Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Staying Safe

Walking and Hiking

Don't overexert yourself in an effort to view park sights. The South Rim is 7,000 feet above sea level, and attempting several hikes in a short time period is taxing, especially for visitors from lower elevations or those with heart or respiratory problems. 

Never try to hike from the rim to the Colorado River and back in one day. Remember that trails descend more than 4,000 feet and that you must climb uphill at the end of the day when you are most tired. Every year, at least 300 incidents occur on the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails, where unprepared hikers experience severe illness or injury while returning to the rim. 

Use extra caution when hiking and walking during summer months. The summer sun is very strong and temperatures in the inner canyon often exceed 105°F. Wear a hat, use sunscreen and drink a gallon of water per person per day. Eat high-energy, salty snacks such as granola bars and trail mix. Hike in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid heat extremes. Stay on trails and rest often. Remember to allow twice as much time to climb out of the canyon as it took to descend into it.

Other than short day hikes, hiking alone in the canyon is not a good idea. Always let a friend know where you're going, so that someone can find you if you don't return on time. Park rangers will not start a search unless you are reported missing. Pack out what you pack in; leave no trace of your visit.

Check The Guide for a list of hikes, including descriptions and difficulty. Several books on Grand Canyon hiking are available in gift shops and bookstores.

Exploring the Canyon Rim 

Be careful when exploring the canyon edge and watch your footing. Keep a close eye on children, especially at viewpoints along the rim. 

Valuables 

To protect your belongings, lock your car and take valuables with you.

Weather 

The weather at Grand Canyon can change very quickly. With so much exposed rock, lightning poses a particular danger during sudden summer storms. These storms also frequently bring flash floods inside canyons, a hazard to inner canyon hikers. Watch the skies and check daily weather forecasts.