National Park Service App (Official)
The National Park Service released a free app in February 2021 available for Android and Apple. The app provides information on news, alerts, and trail recommendations for all 423 units, and it’s technically still in beta. It’s already an excellent program, so watch for it to continue to improve as time goes by!
National Park Trail Guide (REI)
Launched in 2016 in honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration, REI’s app features guides to 63 parks, monuments, and recreation areas in the National Park System. Each guide provides need-to-know information on food, accommodation, and activities, as well as detailed trail and annual climate data. Hikes can be filtered based on difficulty ratings, distance, or popularity or browse curated lists of family-friendly hikes or the park’s most beautiful features, and the trail maps use your phone’s GPS to function offline. Available free in iOS or Android.
AllTrails is my favorite hiking and mapping app and corresponding website! It is free for nearly everything a person could want.
While it is fabulous for Grand Canyon, it is also wonderful for finding trails wherever you might be. AllTrails provides trail descriptions, topo maps, tips, photos, and hiker reviews.
The pro version provides more advanced features like the ability to create PDF maps, custom maps, sync maps to your phone, download maps to your phone for offline use, as well as other features.
Chimani’s travel apps, focusing on U.S. National Parks from Acadia to Zion, include descriptions of park features, trails, and amenities. Audio tours, photography, event calendars, tide charts, and sunrise/sunset times are included. “No service” when you’re out in the wilderness? No problem: Chimani’s apps work with or without WiFi or data signal.
Chimani’s apps are offered as free downloads on all major mobile platforms to help you plan your trip and guide your journey to more than 400 National Parks, National Monuments, and other outdoor destinations.
Grand Canyon Trail Map 4th Edition
Detailed topographic & trail map of 308,000 acres in central Grand Canyon. 1:40,000 scale covers 8 USGS quads. 291 miles of trails shown with trail ratings, descriptions, and statistics. The most complete and accurate map of the area and thoroughly reviewed by rangers. Includes contours, quality shaded relief detail, UTM grid, hydrography with springs & drinking water, backcountry use zones for permit planning, and other trip information. Mileage now printed at trail junctions. Printed on waterproof, tear-tough paper. A better map than the Trails Illustrated map for the majority of trails in Grand Canyon.
Arizona Atlas & Gazetteer
This isn’t something for your backpack but actually for your home and vehicle. I use this when planning the larger strategy on where to hike and laying out the trip. This atlas includes topo maps of the entire state and shows the back roads and differentiates between public lands, shows trails and jeep roads, fishing areas, and launch sites. It highlights Grand Canyon’s South Rim Scenic Route and includes a lot more useful information on Arizona recreational and historical sites. A great resource! Also available for Utah and Colorado.
Hiking Grand Canyon
National Park Service
This brief video will help backpackers prepare for the unique rigors of the Grand Canyon and serve as a palpable reminder not to take this hike lightly. Dedicated to the memory of a hiker who died in the canyon, the 20-minute video begins with a National Park Service Ranger outlining some of the trek’s difficulties, followed by several interviews of hikers who got dehydrated, hurt, or started a brush fire by burning toilet paper. The tape is most useful in stressing that the easiness of the beginning downhill climb will not prepare hikers for the most strenuous part of the hike at the end as they climb out of the world’s deepest canyon. Also helpful are the explicit instructions on what gear to pack (and for what season), what to wear, where to camp, weather alerts, and tips on saving energy.
The Hiking Grand Canyon video is now viewable as a videocast from the park’s website. The podcast is also as available as a free download from the iTunes Music Store: Hiking Grand Canyon Channel. This is a great video to help you prepare for hiking trips at the Canyon. It is the same hiking video that has been sent out with backcountry permits for several years and has helped many hikers properly prepare for an enjoyable inner canyon journey. Definitely worth viewing!