Planning for my first backpacking experience was a lot of effort. I did not have the necessary gear (except for my backpack). As a broke college student, I did try to find the best deals before making purchases. However, keep in mind that comfort does outweigh budget on a trip like this. In other words, get durable boots and a comfortable backpack. It will make your experience vastly more enjoyable.

Make sure to apply for camping permits ahead of time. The Indian Gardens Campground was full, so we had to stay at Bright Angel Campground both nights. Most people hike down to Bright Angel Campground for one night and then hike up to Indian Campground for the second night to break up the hike out of the canyon.

While planning for my trip to the Grand Canyon, here is an itinerary that was used once all the permits were reserved and flights were booked.

Grand Canyon Itinerary

Friday, March 28

– Fly Delta.
– Depart CLE 6:55pm on DL 5641, arrive CVG 8:02pm.
– Depart CVG 9:20pm on DL 1568, arrive LAS 10:43pm.
– Get rental car in Vegas.
– Drive to hotel in Kingman, AZ.
– 3100 E Andy Devine Ave
– Kingman, AZ 86401

Saturday, March 29

– Wake up at 8am.
– Lake Havasu, Hualapai Mountain Park, Vegas?
– Go to bed at 7pm.

Sunday, March 30

– Wake up at 3am.
– Drive to Havasupai Hilltop (arrive ~6am).
– Hike to Supai (arrive ~10am).
– Continue hike to the falls.
– Sleep at Havasupai Campground at 9pm.

Monday, March 31

– Wake up at 5am.
– Hike back to Havasupai Hilltop (arrive ~10am).
– Drive to Grand Canyon Village (arrive ~1pm).
– Find showers, food, gas, etc.
– Sleep at Mather Campground at 9pm.

Tuesday, April 1

– Wake up at 5am.
– Get to the Backcountry Information Center by 5:30am.
– Take the Hiker’s Express Shuttle to the South Kaibab trailhead at 6am.
– Hike the South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground (arrive ~12:30pm).
– Sleep at Bright Angel Campground at 9pm.

Wednesday, April 2

– Wake up at 5am.
– Hike to Ribbon Falls (arrive ~8am).
– Hike to Clear Creek Overlook (arrive ~1pm).
– Sleep at Bright Angel Campground at 9pm.

Thursday, April 3

– Wake up at 5am.
– Hike to South Rim (arrive ~1pm).
– Find laundry, food, etc.
– Drive to Red Rocks (arrive ~7pm).
– Get Campsite.
– Shower at Red Rocks Climbing Center.
– Sight See in Vegas.
– Sleep at 13 Mile Campground at Midnight.

Friday, April 4

– Wake up at 7am.
– Climb at Red Rocks.
– Sleep at 13 Mile Campground at 8pm.

Saturday, April 5

– Wake up at 3:30am and drive to LAS.
– Fly Delta.
– Depart LAS 6:20am on DL 1138, arrive SLC 8:44am.
– Depart SLC 10:15am on DL 1134, arrive CLE 3:59pm.

We did not follow this itinerary completely. Read more about the trips here: Backpacking the Havasupai Reservation and Backpacking The Grand Canyon.