If you’re like most people, hiking the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list. It’s definitely a must-see destination! However, hiking here can be challenging if not done properly. But don’t worry this article is for you
In this article, we have provided you with 15 useful tips that will make your hiking safer, easier, and memorable. So keep reading till the end of the article to know more!
What Are the Tips for Hiking the Grand Canyon to Make It Easy?
Hiking in the Grand Canyon can be an amazing experience, but it’s important that you prepare yourself for the journey.
If you’re planning for a trip to the Grand Canyon, make sure you follow these 15 tips to make your journey remarkable:
Start Early in the Morning to Avoid the Heat
Now, this tip is an important one, because summer is the peak visiting season in the Grand Canyon. During this time the place is characterized by long days, fast-moving weather systems, and high temperatures. For beginners who aren’t aware, the interior of the canyon can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer
Hiking the Grand Canyon during the summer can be challenging because the heat can be oppressive. The best time to hike is early in the morning when the temperature is cooler. You can also catch the sunrise at this time.
You should plan your hike so that it doesn’t take place during the hottest part of the day. Even though the temperature on the South Rim is a bit comfortable, try to avoid the summer heat. It will be best to start the hike early in the morning eturn back by 10 am to 11 am.
Bring Plenty of Snacks
You need to carry enough healthy snacks to sustain yourself throughout the hike to the Grand Canyon. You should eat twice as much as you normally would during the day. And be sure tosnacks thatcksthat are high in salt and calories.
Salt is necessary for the body to function properly, especially during hikes and camping. Not having enough salt can lead to life-threatening conditions such as hyponatremia. This occurs when a person drinks too much water without replacing electrolytes, which causes dangerously low sodium levels.
So make sure to pack healthy snacks rich in salt, and calories. You can also add options like carbohydrates, and proteins as these macronutrients can provide you with strength and energy throughout the hike.
Wear Sunscreen and a Hat
The sun can be intense at the Grand Canyon, so it’s important to protect yourself from the harmful rays. While hiking here, you will want to make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen. These two things will help you stay protected from the glaring sunrays and its heat.
Besides, you will be hiking through wet sand, so you will need a lot of energy to keep going. Also, be sure to drink a lot of water and use electrolytes. You can also dunk your hat or bandana in water to keep yourself cool.
Bring a Map and Compass
When you are in the Grand Canyon, it’s easy to turn around and lose while hiking. Here, having a map and a compass comes as two heroes that will help you and your hike mates to stay on track.
Carrying these two will help you navigate the area properly. A good topo map is indispensable for off-trail hiking. It can help you avoid getting lost and make it more manageable to find the right trail.
You can also purchase a topo map from the park’s visitor center. If you’re unsure of which trail to take, you can also ask a ranger for directions.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
While hiking the Grand Canyon, you should pay close attention to your surroundings. Many dangers are lurking in the Grand Canyon. When hiking here, you should take extra precautions to avoid dangerous situations.
You should carry a cell phone with extra battery packs and let someone know where you are and how to contact you if you get lost.
There are also a lot of snakes and scorpions around. While these animals rarely pose a threat, you should be cautious. While they rarely inject venom, their bites can be very painful and even deadly.
If you find yourself bitten by a snake, make sure to keep it away from you and call the rangers immediately to get medical attention.
Don’t Hike Alone
There’s no doubt that hiking in the Grand Canyon is a breathtaking and remarkable experience, but nothing is more important than you being safe while hiking.
Many people like to hike in solitude because it is one of a kind experience. It makes one feel independent and strong, and communicate and befriend other (stranger) hikers.
However, Grand Canyon is not one of the places where you should hike alone. It is a major tourist destination and around five million people visit it each year. The traffic is too high and can also be life-threatening if you travel alone.
Moreover, because of the heat, your body will become dehydrated, and you may get sunburn. At worst you may face heatstroke. In such cases, it is always better that there will be someone who could take care of you at that moment.
Stick to the Trails
It can be a unique experience to hike in the Grand Canyon, but it’s still a good idea to know your limits. There are many well-marked trails here, so stick to those instead of venturing off into the wilderness.
Make sure you know where you’re going, how long it will take, and how fast you’d like to hike. You’ll need to be careful to stay on the trails, especially during crowded times. The Grand Canyon is a popular place, so be aware of the number of people who will be on your trail.
You can carry hiking poles with you as can be extremely useful during the toughest parts of the hike. Keep in mind that temperatures can change rapidly from rim to river, so make sure to plan your hike accordingly. Also, take frequent breaks whenever it feels necessary while hiking.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
It is always a good idea to make emergency preparedness an important part of your hiking plan at the Grand Canyon.
Whether you are hiking by yourself or with a tour group, it is important to be aware of potential emergencies. Whether it is a sudden illness or accident, or a technical malfunction of the equipment, you need to prepare yourself for anything.
Be sure to pack a first-aid kit with plenty of bandages and gauze. In addition, carry a pair of latex gloves for each member of the family. Another important piece of medical equipment is an antibiotic ointment.
Avoid Hiking During the Summer Months
It’s best to avoid hiking in the Grand Canyon during the summer months. During the summer months, temperatures can soar and become unbearable. While the canyon’s rim is typically cool and breezy, temperatures inside the canyon basin can reach over one hundred degrees. During these times, it’s important to pack water and stay well-hydrated.
If you plan to hike the canyon in the summer months, make sure to visit during a time when the weather is less sweltering and the crowds are smaller. As I have said earlier, hiking early in the morning and winding up everything before 10 am to 11 am is a good option.
Before going on a hike to the Grand Canyon, remember to pack plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Staying well hydrated will help you feel great and stay energized. The canyon walls are stunning to see up close. That’s why it’s important to stay hydrated at all times to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.
To stay safe while hiking the Grand Canyon, it is imperative to carry plenty of water with you. You should carry at least 3 liters of water with you.
Likewise, you should know where water filling stations are available in the Grand Canyon. You should consider alternate drinking water with electrolytes, as dehydration can be serious and dangerous.
Prepare for a Night Hike
For those of you who don’t know, the roads in the Grand Canyon National Park remain open throughout the night. So you should be prepared to spend the night in the park.
When hiking here at night, you’ll need to bring plenty of warm, waterproof clothing. The temperature during the day can get up into the triple digits and can drop quickly at night. Make sure you pack warm, comfortable clothing that will be easy to carry in a backpack.
You should also bring a lightweight rain jacket in case of sudden showers. You can also choose a pair of breathable pants with waterproof and water-repellent properties. Leggings will also help keep you warm.
Avoiding Poisonous Plants and Animals
While hiking in the Grand Canyon, you may want to avoid certain poisonous plants, especially those that are difficult to identify. Although there are not many such plants, you should be aware of their location and avoid them at all costs. Poisonous plants can cause a painful, itchy rash.
The Grand Canyon is home to a large number of animals and plants, including snakes. You may encounter mountain lions or coyotes, which are known to bite. These animals are also more likely to attack if you enter a cave. Fortunately, most of the venomous snakes that live in Arizona are not dangerous. Similarly, scorpions live in the canyon but are not dangerous.
Although one plant that you should avoid while hiking in the Grand Canyon is poison oak. This plant produces an exuded creamy sap that turns black when it is dried. When it comes into contact with the skin, the stinging sap can cause a rash and blisters to form.
Even though it is not life-threatening, it can cause severe reactions in some people. Therefore, you should keep an antihistamine in your first aid kit in case you come in contact with a poisonous plant.
Squirrels aren’t dangerous, but they can bite you if they are hungry or they feel threatened. So it is best that you stay aware of their behavior and keep your hands to yourself while maintaining distance from them.
Getting a bite from a squirrel is not fun for anyone, and there are dire consequences for feeding squirrels because they can’t digest many types of foods that we humans eat. You should also avoid leaving food or crumbs in the park. Squirrels tend to be more aggressive when they feel threatened.
Get a Permit
You will need to issue permits from the Park Services if you want to perform various activities like filming, shooting, and photography. This also ensures your safety and also these permits help protect resources and prevent significant disruption to visitors.
The permits are issued by the backcountry office and can take up to three weeks to process. After your application is processed, you’ll be contacted by a representative of the backcountry office. Your first choice of camp locations may not be allowed, so you may need to change your itinerary.
Be Prepared for the Conditions
While hiking in the Grand Canyon, you’ll need to be prepared for the conditions that you’ll face. The canyon can be extremely hot, particularly during the summer months. The air is dry and the humidity ranges from ten to thirty percent.
To tackle this along with the unexpected harsh temperatures and cold, make sure to take more frequent breaks and rehydrate yourself as much as you can.
Moreover, in the winter, sudden snow storms can occur, resulting in whiteout conditions. This is why it is crucial to stay on top of the weather forecast before hiking the Grand Canyon.
In addition, the canyon is very high in elevation, which means you’ll experience shortness of breath more easily. High-altitude illnesses, such as high-altitude pulmonary edema or acute mountain sickness, can also affect you. Be sure to pack adequate food and water.
Hiking the Grand Canyon can be a remarkable experience, yet a challenging one. Unfortunately, many people realize this fact too late and end up having to hire a helicopter to get them out. This can cost up to $3,000 per flight.
Further, it is important to be prepared for the conditions you may face. Make sure to take into account the weather forecast before embarking on your journey and pack accordingly.
Be aware of poisonous plants and animals in the area and avoid them at all costs. Stay on top of the weather forecast, because sudden snow storms can occur in the winter months.
Take frequent breaks and rehydrate yourself from time to time. Finally, make sure you have the proper permits before hiking in this iconic location.
By following these simple tips, you can make the most of your hiking experience in the Grand Canyon.