!

Our prices do not include guide gratuity (15% to 20% of the tour price is recommended).

Booking and Cancellation Policies
A deposit of 50% of the total trip price is due upon the booking of a trip. The balance is due no later than 60 days before the date of departure and will be charged to the card on file unless otherwise specified. If you decide to cancel your trip for any reason, the following fees apply and are due to Just Roughin' It at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation. 

More than 120 days                                                                25% of trip cost
120 to 61 days                                                                          50% of trip cost
60 days or less                                                                        100% of trip cost

Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company recommends you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment! Now more than ever it is important to think about the unexpected. Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and much more… Click here for a quote from TravelEx Insurance Company.


Upcoming Trip Schedule

Select a date below to get started.

The below dates are not necessarily set in stone, so if there are dates that work better for you, send us an email and we'll see what we can do about setting up a different trip date for you! Please note that dates listed below that are 4+ months in advance of your trip date are not guaranteed until permits are released by the park service, BLM, etc. It is best to not make additional travel arrangements, i.e. flights, until we have confirmed your dates. Yep, this is for real!

Number of DaysDatesPrice/person
4 daysSep 17,2017 - Sep 20,2017$1125Check Availability / More Info
4 daysSep 23,2017 - Sep 26,2017$1125Check Availability / More Info
4 daysSep 29,2017 - Oct 2,2017$1125Book Now / More Info
4 daysOct 14,2017 - Oct 17,2017$1125Check Availability / More Info
4 daysNov 4,2017 - Nov 7,2017$1125Check Availability / More Info
4 daysNov 9,2017 - Nov 12,2017$1125Book Now / More Info
4 daysApr 8,2018 - Apr 11,2018$1068Book Now / More Info
4 daysApr 11,2018 - Apr 14,2018$1068Book Now / More Info
3 daysApr 26,2018 - Apr 28,2018$878Book Now / More Info
4 daysMay 3,2018 - May 6,2018$1068Book Now / More Info

Not seeing the dates you want? Send us an email and we'll see what we can do. Please note that dates listed above that are 4+ months in advance of your trip date are not guaranteed until permits are released by the park service, BLM, etc. It is best to not make additional travel arrangements, i.e. flights, until we have confirmed your dates. Yep, this is for real!


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