FAQs

logo-print
Local:480-857-2477
Toll Free:877-399-2477

Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions - we've got answers! And make sure you read ALL of these. We don't want you to give us your hard earned money until you know exactly what you are getting into. For example - yes this happens A LOT - please don't contact us 2 weeks before your backpacking trip and ask if you have to carry your backpack. Our answer will be, "well, it won't carry itself."


While the popularity of certain trails vary from location to location and season to season, our guides have the knowledge and experience to give you a little "you" time on any adventure. Please inquire if you are looking for popularity or seclusion.  Also see each trip description for the "Solitude" rating.

The majority of our trips are wilderness backpacking trips. Do not expect there to be any bathrooms or toilet facilties on any trip other than a 6 in. deep cathole behind a bush or rock (dug by you and your trusty shovel). If there are facilities, sometimes a cathole is, well, cleaner. On your trip, expect there to be no facilities and if there are, what a great surprise that will be! As for showers...there are barely toilets, showers only occur if it is raining!  

We can make any trip private but there is an additional fee equivalent to all spaces available for sale to other hikers.  Having a pre-arranged group of friends or family does not guarantee you a private trip.  While the majority of our trips are 5 people for Grand Canyon and 6 for Yosemite, we do reserve the right to extend group sizes to the maximum allowable for each location we offer trips.  This is 9 people to 2 guides at Grand Canyon and 13 guests to 2 guides in Yosemite.

You can, but ask yourself if you should. There are numerous obstacles that can interfere with you catching your flght on time - variable hiking speeds, weather, trail conditions, rush hour traffic, road closures, traffic accidents, a tire blowout, an alien invasion and the multitude of other things out of our and your control. If you choose to fly out the same day as your hike concludes, be aware that JRI is not responsible for any expenses incurred for missed flights, change fees, cancellation fees, etc. Oh, and not to mention the undue stress this can cause yourself, the guide and other guests knowing that any delay on the trail could result in you missing your flight. It is best to save your travel for the next day to ensure the trip is enjoyable for you and your hiking companions.

If you do not see an itinerary or dates you are looking for on our calendar, we can customize a trip for you.  Any customization of a trip - route, pick up times and location, itinerary, etc. - may be subject to additional fees.

Nope.  Our philosophy is there is more personal gratification in finishing your hike by yourself - no support except what moral support your get from your guide, the JRI staff and your fellow hikers.  Not to mention your own drive to accomplish something so few can, or want to! 

Yes, if there are spaces available on one of the backpacking trips, you are more than welcome to join. Check out our trip calendar page to find out what trips are already scheduled or contact us about what trips may be available for you to join. If you are looking to join a day adventure of any type, these are all private and we have pricing available for solo travelers.

No, there is no requirement put forth by the National Park Service, National Forest Service, BLM, etc that requires a adventure traveler to hire a guide.  Hiring a guide is solely your choice and is a service available to anyone looking for more than just following a map or a guide book.  See "Why do I need a guide service."

Absolutely!  And you also need to train.  Would you run a marathon without training first?  I should hope not.  If you are not sure if you are in shape for one of our trips, please be sure to do your research, contact us and be ready to train!  We also have plenty of exercise and training tips found on our website.

We can accommodate special diets to an extent. Many meals are pre-packaged to make the load lighter for everyone and easier to prepare on the trail.  Try cooking dinner for a group of six on a single burner stove out of 1-2 pots - it ain't easy!  Vegetarian is relatively easy, but we do recommend bringing something you like that offers the proteins you need as we know being vegetarian does not equal liking tofu. Gluten Free (we are referring to those with celiac disease, not those choosing to eat gluten free) and lactose intolerance is doable but we do ask you provide your own snacks and maybe some extra snacks just in case there is something we missed.  Having a menu that is 100% Vegan is not so easy so we do ask you to bring additional food items in the event there is something we are serving that does not meet your standard. Raw diets are not possible and high protein/low carb (like the Paleo diet) is not something that is sustainable for the amount of energy necessary for the challenging nature of our trips.  For any other allergies, please contact us and we can talk through the menu and see what is possible.  No matter the dietary issue, just know we cannot force the entire group to change their diet as well, but we will try our best to work with you.

We do charge additional fees for the following...

  • Luggage storage. Hotels we recommend can store your additional luggage while you're away. If you require us to store any luggage other than that which you are using for the backpacking trip, there is a $25/bag fee.
  • Different locations for pick ups and drop offs (when transportation is included). If you are requesting to be dropped of at the end of your trip at a different location than where you were picked up, there is a $50-$100/person fee. We charge this fee because of the extra luggage handling, paperwork and logistics involved.
  • Single supplement. All our trips are based on double occupancy. However, we do not force double occupancy for guests of different genders that are not together on the trip. You may also automatically get a single tent since many of our trips have an "odd man out." However, if neither of these apply to you and you request a single tent, the fee is $50.
  • Shipping fees. Please do not leave your items behind! Make sure you have removed all your items from the packs and vehicle before you leave. Anything we have to ship back will incur a minimum of $20 for shipping and handling.
  • Late fees. It is essential we have all your registration and waivers turned into us no later than 30 days after receipt of your registration form that will be sent via email (or upon receipt when booking less than 30 days prior). If your forms are not received within this time frame, you may be charged a late fee or your trip may be forfeited without any refunds of monies already paid.

We offer a 5% early booking discount on any Grand Canyon National Park backpacking trip when you book 5+ months in advance of your requested trip date. And, if you are a repeat multiday trip guest, you receive 10% off any multiday trip (excluding Havasupai trips) for life! All our trips are full pakages so we do not offer dicsounts for unused portions of the trip, i.e. providing your own transportation or gear. That's kind of like asking a hotel for a discount because you brought your own bed and won't ge using their shower. Pretty sure they would say 'nope'.

We can arrange to pick you up in Flagstaff.  But why do you want to be picked up in Flagstaff? The major airports are in Phoenix and Mesa, and Arizona is not an easy state to get around.  Thus, you are having to drive yourself 2.5 hours just to get to Flagstaff for what, some extra time sleeping in? Well, you will need it after renting a car and driving yourself up north 2.5 hours (150 miles) or riding in a shuttle at a scheduled time that may not be convenient for you, with extra travel time for numerous stops.  You just flew cross country so why now drive across state to be at an orientation in Flagstaff?  Just fly into Phoenix, get to the Fairfield Inn Scottsdale North and let us take care of the rest!  Plus, you get to come to the trip orientation at 5pm the day before your hike at our Pro Shop by staying in Scottsdale - an event not to be missed.  Just sayin'.

Some of the best restaurants and resorts in the state and Southwest are in Scottsdale. You can see mountains and pine trees anywhere - the sites to be seen and hiking in the Sonoran Desert cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.

Just Roughin' It reserves the right to reroute or cancel all or a portion of a trip for any reason - which does not happen often and if it does it is for a very good reason, like for your safety, permit availability or lack of participation.  In the event of such cancelation, full or partial refunds, if any, will be at Just Roughin' It's sole discretion.  Just Roughin' It is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip (including non-refundable air tickets, visa fees, gear or medical expenses, etc.).

For most of our trips, we advise that you plan your hiking or backpacking trip at least five months in advance because many areas we offer trips require permits, which are limited, go on sale 4-6 months prior to your trip date and will sell out the first day of sale.   You also want to ensure we have space for your trip on our calendar.  However, if you cannot plan your trip that far in advance, there are many occasions where we do have spaces left for certain trips and dates so we will try to accommodate your requests the best we can.  Also, if you do not see a trip or dates on our calendar that you are looking for, give us a call and we will try to find something that will work for you. 

Do remember, planning in advance also allows you time to train for your trip.

Phoenix area day hikes, SUP trips and kayaking trips can be scheduled with at least 48 hrs noticed depending upon availability.

The drive time from the Phoenix/North Scottsdale area to Grand Canyon South Rim is about 4 hours and 6.5 hours to Grand Canyon North Rim (for most trips, but drive times can vary depending on your starting trailhead). If you are meeting us in Flagstaff, the drive time is 1.5 and 4 hours respectively. The drive time difference between Phoenix/North Scottsdale and Flagstaff is nothing compared to all the logistical planning and costs to get to Flagstaff from Phoenix just to save a couple hours of driving.

We have been kickin' around since 2006 - with our start in Grand Canyon and the Superstition Wilderness and now offering locations such as Yosemite and Olympic but also activities like rock climbing and kayaking.  We have guided hundreds of backpacking tours and well over one thousand tours combined and thousands of guests on any given trip (not all at once of course.)

Tips are generally around 15%-20% of the price of your trip. Please tip your guide what you believe to be appropriate.

If you are on a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim trip, you will have a driver to and from Grand Canyon. Your driver may not be the same for your drop off and pick up. Your driver does a lot to keep you safe on the road so a tip is suggested for them as well.  But you don't have to tip over and above the tip for the guide. Simply take a bit of the planned tip - $5-$10 per driver.  You are not taking from the mouth or your guide since the price of the overall trip is higher since there are drivers.  Hope that makes sense:)

Depending on the number of days you will be on the trail and type of trip - you can expect to carry 25 - 45 pounds. We can give you tips on how to pack lightly and efficiently. If you are on a three day hiking trip in Grand Canyon, expect to carry less than if you are on a 7 day hiking trip in Yosemite. Additionally, some trips do have dry camps and will require you to carry additional water.

It is a general rule that the guide carries most food, cooking supplies, and a group first aid kit (but we ask you to please bring your own personal kit as well). However, we do ask each guest to carry 2-3 lbs of food on the first day to lessen the guide's already 70-80 lb load. You are required to carry all the gear we supply (tent - double occupancy, sleeping bag, sleep sheet, mat, snacks and water) and all your personal gear. If on a Yosemite trip, you will also be carrying a bear canister for the food.

People from 7 to 82 years old have gone on one of our trips.  Age doesn't matter as much as your fitness level, so any age can go as long as the requested trip meets your physical ability. Contact us so we can help you plan the right backpacking trip for you and your group. 

Please never book a trip for yourself or anyone else if you are not physically able to complete the trip. There is a TON of information out there about hiking, trails, conditions, climate, difficulty, etc. every location we offer hikes. And not just on our site but all over the internet.  You are an adult and you need to do your research to ensure you are picking the trip that you feel most comfortable with based on your mental and physical capabilities. Once you book, due to permitting issues or because other people are booked on the trip, we cannot start changing itineraries. Be absolutely certain what you book works for you, your group is 100% aware of what they are going to be doing (please have them contact us as well), and be prepared to train. No joke, we have had guests book their friends and their friends showed up shocked and in awe they had to carry their own gear!

This is not really a FAQ but it only takes one time for someone to go on one of our trips and tell us they should have been told this bit of information.  So here goes...No! You must be physically and mentally capable to complete any trip you sign up for.  While things happen, i.e. sprained ankles, blisters, soreness, fatigue, etc. - if you can walk, the National Park Service does expect our guests to self evacuate - especially being that you are on a guided trip.  A helicopter ride means you are likely unconscious, have a rectal temperature of 106 degrees or have encountered Annie Wilkes on the trail. For those of you unfamiliar - Google "Misery hobbling." Oh, and no joke, we once had a guest - after barely making it to the bottom of the canyon - ask if he could call his brother to pick him up instead of hike out.  He thought there was a road to the bottom of the canyon.

Yes. We have received permits and authorization for each hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and paddling tour location as required by the National Parks, Forest Services and the Bureau of Land Management.  Before choosing a guide company, we highly recommend you check if it is authorized to guide in the area you wish to hike.  See below for contact information.  In addition, all of our expert guides have a Wilderness First Responder certification, which means they are trained to respond to emergency situations in remote settings.

Grand Canyon National Park 
Paria Canyon AZ
- Aravaipa Canyon
- Yosemite National Park
- Olympic National Park
- Tonto National Forest
- Joshua Tree National Park
- McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Unfortunately, life doesn't stop because you booked yourself the adventure of a lifetime.  Just Roughin' It cannot issue refunds for any reason outside our published refund policy.  Travel insurance helps protect against last minute cancellation, trip interruption, and to cover medical treatment or emergency medical evacuation during your trip.  We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance in advance of your trip.

Everyone on a Just Roughin' It trip is with fellow travelers that are active, enjoy the outdoors and love a challenge - whether physical or mental. We encourage you to carefully review all the trip information and ask questions before booking to ensure that the trip you choose is right for you both physically and mentally. Keep in mind that all travelers have different goals, perspectives, experiences, and abilities but because you are choosing to be on a group tour (unless you booked a private trip), we do remain as a group - we are in this together! We ask that everyone respects everyone's conditions and needs throughout the trip. We want everyone to enjoy the chosen trip to the fullest.

By participating in a Just Roughin' It trip, you assume certain obligations to Just Roughin' It and the other trip members. It is your responsibility to...

  • Understand the conditions implied on all trip itineraries and details.
  • Select a trip that is appropriate to your interests and abilities by the time of the trip.
  • Understand the risks associated with the activities you plan to take part while on your trip and behave in such a manner as to reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others.
  • Prepare for the trip by familiarizing yourself with the trip itinerary and the trip preparation materials provided by Just Roughin' It via email or provided within the www.justroughinit.com website (checklists, training, blog articles, etc).
  • Bring appropriate gear and clothing as advised by Just Roughin' It.
  • Follow considerate standards of personal hygiene.
  • Follow considerate social behavior with other trip participants and respect their habits.
  • Complete the trip itinerary as scheduled (or as adjusted by your guide as necessary).
  • Follow the rules that are put forth by Just Roughin' It, the National Park Service or any other governing party that is allowing us to use their resources for our and your adventures.

Just Roughin' It reserves the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a guest should such person's behavior, health or mental condition impede the operations of the trip.

Medical Considerations: If you have any medical, physical or psychological conditions, it's very important you let us know well before departure of the trip by means of the registration form/waiver so we can work with you as much as possible (this includes simply not being physically capable of completeing the trip because of lack of physical conditioning). Guides have the right at any time to disqualify any guest at any time during the trip if they feel the guest is incapable of continuing and/or if a guest's continued participation jeopardizes the group's or his/her own safety. Under these circumstances, refunds are not given and may result in additional expenses incurred by Just Roughin' It for, but not limited to, hike outs, rescues, unscheduled transportation, fees paid to other guests for their interrupted itineraries, meals, etc. that will be charged to the responsible guest. To avoid this - be honest with yourself and us before you book!

We reserve the right to make resonable changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or advisable for the comfort and well-being of trip members.

What we supply depends on your trip.  Gear that is included is listed below for each type of trip. Click here for detailed information about provided gear.

Day Hikes

  • Day Pack
  • Trekking Poles

Kayaking and SUP Tours

  • SUP or Single Kayak (Tandem kayaks are available upon request)
  • Paddle
  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD)

Backpacking Trips

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag and mat
  • Trekking Poles
  • Tent (double occupancy) 

When I was a kid, I would say "too bad, so sad" but we are all adults now and can say it much more eloquently.  Just Roughin' It does not give refunds for any unused portion of a trip including transportation, meals, gear, etc. Our prices are quoted as a package; therefore credits are not issued for unused services.

Come to Phoenix in June - sunny and hot!

Every backpacking trip requires a minumum number of guests for it to proceed as scheduled.  In most cases, if a trip does not have enough partcipants, we will alert you 30 days prior to your trip date with options that may be available.  You may transfer to another departure date or trip if available, be refunded your payment in full, or you might be able to pay a supplemental fee of an amount determined by Just Roughin' It in order to run the trip with fewer guests.   

If that happens, contact us and we will help determine if you are capable of completing the trip based on your current status. This is also why we highly recommend that everyone purchase travel insurance. 

logo-print
Local:480-857-2477
Toll Free:877-399-2477

Need more information? Get in touch!

Contact Us