Grand Canyon Rim to rim

One of the reasons I started this blog was so I could share what costs are actually involved with travel. Over the years I’ve followed many blogs, some being travel blogs. I have always loved reading their amazing posts about adventurous and breathtaking trips. However, its kind of rare to find a post that actually outlines how much the trip cost, which usually lead me to believe I would never be able to afford it.

When I started this blog, I told myself I always want to be transparent and open about how much my trips cost, so that no one is wondering or assuming and not getting the answers needed!

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For today’s post, the table below only includes the costs for the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim trail once you are at the rim. I did this because everyone’s flight and transportation costs will differ depending on where you are originating from.

However, I listed out our flight/transportation costs later on in the post in case you are curious, or also coming from Orlando!

I truly hope you can find this helpful in planning your rim-to-rim trip.

*As a note, all these prices are subject to change and can differ based on your preferences. For example, Lori and chose to eat at the more inexpensive places on the South Rim, rather than going to the fancier restaurants.

What the Rim to Rim Trail Trip Costs!




2 Queen Motel Room Jacob Lake Inn (North Rim) $140
Dinner (night before hike) Jacob Lake Inn (North Rim) $14
Milkshakes from bakery Jacob Lake Inn (North Rim) $5
Grand Canyon Entrance Fee North Rim $25
Female Dorm Bed (1 night) Phantom Ranch $55
Hiker’s Stew Dinner Phantom Ranch Canteen $33
Early Breakfast Phantom Ranch Canteen $25
2 Queen Motel Room (2 nights) Maswik Lodge (South Rim) $230
Ice Cream Bright Angel Fountain (South Rim) $5
Dinner Maswik Lodge Food Court $12
Breakfast Harvey House Café (South Rim) $14
Lunch Harvey House Café (South Rim) $12
Dinner Pizza Pub (South Rim) $10
Trans-Canyon Shuttle Back to South Rim $90
Total Costs $665


Now that it’s all listed out, I want to assure you that this trip can be done much more inexpensively. First off, you don’t have to stay in the dormitory at Phantom Ranch, there are three campgrounds along the rim-to-rim trails available for camping. However, in order to camp there you need to have a Backcountry Permit.    To obtain the permit, you need to enter the lottery for one 4 months in advance. I believe the costs are $10 per night/per person + and $8 application fee. Much more affordable! But keep in mind, you’ll have to pack a tent/sleeping bag with you if you go this route.

Lori and I originally wanted to camp along the way, but our Backcountry Permit applications were denied (so sad!) so the dormitory was a necessary cost.

In the same vein, if you camp along the trails, you could camp at the South Rim instead of staying in a lodge (we chose the cheapest one to stay in, aside from the Bright Angel Lodge dorms). The rate at Mather Campground is $18/night in a Standard Nonelectric site; much cheaper than the lodge!

In regards to food, of course you are welcome to bring your own dinner/breakfast rather than eating at the Phantom Ranch Canteen. We just decided to go that route because we’ve done it before, and we loved the food, and the experience of having a meal with a bunch of hikers from around the world is so fun and memorable! It’s hard not to make friends down there.

At the South Rim we definitely tried hard to eat at more of the inexpensive places, although they were still a bit pricy. But that’s the price you pay for being at a national park (pun intended :)).


Alright, lets talk transportation.

I believe the closest larger airport to the North Rim is the Las Vegas airport, which is the one we flew into. Its about 5-6 hours away from the North Rim, but Zion National Park is in between them, which made for the perfect Southwest Roadtrip stop!

We flew out on a Thursday in May on Southwest (love them!) and our roundtrip flights were $375. We decided to get a rental car when we were there, which we rented through AAA (love them too!). While the smaller cars are often less expensive, it turned out that to rent from the Hertz at the airport the SUVs were cheaper! That worked out for us cause we were carrying a lot of hiking/camping gear. Plus, we wanted the SUV just in case we had to sleep in the car one night.

Our rental car costs ended up being about $350, for 10 days. This included an additional driver and underage driver (we’re babies!) but those fees were waived with our AAA membership.

In regard to gas….unfortunately I wasn’t too good with tracking this. I’m pretty sure we only had to fill up 3 times and each time was maybe $30-40, and we did a TON of driving!

Overall, I think we did pretty good! It definitely wasn’t free, but it wasn’t luxury either! I think our whole 10 day Southwest Roadtrip ended up only being about $1,400 per person, which is pretty good cause that is including everything!

Of course, this doesn’t include any of the gear purchases we made before the trek, but I can do another post on that, if you’re interested!

The rim-to-rim trail is completely incredible, and so (SO) worth the costs! Its challenging, breathtaking, and unforgettable. It is so easy to see God’s handiwork and creativity in that canyon!

I hope this was helpful to you! Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you have any more questions!