Grand Canyon Hiking

The Grand Canyon With Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (Cicerone Guide)
Constance Roos

Being a U.K. publication, I was not familiar with the Cicerone series, but I must say I have been very impressed with this particular book. There are numerous Grand Canyon hiking guides available, but this one is one of the most complete and well prepared ones I have found. The trail descriptions are clear without being too wordy and include the wise usage of benchmarks and landmarks on USGS topographic maps for the more remote trails of the canyon. This book does not just cover your basic Corridor trails either; it includes trails that will keep the enthusiastic canyoneer busy for many years. And because it is written for people coming from afar, it is an excellent guide to assist one in all their planning (permits, transportation, shopping, food, lodging, camping, etc.)

And what it does for Grand Canyon trails and planning, it also does for Zion and Bryce National Parks! I highly recommend this guide.

Hikernut’s Grand Canyon Companion – A Guide to Hiking and Backpacking the Most Popular Trails Into the Canyon: Bright Angel, South Kaibab & North Kaibab Trails
Brian J. Lane

There are many books on the Grand Canyon that cover more of the trails going into the Inner Gorge. But if you are only going to hike on one of the primary trails, the Bright Angel, the South Kaibab or the North Kaibab, why bother getting more than is necessary and possibly confuse and even frighten yourself? This award winning common sense guide provides information for the first time day hiker and backpacker for the only maintained trails in the Canyon. You’ll find information on how to apply for permits, rules and regulations, trail descriptions, maps and other useful information in an easy to digest, understand and entertaining format. And the beautiful photographs within will make this a book to keep as a wonderful memento of your hike.

Hiking the Grand Canyon’s Geology
Lon Abbott & Terri Cook

The Mountaineers Books has a great series of books that I really enjoy and use often. They are the Hiking Geology series, and what better place to cover geology than Grand Canyon?! This guide takes you down various trails in the canyon while describing the incredible geology you are able to reach out and touch. This intimate connection makes the learning the geology most enjoyable!

Two more excellent books in the series cover several trails in the Grand Canyon. Hiking Arizona’s Geology by Ivo Lucchitta has 2 South Rim trails, the South Kaibab and the Tanner Trail. (Also available in Amazon’s Kindle format!) Another book, Hiking the Southwest’s Geology: Four Corners Region by Ralph Lee Hopkins covers Horseshoe Mesa, Cape Final, Powell Plateau, and Toroweap Point. All of these are located on the North Rim except Horseshoe Mesa which requires a 7 mile round trip hike on the Grandview Trail along East Rim Drive on the South Rim.

Hiking Grand Canyon National Park
Ron Adkison (deceased), Ben Adkison (son and editor)

The 3rd edition of this book puts more emphasis on the hazards of dehydration and water intoxication than previous edition—and for good reason. This book covers more of the difficult trails than the book immediately below by the same author, Best Easy Day Hikes, Grand Canyon. Most of the trail descriptions in this book are geared towards multi-day backpacking trips. While there are some descriptions for day hikes, you will find that this book is for you if you are ready to put a pack on your back and head in for an adventure!

Best Easy Day Hikes, Grand Canyon
Ron Adkison

First let me say that any trail that goes below the rim of the Canyon is not “easy.” But for trails in the park, there are certaily varying degrees of difficulty. And this pocket sized guide does a great job of describing the trails and paths that are best for day hikes while providing good information to help you plan which to take. I really enjoy Ron Adkison’s writing style and find his books comprehensive with trails rated from easiest (rim-based) to most difficult (inner canyon). This guide is also available in Amazon’s Kindle format!

Hiking Grand Canyon Loops
George Steck

This is a trail guide book ONLY for experienced “Grand Canyon” backpackers who have done substantial extended off-trail excursions already. The descriptions are very general and could get less experienced backpackers in trouble; however, if you wish to do a little armchair Canyon exploration, this is a great way to do it!

Day Hikes from the River: A Guide to 100 Hikes from Camps on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park
Tom Martin

For those taking a river trip, especially those on private trips, there are plenty of wonderful day hikes to do from the Colorado River. Tom Martin, a Grand Canyon resident, has compiled a great selection of 100 hikes and provides excellent descriptions and topo maps of each hike. Don’t expect poetic grammar, but you will find the book chock full of great information!

Hiking the Grand Canyon: A Sierra Club Totebook
John Annerino

This book is a must if you plan on hiking outside of the busy routes in the canyon. Included in this edition is information on lodging, hiking equipment and technique, safety, water sources, weather and clothing, food requirements, map selection, and wilderness ethics. The book also comes with a basic map showing Grand Canyon’s backcountry use areas to help in planning your itinerary for the backcountry permit. Annerino also has a great section on physical AND psychological training. Many people realize they must train for physical endurance, but never even consider the emotional and psychological drain a canyon hike can have on you. This book in an invaluable resource!

Grand Canyon Treks: 12,000 Miles Through the Grand Canyon
Harvey Butchart

“Harvey Butchart hiked more than 12,000 miles in a combined total of 1,000 days – a distance comparable to walking halfway around the earth. He is credited with finding more than 116 approaches to the Colorado River, and with summiting 83 of the 138 named peaks in the Canyon, 35 of those being first ascents.”

This edition combines all of his Grand Canyon Trek books into one. If you are looking for a step-by-step description of Grand Canyon trails, this is not the book for you. However, if you like exploring and are an excellent route finder, or just want to explore from your armchair, you’ll be fascinated by the trail journals from this Grand Canyon legend.

The Ultimate Desert Handbook: A Manual for Desert Hikers, Campers and Travelers
Mark Johnson

There is a book I really enjoy and feel is a great resource for hiking or traveling in the desert, which of course the Grand Canyon’s Inner Gorge is! I’m very excited about it because it is a manual for desert adventurers—a topic dismally ignored by most books on the subject of outdoor adventure. There are plenty of books covering oceans, mountains, and prairies, but you’d almost think the desert didn’t exist judging by how few books cover it. And I guarantee that hiking in the mountains and the desert are completely different from one another. This is an invaluable book for those hiking in Canyon Country. Also available in Amazon’s Kindle format!