Grand Canyon Trek 2017
The Grand Canyon is something special. 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep, we’ll take you on a trip to see some of the most awe-inspiring sights of your life. You’ll descend down from the rim at the famous Hualapai Hilltop and follow the trail deep into the canyon. See the soaring red sandstone, feel the rock of the Carbonate Canyon with your fingertips and splash your feet in Mooney Falls…
Join us for a challenge you’ll never forget in the natural beauty of the American West. Trek with Marie Curie and you’ll be helping us offer care and support for more people living with a terminal illness and their families.
Day by day, here’s what you and your trekking partners will get up to on your adventure.
Trek grading: Challenging
London to Phoenix
Fly from the UK to Phoenix where you’ll be met by the rest of your group. You’ll also meet your guides, experienced expedition leaders who’ve spent years in the Canyon and know all its secrets. You’ll be transferred to the hotel where you’ll have a briefing on the challenge ahead. Now’s your chance to ask your guides everything you want to know before the trek starts tomorrow.
Phoenix to Oak Creek - 10km trek, three to four hours
After an early breakfast you and the group will be transferred through the Sonoran Desert, the hottest desert in North America, to Sedona, famed for its red sandstone formations that appear in Hollywood movies.
From here your guides will take you on an acclimatisation trek of about 10km along Oak Creek. There’s a stop for a picnic lunch before the transfer through Oak Creek Canyon to the hotel on the famous Route 66.
Oak Creek to Havasu Falls - 16km trek, four to six hours
To make the most of the day you’ll start early with a transfer to Hualapai Hilltop for the start of our trek. Your guides will lead you up to join the trail at 5,400ft, following it until it begins to level out. After a trail-side lunch, you’ll descend deeper into the labyrinth of red sandstone.
At 3,200ft you’ll continue through the Supai village, home to the Havasupai, the native tribe that lives in the canyon and has done for at least the last 800 years. A further 3km trek brings us past the Havasu Falls with its 100ft drop and into camp – home for the next three nights.
Mooney Falls to Beaver Falls - 12km trek
Today you’ll be confronted with your first challenge that’s as tough as it beautiful: Mooney Falls. It’s a steep trail with tunnels and ladders sunk into the brittle stone next to the waterfall. When you’ve fought your way down your guides will lead you further into the canyon, crossing the creek several times before the top of Beaver Falls.
The next thrill is a down climb along a series of limestone ledges to a giant, beautiful pool at the base of the main cascade of Beaver Falls. You’ll return trek to camp, with the guides taking you off the beaten track to explore.
Alternative option for Day 4: Mooney Falls and the Colorado River - 25km trek, eight hours
For very fit participants that the guides deem are up to the challenge, you’ll get up while it’s still dark for a quick breakfast before setting off in the pre-dawn light.
You’ll be lead down the steep trail, tunnels, and ladders to the base of Mooney Falls. Continuing at a brisk pace downstream, you’ll bypass Beaver Falls, climbing over rock outcroppings, wading the creek and ducking under overhead branches for the final push to the mighty Colorado River.
The 5km route includes numerous stream crossings before you finally climb up and around massive shelves of rock to reach your goal.
From here there’s still a 13km hike back to camp. The primitive nature of the trail and multiple up and down climbs along the way make it much more difficult than the distance would suggest.
Havasu Falls and Carbonate Canyon – 10km trek, five hours
We leave camp after breakfast and hike up to the nearby Carbonate Canyon. Over the past several million years, Havasu Creek has carved this natural amphitheatre for itself 150ft high and 600ft wide. The water stays a steady 21°c year round, and the high levels of calcium carbonate not only give the canyons their name, but also give the water that incredibly blue-green colour.
After lunch at base camp you’ll spend the afternoon hiking with your guides up to two new waterfalls for some swimming, relaxing and exploring. Tonight we will celebrate our time in the Canyon with a festive meal and group reflection!
Havasu Falls to Las Vegas – 16km trek, four to six hours
You’ll start very early this morning, leaving camp at 5am. You’ll trek back along the same path that brought you to the canyon floor.
The trek to the rim is difficult, but reaching it brings you to the end of your challenge. You’ll be transferred to Las Vegas for a celebratory dinner with the guides and everyone you’ve spent the trek with.
Las Vegas to London
You’ll be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Arrive back in the UK
© Ultimate Challenges. This itinerary is complex and subject to change
By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. And when you join us, we’ll help you have a trek you’ll never forget. You’ll get:
- training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for your big challenge
- lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack - if you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check out these ideas
- access to a local community fundraiser who’ll advise you and help you smash your target
- two Marie Curie representatives who’ll trek the entire way, join you on a training day and organise a post-trek reunion
- we’ll set up a Facebook group just for your trek, so you can chat with your fellow trekkers before the trip starts
- a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors to help with your gear buying
Our treks are designed to make sure you have a fantastic time, so you don’t have to think about the details, just enjoy. The trek includes:
- return flights from London
- local transfers
- an experienced trek leader who’s fully trained and knows the route and sites
- a doctor in the unlikely event of injury or sickness
- all meals while trekking
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to sign up online?
Signing up online is quick and easy to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?
What are the highlights?
Exploring the Grand Canyon and its tropical lagoons and some of the best waterfalls in North America, one of the wonders of the one of the natural wonders of the world. Camping within the Havasupai Native American Reservation and experiencing the Havasupai way of life and culture. Celebrating in Las Vegas!
Who can take part?
People over the age of 18 who are looking for a challenge are able to take part. The group size will be approximately 25-50 with people of all ages and backgrounds. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives.
How fit do I need to be?
This trek is moderate to challenging. All our trekking challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part – the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the adventure. We walk approximately 10-25km per day (around 6-8 hours).
Will I need specialist kit?
We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any equipment you may need.
What is not included in the package?
- Registration fee
- Travel insurance
- Recommended vaccinations
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal spending money
What food and drink will there be?
All meals on the trek will be prepared by the cook and the team. We will have full breakfasts of cereals, bread and eggs. Lunch will include salads, cold meats, bread, cheese, fruit and biscuits. In the evening we will have a hot meal, usually with three courses of soup, main meal and desert. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.
What type of vaccinations will I need?
You should not need any vaccinations to enter the USA, but we advise you to check with your GP before you travel.
How will I be supported?
Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other trekkers and hear more about the challenge.
During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a doctor and trek leader as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported by vehicle to each camp.
Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?
We ask you to raise a minimum of £3,800. A minimum of £2,169* will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0845 052 4184
What will the weather be like?
Temperatures on the south rim are relatively pleasant (14C to 27C) but inner canyon temperatures can be more extreme. Weather is unpredictable so it is best to be prepared for all conditions.
Passports and visas
Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK. Whilst British passport holders do need a visa to enter the USA, you will need authorisation to travel using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). We will send more information on this nearer the time.
Can I extend my stay?
Anyone wanting to stay on after the trek can arrange to do so through The Ultimate Travel Company at an additional cost and subject to availability.
Do overseas challenges effect the environment?
Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, The Ultimate Travel Company which will provide guidelines on responsible tourism. They offer a carbon offset scheme for anyone who wishes to offset their flights.
*Based on minimum participant numbers.
What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?
We require the 80% minimum of £3,800 (£3,040) by 30 December 2016. The remainder of the sponsorship is due 4 weeks after you return from the event.
If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0845 052 4184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry, online registration is no longer available for this event. Please contact us on email@example.com or call us on 0845 052 4184.