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A Grand Canyon Hiking Adventure

If you love to hike in cool forests with lots of trees and plenty of babbling brooks, then the Grand Canyon is not necessarily where you want to go. If you want to challenge the heat during the day and the cold at night and see all of the glorious beauty of one the greatest wonders of the world, then the canyon is perfect for you.

There are both guided and unguided tours of the Grand Canyon. You can go for a short day hike with or without a guide. You can take a 3 or 4 day hiking/camping trip with a guide and stay at ready campsites. You are even able to go back country hiking and camping without a guide if that is your preference. There are those that want to see the canyon on the back of a mule or horse, or you can choose to ride the river!

What You Can Expect In The Canyon

Even when you take a guided tour that lasts for several days and you are relatively safe, it is not that easy. It gets really hot depending on the time of year you decide to go. Drinking plenty of water is an absolute must, however, just like any other wilderness area you might visit, you can’t drink the water unless it is purified. Great hiking shoes are a must in the Grand Canyon. There isn’t any soft cushy grass, the terrain is dusty and rock hard.

Planning Your Hiking Trip

Though the park is open almost all of the time, especially from the South Rim, there will be times during the winter when snow closes routes and trails at the more difficult to reach North Rim.

Hiking in Summer – Unless you want to be one of the many that have to be rescued by the rangers every summer, you have to be prepared before you head out. Check the list of essentials you will need below for summer hiking in the canyon. Since it is desert in nature, it get’s pretty cool to downright cold at night, so make sure you have a good hiking tent and sleeping bag.

Water

Food

First Aid Kit

Back Pack

Flashlight/Spare Batteries

Spray Bottle

Hat/Sunscreen

Whistle and/or Signal Mirror

Waterproof Clothing

Hiking Boots

Plain water with extra electrolytes is recommended as well as salty foods. You need to eat twice as much as normal. Maps help you to not get lost. A spray bottle helps keep you cool and the mirror and whistles are to help get you located easily if you get into trouble.

Hiking In Winter

For canyon hiking in the colder, winter months, you are going to need the same basic essentials as you would for summer hiking with a few exceptions. Winter hiking can be just as if not more treacherous as summer hiking. You should be very physically fit and know your limitations. Check the list below for essentials.

Food

First Aid Kit

Map

Water

Pack

Flashlight/Spare Batteries

Appropriate Footwear

Over-the-shoe traction devices

Hiking Poles

Whistle and/or Signal Mirror

Waterproof/Warm Clothing

This is a common sense list that you will need to adhere to closely. Hypothermia is a real threat when you winter hike. You will always need to check the potential weather conditions for the canyon before you decide to head out.

Permits

There are fees to be paid for different things you do in the Grand Canyon such as vehicle fees and individual person costs. Permits are required for back country hiking and camping and you will need to know for which of those activities permits are required. Below is the list where permits and possibly even reservations can be required.

overnight hiking

overnight horseback riding

overnight cross-country ski trips

off-river overnight hikes by river trip members

overnight camping at rim sites other than developed campgrounds

overnight camping on the North Rim during the winter season

Even if hiking is your main reason for going to the Grand Canyon, there are many other things to see and do that you aren’t going to want to miss while you are there. There are whitewater and smooth water trips to take. You can visit Tusayan Museum and Ruins. You can even watch park orientation films to help you on your own hiking adventure.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most unique National Parks in the United States and in the entire world. If you are hiking adventurer, then the Grand Canyon hiking is one for you bucket list that you want to do as soon as possible!