Hiking the Grand Canyon is possible but challenging at the same time. Finding out how long it takes to hike the Grand Canyon, how to train to hike the Grand Canyon, what to pack for your hike, if you need a permit to hike the Grand Canyon, and how hard it is to hike the Grand Canyon is a must.
If you’re a first-timer who’s willing to commit your time reading on how to do the hiking in the Grand Canyon then this is the best article that suits you.
How long does it take to hike the Grand Canyon?
Taking the North Kaibab/Bright Angel Route may fall to a distance of 23.9 miles. While taking the South Kaibab/North Kaibab may fall to a distance of 21.3 miles. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to hike Rim to Rim in one day. But if taken seriously and one is fully prepared, it can be done in one day.
The most desirable time to hike is from May 15 until October 15 when the North Rim offices are open. Everyone can still hike it up until December 1 unless snow closes the access road. However, the Rim to Rim Hike of the Grand Canyon is an extremely difficult hike.
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Take note that less than 1% of the 6 million annual visitors embark on this hike and most of them prepare for even years. You have an elevation gain of 5,781 feet on the North Kaibab trail, 4,800 feet on the South Kaibab Trail, and 4,400 feet on the Bright Angel trail based on the river to each rim.
How to train to hike the Grand Canyon?
Hiking the Grand Canyon is always challenging no matter how physically fit and prepared you are. Think that the vertical distance from South Rim to the River is 4,500 feet or 1,372 meters and from the North Rim to the river is 5,800 feet or 1,767 meters.
Always remind yourself that even at the bottom of the canyon, the air is thin, making your physical exertion even more exhausting. In order to prepare for the hike; start by walking and hiking long trails, choose ones with elevation change for your legs to get even stronger. And in the gym, using the treadmill and setting the maximum incline grade and the stair climber can help.
Weight training can help you build core strength for you to be able to carry the hiking gear. Break in your footwear and hike with your pack so you get comfortable carrying it for distances that are long. The clothes you’ll wear in the canyon must be worn to make sure they’re comfortable and don’t chafe.
What to pack for your hike?
The items you pack depends on when you go and whether you stay overnight or not. When hiking or not food and water are the two most important items for a Grand Canyon hike. If the season is summer, carry at least one gallon of water per day, even if you are hiking a trail with water sources because pipelines can break.
Electrolyte powder and plenty of high-energy, salty snacks to replace the electrolytes specifically the salt you sweat out will be suggested. Mostly those hikers who overnight in the Grand Canyon spend at least 24 hours recovering before doing the climb out.
Using packing cubes to organize your clothes, toiletries, and other necessary items, including toilet paper, in your backpack is suggested. Compression cube as the name itself can help optimize limited space, and you may want a wet-dry bag to store dirty and wet clothes.
Hiking in the Grand Canyon is so strenuous, think twice about packing more than you need. If rain isn’t forecasted, then consider bringing a bedroll rather than a tent, and ditch the cooking stove.
Do you need a permit to hike the Grand Canyon?
You can hike anytime except you are with any group that advertises a trip from Rim-to-Rim publicly, you will need consent. Any established, noncommercial, group handling rim-to-rim and lengthened day hiking and running, including rim to river to rim, and rim to rim to rim in the inner canyon needed a Special Use Permit from Grand Canyon National Park.
If you choose to camp underneath the rim you will also be needing a permit. If you choose day hiking this hike and/or staying at Phantom Ranch and not any of those mentioned groups above, you do not need a permit.
How hard is it to hike the Grand Canyon?
Humans can actually think and estimate how hard it is to hike the Rim to Rim Hike of the Grand Canyon. It is an extremely difficult hike, less than 1% of the 6 million yearly visitors embark on this hike, and most prepare for months even years for this hike.
Elevation gain of 5,781 feet on the North Kaibab trail is expected, 4,800 feet on the South Kaibab Trail, and on the Bright Angel trail you have an elevation gain of 4,400 feet based on the river to each rim.
Identifying how long it takes to hike the Grand Canyon before hiking is important. Especially, having check-in or check-out service at the Grand Canyon is nowhere to be found. And if so, it is a must to let someone know your planned route, including when will you be returning, and always ready your call to let them know when you are done hiking. Remind yourself that if there is an emergency, your loved ones can reach you by the park service.