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“Outstanding experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Canyon Association

Grand Canyon Association
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Guided hiking and backpacking classes and tours at Grand Canyon National Park since 1993. Grand Canyon Association Field Institute is a program of the official nonprofit park partner, the Grand Canyon Association, and serves thousands of Grand Canyon visitors each year. We offer fun and informative educational classes and guided hiking tours for everyone, from seasoned backpackers to families with children on their first visit to Grand Canyon. On day hikes, overnight backcountry treks and rim-based learning adventures, you'll share the wonders of Grand Canyon with Field Institute experts. No matter what your age or Grand Canyon interest, whether you're traveling solo or with a small group, you'll be treated to what is often described as the trip of a lifetime!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Level Contributor
185 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Outstanding experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2011

An awesome experience; how lucky I am to have picked GCFI! Our group of seven was led by Slim, who had 40 years of backpacking the Grand Canyon and made geology come alive. I did the Learning and Lodging, but I imagine any time with GCFI would be well spent and worthwhile. On day one, we hiked down Bright Angel Trail and got a full tour of Kolb Studio and historic south rim life. On day two, we had a private van to the Desert Watchtower, the Native American ruins and a magnificent rim hike. Our professional guide gave us an inspired narration and tour of the history and geology of the Canyon. GCFI is under-rated, because I cannot imagine another trip to the Canyon without a GCFI course.

Visited October 2011
2 Thank Cordial1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best day at Grand Canyon with GCFI in the grandest geology lab...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2011

Our family of two adults and two middle school kids had a wonderful "Meet the Canyon" experience with Slim Woodruff, a great hiking guide and educator with the Grand Canyon Field Institute (GCFI) who was obviously an old friend of the canyon. While I confess to pre-trip anxiety about overspending to hire someone to take a walk with us, our day with Slim turned out to be the best way to experience and learn about the Grand Canyon (expenditure was well worthwhile). Slim was great with the kids and a great match for our interests. Anyone who wants to go beyond the WOW factor of admiring the grand enormity and immense beauty of the canyon to learn more about the geology, understand the stratigraphy, actually find and touch fossils, or gain a better sense of the biological wonders and scientific fascinations of the canyon should consider the GCFI programs. We enjoyed a modest hike down into the canyon on the South Kaibab trail to Cedar Ridge and a short walk along the rim trail to a wonderful fossil bed full of brachiopods and crinoids in a full day which was totally personalized to our interests and beginner hiking abilities. If we had not been guided by Slim, who patiently and knowledgeably answered our myriad questions, we would have missed all the best parts of the trail, not noticed the fossils, not noticed the pre-mammalian reptile tracks trapped in stone, not noticed the fault, not noticed when we were passing through various layers of stone marking our passage through time. Although we had prepped the kids on the layers of the Grand Canyon rocks prior to our visit (yes, we are seasoned travelers who would try to learn some French before going to Paris!), frankly, without a good guide or trained eye who could confirm the slope to be the Toroweap formation, we would have "missed the show" or misinterpreted the stone layers on our own. While we would have loved our visit to the Grand Canyon on our own, our GCFI-guided educational field trip with Slim was the highlight of our four days at the GC, deepening our understanding and appreciation of just how grand is our Grand Canyon -- it was our best day out of four great days at GC.

Visited September 2011
6 Thank A2mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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