blue marble adventure

Guided Grand Canyon Tours

Discover the Grand Canyon without the crowds on our backpacking or basecamping tours!
The Grand Canyon is truly grand.  Although other canyons hold distinctions such as longest or deepest, this one is the only one worthy of the distinction of Grand.

Carved by the Colorado River over roughly the last 5 million years after tectonic uplift, the walls of The Grand expose 1.8 Billion years of Earth’s history.  For geologists, it is an indispensable part of piecing together what has happened on the North American continent during that time.  It records such events as the “Cambrian Explosion”, a time in which animals seemed to suddenly (in geologic and evolutionary terms) proliferate quite rapidly.  Its walls record volcanic eruptions, violent earthquakes, ancient seas, deserts, lakes, and civilizations.  Each stratigraphic layer records millions of years, and each step into the canyon records about 60,000 years back in time.

To be in The Grand is to truly be confronted with the depth and scale of geologic time.  We confront you with the grand scale of decision.  Our guided Grand Canyon Hiking and Backpacking tours are full-service with top–of-the-line gear, great food, and expert geologist/guides.

Grand Canyon Backpacking Tours

Rim to Rim Packrafting

Rim-to-Rim at Grand Canyon is consistently ranked as one of the top adventures in the Grand Canyon, the American Southwest, and the world.  Blue Marble’s traces the Bass Trail, using a packraft to cross the mighty Colorado River.  The Magic Carpet Ride of a lifetime!

Duration: 6 Days

Skill Level: PhD

Cost: $1750/guest

The Hermit Loop

Louis Boucher, better known as “The Hermit of the Grand Canyon”, built this trail from his homestead in the late 1800’s.  This trail offers tremendous scenery, an excellent trail, and is set slightly away from the bustle of the corridor trails.  We will follow the Hermit Trail itself, then loop around the Boucher Trail to the Colorado River and back to the South Rim

Duration: 4 Days

Skill Level: Graduate +

Cost: $1350/guest

The Escalante Route

This route has been rated as one of the top backpacking experiences in the world.  Adding a geologist/guide only enhances its draw, as you trek through some of the most wild, spectacular, and inspiring wilderness on the face of the planet.  Explore a slot canyon, scale the Class-3 Painted Wall, and enjoy deep solitude!

Duration: 5 Days

Skill Level: Graduate +

Cost: $1450/guest

Thunder River

Thunder River begins as a groundwater trickle on the Kaibab Plateau, then explodes forth as a thundering deluge from the sheer cliffs above this adventurous trail.  This trip will suit anyone looking for a classic North Rim adventure, and is great for geology wanderers looking to step up their Grand Canyon game.

Duration: 5 Days

Skill Level: PhD

Cost: $1475/guest

Grand Canyon basecamping Tours

Our Grand Canyon BaseCamp trips allow you to explore all the wonderful things this mighty canyon has to offer by day, then relax, eat great food, and take it all in in our private camp site with toilets, showers, and comfortable sleeping arrangements. Feel free to ​​​contact us with any questions, or to create your own Grand Canyon BaseCamp adventure.

South Rim BaseCamp

From our private camp site in the Coconino National Forest, we will hit all the highlights of the South Rim from iconic corridor trails to side canyons and beyond.  Upon your return to camp, you will understand the perks of being a geologist.

Duration: 5 Days

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Cost: $1500/guest

North Rim Basecamp

A visit to the more isolated North Rim is truly a unique and wonderful adventure.  Here you will experience completely different views of the wondrous Grand, embark on time travel geologic adventures below the rim, and enoy the creature comforts we all love.

Duration: 5 Days

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Cost: $1550/guest

Grand Canyon Day Hiking Tours

Day hiking in the Grand Canyon is a truly special adventure. Splendorous views, humbling canyon walls, and nearly 2 billion years of geologic time beckon from the rim. Although there are countless adventures to be had in this most Grand of canyons, we have chosen some of our favorites. Feel free to ​​​contact us with any questions, or to create your own Grand Canyon Day. Check out our Trip Calendar to see all of our great adventures!

Rates

1 Person: $450/guest

2 People: $250/guest

3 People: $165/guest

4-5 People: $120/guest

6 People: $90/guest

Age 10 & Under: $80/guest

What is included?

Transportation to and from the trailhead from your hotel, fresh picnic lunch, trail snacks, day packs, trekking poles, and knowledgeable, licensed, geologist/guides.

What should you bring?

Appropriate clothing for the weather (call for details prior to your hike), water bottles or hydration bladder (3 liters per person), sturdy shoes/boots, waterproof jacket/poncho, hat & sunglasses, camera, sunscreen. During colder weather, warm hats, gloves, and scarves may be great to have. Guide gratuities are customary and greatly appreciated.

Joining a tour

To make a reservation, visit our Reservation Request page. Or call our office at +1(602) 904-2536, Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm AZ time.

Meeting Time & place

Blue Marble can grab you from your hotel in Flagstaff, or you may choose to meet at the designated meeting place, which will be included in your pre-trip information packet. Our meeting time will be arranged upon booking your reservation and is largely dependent on time of year.

Cancellations

To guarantee your reservation we require a 50% deposit. We collect the remaining balance 30 days prior to the hike departing. Any cancellation made more than 15 days prior to departure will receive a full refund less a $30 processing fee. Cancellations made within 15 days will receive a 50% refund and any cancellation made within 72 hours of the hike departing will receive no refunds or credits. There are no refunds for guests who arrive late or depart early from the trip. There are no refunds for late arrivals.

Hermit Trail to Dripping Springs

The Hermit Trail to Dripping Springs is simply one of the finest hikes to be had in the Grand Canyon. It is less crowded than the corridor trails, and has a very high work/reward ratio. A wonderful lunch spot in a spectacular alcove awaits.

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Bright Angel to Indian Garden

Bright Angel is well known as one of the most famous trails in the world, and for good reason. Classic Grand Canyon scenery, and a refreshing stop at a natural spring for lunch.

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

South Kaibab to the Tip-Off

South Kaibab, the only south rim trail in the park created by the Park Service, descends quickly into Grand Canyon on an exciting pitch.  Lunch is upon one of the best inner canyon overlooks in the park.

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Tanner trail to Redwall Mesa

The Tanner Trail offers unique views all the way to the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau beyond.  Not to be missed!

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Grandview trail to Horseshoe Mesa

Follow a historic miners trail to an “island in the sky”, and explore a well-preserved abandoned mining camp

Skill Level: Undergraduate +

Why Go Guided?

So much of the true wilderness experience comes from being able to understand and interpret what you are seeing.  Why are those rocks red?  How did this canyon form?  What is that tree?  What cultural significance are those petroglyphs?  Our expert guides will not only keep you safe, relaxed, and intrigued, they will also be able to answer almost any question you have about the landscape you are seeing.

A trained geologist is a person who can interpret millions of years of Earth’s history simply by staring at a rock outcrop for a few minutes.  Anyone can read a book about The Grand Canyon, Zion, The Painted Desert, or Death Valley, but seeing it up close and personal is a completely different and extraordinary experience. Our guides will give you knowledge and the intimate experience of truly knowing where you came from.  ​

In addition to our geologic knowledge, our trips also give you the fundamental ability to immerse yourself in the landscape without worrying about food, water, camping arrangements, transportation, driving directions, or any logistical issues that invariably accompany adventure.  Let us handle the details, all you need to do is enjoy the ride.

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time.