Lower Canyon Logistics


Bright Angel Trail

Coming down the Bright Angel Trail

Pre-Trip Accommodations:
The Maswik Lodge in the South Rim Grand Canyon on Village Loop Road is the meeting place for the trip. You are responsible for arranging transportation to the South Rim and for the National Park entrance fee. Entrance fees are $25 per vehicle and may vary if you enter the park by shuttle. For coordinating these details, see Transportation Options and Area Map.

Due to the high volume of visitors at Grand Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon Village hotels often book far in advance. We recommend you secure a reservation as soon as possible. There are five lodges at the South Rim. We suggest staying at the Maswik Lodge since this is the location of the orientation meeting as well as breakfast the morning of the hike down the Bright Angel Trail. If you can’t get a room at the Maswik Lodge, the Thunderbird Lodge, the El Tovar, and the Bright Angel Lodge are within walking distance of the Maswik Lodge. The date of the orientation meeting and the pre-trip hotel night is noted on your invoice but if you have any questions please call for verification. To make your hotel reservation, call Xanterra Parks and Resorts by phone at 888-297-2757 or 303-297-2757 or reserve online. If you choose to make other arrangements in the park, you are responsible for your own transportation within the park. A free in-park shuttle service operates at regular intervals in the Grand Canyon Village. However, the park shuttle does not run in the early morning hours.

The Maswik Lodge is located in the southwest corner of the Village area inside the Grand Canyon National Park boundary and is only a five minute walk from the rim. Each room offers two double beds, a full bath, mini-fridge, TV and phone. A cafeteria, lounge and gift shop are located in the complex. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.

Pre-Trip Orientation Meeting:
Your orientation meeting is at 7:00 p.m. in the Maswik Lodge Cafeteria in Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim the night before your trip. It is imperative that you attend this meeting. We will review last minute details such as packing your gear, luggage and vehicle storage arrangements, and answer any last minute questions.

Please order by mail any items you need prior to arriving for your trip.

As you are traveling to the area and realize that your arrival will be delayed for any reason, please call the AzRA office before 4:00 p.m. M.S.T. or leave a message at the Maswik Lodge front desk 928-638-2631.

Vehicle and Luggage Storage:
If you would like to leave a vehicle at the Maswik Lodge, you may park up to two weeks in the long-term parking lot located a block from the Maswik. Remember: you will end your trip in Flagstaff which is 1.5 hours away from the South Rim. If you leave your vehicle at the South Rim, you will need to provide your own return transportation to retrieve your car. Another option is to park your vehicle at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff and take a shuttle to the South Rim at the beginning of your trip. See Transportation Options for more details. We will also store your travel luggage for you. Please limit luggage to 1 piece per person. While you are on your trip, we will transport your luggage to the DoubleTree in Flagstaff where it will be available upon your return.

The Morning of your trip:
Your orientation host will meet you in the lobby of the Maswik Lodge at a designated time chosen by him/her (usually around dawn). Breakfast will not be provided, so you will have to supply your own. You can purchase it the evening before from the general store at the South Rim or the Maswik cafeteria. The general store and cafeteria will NOT be open the morning of your hike. We will provide snacks and electrolyte mix for your hike down the trail. Be sure to have your personal items in your backpack for the hike down. Your host will escort you to the Bright Angel trail head where you will begin your hike. (Mule duffel service provided by Xanterra Parks and Resorts and is an option. Review the Hiking Bright Angel page .)

On the Last Day of your Trip:
It is important to stay hydrated all the way through the last day of your trip. You will arrive at Diamond Creek (the take-out location) mid-morning on the last day. It can be a bitter-sweet experience as everyone comes together one last time to unload the boats. Although somewhat hectic, the expedition continues as your trip begins the clean-up process and loads river gear on the truck.

We will then take you back to the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff. The first 19 miles of the trip back to Flagstaff is on Diamond Creek Road. This stretch of road can be quite rough. It is a dirt road that runs down a wash and can be extremely bumpy, dusty and it usually takes about an hour to get to a paved road. However, it is a beautiful drive and can be an adventure in itself! The trip from the river back to Flagstaff takes about 3 hours with lunch provided along the way and one bathroom break. When you arrive at the DoubleTree, we will greet you with your stored luggage. Red River Sports souvenirs will also be available. Arrival time at the DoubleTree is usually between 3-7 p.m. however we cannot guarantee this arrival time. Since we cannot guarantee the return time, we highly recommend staying at the DoubleTree that evening and travel the next day. Many trips gather in Flagstaff for a post-trip celebration dinner the evening of the return.

Bus on Diamond Creek Road by Charlie Neumann

Bus on Diamond Creek Road by Charlie Neumann

Post-Trip Hotel Accommodations:
Most of our customers stay at the the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff the evening that they return to Flagstaff. If you choose to do so, you will need to make your own reservation. Their phone number is 928-773-8888. Refer to the “AzRA” rooming block to receive a preferred room rate, which is reasonable and competitive for the Flagstaff area. The room rate does change yearly, so please refer to your trip logistics document in your detailed information packet or online trip portfolio for current pricing. The AzRA room rate is only guaranteed for the night that you return back to Flagstaff. If you need additional nights, you will be charged the going rate. The DoubleTree books up quickly so it is important that you make your reservations well in advance to secure a reservation. There are other economy hotels located nearby including the Days Inn (928-774-5221), AmeriSuites (928-774-8042), Comfort Inn (928-774-2225) and Motel 6 (928-779-3757). If you choose to stay at another hotel, you are responsible for getting your own transportation from the DoubleTree after you are dropped off from your trip.