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Hiker’s guide to the Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful geological wonders of the world. Its breathtaking scenery and various trails make it a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and tourists.

If you’re planning on taking a trip down the Canyon, it’s important that you are ready for what awaits you. Just follow these tips as you hike:

Prepare for the weather

Be prepared for the seasonal changes. Temperature at the canyon rises as you go down. Expect temperatures of about 100° at its bottom especially during the summer. Elevated areas, meanwhile, are relatively cooler because of the breeze.

Winter brings lower temperatures, especially at night. The ice formed by the cold usually thaws as soon as the sun rises. However, there might still be lingering ice during spring in shadier areas. It’s advised that hikers use hiking poles and spiked boots for better traction while climbing the higher parts of the canyon at this time.

No matter the season, the weather at the canyon is notorious for being unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden monsoons or snowstorms that may appear with little to no warning. Always anticipate the worst and be prepared.

Only pack the essentials

Having a heavy pack to carry around will weigh you down, making it more difficult to hike. Food and water are vital and should make up most of your
pack’s weight and space. Remember to bring a first aid kit so you’ll be ready for any medical emergency. Other essentials include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Head lamp
  • Extra set of clothes
  • Extra battery for your phone

Wear the right footwear

The proper footwear depends on the duration of your hike. If you’re planning on a short day hike, wearing a good pair of tennis shoes will do. For longer hikes in more difficult terrains, get durable but lightweight hiking boots. You should break them in beforehand and wear thick socks to avoid blisters.

Come during off seasons

If you want to avoid crowds, it’s best to time your trip right. The canyon is at its busiest from the end of May up to the start of September. You can expect fewer people trekking the canyon from December to February.

Choose the right trail

Picking the trail to pass through can actually affect your enjoyment of the Grand Canyon. If you want to challenge yourself or if you prefer a leisurely stroll, just choose among the canyon’s many trails that will suit your needs. Here are some notable trails:

  • Rim Trail

    This trail is 12 miles long and is one of the most level trails in the Grand Canyon. The greater part of the trail is paved and has handicap
    accessibility. It is perfect for beginners who want to appreciate the beauty of the inner canyon.

  • South Kaibab Trail

    Located on the South Rim of the canyon, the trailhead is only accessible by shuttle bus. The trail is sharp but well defined, making it great for
    beginners. There is not much shade in this trail but it does have some of the best views in the area.

  • Hermit Trail

    This trail is frequented by more experienced hikers because of its steep paths that cross creeks and boulders. Hikers can see fossilized animal tracks in the Coconino sandstone found on this trail.

  • Rim-to-Rim

    This is one of the longest hikes the Grand Canyon has to offer. This 44-mile round-trip trail usually takes five to seven days to complete. This is for only the most serious of hikers who want to test their capabilities.

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