Grand Canyon Hiking: Five Tips for Surviving That Summer Heat

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!

grand canyon hike

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.

1. 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.

2. 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!

3. 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.

4. 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 alter­nate between water and snacks to avoid stom­ach cramps.

5. 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 shade and 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.