River runners participating in Grand Canyon Whitewater’s Hike In or Hike Out Grand Canyon rafting trips are already preparing for their hikes! If you are booked on one of these trips, here are some important tips. The most important considerations are good footwear, taking care of your body by eating and drinking, and CARRYING AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. I mean throw away what you don’t absolutely need before you start hiking.
On your white water rafting trip you’ll need, max, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 shirts, shoes appropriate for water and your toothbrush, etc. I’d suggest packing clothing that you can leave behind with our guides (we donate left-behind items to a local women’s shelter) and not pack out. If you just have to have a ton of stuff for your white water raft trip, buy inexpensive stuff and then leave it behind. Hiking out, you need (and want) very little. Every ounce that you stuff into your backpack will seem like ten pounds as you ascend.
More tips for when you’re on the trail:
First, the trail you will be hiking is Bright Angel Trail from South Rim to the river or vice versa. The trail is 8-10 miles long (depending on which beach we’re able to pull in to) and has an elevation change of about 4,500 feet.
Second, remember this is ARIZONA! It is hot, you will need to pack at least 2 quarts of water with you and fill up at all three of the trail rest houses.
Third, in addition to drinking more water than you even think possible, you need to EAT food with salt. The condition many people don’t know of is Hyponatremia, which occurs when people don’t eat salty food with their water intake and flush out all of their electrolytes.
Fourth, don’t expect to make this hike with no previous conditioning. You need to prepare for this hike. Find the tallest mountain and hike up and down it lots in the months leading up to your trip.
Fifth, cover up and stay wet! Your body will lose a lot of water through sweat you won’t even be able to see because the air is so dry and it evaporates immediately. So, wear clothes that cover your body and soak them at every available water stop.
This hike is the safest, most well-maintained, most traveled and best trail for first time Grand Canyon hikers. It is do-able, as long as you know to prepare!
If you have questions on our hike-intensive trips, or any other trip, just call us at 1-800-343-3121. We are happy to help!