“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
South Rim Grand Canyon Family Trip
- Jun 9, 2014 - Jun 13, 2014
- Jun 16, 2014 - Jun 20, 2014
- Jun 23, 2014 - Jun 27, 2014
Our trip to the South Rim is one of the best ways to visit the Grand Canyon.
We start our trip on the Arizona Trail which takes us through beautiful Ponderosa forests on the plateau above the canyon. Two days in the forest brings us to the edge of the big ditch.
On day three, a dramatic hike into the canyon offers us a new perspective of this incredible landscape. The riding on this trip is quite gentle with very little elevation change, making it a great opportunity to learn about singletrack.
We avoid the crowds along the rim of the canyon and camp instead in more remote areas which we have all to ourselves. We finish the trip with a ride along the West Rim Drive which is closed to vehicles. This gives us a chance to visit many of the classic viewpoints by bike.
The van is always close at hand on this trip and there is very little climbing. The rolling singletrack of the Arizona Trail is a great place for those just getting into mountain biking. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this incredible family trip. Just give us a call and speak with one of our guides: 800-845-2453.
Please provide a little information to see the full itinerary, travel logistics and other important details:
South Rim Grand Canyon Family Trip Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This trip will begin at 8:00am MST at Single Track Bikes, 575 Riordan Rd, Flagstaff, Arizona, 928-773-1862. We will load up the van and then drive to Tusayan to begin our ride. You will need to spend the night before in Flagstaff.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to Flagstaff between 3:00-4:00 pm on the last day.
TRIP DAY 1
We'll begin our journey up to the South Rim with a shuttle from Flagstaff to Tusayan. Our scenic drive will take us into one of the largest continuous Ponderosa Pine forests in the world. Here we'll start our ride over 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The terrain rises gently up to the rim and the riding is fun and easy. Today, we'll pedal 20 miles on rolling forest roads through open stands of large trees. Wildlife here is abundant and it is quite common to see wild turkeys, Mule Deer, elk and coyote during the ride. Tonight we'll camp less than two miles from the rim near the Grandview Ffire Tower, where a climb to the top will offer you views above the treetops, down into the canyon and beyond. TOTAL MILEAGE - 20 miles Shorter or longer options possible
TRIP DAY 2
After a hearty breakfast we'll set out to enjoy some of the finest singletrack riding in Arizona. The morning offers a chance for the family to explore the hidden secrets of the ponderosa forest along the rim together, and hit some awesome singletrack on the Coconino Ridge section of the Arizona Trail on the way back home. Eventually destined to connect over 800 miles of the state from north to south, the trail is currently 90% complete. On the South Rim, the Tusayan Ranger District has completed their section of the trail and the results are here for you to appreciate. We'll return to our camp beneath the Grandview Fire Tower tonight and journey to Grandview point after dinner to watch the sunset paint the walls of the canyon with colors and images you won't soon forget. TOTAL MILEAGE - 25 miles Shorter or longer options possible
TRIP DAY 3
Today, we'll ride a variety of trails and forest roads that will lead us to our camp inside Grand Canyon National Park. We'll begin with a fun five mile section of the Arizona Trail that follows the southern boundary of the park. This will bring us to a network of forest roads and bike trails that take a circuitous route into Tusayan. Small ups and downs combined with fun corners and a smooth trail surface make this very enjoyable riding indeed. After a quick stop in Tusayan, we'll ride into our home for the next two nights at Mather Campground. Inside the park, the opportunities for activities are endless. TOTAL MILEAGE - 18-26 miles Shorter or longer options possible
TRIP DAY 4
Today we'll get a chance to explore Grand Canyon National Park on bike and on foot. We'll begin with an easy ride from our camp along the bike path to the top of the Bright Angel Trail. One of the best known trails in the canyon, the winding path takes us back in time as we descend through the rock layers of sandstone, shale, and limestone. The scale of the canyon becomes more and more apparent the farther into it you descend. The Bright Angel Trail offers resthouses with shade and water every one and a half miles on the way down. This makes the trial great for the family to see the inside of the canyon without having to carry big packs. After returning to the top of the trail, we'll have a chance to check out a ranger program or two. Our guides will help the kids get their Junior Ranger Badges as they learn about the mysteries of the canyon's geology, history and even tour the canyons vibrant night sky, which is amoung the darkest and least disturbed in the country. We will return to our camp in Mather Campground to finish off the day with s'mores, and stories of what we've learned. TOTAL MILEAGE - 3 miles 3-6 miles hiking Shorter or longer options possible
TRIP DAY 5
For our last day of the trip, we'll connect with the scenic West Rim Drive, which is a great 16 mile round trip paved road ride. The views while riding are spectacular and stopping at the viewpoints will give you the opportunity to view some of the Grand Canyon's famous viewpoints. Powell Point, The Abyss, and Hermits Rest are all great places to hop off the bike and check out the views. You may opt to visit the National Park's Visitor Center, the El Tovar Hotel, or the Kolb Studio, the home and business of the Grand Canyon's pioneering photographers. We will regroup at the van for lunch and then return to Flagstaff where our journey ends. TOTAL MILEAGE - 10-20 miles Shorter or longer options possible
Riding Surface: Dirt roads, smooth singletrack and pavement.
Technical Difficulty: Easy.
Physical Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Altitude: 6,000-7,500 feet.
Please Note: We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Flagstaff is located at the intersection of Interstate 40 and 17. There is parking available at the bike shop.
-Flying into Flagstaff, AZ
America West connects through Phoenix into Flagstaff.
-Flying into Las Vegas, NV
Rent a car. It is a 250 mile drive, about four hours, from Las Vegas.
-Flying into Phoenix, AZ
There are two options.
1. Rent a car and park it at the bike shop while on the tour. It is 145 miles from Phoenix, about two hours.
2. Several limousine services operate from the Phoenix airport. Rates to Flagstaff are high, but reasonable for a group.
Apex Taxi 928-255-0334
Friendly Cab 928-774-4444
It is a good idea to book your rooms ahead and these are our recommendations.
These three hotels are about two miles from the bike shop.
Aspen Inn Bed and Breakfast
Includes full breakfast.
Above rates are approximate.
There are really just two kinds of weather: weather you like and weather you do not like. Come prepared for both and you won't care what the weather does.
If you have questions about temperatures for your specific trip please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to give you packing suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Weather can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! Please pack all of your gear in a medium to large duffel bag. It will ride in the trailer. If you have any questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a moderate fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way.
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Single Track Bikes, 575 Riordan Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001; 928-773-1862. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. It is imperative to have your bike finely tuned and cleaned before your tour so you know it is in top running condition.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
La Bellavia, 18 S. Beaver Street, 928-774-8301
Dara Thai, 14 S. San Francisco St, 928-777-0047 - great Thai food
El Chilito, 1551 S. Milton Rd, 928-774-4666 - great Mexican and great service
Grand Canyon: True Stories of Life Below the Rim (Travelers' Tales Guides), by Sean O'Reilly
Along the Rim: A Guide to Grand Canyon's South Rim from Hermits Rest to Desert View by Michael F. Anderson, Nancy J. Loving
Brighty : Of the Grand Canyon by Wesley Dennis (Illustrator), Marguerite Henry (Author)
Your guides will have all the maps necessary for your trip. If you would like your own copy for a souvenir, here is the info:
For Forest Service Maps of the Western Spirit routes go to http://www.store.usgs.gov/. To get to the Forest Service maps go to "Featured Products" and then under "Go to product line" choose US Forest Service Maps. Then to AZ for: 113657 KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST, TUSAYAN RD, AZ