Hiking Rim to Rim – Check off this bucket list adventure in 2020
On nearly every hikers/backpackers bucket list is a rim to rim hike into (and out of) the Grand Canyon. This adventure should not be completed without serious planning and preparation. Many hikers each year are rescued and taken out by helicopter (at their personal expense)due to not being properly prepared. Summer and Winter hikes are VERY different!
Here are some tips you will want to pay attention to before attempting this hike:
You have to obtain a permit!
If you wish to camp anywhere in the park, other than in developed campgrounds on the North Rim or the South Rim, you must obtain a permit from the Backcountry Information Center. Make certain to add an alternate itinerary and alternate dates when making the application.
Prepare for the physical part of the hike – This hike will challenge your legs and your lungs. No matter how experienced you are as a hiker, you will encounter challenges on this hike. Start preparing in advance with cardio training. Work on your legs by biking 3 times a week or doing weighted squats, lunges or walking lunges in the gym. Strengthen and protect you knees and ankles! Plan on taking twice as long to hike up out of canyon as it took to hike down into the canyon. Allow 1/3 of your time to descend and 2/3 of your time to ascend. As a courtesy, give uphill hikers the right of way. Bring a small, lightweight flashlight in case you end up hiking in the dark.
Prepare with the right equipment for the hike - Travel as light as possible. The heaviest items in your pack should be food and water. Use hiking sticks to take stress off your legs. Wear well-fitting and broken-in hiking boots. Bring a small lightweight flashlight and a change of batteries and bulb. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bring a map, compass, signal mirror or whistle, first aid kit, and water purification tablets. Keep in mind that all trash (including biodegradable) needs to be carried out of the canyon. The weather can change without warning and temperatures in the canyon are often very different than up on the rim.
Note: Camping vs. a stay at Phantom Ranch requires additional preparation. Cottonwood Camp, for example, has poles to hang your back packs (make sure your gear can hang on posts or mice will drive you crazy – all gear and food needs to be hung on metal posts
Plan for the season of your hike – Late spring is the best time to plan your hike – before the heat of summer sets in. Late fall and spring may require crampons as snow towards the rims will make the trails very slippery.
For full equipment list contact Flint Creek Outfitters!
Below are some fantastic tips from the Grand Canyon website to help you with your hike. For local experienced assistance, stop by the Flint Creek Outfitters store in Dade City. Many of our staff have hiked the Grand Canyon and other location within the USA. You may find their experience and information a valuable tool when planning your hike. They know the gear, the environment and the planning tips to help you have the best experience possible!
HIKE SMART - For a safe and enjoyable hike prepare for your hike before you arrive:
- Review the Hiking Tips section.
- In summer read the Summer Hiking page and in winter read the Winter Hiking page.
- Check the Backcountry Updates and Closures page for current information on trail conditions and situations affecting the backcountry.
- Watch the Hiking Grand Canyon, Prepare for Backpacking video.
- Listen to the Hike Smart Podcasts (transcripts available).
- Hiking the Corridor? Be sure to visit the Trail Courtesy Practices That Leave No Trace page.