Photo by Martin
Hiking in Grand Canyon: One of the Best Parts of your Adventure!
Exploring the bottom of Grand Canyon on foot is a big part of your rafting adventure and one of our favorite parts of sharing the Canyon with you. Many guests quickly realize that hiking in Grand Canyon turns out to be their favorite part. You will experience special places that very few Grand Canyon visitors ever see – waterfalls, fern grottos, polished slot canyons, hidden rock amphitheaters, ancient ruins, and geologic wonders.
We hike just about every day. The hikes vary from day to day and trip to trip. The hiking is often challenging, and sometimes risky. Remember, there are no sidewalks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (or stairs, elevators or escalators for that matter)!
We love exploring these special places with you—it’s what we do! But here’s what you need to know:
The backcountry always presents certain risks
Hiking in Grand Canyon can result in injuries such as broken bones and cuts, and illnesses such as heat exhaustion are the most likely risks. However, as with any activity, though quite unlikely, death is also an inherent risk. Injuries are more likely to occur on shore than on rafts. Extreme temperatures, stumbles and falls, flash floods, rock falls and wildlife encounters are just some of the potential risks in the wilderness of Grand Canyon (we could never list them all!). Also, because all of our hikes start at the bottom of Grand Canyon, by necessity, they all gain some elevation. Many of the trails climb steeply compared to “normal” hiking. Although we try our best to keep all of our emergency communication devices functioning properly, because we are in the backcountry, it’s possible they could not function properly or totally fail at functioning.
It is an implicit risk in the backcountry, but here’s what we do to mitigate those risks:
We do our best to mitigate risks through education and support. Our guides share descriptions of the hikes each day so you can choose whether it’s for you or not—though you may be surprised what you can accomplish on your Grand Canyon adventure! Most hikes will have a guide leading the group and another following at the back of the group, as well as a guide or two interspersed in the middle of the group. We’re always happy to lend a hand, demonstrate effective techniques on difficult terrain, help you find shade, provide first aid, or whatever else we can do to assist. Additionally, all of our guides are experienced and well-trained in first aid and handling risky and dangerous situations specifically in the backcountry. Our expeditions carry satellite phones in case of an emergency and have extensive first-aid kits.
What can you do to mitigate risks?
It is integral for you to be an active participant in accomplishing this on a Grand Canyon rafting trip.
- Read your pre-trip information thoroughly
- Get in shape
- Listen to your guides when they provide safety instructions and describe potentially risky situations
- Stay hydrated and eat heartily
- Pay attention and stay aware of your surroundings
- Don’t multitask when hiking and always look where you place your hands and feet
- Cover your skin appropriately to avoid excess sun exposure
- Ask for help when you need it
- Speak with your physician and/or personal trainer for these hiking specifics: moving around on uneven terrain, as well as 1-12 miles of hiking each day, with an elevation gain/loss of anywhere from 0-4000 feet.
- Have your physician and/or personal trainer consider these strengths and exercises needed for a Grand Canyon rafting adventure: cardio pulmonary exercises, endurance exercises, balance, foot work exercises and grip strength exercises. Take this information with you when you speak with your physician and/or personal trainer.