June Zwan is a well-known naturalist from Yuma, Arizona who loves to explore the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. June loves nothing more than to head off into the Great Outdoors, using innovative natural solutions to everyday problems. In this article, June Zwan offers some excellent advice about planning day hikes in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Read on for handy tips!
An Introduction to Yosemite
The Grand Canyon in Colorado is famous for its vast canyons and vivid colors. The park is worth seeing just for the scenery, especially at sunrise, but it’s a great place to plan some day hikes and camp overnight. You can visit the many side canyons, book a guided night hike where you can learn more about the park’s residents, or just find a quiet spot and contemplate nature and the meaning of life. The choice is yours!
Choosing the Right Trails
June Zwan loves to hike in the Grand Canyon; it’s one of her favorite National Parks.
The South Kaibab Trail is perfect for day hiking. It is only 1.8 miles long, so if you have small kids, this is the one to try. You follow a well-maintained dirt track, so it is suitable for buggies and strollers. It is steep but easy to find. There are some spectacular views along the trail, but very little shade, so make sure you apply plenty of sun screen, wear protective clothing, and carry lots of water. To access the trailhead, you will need to catch a shuttle bus.
The Bright Angel Trail is 9.2 miles long, but it is doable in a day. The trailhead is in Grand Canyon Village, next to the Kolb Studio.
The Rim Trail is 12 miles long, but it’s mostly a paved road, so easy on the legs. If you set off nice and early, you should manage this hike in a day. Time it right and you can watch the sunrise! Access the Rim Trail between Pipe Creek Vista and Hermits Rest.
The Grandview Trail is a moderate 6.4-mile route with a 2,500-elevation gain. Hike this trail and you are rewarded with some amazing views from the Horseshoe Mesa. The trailhead is quite challenging to reach, however, so bear this in mind.
Pick up detailed maps and trail guides from the Grand Canyon Park Service.
Packing the Right Gear
Zwan recommends that you pack a few essentials, but leave your camera behind if you want a more authentic experience. She says it is too easy to end up spending your time looking through a lens rather than really seeing the scenery.
Taking Your Pets Hiking
June has some excellent advice for pet owners: “If you have a pet that you want to bring with you, just make sure you arrange for their care and safety. Bring food and water and make sure your pet is okay with being in your vehicle if pets are not allowed on the trails that day.”
Happy hiking! Tells us about your experiences in the Grand Canyon!