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Grand Canyon Backpacking

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Date(s) - 03/09/2019 - 03/17/2019
All Day


Grand Canyon Backpacking

Dates: 3/9-3/17/2019 Time: Multiday
Early Bird Deadline: 2/1/2019 Cost: $550/$650
Sign Up Deadline: 2/28/2019 Cost: $650/$750
Pre-Trip Meeting: 2/27 @ 7pm Location: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Trip Description:

Spend your Spring Break experiencing the beauty of one of the natural wonders of the world in a new way! This trip consists of a backpacking trek through the mile deep Colorado River carved canyon. The Canyon itself is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. It’s natural beauty attracts people from around the world and is one of the most widely visited tourist destinations on the planet. Hiking in the canyon is available to many, but backpacking permits are hard to come by. The TCU Outdoor Program will be hosting three levels of difficulty for this once in a lifetime trip, however it is important to keep in mind that although the Canyon’s beauty is alluring it is a challenge not suited for all.

Trip Cost:

Early Registration: $550 with a TCU ID, $650 as a sponsored guest

  • $125 non-refundable deposit due at time of registration. Balance due by 2/27

Regular Registration: $650 with a TCU ID, $750 as a sponsored guest

  • $125 non-refundable deposit due at time of registration. Balance due by 2/27
  • Prices reflect the TCU student/faculty and sponsored guest rate.
  • Please read our cancellation/refund policy carefully before registering.
  • Price does not include meals on the road

Trip Registration:

Register in-person or online @



Packing List

Physical Challenge




Outfitting & Food


Pre-Trip Meeting:

2/27 @ 7pm

Pre-Trip meetings are required and are held the date of the Sign-Up deadline (listed above – generally the week of or week before the trip), from 6-7:30pm at the TCU Climbing Wall.  You will meet the leaders and other trip members, as well as cover all details such as weather, menu, safety issues, and clothing requirements. You will also be issued all of your equipment at this time (sleeping bags, pad, tent, etc.).


3/9: Load vans and depart from TCU in the morning and to the Grand Canyon. Stops will be made along the way for restroom breaks and meals. Arrive at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona approximately 16 hours later.

3/10-3/15: We will hike into the Canyon spending the mornings hiking from camping spot to spot and the evenings exploring. Each night will be spent making dinner and looking at the stars.

3/16: Last day of hiking, spend the night on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

3/17: Load vans and depart from AZ in the morning. Arrive at TCU late in the evening.

Physical Challenge

Backpacking and hiking can be strenuous on the legs. Designated trails may be non-existent, especially due to snow. We could be hiking several miles over rough terrain as we explore and over multiple days, so your endurance will be tested. Staying well hydrated, taking your time, resting when necessary (but not for too long), and keeping your energy level high is essential. Trip members should be in good physical condition for hiking on rocky and rugged terrain.

TRIP RATING 3 out of 3 – This backpacking trip has several levels of difficulty available, however, it is important to keep in mind the inherent difficulty of backpacking and changes in elevation.

Packing List

We are limited on space, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to carry around. Ask yourself…What would I want in the coldest weather or the hottest weather? Pack to be prepared for both!

Things that should be packed inside your personal day pack and kept with you inside the van:

  • Small day pack
  • Money for road meals
  • A warm layer
  • Headlamp
  • Travel size pillow
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Camera


  • Sunglasses w/retainer strap
  • Personal stuff- extra contact lenses, chapstick, sunscreen, baby wipes, baby powder, ear plugs, hand lotion, medications you usually take…
  • 2 durable crush proof one-liter water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Eating utensils
  • Plastic bowl
  • Mug/insulated cup
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Wide brimmed shade hat
  • Beanie/ stocking cap
  • Bandana
  • Gloves
  • Tennis shoes with good ankle support
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking Shoes/ Boots
  • Cotton or synthetic blend hiking shirt (breathable layer)
  • Cotton or synthetic camp shirt (a clean shirt to wear at camp)
  • Synthetic Long Sleeve Top(s) – Polypro, Capilene, or polyester.
  • Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
  • Sports bra
  • Windbreaker
  • Nylon shorts
  • Lightweight long pants/ cotton or synthetic hiking pants
  • Rain Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic long underwear (top & bottom)
  • Bathing suit
  • 15-30˚ sleeping bag and Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Tent with rain fly (sleeps 2-4)
  • Headlamp
  • Camp chair
  • Pack Bag: to hold all of the above items PLUS your personal gear and clothes
  • Expedition First Aid Kit
  • Ground Tarp
  • Stoves, fuel and all cooking gear-pots, pans, spice kit etc.
  • Repair kit for tents, stoves, packs, etc.
  • Water bags -2+ gallon bags for camp use
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert


There are numerous risks and hazards associated with hiking through the Grand Canyon. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, cactus, and other sharp desert plants require extra caution when hiking. Not dressing appropriately can result in heat or cold illnesses (Hyperthermia or Hypothermia). Not drinking enough water results in dehydration and not being in adequate physical condition can result in sore muscles. Trip members must make a conscious effort to be safe. One person’s disdain for safety will always result in more hardship for the group. If we do have an accident or injury that requires medical attention beyond the scope of our leader’s experience, the trip is immediately over without refund. Our leaders are trained to administer first aid in an outdoor environment; however, while they may be able to treat injuries they cannot always prevent them.


We will be backpacking, therefore, our campsite will be located in the backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park. This means there will be no access to showers or bathrooms. There will be designated tent sites and natural water sources nearby. TCU will provide tents, warm synthetic sleeping bags, and foam sleeping pads. You will have the choice to share a tent with two or three trip members or sleep under the stars. The sleeping area provides us with durable hard packed dirt.


The trip leaders will research the weather conditions in advance to assess the situation. The Trip will be cancelled if the weather is dangerous. If you do not receive an email about this, then please be prepared to be out in the weather. Please follow the weather and use your best judgement as well as the packing list to determine what you will personally need to stay warm and dry during the entirety of this trip. Layers are recommended for cold weather and failure to bring proper attire will be detrimental to your experience.