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Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute: Experience the Insider’s Grand Canyon

From capturing Arizona’s canvas of changing colors at the North Rim in the fall to reaching Point Imperial during an epic summer camping trip, Grand Canyon National Park is at the top of many’s lists for memorable vacations this year. For individuals and families seeking travel memories of a lifetime beyond basic sight-seeing, Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute (GCCFI) offers educational day tours, hiking expeditions and multi-day adventures in partnership with Grand Canyon National Park. These itineraries have been curated by local experts to help ensure travelers across all levels of experience enjoy this stunning destination to its fullest.

The Field Institute’s guided outdoor tours immerse travelers in the wonders of Grand Canyon: from beginner-level day hikes to advanced descents into the depths of the inner canyon. These courses satisfy cravings for adventure, learning and scenic beauty, all the while helping visitors appreciate Grand Canyon’s rich cultural and natural history.

GCCFI classes and tours focus on Grand Canyon Conservancy’s core values of integrity, education, service and connection. They promote a sense of place, encouraging an ethic of caring and connecting with Grand Canyon on a deeper emotional and spiritual level. Participants will leave feeling inspired and educated about ways they can help protect Grand Canyon for generations to come.

Here, Grand Canyon Conservancy discusses a few highlights of upcoming Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute guided tours and experiences for 2024.

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Multi-Day Experiences:

Rim-to-Rim: South to North: May 11 to May 15, 2024

Get ready for a unique and thrilling adventure. Most Rim-to-Rim hikes follow the traditional north-to-south route, but going in reverse adds an exciting twist. It means more time to enjoy Cottonwood Camp and Ribbon Falls, making the journey even more fun. It’s perfect for those with Grand Canyon backpacking experience seeking a one-of-a-kind adventure. If you’re up for the challenge and crave a truly unique Rim-to-Rim experience, then a South to North journey is calling your name.

North Rim Advanced Basecamp: June 6 to June 9, 2024; North Rim Intermediate Basecamp: June 15 to June 18, 2024; and North Rim Beginner Basecamp: July 5 to July 8 and July 19 to July 22, 2024

Whether you are an experienced hiker, novice or somewhere in between, the North Rim Basecamp offers three different variations of this adventure for each level of experience. If you like to camp and explore, this is a great alternative to a multi-day backpacking adventure, as you venture out from camp each morning for day hikes and have time to relax under the stars at camp after a fulfilling day and take in Grand Canyon’s pristine dark skies. While the difficulty and routes vary by basecamp, every participant will have the unique opportunity to experience the world-famous North Rim, taking in jaw-dropping sights like Cape Final, Cliff Springs, Bright Angel Point and Point Imperial—the highest rim point in the entire park. While traversing the breathtaking landscape, Field Institute guides will provide insights on wildlife, archaeology, biotic life zones, Native American history and the importance of fire for the ecosystem.

Fall Colors Basecamp: Oct. 4 to Oct. 7, 2024

As if the North Rim could not be any more breathtaking, imagine it decorated in the vibrant colors of a Southwestern fall. Adventure the scenic vistas and experience what the North Rim Basecamps offer with the iconic beauty of changing autumn colors at Grand Canyon.

Colorado River Trip: The Natural History of Grand Canyon: Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, 2024

If you are an adrenaline junkie looking to explore the park with the region’s top specialist guides, this 10-day rafting excursion down the Colorado River will give unprecedented access to prized sites, ecosystems, ancient dwellings and geologic structures only visible from the water. Explore limited-access side canyons on routes that have been traveled by just a select, adventurous few to experience this region’s geology from a true insider’s perspective.


Workshops, Day Trips and Easy Access:

Plein Air Painting with Sedona Arts Center: June 4 to June 6, 2024

This summertime workshop is for artists looking to disconnect from the outside world and completely immerse themselves in the park while learning what to capture from Grand Canyon’s expansive view. Through a partnership with Sedona Arts Center, award-winning artist Bill Cramer will lead artists to sweeping views from several South Rim painting locations. Artists will learn how to efficiently paint the landscape on location, learn the methods for “capturing the moment” without sacrificing mood or magic and receive daily critiques.

Kolb Studio Tour: Daily, One Hour

A photography and art studio tucked away in Grand Canyon? This quick daytime tour provides a fresh perspective on the inspiration that makes Grand Canyon National Park such an attraction for artists worldwide. Kolb Studio was one of the earliest tourist destinations on the South Rim and once served as the home to brothers and photographers, Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. During this short but informative tour, visitors will learn about the evolution of this toll shack, which has become today’s five-story home, theater and photo studio built right on the edge of the canyon that captures imagery of trips of visitors and Grand Canyon to this day.

Village Tour and Rim Walk: Daily, Three Hours

Enjoy this family-friendly, wheelchair-accessible tour of Grand Canyon’s South Rim and Historic Village. With your experienced guide, you will see ancient rocks, telltale fossils, curious critters and diverse plants while also discussing the Native American connections–both past and present–to a place many call home. 

For booking and details, visit

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