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How to Plan a Grand Canyon Hiking Trip

Hiking the Grand Canyon is a mega-adventure that requires careful planning. Here are some tips to get you on your way.


  • Step 1: Carry only essential gear. Most of the weight in a day pack should come from water and food.
  • Step 2: Plan to eat more food and consume more water than usual on the trail. This is because you will need to eat before you get hungry and drink water before you get thirsty to maintain your reserves. Now get started, one foot in front of the other.
  • FACT: Phantom Lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon dates to 1922 and was designed by architect Mary Jane Colter.
  • Step 3: Give yourself enough time to complete your hike without become exhausted. Your energy reserves will last longer if you take the trip slowly. Plan to rest 10 minutes for every hour you spend in ascent.
  • TIP: Avoid June, July, or August when planning a rim-to-rim hike.
  • TIP: Consider taking a guided tour if you are a novice hiker. Tour organizers are very knowledgeable, and typically provide snacks, gear, water, and cooked meals.
  • Step 4: Plan to spend at least three days to complete a hike from one Grand Canyon rim to another. Do not attempt such a hike in one day. Of course day hikes can still be made over shorter distances.
  • Step 5: Be realistic about your abilities. A day hike from the top of the canyon to the bottom will involve an elevation change of as much as 10,000 feet. And don't forget you will have to climb out.

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