Thank you for your interest in our Grand Canyon hiking program. We’d like to offer a few comments for your serious consideration as input in your decision as to whether or not this is truly a program for you. During the course of the many, many years that we have been leading hikes into the Grand Canyon as a part of our program, we have found that an alarming number of participants have underestimated the level of physical challenge inherent in this hike. Although we will be hiking in the Park, make no mistake, this is no walk in the park.
To be absolutely blunt --this is a significant athletic undertaking appropriate for those who are physically active in their everyday lives and not for anyone who has the slightest doubt about their ability to hike what, after all, is the GRAND CANYON. The hike down, if you are considering the South Rim-based trip, is 8 miles with a descent of almost 4800 feet. Obviously, the hike UP involves reclaiming those same 4800 feet in about 10 miles. If you are contemplating a Rim-to-Rim hike, the situation is even more serious; the hike from the North Rim is 14 miles with a descent of almost 6000-feet. Downhill, yes, but, believe it or not, far more punishing than the hike up the next morning. The cumulative impact of the downhill and increasing heat cannot be overemphasized. The hike out is the same on both trips---10 miles with the 4800-foot ascent. It is not uncommon, particularly for our May and early-September programs, to experience temperatures in excess of 100-degrees on the Canyon floor.
Do not even think of the Grand Canyon as one of those opportunities to “see” if you can do it. Do not undertake the trip to “get” in shape. You must be in the appropriate condition to undertake what can be a life-threatening situation if you are not physically prepared. Once we have launched into our descent into the canyon, know that there is no bail out. People come with the mistaken notion that if things go a little sour somehow either a guide or a ranger or a mule will get them out. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The National Park Service will not evacuate you unless you are in a truly life-threatening condition.
If we sound a little strident it is because in over 19 years leading tours into the Canyon you can imagine what we have seen and why we are so adamant about trying to let prospective guests know precisely what is involved before they ruin what should have been their vacation as well as affecting everyone else in the group. On one note let us reassure you ---age absolutely has nothing to do with this-- most of our guests are between 40 and 70. Our fit hikers are usually more fit than much younger "weekend" athletes.
All of our comments are intended to ensure that you fully enjoy this adventure of a lifetime. Because if you love to hike and consider yourself to be a hiker, at some point in your life, you have to hike the
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