Take a Hiking-Focused Rafting Trip in Grand Canyon!

Take a Hiking-Focused Rafting Trip in Grand Canyon


If you want go to river rafting, but with even more hiking, we have the trip for you!


There is nothing like getting to explore the depths of the Grand Canyon from the river… except maybe hiking the numerous side canyons and discovering its hidden gems! All Grand Canyon expeditions with Hatch include hikes and side canyon exploration. But on our Hiking Focused trips, we take extra time so that you can see the best sites you can get to from the river.  Stunning pools, hidden slot canyon grottos, breathtaking views—Grand Canyon hikes come with them all. That’s why Grand Canyon’s hikes are some of the most incredible ones you’ll ever take. We run our hiking trips in the shoulder seasons—often in spring when the wildflowers are blooming—so the weather will be cooler for Grand Canyon exploration.

These are some of our favorites as well as the more popular spots and trails specifically for hiking focused trips, but certainly not everything. We can’t make guarantees on stops or take requests ahead of time, but the guides know about them and will do their best for each trip based on the dynamics of the group, the weather, and more. Once you’re on your trip, you can always ask the guides about specific hikes so they can keep those in mind.


Some of the places you could explore on a hiking trip with Hatch: 


Person standing beside a pool of water in a shady side canyon in Grand Canyon. Photo credit: Caroline Marion.UPPER CANYON HIKES

North Canyon – Hike up through the Supai formation. Pass through incredible layered rock formations. Relax by a small reflective pool. 

South Canyon – Hike up near Vasey’s Paradise and Stanton’s cave. If there’s time, you can go all the way to the caves at the base of the cliff.

Eminence Break – Just after navigating President Harding Rapid in the middle of a deeply entrenched river meander, hit the trail and hike all the way to the top of the Redwall Limestone.

Saddle Canyon – Make it through this shady canyon and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall cascading down red layers of rock. 

Nankoweap Granaries – Climb up the talus slope near Nankoweap Rapid straight to a set of ancient granaries embedded in the cliffside. This short but steep out-and-back hike—about 700 feet in a half mile— is often called the Grand Canyon Stairmaster. Careful—don’t lean on the granaries; they are over a thousand years old! 

Carbon Creek – Hike up a canyon past striking, shelf-like rock formations to Lava Canyon Loop. 

Tabernacle Peak – When completed to the summit, this hike gains 2,200 feet in elevation. If you make it, stand atop Tabernacle Butte and enjoy the view!




A couple posing on the Bright Angel Trail with the Grand Canyon behind them. Photo credit: Morris Outwater.HALFWAY POINT HIKING

Bright Angel Trail – If you’re on an upper or lower canyon hiking focused trip, you’ll hike the full length of Bright Angel Trail between the South Rim and the river. This hike can be up to 9 miles depending on where the rafts land and boasts an elevation change of more than 4,400 feet!

If you’re on the full canyon trip you have a couple options. You can hike the Bright Angel Trail to Havasupai Gardens and back. (Note: Havasupai Gardens was formerly known as Indian Gardens, so you may find some info under that name.) Or opt for the Bridge Loop, a 1.5-mile trail that connects the Kaibab (Black) Bridge and Bright Angel (Silver) Bridge near Phantom Ranch. 



People hiking a steep trail in the Grand Canyon. Photo credit: Jim Beregi.LOWER CANYON HIKES

Monument Creek to Hermit Loop – Hike among old mining remnants and lots of shimmery mica in the cliff walls. There’s even a creek that you can play in! 

North Bass Trail up Shinumo Creek – Get ready to climb for the start of this hike. Don’t worry, you’ll soon drop down to a creek with lots of vegetation. 

Elves Chasm – Hike and boulder a short distance to an incredible shaded waterfall with a pool to swim in and ferns hidden under the  waterfall!

Fossil Bay at Fossil Rapid – You’ll start your hike on a sand dune then follow a wash to Fossil Bay proper. This hike has a lot of sun exposure, so make sure to protect yourself with sun protective clothing.

Stone Creek / Galloway Loop – Hike from a gorgeous creek up to a peaceful grotto full of native vegetation. Ends with a dry hike back down to the river. 

Thunder River and Deer Creek – Hike Tapeats Creek through a narrow canyon up to a roaring waterfall named Thunder River. Then make your way to a flat plateau with expansive views of the surrounding cliff faces. Cross the plateau and drop into Deer Creek drainage to find the Deer Creek Patio and Dutton Springs waterfall. Hike back down to the river and end back at the river at the 75-foot Deer Creek Falls

140 Mile Canyon to Keyhole Arch – Hike this sunny, sandy trail that ends at a natural arch in the Redwall Limestone. 

Kanab Canyon to Whispering Falls – Hike in the shade to a deep idyllic pool and dripping waterfall. 

Tuckup Canyon – Hike this seemingly endless slot canyon that you could explore for hours! 

Fern Glen Canyon – Hike through a narrow slot canyon to a charming grotto filled with maidenhair ferns. 


A quick note on safety:

Hiking in Grand Canyon is harder than even seasoned hikers expect. For this reason, this trip type is for those 12 years old and up who are in good condition. We strongly recommend preparing for your trip by doing pre-trip conditioning exercises and breaking in gear in advance. Check out our Physical Requirements for Hiking Focused Trips for more information about what is required, how to prepare, and tips for a better hike. Grand Canyon National Park Service has similar info and tips here and here. They also have consistent updates about current conditions, weather, water refill station statuses, and more. It’s always better to understand what you’re getting into BEFORE you enter the remote backcountry environment of Grand Canyon.


If you’re ready to get started, book one of our Upper Canyon or Full Canyon Hiking Focused trips in April 2025, or ask about our September 2025 option!