Grand Canyon Tour Guides
Guides is a company founded by Grand Canyon lovers, who spent over a
decade living in and exploring Grand Canyon National Park. Whether we
are guiding you through the depths of the Grand Canyon, or unveiling
stunning vistas from the rim, Pygmy Guides will reveal the Canyon’s
secrets from experience that can only be gained by living within this
Guides holds all necessary permits to operate within Grand Canyon
National Park, as well as auto and liability insurance as required by
the National Park Service. We are recognized by the state of Arizona
as a registered LLC and the proud founders of our company.
are required to posses updated CPR and Advanced First Aid as required
by NPS. Pygmy Guides LLC requires all of are overnight backpacking
guides to carry a valid Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness
EMT, as well as comprehensive knowledge of the Grand Canyon region.
when you come to the Grand Canyon don’t let a true canyon experience
pass you by. Our priority is providing you with a fun, safe, and
fulfilling canyon experience.
Meet the Guides
grew up in eastern Pennsylvania and moved to Arizona when he was 20.
His first backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon was truly a life
changing experience. Over the next several years he backpacked over 50
solo trips and has guided plenty more.
With a great love
for the outdoors he enjoys kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking and has
competed in Iron Man Arizona 2009. Matt is WFR certified and practices leave no
Matt has said,
"The Grand Canyon is where I work and play, it's where I go for my solitude, it
is my church."
growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio I was fortunate enough to move to
Flagstaff in 1998 to attend Northern Arizona University. Less than two
years later I made my first backpacking trip into the canyon and have
been in love ever since. I have spent the last decade "hiking for
dollars" conducting research for NAU's School of Forestry and for the
USGS's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Recently, I
returned from a two and a half year hiatus in the Paraguay with the
Peace Corps. Since then I have been working for Pygmy Guides and now
that I can call the Canyon my office, I can't imagine it any other
way! While the hiking and backpacking are my passion I also am an avid
skier and teach skiing for Arizona Snowbowl during the winter.
Currently, I live with my wife Marissa in Flagstaff and we are
expecting our first child this fall.
was born and raised in Mississippi. As a child he traveled throughout
the West, visiting many of it’s National Parks with his family. This
is where his love of the west began.
receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Mississippi
State University, he headed west to Montana. He spent most of his days
backpacking in the Grand Teton and Glacier national Park as well as
the surrounding Wilderness Areas.
to Flagstaff and began hiking the Grand Canyon in 2002. He immediately
fell in love with the Southwest. He has been a backcountry guide for
the past 4 1/2 years hiking over 4000 miles below the Rim. His
Southern hospitality and bad jokes keep people entertained and wanting
to come back year after year.
Wahler is a long time resident of Grand Canyon and an avid hiker. He
has been backpacking in the Grand Canyon since he was seven years old
and continues to take many trips each year. He is a current National
Registry EMT, was a Preventative Search and Rescue ranger for Grand
Canyon National Park Service for 2 years and holds a certification as
a Leave No Trace trainer. Jacob is currently attending Northern
Arizona University and is pursuing a degree in parks and Recreation
moved to the Grand Canyon from Illinois in 1997. “I remember the drive
from Flagstaff. From the San Fransico Peaks with towering Ponderosa
Pines and bleach white Aspens, we drove down into the Pinon/ Juniper
forest and then back up to the South Rim. Mather Point is where I saw
it for the first time. I fell in love.”
“flatlander” has been hiking, swimming, and climbing his way through
the Grand Canyon ever since. He admits, “I love to see their faces
when they see it for the first time, because I know that feeling.”
Tiffany James is a Mississippi native who
attended Mississippi State University. She graduated with a Bachelor
of Science degree in Education with an emphasize in Fitness
After graduating she moved to the West to
explore the mountains. She has backpacked throughout The Grand Tetons,
Glacier National Park and Western Montana. She moved to Flagstaff in
2002 where she fell in love with the scenery and native plants of the
When she is not hiking in the Grand
Canyon you can find her working at the Flagstaff Nordic Center or
hiking around Northern Arizona with her dog Pace.
Kevin “Anasazi Feet”
Daly’s love for the outdoors started early fishing on the Farmington
River near his home in Connecticut. This eventually spawned a move
West to Arizona were he found hiking, rock climbing, and a love for
Shortly after arriving Kevin saw the importance of more knowledge and
certified himself in CPR and as a Wilderness First Responder. He also
currently holds a Red Card for fighting wildfires when needed.
The gear you are carrying is of the
utmost importance. When you go into the Grand Canyon, be sure to be as
light as possible. Most of us are not used to carrying weight, and
after hiking downhill all day long, you will see what it does for the
knees, hips, backs, and shoulders. If you go with someone else, be
sure to inspect your gear before departing on the trip. We do, and I
know it saves headaches down the trail.
Here is a list of the gear we will
provide on your Overnight Backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon
Kelty and Mountain Smith Backpacks
The Coyote 4750 and 4500 with Rain
For the Kids
Havasu Falls Hikers will carry smaller
Sierra Designs Tents
Lightning with/without fly and 1 person
Havasu Falls tents are larger
Kelty and Sierra Designs Sleeping Bags
Thermarest Pads and packable pillow
Prolite 4 M’s/W’s
MSR Trekking Poles
Dromadary Bags and New Mouthpiece
will carry food, pots and pans, stoves, fuel, water purifier,
first-aid kit and all the essentials for fun, safe and carefree Grand