Written by Phin Upham
The Grand Canyon is unlike most hiking destinations in the world. Even the physically fit will find a challenge day-hiking the canyon, but the walk through is an excellent chance to witness the majesty of the canyon.
The two most important assets you have in hiking the canyon are: mental fortitude and water. Food is not secondary by any means, but water is crucial because of the extreme temperatures that can change in a heart beat. Nights can also drop below freezing, so it’s important that backpackers use a properly rated sleeping bag so they don’t freeze.
The elderly and small children both make the hike routinely, so it certainly isn’t impossible. However, even the most physically fit of people can emerge feeling sore and fatigued. In preparation for the hike, it’s recommended that you invest in a good pair of hiking boots. It’s also useful to start hiking in the days and weeks leading up to your trip.
There is no potable water to be found in the canyon, and though the Colorado River runs through it, it’s not a good idea to rely on the river as a water source. Pack at least four liters of water for each person per day you plan to stay out, which is more than enough for daily consumption with some left over for emergencies. Pacing is also important, as it dictates how fast your stamina will drain. Remember that you will encounter up and downhill sections of the hike, with a fairly large gain or loss in elevation. It’s important to set a pace that allows you to make decent distance without pushing your body too hard.