Think spring and fall to hike smart in Grand Canyon. Summer temperatures deep within the canyon often exceed 100 F (38 C). This view of the North Kaibab Trail down Roaring Springs Canyon was taken in August when by 8am the trail below was already exposed to sun. I wouldn’t normally hike the inner canyon this time of year but was headed first to Cottonwood Camp for the night, only 7 miles down, and then on to Phantom Ranch in the early morning to begin an experience of a lifetime rafting the Colorado River.
The North Kaibab Trail is 14 miles to the river with a change of about 6,000 feet (1828 meters) in elevation so begins in a forest and descends into desert getting warmer by about 5 F (15 C) every 1000 feet (304 meters).
Summer hiking in Grand Canyon requires early morning and late afternoon travel with at least three liters of water for each hiker. Keep hydrated and eat plenty of salty snacks. Stay in the shade and/or near water between 11am and 4pm. Know your limits because this is a very challenging hike.
For more information about hiking the inner canyon go to the Grand Canyon National Park website. And have a great hike!
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