Types of Hiking in Grand Canyon, Useful Things to Know

Waterfall view in Grand Canyon when hiking

Hiking the Grand Canyon is a wonderful way to experience Grand Canyon National Park up-close and personal. There are a lot of hiking trails that provide you with a nice selection of hikes depending on your experience and fitness. Hiking in the Grand Canyon is different from many other hiking areas. The terrain is steep, you are at fairly high elevation, drinking water is scarce, and temperatures can be extreme. www.travelrows.com

You can basically divide the types of Grand Canyon hikes into 3 different categories based on level of difficulty. No matter which type of hike you take, make sure you have enough water and are wearing the proper footwear and clothes.

1) Easy hikes that stay along the rims of the Canyon and don’t lose or gain much elevation. Most of these hikes are considered day hikes. These are nice hikes that allow you great views of the Grand Canyon and a chance to get away from some of the crowds at the more popular observation points. As with any hiking in Grand Canyon National Park, make sure that you are dressed properly, carry water, and don’t push your physical capabilities.

2) Moderately difficult hikes are usually longer distance hikes or descend into the Grand Canyon. There are a lot of switchbacks that takes some of the steepness out of these trails. If you hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you will need to plan ahead and plan on spending the night, which requires you to get a camping permit. Unless you are in very good physical shape, it is not recommended to hike into the canyon and back to the rim in one day. Make sure to hike smart.

3) Difficult hikes are usually long distance hikes and cover difficult terrain with a lot of change in elevation. Royal Arch Loop is a good example of a difficult hike. If you plan on the more difficult hikes, make sure that you have the proper equipment, carry a map, plenty of water and food, that you hike with a partner, and that you let someone know where you are going, and when you plan to return. You shouldn’t undertake difficult hikes in the Grand Canyon if you aren’t properly equipped and physically prepared. Make sure you take these 10 items in your pack!

Useful things to know

* The best advice anyone can give you for hiking in the Grand Canyon is to be prepared. As you can see from the temperature charts, it is not uncommon for the temperature in the canyon to range 30 degrees F from the highs to the lows in just 12 hours. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.

* Plan ahead – having a fun and successful hiking adventure depends on your planning, preparation, self-reliance, and making good decisions. Remember; don’t hike by yourself, know where you are going and how to get there, know where water is available, get the Grand Canyon weather forecast, don’t overestimate your physical capabilities, and hike smart. You are the one responsible for your own safety as well as that of everyone in your party. Stay on the trail and don’t shortcut switchbacks.

* Take care of yourself – in most cases, you will be hiking at high elevation in hot and dry desert conditions with a steep climb at the end of the day. Be conservative when planning your hike, don’t push yourself. Everyone that hikes in the Grand Canyon for the first times says that it is a lot harder than what they expected.

* If you have any medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, a heart condition, prone to heat exhaustion, knee or foot problems, make sure that you limit your exposure to the heat and how much you exert yourself. The combination of altitude, climbing, dehydration, and the very intense inner canyon heat can make any medical problem that you have…. much worse. Remember to stay within your training, physical abilities, and limitations.

More useful info: Winter hiking in Grand Canyon

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