Visiting the Grand Canyon is a bucket list event for many travelers and is likely to be one of the most memorable experiences of a person’s life. The vastness of the canyon is truly impressive, but being well-prepared for the hike to and from the viewpoints is the best way to ensure a comfortable visit.
Consider wearing or bringing these items along to maximize the enjoyment of what is, for most people, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
10 Hiking Boots
Regardless of the route travelers choose to take, they’re likely to be hiking for more than 1-hour minimum to reach the best viewpoints, unless they are using the Skywalk, which might be worth considering.
This means it’s critical to dress for conditions to ensure comfort and safety. A sturdy pair of hiking boots with ankle support and good traction is a great place to start.
9 Sunscreen (With 15+ SPF)
Hiking at the Grand Canyon requires spending time outdoors at high altitudes. While the weather may not always be sunny and hot at this destination, that doesn’t mean the sun is no longer a health concern.
The sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitudes, meaning visitors to the Grand Canyon should ensure they wear sunscreen that provides adequate protection. The CDC recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
8 Rimmed Hat
To increase protection from UV rays while exploring the Grand Canyon, consider pairing a high SPF sunscreen with a hat.
Wearing a hat protects your scalp from sun exposure and offers some shade for your face, ears, and the back of your neck. Plus, let’s be honest, a rimmed hat looks fantastic in pictures!
7 A High-Quality Camera
For many travelers who live outside Arizona, visiting the Grand Canyon may be a one-time opportunity. Therefore, it’s necessary to make the most of it by capturing the magic in images and videos.
Taking fantastic photos of the canyon doesn’t require a fancy DSLR camera (although these will certainly look more professional).
Smartphones have incredible photo capability these days, so simply pack your phone and ensure it’s fully charged.
6 Moisture Wicking Clothing
The length of time travelers spend outdoors at the Grand Canyon depends on which trail and viewpoint they choose to explore. Some trails around the Grand Canyon are short, taking only an hour to complete, while others are upwards of eight miles long.
Dress accordingly by wearing a shirt and shorts or pants that are made of breathable, moisture-wicking material. Specifically, avoid cotton; wearing clothes designed for outdoor activity will help hikers stay comfortable and dry despite sweating on their trek.
5 Trekking Poles
Many of the hikes around the Grand Canyon are easy or moderate, and won’t challenge experienced hikers to the point of requiring trekking poles.
However, beginners and inexperienced hikers may find the rocky, uneven terrain challenging to navigate. Bringing a pair of trekking poles provides additional support and boosts confidence on the trail.
4 Wool Socks
Inexperienced hikers may not give much thought to their socks before a trek through near the Grand Canyon, but choosing footwear that is moisture-wicking is essential.
Wool (especially merino wool) socks are often the best choice for providing warmth while wicking moisture.
In contrast, opting for cotton socks means your feet will remain damp and get cold if they become sweaty or wet on the hike.
3 Reusable Water Bottle
Bring a reusable water bottle on a visit to the Grand Canyon to remain hydrated along the trail.
Once inside the park, there will be nowhere to stop and refill or purchase water along the way, so it’s important to be prepared.
Choosing a reusable water bottle that is stainless steel or double-walled means better insulation to keep the water cold even when temperatures are warm.
2 A Waterproof, Lightweight Jacket
For approximately eight months of the year, the Grand Canyon and surrounding area receive a significant amount of rainfall. Therefore, hikers planning to visit between June and March should prepare for changing weather conditions and precipitation by wearing an outer layer that is waterproof.
A lightweight shell or rain jacket that can be removed and easily stored in a backpack is ideal.
Dressing in layers means ensuring comfort regardless of the forecast on any day when hiking at the Grand Canyon.
1 Flashlight Or Headlamp
When hiking, it’s important to understand how long a trail takes to complete and for travelers to leave themselves ample time to finish the circuit before they lose daylight.
Map the route out in advance and start the hike early in the day, leaving lots of time to get back to the trailhead before sunset.
However, to prepare for a situation where hikers become lost or do not complete the trail as quickly as they anticipated, it’s a good idea to pack a flashlight or a headlamp to put on in case night falls while they’re still on the trail.
This ensures hikers can see their surroundings and helps prevents slips, trips, and falls while navigating uneven terrain.