South Bass Trail Packraftingprint
The North and South Bass trails are about 25 miles west of the main trails in a little used section of the park. Just Roughin’ It has a backpacking trip in Grand Canyon to get you to these remote trails that are typically only assessable to river rafters. In order to get to the trailhead, the group will travel along dirt roads for about 2 hours. This route features one night of camping on the South 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 tour features the amazing views that the canyon is famous for.
This route is only achieved by paddling across the Colorado River in a pack raft. In addition to the regular backpacking gear, each member of the group is outfitted with his or her own raft, paddle, and life vest. This route 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.
*Route Variation - The specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability.
Need some help planning your trip? With our outfitting services for your Grand Canyon backpacking trip, your experience will be more enjoyable as we will do the footwork for you. Click here for more information about JRI's outfitting services.
To get to the South Bass trailhead, you will need an off-road vehicle. Part of the drive is along 35 miles of dirt road for some 4x4 fun! Once at the trailhead, 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, head over to Ruby Point in the afternoon to soak in the view from one of the most scenic points on the rim.
Today you start the descent down the South Bass Trail. This trail is steep in sections but relatively 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) long with a drop in elevation of 4,440 ft (1,353 m). On this night the group will camp on the south side beach of the Colorado River along Bass Rapids.
After breakfast, inflate the rafts you carried down to the river to paddle across the river to pick up the North Bass Trail. Once you reach the north side of the river, take a hike along the North Bass trail for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) until reaching Shinumo Creek.
Today you will begin your ascent back up South Bass trail; first by hiking back to the river-1.5 miles (2.4 km) - where you paddle back across the Colorado River and hike to set up camp on the Esplanade. Distance from the river to camp is about 5 miles (8 km) with a 3,150-ft (960 m) elevation gain. Total hiking time is about 6 hours with additional time needed for paddling across the river. Once on the Esplanade, hike off trail for some incredible views of the inner c
On this day, there is a short 2.8-mile (4.5 km) hike back to the rim with a 1,250-ft (380 m) elevation gain. It usually takes about two hours to hike out from here. About half way to the top, you will pass by ancient Native American ruins that are tucked away just yards off of the trail.
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 refueling. 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!
Trip Cost Per Person
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- 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.
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