Some Day Backpacks offer pretty scary descents and ascents. Day Backpacks that I've found to be some of the very best are found at the Grand Canyon!
The Grand Canyon!
There is no other place in the world that compares to the Grand Canyon National Park. Not when it comes to the sheer size of the canyon! I will show you some photos but they can't compare to seeing it for yourself!
Grand Canyon National Park
I have been to the Grand Canyon a number of times, both the south and north rims. The north rim has a lodge and cabins. On one trip, I stayed in a cabin in my own room while my two friends Harry and Bernie stayed in the other room. During the night, Bernie woke up and panicked! Harry had left their window open and there was a fire burning somewhere in the canyon.
Grand Canyon North Rim
Smoke came in their window, choking Bernie! Bernie has a heart condition, so this is not good. I was not affected because my windows were shut.
Another time, Harry and I drove one hundred miles to the north rim only to find once again there was smoke!
Apparently they had a "controlled burn" that got out of control! The canyon was full of smoke and we were choking. Also, it would burn our eyes. Harry really wanted to book a cabin but I convinced him not to since we could not see into the canyon and the smoke would just choke us. We decided to leave and drive to Flagstaff, Arizona. I was really upset with the National Park. It should have been closed, but instead it stayed open and would not refund our $20. Make sure before you go there, there is no fire!
Grand Canyon Controlled Burn!
More than 250 people are rescued from the canyon each year. Especially during the months of May to September, do not attempt to Day Backpack from the rim to the river. It's just too dry and hot!
For day backpacks, many trails are available. The north rim and the south rim feature rim trail Day Backpacks that have incredible views of the canyon. You can choose to day backpack into the canyon, also. For noncommercial day backpacks, permits are not required.
Grand Canyon South Rim
Given by the Grand Canyon Field Institute, the park also has a guided day backpack that is educational in nature.
A day backpack can be an enjoyable and safe choice. An overnight trip can be much more difficult and riskier.
In or out of the Grand Canyon, there are no easy trails!
Out Of The Grand Canyon
At the Grand Canyon, use your common sense and head when you day backpack!
From the village area to Hermits Rest, runs the Rim Trail. For hikers who desire an easy hike, the Rim Trail offers quiet views of the inner canyon.
Rim Trail View Of South Rim
Bright Angel Trail
The Bright Angel Trail gives day hikes a distance up to twelve miles round trip and begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge: Steep. This trail has some protection from the sun and, subject to breaks in the pipeline, seasonal water.
The Bright Angel Trail
South Kaibab Trail
On Yaki Point Road, the South Kaibab Trail begins south of Yaki Point: Steep. To get to the Kaibab Trail Route, access to the trailhead is by shuttle bus. Day hikes range in distance up to six miles round trip. For a short hike, this trail has the best views!
The Hermit Trail has hikes to Dripping Springs, seven miles round trip, and Santa Maria Spring, five miles round trip: Steep. Much tougher are the trail conditions than South Kaibab and the Bright Angel Trails.
Hermit Trail View
The Grandview Trail has hikes to Horseshoe Mesa, and Coconino Saddle, 6.4 miles and 2.2 miles round trip: Very Steep. Much tougher are the trail conditions than South Kaibab and the Bright Angel Trails.
The Grandview Trail
Thirty minutes approximate round trip hiking time; 0.5 mile round trip. To an incredible view of the canyon, a short hike on a paved trail.
Bright Angel Point Trail
1.5 hours approximate hiking time; Three miles round trip. From Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground along the canyon rim.
A distance of 1.2 miles one way, this trail is along the road and it connects the Grand Canyon Lodge with the North Kaibab Trailhead. On this hard trail, bicycles and pets on leash are permitted.
The Grand Canyon Lodge
North Kaibab Trail
From the North Rim, this is the only maintained trail into the canyon. For an appreciation of the canyon's huge size and natural beauty, take a short hike to Supai Tunnel, four miles round trip or Coconino Overlook, 1.5 miles round trip.
Supai Tunnel View Of Roaring Springs Canyon
Ken Patrick Trail
Six hours approximate one way hiking time; ten miles one way. From Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area, makes its way through the forest and along the rim.
Ken Patrick Trail
Uncle Jim Trail
Three hours approximate hiking time; five miles round trip. To an overlook viewing the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks and the canyon, travels through the forest. The North Kaibab Trail parking lot is the start for this trail.
Uncle Jim Trail
Six hours approximate round trip hiking time; ten miles round trip. A mixture of canyon and forest scenery. Even a short walk can be very appealing!
Widforss Trail View
From Mexico in the south to the Utah border in the north, the Arizona Trail is an enormous project that travels the length of Arizona. A distance of approximately ten miles in the park, part of this trail enters the park near the North Entrance and parallels the highway until it connects with the North Kaibab Trail.
Cape Royal Trail
Thirty minutes approximate hiking time; 0.6 mile round trip. With views of the Colorado River, Angels Window, and the canyon, an easy hike on a paved, flat trail.
Angels Window On Cape Royal Trail
Cliff Springs Trail
One hour approximate hiking time; One mile round trip. Ends where a chest high boulder rests under a large overhang and goes down a forested ravine. On the cliff side of the boulder, the spring is found.
Cliff Springs Trail
Cape Final Trail
Two hours approximate round trip hiking time; four miles round trip. To Cape Final, a two mile hike from dirt parking area. A view of the canyon is from this trail.
Cape Final Trail
Roosevelt Point Trail
Twenty minutes approximate hiking time; 0.2 mile round trip. With great views, this trail is a secluded woodland loop. For a relaxed enjoyment of the canyon, it has benches.
Roosevelt Point Trail
Point Imperial Trail
Two hours approximate hiking time; four miles round trip. This nice trail ends at the north park property line and passes through areas burned by the 2000 Outlet Fire.
Plan before you arrive, for enjoyable and safe day backpacks, start here...
1. Electrolytes and water: You often don't realize how much water you are losing, in the desert sweat evaporates very quickly. For your body, electrolytes are necessary. You may experience a grouchy attitude, nausea, fatigue, muscle spasms and painful leg cramps, if you don't have enough electrolytes.
Electrolytes And Water
2. Salty snacks and food: A day backpack uses an enormous amount of calories in the Grand Canyon. By eating potato chips and cookies (high energy salty snacks), you will keep your body fueled with enough salt to keep sweating, and enough calories to keep backpacking. For long lasting energy, add some whole grains and protein. While you're hiking, take in 300 to 500 calories per hour. Drink and eat small amounts often. Rest for at least thirty minutes every several hours. Also, to really see the beautiful views, these breaks will give you the time!
Whole Grains And Protein
3. A headlamp or flashlight: When going downhill, trails in the Grand Canyon drop off steeply. At night, make sure you have a headlamp or flashlight. Carry an extra set of batteries and check the batteries in your light before you head out.
4. First Aid Kit: Your first aid kit should include an elastic bandage. Wrapping a sore knee or weak ankle may prevent an injury and can help support it. Be sure to have some moleskin because blisters are another common injury. Carry an epipen for stings, and bring any medications you take, especially if you are diabetic.
First Aid Kit
5. Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen before, and every few hours during your day backpack, if you can remember. Cover your lips, ears and neck. To help protect your skin, wear a t shirt with sleeves.
T Shirt With Sleeves
6. Hat: Wearing a hat shades your eyes and head and reduces the amount of heat to your brain from the sun. Soak your shirt and hat, when extra water is available. To provide the best protection, wear a wide brim hat.
Wear A Wide Brim Hat
7. Sunglasses: As well as dust on the trail, sunglasses protect your eyes from glare and U.V. rays. To truly enjoy the great scenery, protect your eyes!
8. Rain gear: In your backpack, be sure to have a rain jacket. Causing the temperature to drop ten to twenty degrees F quickly, summer thunderstorms are often intense and short cloudbursts. When you stop to rest after dark, a jacket will keep you from cooling down too quickly.
9. Spray bottle: Helps backpackers to stay cool, spraying water on their head and face. A great way to promote cooling is spraying water on your shirt and hat in between water sources.
10. Have a Good attitude: Simply by telling themselves I can do it, many times tired hikers have been able to finish their hike! Stop and rest, if you're not having fun. As my friend Harry Johnson always used to say: "This is not a race!" The first steps to relieving a tired mental attitude and body are rest, water and food. After sunset if necessary, if you pack your ten essentials you will have enough light, water and food to get you to finish your hike. So enjoy the canyon and journey, and take your time!
I Can Do It!
Anyone who has been to the Grand Canyon and has been on any of these trails and has an interesting story to tell, please share your story below...
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Join the free Backpack and Gear E-Zine online newsletter and get the latest information on how to hike (almost) anywhere you want to under the sun. There's also a great article on how to use your gear in each issue. Join here.