The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular hiking spots in the US due to its long paths and stunning views. While some people choose to avoid the Grand Canyon during summer because of the heat, most people prefer the warmth; in fact, the Grand Canyon sees more hikers in summer than it does at any other time of the year!
After all, summer has some perks going for it; the days are long, the weather is warm, and the ground is normally drier. However hiking in the sun comes with its own dangers, especially if you are hiking the Grand Canyon.
Don’t let your summer hike turn into a dangerous ordeal. Here are five tips for hiking in the Grand Canyon in summer.
Be Aware Of The Heat
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: the most important thing you must remember when hiking in the Grand Canyon is how hot it can get. Many hikers assume that the inside of the basin will be as warm as the rim, but it can actually be around 50 degrees hotter.
If you only realize this when in the basin, you’ll be confronted with a tough uphill hike in extreme temperatures. This can be very dangerous, so make sure to keep the heat in mind at all times when you are hiking.
Set Off Early
It’s always important to set off early so that you can avoid the mid-afternoon heat, but this is extra important if you are hiking in the Grand Canyon. As the area is so open and exposed there is very little in the way of shelter, so a tough trek through the heat could leave you with sunstroke.
It’s also normally quieter in the mornings, so your hike will be more peaceful and relaxing, and you will really be able to take in the stunning views!
Take Breaks To Rest
Don’t forget to take regular rest breaks. Hiking is a strenuous activity at the best of times, and adding hot temperatures into the mix can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure to look out for shaded areas when you are hiking, and if you see one take a break to sit down and drink some water.
Bring Water And Salty Snacks
Everyone should bring water with them on a hike, but you may want to pack twice as much if you are heading into the Grand Canyon. You should also pack some high calorie salty snacks, such as energy bars or trail mix. These snacks will help to replace your electrolytes as you hike, and they will give you the energy that you need to hike back up the basin. Make sure that you alternative between water and snacks to avoid stomach cramps.
Wear A Bandana
A bandana will protect your head, forehead and neck from the extreme heat, which is very useful as it can be hard to find shaded, sheltered areas. If you find yourself getting warm you can take the bandana off and wet it before putting it back on, as this will help cool you down.
The Grand Canyon is also sandy and it can get quite windy, so you can use your bandana to protect your mouth and nose. You can even use the bandana to blow your nose (might want extras if you do), wipe your hands, or dry the back of your neck; this small item has many different benefits.