Summer means blistering heat in the depths of Grand Canyon. Triple-digit temperatures are the norm, and even experienced hikers can find themselves in survival mode if they aren’t vigilant. The reality is that summer is the busiest time of the year in terms of visitation, so for many it is their only chance to explore the Inner Canyon.
If you’re headed down the trail be sure to take advantage of the “cooler” hours (early morning and late afternoon), carry up to a gallon of water per person, and eat lots of salty snacks. Soak your shirt in a creek or the Colorado River whenever possible—the evaporative cooling this provides can be a lifesaver. Be conservative with your itinerary, and leave yourself plenty of time to get to-and-from your destination.
Each year the park service Search and Rescue team conducts over two hundred medical evacuations by helicopter and other means. These procedures are risky endeavors for all concerned. The typical patient is a young male day hiker, but the young bucks don’t have a lock on poor judgment by any means.
If you can’t resist the call of the wild during the summer months, be sure to follow the advice above, and have a fantastic experience at the grandest of Canyons!