The Grand Canyon Backcountry Guide
Trips & Trails
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Trips & Trails
Using this Page
(Not that you're a "User" or anything)
This page includes information that you might find useful in preparing for your trip into the Canyon. However, nothing really replaces the experience you gain from your first few trips. The trips listed on the left are color-coded, somewhat subjectively. Those in Green are the "easier" routes. Red are the most difficult and Blue fall in between. Difficulty reflects a combination of factors including: how strenuous; route finding challenges; water availability; trail exposure; scrambling/climbing; etc. It's only our opinion. After several trips, you'll have your own.
(How to avoid being perceived as one)
The Grand Canyon can be a dangerous place. The good news is that common sense generally prevails when making a descent from the Rim. In this environment especially, common sense includes: self-awareness as to your truephysical condition and capabilities; recognizing that what goes down must come up; having respect for the danger of heat and hypothermia; bringing adequate water, water, water and plenty of energy-renewing food; dressing appropriately; knowing where you're going; and ensuring that others know your travel plans.
Despite the best plans and intentions, things can go wrong. Planning, preparation and basic outdoor skills, like first aid, go a long way toward getting one through a scrape.
On the other hand, every year hikers ignore the plentiful cautions about safety in Canyon travel. So, if you happen to be one of these, and are bent on seeking candidacy for an annual "Darwin Award," please do everyone a favor and exit the gene pool elsewhere.
(Reasons for your "Victim" disqualification)
We've tried to provide the most current information available to aid back-country travel in the Canyon. It's unfortunate that in these litigious times we need to warn people about the obvious, but here goes anyway.
Backcountry travel, particularly in the Grand Canyon, can be dangerous.
The Grand Canyon is a natural place. Nature is constantly changing. Where do all those rocks and boulders come from that you'll see laying around? Look up. It isn't just apples that fall. Consequently you might get hit on the head by something gravity chooses to act on while you're underneath it. For more information, reference Newton's Laws of Motion. The same laws apply to YOU should you trip, slip or fall.
The place can be really freakin' hot... We mean REALLY freakin' hot. So one's failure to remain adequately hydrated means you could be "toast," both figuratively and literally. Ditto on the adequacy of food to keep your energy levels high. It can be REALLY cold too. Hypothermia is NOT a remote possibility. For more information, reference the Three Laws of Thermodynamics.
When it rains, and sometimes it's nowhere in the vicinity, you might be presented with a wall of water churning down that dry wash you're hiking through. Flash floods are a key cause behind all the erosion that created this place. Speaking of water, stay out of the Colorado River. It's cold, swift and deadly.
If you have any common sense, we recommend that you use it. If you have not been graced with the aforementioned, we recommend including several companions with adequate amounts. Keep in mind however, that when it comes to common sense, two halves do not equal a whole.
We've tried our best to fill this website with accurate information, but the Canyon is ever changing. If you find that we've got something wrong, let us know about it through The Info Exchange page, and we'll get it corrected.
When it gets right down to it -- Caveat lector... Let the reader beware.
(And be heartened by the fact that fat, loud people will be there to greet you at the Rim upon your return)
Info to Know