We’ll meet in Flagstaff and take a morning transfer to the Sedona area on Day 1. Our warm up hike starts from the village of Oak Creek, for a hike on the loop encircling massive Bell Rock and the Courthouse formation, and an exploration of Oak Creek. After a picnic lunch we move on to Oak Creek Canyon to hike along the West Fork of Oak Creek, renowned for its diverse biological community and the rugged beauty of its soaring sandstone walls rising from the canyon floor. Our first overnight will be in Sedona.
Day 2 includes a bit of a drive, as we work our way around to the north side. Besides a stop to look for California Condors, we have discovered a wonderful trail into Cathedral Slot Canyon. It’s an exciting descent to the Colorado River as it flows from Lake Powell towards Marble Canyon, before its precipitous drop into the Grand Canyon. Our overnight will be on the north side at Cliff Dwellers Lodge.
We’ll want a very early start on Day 3 for our descent into the canyon along the North Kaibab Trail. We’ll descend from the ponderosa forests at the rim through the layers of Kaibab limestone, Coconino sandstone and hermit shale to the Colorado at the base of the Canyon. The variety within the Canyon is overwhelming. The land forms, the colors, the spectacular vistas, that first sighting of the Colorado – every switchback along the trail is its own visual and sensual adventure. Our lodging at Phantom Ranch will be in a 10 person cabin. Unfortunately we cannot offer a choice of beds as our bed assignment is provided from a lottery and we take what they can give us. Toilets are in each lodging unit, and the well stocked showers are located in a separate, single sex building.
Day 4 is one of choice – a layover day, a chance to enjoy Phantom Ranch, hike, relax and read – your pleasure.
With an early morning start on Day 5, we’ll climb from the canyon along the Bright Angel Trial. We’ll celebrate with dinner at El Tovar that evening, a Timberline Adventures tradition, and spend the night at the South Rim.
On Day 6, we have the opportunity to enjoy all the amenities on the South Rim. There is the West Rim Trail that passes places like Hermit’s Rest, The Abyss, Hopi Point, and more. There is the Trail of Time, which walks you through 2,000 million years of geologic history. And don’t forget the ice cream at the Bright Angel Fountain. We will return to Flagstaff for the conclusion of the tour.