Grand Canyon Hiking Preparation Tips, Guidelines, and Warnings

Going on a multi-day hike on the Grand Canyon trails can be a worthwhile, exhilarating experience. The crisp fall Grand Canyon weather, the colorful foliage, the high clifftops, there’s a lot to take in as you hike. However, if you and your family aren’t properly prepared, you won’t have a good time. In fact, it can be downright dangerous.

Before you commit to a Grand Canyon tour with hiking trails, climbing, and/or rafting, make sure you and your family are in decent physical condition. Go on weekly extended nature walks at your local park months before your trip so that you and your family will be in prime shape and won’t be too fatigued during the real thing.

When you schedule your trip to the Grand Canyon National Park, take note and monitor the weather conditions. For spring and summer trips, you’ll want to pack extra sunblock and other protection against the sun’s heat. Wear light, breathable layers to protect yourself from the sun while keeping you cool. For fall trips, bring extra layers and long sleeves to protect yourselves from chilling winds.

No matter what season you’re walking in, bring plenty of drinking water to stay hydrated as you hike. Also, pack plenty of food and snacks that are packed with nutrients to keep your energy levels up. Avoid highly salty or sugary snacks, as they can contribute to dehydration. Also, save your aching back from carrying extra cooking supplies in your backpack by packing food that is ready-to-eat or can be simply prepared.

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If you plan on camping out at certain points of your hike, be sure you bring plenty of blankets and items to keep you warm. Even in the summer, desert nights can be bitter and cold. Research and talk to park staff regarding regulations and tips when building campfires in the area. Cold nights aren’t just uncomfortable, they put you at risk of hypothermia.

You should also pre-plan your stops so you don’t over exert yourselves. Doing too much hiking in a single day can make you too fatigued to safely continue the following days. Many visitors to the Grand Canyon had to cut their vacations short due to being too physically taxed to continue. Even worse, your risk of physical injury increases if you don’t properly rest and recover each day.

With all of that said, don’t let these concerns scare you off. If you are properly prepared and aware, your trip across the Grand Canyon will be one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips you’ll ever take.