Hiker in the Grand Canyon
One of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to take a walk. Whether it's a few minutes stroll along a paved rim trail, or a ten day trek through a remote corner of the canyon, a walk takes you away from the distractions of our civilization and lets you experience the natural quiet of the Grand Canyon.
Take It Easy
Whether or not you're an experienced hiker, take it easy until you get used to the Grand Canyon. High altitude, dry air, and summer heat can cause problems for anyone. Travel at the speed of the slowest member of your group, and stop often to enjoy the view.
The Ten Essentials
Hike Prepared! Remember that the temperature rises as you descend into the canyon, especially during the summer. Always be prepared for heat and sudden weather changes, injuries, and delays because of slow hikers. Carry these essentials on anything longer than a casual stroll:
- Plenty of water
- Extra food
- Lighter or fire starter
- Rain gear and extra clothes
- First aid kit
Backcountry Updates and Closures
A backcountry permit is required for all overnight or longer hikes anywhere in the park. Permits for popular areas can be difficult to obtain, so it is advisable to apply well in advance, and have alternate trip plans.
Permits are required for all access to the Hualapai Indian Reservation, and the Havasupai Indian Reservation, including hiking, backpacking, and camping.
Permits are not required for day hikes in Grand Canyon National Park, or for day hikes, backpacking, or camping on the public lands surrounding the park, including the Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
Day Hikes at the South Rim
Day Hikes at the North Rim
If you don't feel up to organizing your own hike, join a ranger-led day hike. For hikes with an educational emphasis, consider joining a trip lead by the Grand Canyon Field Institute. And finally, you can go with a commercial guide service authorized by the National Park Service. For more information, see the park's Guided Hikes page.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths. It is a region more difficult to traverse than the Alps or the Himalayas, but if strength and courage are sufficient for the task by a year's toil a concept of sublimity can be obtained never again to be equaled on the hither side of Paradise. -Major John Wesley Powell