Hiking the Grand Canyon

Hiking through the Grand Canyon is an epic experience. Hiking from the north rim of the Grand Canyon down to the river requires a hike of 14 miles with nearly a mile of elevation loss and the hike up from the river to the south rim requires hiking another 9 miles and gaining most of that mile of elevation back. It is an intense hike that requires a lot of preparation but is well worth the effort. While the most stunning views of the Grand Canyon are from the rim, there is something special about being down deep inside the canyon, completely secluded from the outside world. It is serene and peaceful, surprisingly green with an environment that changes drastically throughout the hike. It is a little hard to put into words but it is unlike any other hike I have other done.

The heat of the canyon

The temperature outside is currently -20ºF. This is a stark contrast to the heat down in the Grand Canyon. During the summer, the temperatures get dangerously hot. The day in early June that we hiked down, the heat was not *that* bad, only a high of 104ºF. But it was enough that we started our hike down at just after 4 a.m. so that we could make it to the bottom of the canyon before the worst heat of the day arrived. The last section of hike down into the Grand Canyon from the north rim is called “The Box” because there are steep canyon walls on either side of the trail. As the sun beats down during the morning and early afternoon, the canyon walls absorb the heat and walking through “The Box” feels like walking through an oven. This is why we started our hike so early, so that we would be finished before the oven had fully pre-heated. While “The Box” can be hellishly hot, it is also a beautiful area of the canyon.

Hiking through The Box area of the Grand Canyon, as the trail follows a creek with steep canyon walls on either side.

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