How To Hike The Grand Canyon
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

How To Hike The Grand Canyon

Here is a guide of how to best experience hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim.

317
How To Hike The Grand Canyon
National Geographic

Grand Canyon National Park was the fifteenth National Park to be established. Personally, I believe it is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The canyon is so vast, and one cannot see the Colorado River from the top of either rim. The best time to visit is in April-May and September-October due to the low crowds, perfect temperature around the 70s, and lowest accounts of rainfall. I hope everyone can have the opportunity to see this natural wonder of the world.

Now, if you want to visit the Grand Canyon, but don't want to hike, you have two great options. You can either walk on the rim-trail on either the South Rim or the North Rim. The North Rim is higher in altitude, has more animals, and has fewer crowds.


However, it can be 10 degrees cooler than the South Rim. The iconic shot of the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim. Here, you can walk from Hermit’s Rest all the way to Desert View to encapsulate this majestic view. While the total rim trail is 12.8 miles, you can start and stop anywhere you would like, and get a large feeling of the Canyon.

On the North Rim, you can hike 0.25 miles to Bright Angel Point, which is regarded as having the most beautiful view of the South Rim.


In the case you would like to hike for a short amount of time, and have a better view within the Canyon, I would highly recommend hiking 1.5 miles down the Bright Angel Trail to the 1½ Mile Rest House.


The altitude delta is 1120 feet, and the round-trip trail takes, on average, 3 hours. It is very important, no matter the hike, to remain hydrated. You should bring 2 liters of water with you on any hike. Luckily, there are water stations at the 1½ Mile Rest House, where you can refill your water bottles. When drinking water, is it important to take small sips frequently rather than drinking large volumes infrequently. This will avoid dehydration. It is also advisable to bring small snacks with you, typically salty snacks, to retain the water in your body. As you sweat, you lose electrolytes. If you can, I would recommend bringing a Vitalyte package to mix in your water in order to avoid muscle cramps, and to remain fully hydrated. While short in distance, this hike allows you to see a completely different perspective of how vast the Canyon is when you are within it.

If you are a tenacious hiker, hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim is for you. To warn you, this hike is not for everyone. There is a 408-page book, Over the Edge, which details every known death in the Grand Canyon. Most of these deaths are associated with dehydration/heat stroke, and falling of edges. It is of the utmost importance to continue being hydrated, and to always walk on the path.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F06%2F636139957581926219-1439376101_Rim%252B269.JPG&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=316&h=75fa408d1f45910cef338ba67cf659d3468cda801570fdded640f766875851d6&size=980x&c=2586533224 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F06%252F636139957581926219-1439376101_Rim%25252B269.JPG%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D316%26h%3D75fa408d1f45910cef338ba67cf659d3468cda801570fdded640f766875851d6%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2586533224%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]

While there are three separate trails to hike down to the Colorado River, there are two main trails to hike rim-to-rim. I would advise you to split the hike in two days no matter the trek. You can either purchase a permit to sleep at Bright Angel Campground, or you can rent a bed at Phantom Ranch. If choosing the latter, you will not have to carry a tent, Therm-A-Rest mattress pad, or sleeping bag down the canyon, which reduces the weight of your backpack significantly. Also, I recommend eating the steak dinner, breakfast, and the packed lunch at Phantom Ranch. Not only is it delicious after a strenuous hike, but also it allows you to carry less weight through the Canyon.


When hiking the rim-to-rim hike, you can either hike from the South Rim to South Rim, or hike from the North Rim to South Rim. Doing both, I can tell you the pros and cons to each. Either or, it is most important to start these hikes around 4:00 a.m. local time to avoid the rapid increase in temperature in the “hot box” of the canyon floor from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. But be warned, I have hiked in May, and it hailed and rained on us. As the Boy Scout motto states, “Be prepared,” and carry the appropriate clothing for such instances.

First, you can hike down the South Kaibab Trail (7 miles), and hike up the Bright Angel Trail (9.5 miles). This is a nice trek, as it is hiking from the South Rim to the South Rim. You will not need to take a transfer bus to the other rim the night before your hike. Also, it is better to hike in this order, because the Bright Angel Trail is less steep than the South Kaibab. Nevertheless, it is always important to wear the proper footwear. There are two main cons to this hike. First, there are no water fountains down the South Kaibab Trail, so be prepared with filled water bottles. It is also easier to carry less weight going down the Canyon as you continuously drink water. Second, this is not the famous rim-to-rim hike. Sure, this trek is a rim-to-the-same-rim hike, however, the next hike is the famous rim-to-rim adventure.


Second, you can hike down the North Kaibab Trail (14 miles), and hike up the Bright Angel Trail (9.5 miles). This hike contains two trails with water, so you can always refill your water bottles. Also, these trails are less steep than the South Kaibab. However, there are a few costs to this journey, as well. First, you will need to take the trans canyon shuttle bus, which costs $90 one-way, and takes four-and-a-half hours, to return to your motor vehicle. Second, the North Kaibab Trail is double the length of the South Kaibab Trail. However, the North Rim offers a completely different view of the Grand Canyon. It has a diverse, green ecosystem that is unknown to the South Rim. When you complete this voyage, you will have seen the entire Grand Canyon at large, which only 1% of Grand Canyon visitors complete.


In the popular PBS series of “The National Parks,” Ken Burns projects how National Parks are America’s Best Idea. I couldn’t agree more. Moreover, I believe the Grand Canyon is one the world’s most stunning treasurers. One can visit multiple times in one’s life, but still feel the vastness of beauty every time. Nonetheless, if you want to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, I highly recommend one of these two treks.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

6449
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

12035
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

21703
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

22662
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?

14471

If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments