Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes when visiting the Grand Canyon. With the beautiful scenery and miles of trails, the Grand Canyon is nothing short of a paradise for hikers. Whether you are hiking for just an afternoon or hiking and camping during a week-long visit, here are some tips to help you make your trip a success!
1. Dress appropriately. In the summer it can be hot, but the temperature can drop quickly in the Grand Canyon when the sun goes down. Be sure to wear layers that you can shed, or put back on, as the weather changes. A light rain jacket or a rain poncho is also a good idea, as is a hat with a brim that goes all the way around keeping the sun off your face and neck. And finally, don’t be tempted to wear shorts, no matter how hot it is. Long pants are your best protection against rattlesnakes and brush.
2. Wear good shoes. Good shoes are so important that they fall into a category all by themselves. A good pair of hiking shoes should be sturdy and offer good support, so that your feet don’t get fatigued too quickly during the hike. They should also be comfortable and preferably already broken in (don’t wear new shoes) to avoid blisters. Good tread is also a must, so that you will get good traction and won’t slip.
3. Carry plenty of water. Never underestimate the importance of water, especially in the Grand Canyon where the terrain is arid. You will get dehydrated in a hot and arid climate much faster than you will elsewhere. So if you are from another part of the country, don’t let it take you by surprise! Always plan your hikes, figure out how long you expect to be gone, carry plenty of water for the duration.
4. Bring a trail map. One of the biggest dangers is getting lost. If you are lost, you could run out of water, or even have to spend the night outdoors when you aren’t prepared for it. Most trails have signs, but just in case you lose the trail, it’s a good idea to have a map to help you find your way back. Buy a trail map in the gift shop if you can and plan your hikes out ahead of time. Or at the very least, always pick up the guides at the head of each trail.
5. Don’t forget your camera! The striking beauty of the Grand Canyon, and the way the scenery changes throughout the day as the shadows move across the canyon, make for some fabulous pictures. Be sure you remember your camera when you leave on your hike. If you are trying to decide what camera to bring, a small digital pocket camera that is water resistant and shock proof is always a plus when you are hiking. Make sure you also bring a good case to protect it, with a lanyard to hang around your neck or a fanny pack to carry it in.
Hiking in the Grand Canyon can be a lot of fun, if you are well prepared and plan ahead. Follow these tips to help you have the best possible experience — a vacation of a lifetime!
This post is written by Vern Marker. Vern Marker is a freelance writer who loves to write about hiking, camping and Papillon tours.
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