Safety in and around the canyon is not to be taken lightly.
The park does its level best to beat this into any head dense enough not to get it on its own: stand here and look down - any questions?
Barriers around vantage points are there for a reason. Keep a close eye and a tight grip on your kiddies and enjoy the canyon from safe spots the NPS has provided.
Never try to hike to the bottom and out on a whim: you must have the right equipment, a permit for overnight camping, and time the hike to be off the trail at the hottest part of the day. Temperatures rise as you descend and can well exceed 100 degrees in summer at-or-near the canyon floor. Heat exhaustion/dehydration can slap you upside the head in a hurry and it's big-time expensive (not to mention embarrassing) if the NPS has to haul you out because you didn't heed the anything-but-fine print.
Wear sturdy shoes with good tread if leaving the paved sections of the trails. The terrain is rocky, uneven, and can be loose or slippery.
Drink lots and lots of water. Then drink some more.
Pack along a good supply of healthy snacks.
Cover your head and use sunscreen.
This is not a good place to get schnockered. Drink responsibly. Stay away from the edge if you're seeing two of it.
And lastly, don't ever back up with a camera without looking behind you first. Know where your feet are in proximity to the rim. Yes, this has actually happened.
South Rim elevations are around 7000 feet, and the North Rim is over 8000 (8,803 ft at Point Imperial). People coming from much lower elevations are going to feel it so go easy and give yourself a day or so to adjust.
If you choose to combine your North Rim trip with Zion and Bryce, you might want to do Zion first (lowest elevation), then Bryce (points over 8000 feet) and then The North Rim (all over 8000 feet). This way you'll adjust to increasingly higher altitudes as you go.
It's cooler on the North than on the South Rim but if you descend on any below-the-rim trails, it'll get a lot warmer as you go down. Needless to say, if hiking to the bottom in the summer, you're going to get good and hot - plan and pack accordingly, and get a permit (see "One deep, hot hole" tip).
Those fences are there for a reason. The Canyon is steep. People have fallen into the cliffs over the years. Actually, I found some fences a little unsafe, so don't even lean onto them.
And Please, be extra careful, if you have little children, they don't understand the danger.
I was also mortified how some people took chances at the edge of a rock, just for the sake of a picture. Be safe! Don't take chances.
It should be obvious, but don't swim in the Colorado River. During the last two weeks, two young men tried to swim across the river and didn't survive. The river is cold and very fast moving! You just can't beat common sense.
The canyon is full of Park rangers ready to help with directions, answer questions and if need be arrest someone. During our visit we encountered an extremely intoxicated man at one of the bus stops. A Park Ranger drove up and saw the state of the man and began to ask him questions. It wasn't hard to see he was beyond intoxicated...he could barely speak or stand. The Ranger cuffed him and put him in the back of his truck. Judging by the look on the Ranger's face, this was not his first experience doing this nor was he happy about it. Since we didn't feel like getting arrested either we decided to forgo taking a picture of the guy getting handcuffed.
Word to the wise......don't get drunk at the canyon you could get arrested or even worse fall off a ledge.
About 3 years ago I was at the South Rim. I saw a woman from Japan trying to feed a wild coyote. The employees from the Bright Angel saw her and started to yell at her to get away. She didn't respond. Not too smart.
Take a picture, DON'T FEED THE WILDLIFE!!
It's a little like the bears. The old saying, "a fed bear is a dead bear." The animals need to find their own food and not depend upon humans for hand outs. Obviously, it can be very dangerous to feed wild animals too!
Experienced hikers know the following tips, do you?
*Be Prepared--know your route. Know the weather forecast. Carry a map, flashlight, perhaps extra clothing (this might include wind and rain gear). Instep crampons may be necessary on icy trail in early Spring.
*Stay Comfortable-dress in layers, allowing yo to adjust for changing conditions as you navigate the trails. A hat is a good thing!
*Go Slow-you'll know if you are going at a proper pace if you can converse with your fellow hiker. If you're out of breath, your legs and digestive system aren't getting enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen can cause fatigue, heavy legs, and exhaustion.
*Rest Often-take a 10 minute break every half hour, sit down and prop your legs up
*Eat and Drink Frequently-make sure your food and water intake is balanced. No matter what the temperature, you need water and energy to keep going.
**(these tips wisely given by the National Park Service)
we red the warning to late.
on 7th of june we did the helicopterflight at about 9.
my husband josé wanted to walk the cedar ridge point (south kaibab trail) i red it was steep. so i didnot go. he went futher than this point. he went to the phantom ranch and the same day back.
he had not enough water/drink with him. only 4 liters.
at the phantom ranch they give him more to drink and told him he could stay. but he said no because he prommissed me to be back before dark.
he gave him more drink for the way back.
people asked him on the way if he was allright a couple gave him a gal. of water.
the last half hour he used all his strenght to go up. he was exhausted. he used about 10 liters of drinks.
so my warning is take enough to drink, eat sunoil a hat and stay the night at phantom ranch if that is possible.
oh and dont start at 11.00 am it is to hot.
Don't try to make it to the bottom of the canyon (the river) and back in one day! I know it can be done, but it's gotta be really grueling. I was hurting after making it only down about 2/3 of the way. Going farther down would have been painful coming back up. ;) Yeah, remember, it takes about 1/3 of the total time to go down in the canyon and the other 2/3 to come back up... i.e., for 2 hours down, it'll take 4 hours back for 6 hours total. Remember to rest if you get winded or tired, there's no sense in killing yourself. On the other hand, it'd be very expensive to airlift you out! So know your own abilities before you go down, or decide to go down further! I know it's tough, I've been there.
1. If you plan on turning onto South Entrance Road (the South Rim entering road) from Center Road, STOP AND WAIT! South Entrance Road traffic has the right of way in which I believe is pretty stupid. Instead of giving them flashing red lights, they give them yellow 'caution' lights.
2. Mountain lions (from The Guide, the South Rim newsletter which is provided to visitors). Although rarely seen, they've been encountered by visitors before. If you encounter one, do not turn and run. This could provoke a chase response. Instead, back slowly away from the lion while making eye-to-eye contact. Report all mountain lion sightings to a ranger.
3. Please use caution near the edge of the canyon (from The Guide). A young woman falls to her death when the ground beneat her gives way at a canyon viewpoint. A man dies after he falls while rock hopping outside the guard rails at Mather Point (stupid!). A man dies after he falls while trying to get to a rock outcrop for a photograph. These tragedies are REAL. Each year several STUPID people fall to their deaths in Grand Canyon. Don't be stupid like those who fell. Remember there are many beautiful views of the canyon that you can enjoy without putting yourself at risk.
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