My favorite time of hiking Grand Canyon has arrived! The days are finally cooling off, and the nights are getting downright chilly. It is actually a pleasure to wrap yourself inside your sleeping bag at bedtime. This is so unlike the hot summer nights where you simply cannot cool off enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Here are a few tips to take advantage of all that autumn hiking has to offer.
Since temps are cooling off nicely, you aren’t forced to take off at the crack of dawn. But be aware that days are much shorter as well, so you’ll want to take that into consideration when planning your day. Don’t get such a late start that you short change the end of your day and end up walking in the dark.
Do be prepared for cooler nights. Don’t let the warm days fool you into thinking that the nights won’t cool down much. This is the desert. That means there isn’t much moisture in the air to retain the daytime heat. Temperature ranges from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit between night and day. Be prepared!
To find out weather conditions at the park – on both rims and in the Inner Gorge – visit https://www.hitthetrail.com/grand-canyon-weather/. You’ll also see Grand Canyon’s webcam at Yavapai Point for live conditions.
Just because it is cooler does not mean that you don’t need water! Because of Grand Canyon’s low humidity, you can perspire profusely and not be aware of how much moisture your body is losing. Be sure to hydrate throughout the day to prevent dehydration and heat strain. Learn more about the symptoms at https://www.hitthetrail.com/heat-strain/.
Snack on easy-to-digest foods while you hike to provide your body energy, nutrients and electrolytes. Your body doesn’t lose only water in perspiration; it is losing salts that need to be replenished. High carbohydrate food like crackers, pretzels and granola is excellent on the trail. Find more suggestions for backcountry food at https://www.hitthetrail.com/backcountry-food/.
I highly recommend using at least one but preferably two hiking sticks! Using them prevents a remarkable amount of stress on ones knees and lower body. For a more complete description of their benefits, visit https://www.hitthetrail.com/walking-sticks-trekking-poles/.
Unfortunately, one of the things to also be on the lookout for is to monitor the status of the Trans-Canyon Pipeline before hiking in. This is the waterline providing the water to both rims and the inner canyon. When a waterline break occurs, hikers are often required to treat water from Bright Angel Creek due to the lack of potable water.
You can find these and other important news releases on Grand Canyon’s page at https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. I always recommend hikers carry water purification with them at all times to be on the safe side. To learn about water purification, visit https://www.hitthetrail.com/water-purification/.
Speaking of pipeline breaks, the break that occurred on August 29th was repaired. All operations have returned to normal.
Enjoy this sweet time of year! Happy hiking.