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Hiking the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is an amazing experience from the top, but
imagine being in the Grand Canyon! Plus it is truly and different hiking
experience since the Grand Canyon hikes are the only hikes where you start
going down before hiking back up!
What you should know before hiking the Grand Canyon:
First you should know that you don’t hike the Grand Canyon like you hike up the hill by your street. Hiking the Grand Canyon requires preparation, training, and fitness. It is quite a challenge to hike there, and most of the trails are day trips. Second, you have the choice of going through an organization, or go alone … well you should never hike alone, but without an organized team. If so, make sure you study ahead of time the trails to know if it matches your abilities and if you need certain permits. Also, be sure you know where you are going and pack in function. Third, camping in the Grand Canyon is allowed but in certain areas only and with a special permit. This permit must be obtained ahead of time (6 weeks to 4 month depending the season). Finally, make sure to plan enough water. Better more than not enough. Remember though, if you were to run out of water, do not drink just from any sources but only from the one marked as potable.
Day Hikes in the Grand Canyon.
If you really want to go down the Grand Canyon you have to plan a day hike. Those are a little challenging and require a little training. If you are not fit for hiking, just take advantage of the easiest day or half day hikes that take you not too far from the Rim. Remember, though it might seems easy on the way down, you will have to finish with the hardest part, going up! A great easy hike is Cliff Spring Trail. You walk down the forested side of the canyon from the Walhalla Plateau. Great scenic views opportunities here! Now, for full day hikes you can do:
- The Plateau Point Trail: it takes you down the Indian Garden. You take the Bright Angel Trail. If you want to continue farther down to the Colorado River, you take the Tonto Trail and then the Plateau Point Trail. The advantage of this hike is the 2 stops process. So you can stop or turn around if you don’t feel sure. The Indian Garden is a great campground if you don’t want to make it back to the top on the same day.
- The Hermit Trail is more challenging. You go down to San Maria Spring, and then Dripping Springs. Water is not easily found on that trail, so plan enough!
Multiple Days Hikes in the Grand Canyon
As mentioned before, if you chose to camp and hike over a few days in the Grand Canyon you must have a camping permit.
- The North Kaibab Trail leaves from the North Rim. The half point of this hike is Cotton Wood. Then you reach Bright Angel Campground and reach the Colorado River form there easily. This hike is very challenging since the North Rim side is quite steep. Be prepared for he heat during the summer.
- The Rim to Rim Hike requires good preparation. First make sure to plan your pick up method. Your car is park 200 miles on the other side of where you finish your hike! Second, pick what side to start from: the South Rim gives you a shorter hike back up being less elevated, it is also less steep, and you are more likely to meet other people of the South Rim side if you ever needed help! You can start with the previously mentioned trail, and then follow the River Trail to the Indian Garden back to the top.
A few tips along hiking the Grand Canyon
It is important that you rest often and stay on the trail. Make sure to eat and drink enough. And during the summer, avoid hiking during the hottest hours. Hiking down the Grand Canyon in one is really not recommended.
The Grand Canyon has so much to offer from the top, but if you have can and want to, try to see it from the bottom and experience a whole new perspective of it. Remember danger is constant during the hikes so make sure to be prepared and follow the rules while hiking the Grand Canyon.