Aravaipa Canyon
Arizona Sonoran Backpacking
An Epic Experience

Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Trip Code: AZAC

Duration: 3 Days

Distance: Up to 32 mi/31 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 1
Solitude: 4

Origin: Tucson, Arizona

Cost: $950/person

Trip Description:

Aravaipa Canyon is a hidden, wildly unexpected jewel in the Sonoran Desert.  The annual Aravaipa Creek flowing down Aravaipa Canyon feeds a lush, green riparian area that astounds and mystifies in its splendor.  Here, you may feel completely removed from the desert whence you came, totally immersed in the intense beauty and bounty of this special canyon.  Aravaipa Canyon is home to hundreds of species of wildlife including fish, predatory birds, coyote, and mountain lions, as well as fabulous and fascinating geology that tells the story of over 1 billion years of Arizona's history in its walls.  The Aravaipa Canyon Backpacking tour awaits for us to set up a deep backcountry basecamp, and explore this wonderful canyons several tributaries in this absolutely fantastic tour of one of Arizona's true gems.

  1. Coatamundi in Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
  2. Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
  3. Falcon in Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
  4. Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona Backpacking
  5. Fall in Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
  6. Aravaipa Creek, Arizona
  7. Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
  8. Aravaipa Canyon Hiking, Arizona
Request a Reservation!
Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Aravaipa Canyon Backpacking tour begins at the east entrance of Aravaipa Canyon from the Klondyke Road Trailhead.  Our hike immediately confronts us with gorgeous scenery along Aravaipa Creek, as we marvel at high canyon walls, towering sycamore and oak trees rarely seen in Arizona, and listen to the gurgle of this quiet creek.  We will set up our basecamp roughly halfway up the canyon, perched up on a ledge.  After a delightful lunch at camp, we will continue down Aravaia Canyon and Creek, hiking and exploring this wondrous canyon in all of its glory.  After we've had our fill, we will return to basecamp for a well-earned dinner.
Drive Time: 2.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 12 miles, 600 foot ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Today’s adventure is all about exploration, made all the more enjoyable without your backpack!  We will hike and explore some of Aravaipa's enchanting side canyons, including Paisono and Hells Hole.
Distance & Elevation: 8-10 miles, 300 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Our final day in this beautiful place starts with sunrise yoga on the rocks, a great breakfast, and more exploration into Aravapaipa's southern tributaries, including Parsons and Half-Acre Canyons.  We will return to camp for lunch, pack up, and head back down to our shuttle, celebrating our wonderful trip like a geologist; with a cold beverage at a local watering hole before heading back to Tucson.
Distance & Elevation: 8-10 miles, 600 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Tucson to Aravaipa Canyon and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Tucson, Arizona
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Aravaipa Canyon will accommodate 5 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Tucson, Arizona and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Tucson. You will want to fly into either Phoenix (1.5 hour drive) or Tucson. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Tucson. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Tucson and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Tucson by 6pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
April: 25-27
May: 14-16
June: 14-16
September: 20-22
October: 15-17

2018 Dates
April: 25-27
May: 14-16
June: 14-16
September: 20-22
October: 15-17

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.