How Hard Is It To Hike The Grand Canyon

How Hard Is It To Hike The Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon, a steep-sided canyon is carved by the Colorado River located in Arizona, US. This 277 miles/446 km long canyon is up to 18 miles/29 km wide. It attains a depth of over a mile or 6,093 feet or 1,857 meters. Furthermore, the Grand Canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon–Parashant National Monument, the Kaibab National Forest, the Havasupai Indian Reservation, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, and the Navajo Nation.

President Theodore Roosevelt was majorly fond of the Grand Canyon area, a supporter of the preservation, and also visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery. Moreover, for more than a century tourists from all over the world visited this canyon to experience its awe-inspiring vistas. First protected in 1893 as a reserve and later as a national monument, it was not until February 26, 1919, that the Grand Canyon became a national park.

How Long Does It Take To Hike Up The Grand Canyon?

Generally, it takes most hikers between four and five hours to get to the river irrespective of the trail they choose. On average it takes hikers seven to eight hours to get back out and there is a good rule of thumb to calculate the travel time. It is to double the amount of time it took you to get down when calculating how long it will take you to hike back out. This rule of thumb seems to work well irrespective of individual fitness, length of stride and/or age. Most first-time hikers of the canyon walk uphill at an average speed of 1 mile/hour.

How Hard Is It To Hike To The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon?

To put the answer simply – it is all up to you because it depends on how prepared you are to hike. Moreover, your trip can be a vacation or a challenge or an ordeal, or a revelation. Also, the majority of hikers on the Grand Canyon are there for the first time. Even though many are avid hikers, they find that hiking the Grand Canyon is very different from most other hiking experiences. These enthusiasts tend to react to the canyon experience in one of two ways. They either cannot wait to get back or they swear that they will never do it again.

How Fit Do You Need To Be To Hike The Grand Canyon?

How Fit Do You Need To Be To Hike The Grand Canyon

Adequate water, food consumption, mental attitude – all are absolutely necessary to the success of any hike into the Grand Canyon, especially in summer. Additionally, both day hikers and overnight backpackers must be equally prepared for the lack of water bodies in the Canyon. Along with that, there is extreme heat, cold, and isolation, which is a characteristic feature of this place.

Hiking in this place is so demanding that even fit people in excellent condition often come back sore and fatigued. However, small children, senior citizens, and people with physical disabilities have successfully hiked the canyon. Backcountry rangers recommend that first trip hikers go into the inner canyon on one of the park’s Corridor trails: Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, or North Kaibab Trail. This area includes three campgrounds: Bright Angel, Indian Garden, and Cottonwood. Each of these have ranger stations, water, and emergency phones.

How Much Does It Cost To Hike The Grand Canyon?

Entrance Fee-Free Days

All National Park Service sites will offer free admission to everyone on the following days:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 17)
  • National Park Week’s First Day (April 16)
  • The Great American Outdoors Act’s Anniversary (August 4)
  • National Public Lands Day (September 24)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)

Note: Other fees such as reservation, camping, lodging, tours, concession, and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Entrance Fees at Grand Canyon National Park

Admission to the Grand Canyon National Park for seven days includes both the North Rim and South Rim. They accept only cash, credit card, and debit card, and no refunds are given due to inclement weather.

  • Vehicle Permit – $35 (USD)
  • Motorcycle Permit – $30 (USD)
  • Individual Permit – $20 per person (USD)

For more infoFees And Passes On National Park Service of Grand Canyon

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Hike The Grand Canyon?

When it comes to months – March, April, May are some of the best to visit the south rim because of mild temperatures, light precipitation and manageable crowds. It is better to not do hiking to the bottom of the Canyon or backpacking in the summer unless you are with a guide company or are very experienced with desert hiking. Spring, fall, and winter are the best times for hiking, and winter is a favorite for guides because you can escape the crowds and have it mostly to yourself.

Can You Stay Overnight At The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon?

Are you planning to stay overnight in the canyon? Then you will need to make a reservation through an online lottery for Phantom Ranch’s dormitories and cabins 15 months in advance. Alternatively, you could obtain a backcountry permit to tent camp at Bright Angel Campground. These permits can be obtained in person at the Backcountry Information Center up to four months before your hike. Staying overnight at the Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is a popular destination for both hikers and mule riders.

How Much Water Do You Need To Hike The Grand Canyon?

How Much Water Do You Need To Hike The Grand Canyon

Hiking during warm months, you need to carry and drink about a gallon or four liters of water per day. Keep an eye on your ins, outs and drink enough so that urine frequency, clarity, and volume are normal. If your urine is dark, small in quantity, or non-existent, then it means you are not drinking enough water during a day’s hiking. Moreover, eating adequate amounts of food will help you replace the electrolytes or salts that you are sweating.

Your fluid/electrolyte loss can exceed two quarts per hour during the summer months. This can happen while hiking uphill in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. The inner canyon air is so dry and hot that sweat evaporates instantly making its loss almost imperceptible. It is best not to wait until you actually feel the thirst to start replacing the lost fluids in your body. You will be already dehydrated by the time you feel that thirst.

A human body can only absorb about one quart of fluid/hour. So, drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drinks every hour that you are hiking in the heat. The water bottles or similar containers must be carried in your hands and often drink small amounts from them. Only few locations have purified drinking water in the canyon along the Corridor trails. Pipelines here can break at any time of year, cutting off water supplies. Hence, always carrying water with you is extremely vital for normal or emergency needs.

It is a good idea to be prepared with one of these three common methods for treating water: boiling, iodine tablets, and filters. Also, be prepared to let high sediment loads settle out overnight during spring floods in the Colorado River.

What Is The Easiest Hike In The Grand Canyon?

There are enough simple hike trails in the Grand Canyon for leisure, pleasure, and beginners. However, National Park Service still alerts people that there are no easy trails into or out of the Grand Canyon.

The Rim Trail, South Rim – 13 miles – Spend 30 minutes for partial trail hiking or the entire day

The Shoshone Point, South Rim – 2.1 miles – Elevation: 130 feet – Hours: .5 – 1 hour

The South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point, South Rim – 1.8 miles – Total: 7 miles – Elevation: 692 feet/ Hours: 1 – 1.5 hours

The Cape Royal Trail, North Rim – 1 mile – Elevation: 65 feet – Hours: .5 – 1 hour

The Widforss Trail, North Rim – 9 miles – Elevation: 1,036 feet – Hours: 4 – 5 hours

The North Kaibab Trail to Coconino Overlook, North Rim – 1.3 miles – Elevation: 465 feet – Hours: .5 – 1 hour

How Many Miles Is The Grand Canyon Hike?

There are 50+ hard-packed trails for hiking the Grand Canyon and the time it takes largely depends on which of the trails you plan to hike and what type of hiking you plan on doing.

North Rim Day Hikes – Closed for the Winter

  • Bright Angel Point Trail – 0.5 miles / 0.8 km round-trip
  • Transept Trail – 3.0 miles / 4.8 km round-trip
  • Bridle Trail – 1.2 miles / 2 km one-way trip
  • North Kaibab Trail – Distances and hiking times differ accordingly
  • Ken Patrick Trail – 10 miles / 16 km one-way trip
  • Uncle Jim Trail – 5.0 miles / 8.0 km round-trip
  • Widforss Trail – 10 miles / 16 km round-trip
  • Arizona Trail – approximately 10 miles / 16 km
  • Cape Royal Trail – 0.6 miles / 1.0 km round-trip
  • Cliff Springs Trail – 1.0 miles / 1.6 km round-trip
  • Cape Final Trail – 4.0 miles / 6.4 km round-trip
  • Roosevelt Point Trail – 0.2 miles / 0.3 km round-trip
  • Point Imperial Trail – 4.0 miles / 6.4 km round-trip

South Rim Day Hikes

Will Your Cell Phone Work Inside The Grand Canyon?

Will Your Cell Phone Work Inside The Grand Canyon

Even if you do not visit Northern Arizona regularly, it is important to know that Grand Canyon cell phone coverage can be invaluable during vacations. Most visitors and agencies reported that the cell phone coverage in this place is spotty at best. Also, you should not really expect to get much in terms of a consistent signal.

Nonetheless, there are two cell networks that seem to perform adequately enough at the Grand Canyon. While hiking, you may be largely restricted to Alltel Wireless and Verizon Wireless instead of your regular smartphones. These two are the main providers that serve the area, but many visitors have commented that even these services can be very inconsistent. Some say they work reasonably in some areas whereas in some areas it can depend on certain factors.

When it comes to alternative forms of communication, there are always hotel devices and walkie-talkies (do not require any cellular service to operate). If your hotel has a good broadband internet connection, you may get a wireless network extender that takes advantage of that Internet connection. Translate it into a cellular signal that can be used with your regular handset.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, hiking the Grand Canyon means investing time, money, and effort before, during, and after hiking. Before hiking, you need to be physically, mentally, materialistically prepared to hike any trail in and around the canyon.

During the journey, you must pace yourself, drink lots of water/fluids, eat properly, take breaks when you need them, find shade to rest, and back out when you are unable to handle the trip. In the end, after completion, you will be satisfied while you are enjoying the memories, moments, and mementos you gained through the extreme physical outdoor activity.

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