• View of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset from the South Rim

    Grand Canyon

    National Park Arizona

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  • Expect a Good Chance of Showers and Thunderstorms Through the Week.

    Monsoonal weather patterns have moved into the Grand Canyon area decreasing fire danger. As a result, on Tuesday, July 8 at 8 a.m. fire managers lifted fire restrictions within Grand Canyon National Park. More »

  • Two Bats Collected in the Park Have Tested Positive for Rabies

    One on the North Kaibab Trail and the other at Tusayan Ruin/Museum. Rabies can be prevented if appropriate medical care is given following an exposure. Any persons having physical contact with bats in Grand Canyon National Park, please follow this link. More »

Backcountry Food Storage

drawing of rock squirrel
  • Rock squirrels, frequently fed by visitors, are the leading cause of animal bites at Grand Canyon.
  • Aggressive deer mice, living off the careless food storage habits of backpackers and river runners, have over run popular backcountry campsites and beaches along the Colorado River.
  • Ravens, attracted to food wrappers and plastic, pilfer backpacks in the Horseshoe Mesa area.

The notion that critters may be lurking in the backcountry waiting to steal their food irritates some visitors to Grand Canyon National Park. Remember, you are a guest in their habitat. For your safety, the welfare of the wildlife, and the safekeeping of your equipment, you must make your food supply—a foreign substance in the backcountry—as undetectable and unobtainable as possible.

Your actions can put other people at risk of food pilfering, since animals regularly revisit areas where they easily obtained food. At worst, your behavior may lead directly to the death of a wild animal. These guidelines are meant to protect people, equipment, and the wildlife.

 
Food Storage
  • Use an animal-proof food storage container (see suggestions below).
  • Never leave food, even in your pack, unattended.
  • Carefully inspect your cooking/eating area. Clean up any food crumbs or other trash.
  • Anything aromatic—powder, ointment, toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, utensils—must be stored with your food in your animal-proof container. Animals are not selective; they are drawn by any enticing smell.
  • Leave nothing inside your pack overnight, and leave all pockets and compartments unzipped. This allows nocturnal visitors to snoop around without tempting them to gnaw at your gear out of curiosity.
  • Hanging food may still be accessible to ringtails, mice, and ravens. Hanging food can also damage trees, a valuable shade resource in the desert.
  • Pack out all your trash, including left-over food.
  • NEVER FEED WILDLIFE.


Animal-Proof Storage Containers:

Metal ammunition cases are provided at every campsite at Indian Garden, Bright Angel, and Cottonwood campgrounds. Their use is mandatory where they are available. Metal cookie tins, bear canisters, and cooking pots with lockable lids work well.

Interlocking wire mesh bag. These are available at Canyon Village Marketplace on the South Rim for rent or purchase. They are also available through the Grand Canyon Association, at the Backcountry Information Center, and other commercial outlets.

 

The information on this page is also available as a PDF file and can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat. PDF files retain the look and feel of the original document (including typography, page layout, and graphics).

PDF file - Backcountry Food Storage

Did You Know?

Grand Canyon Shuttle Buses

For more than 30 years Grand Canyon National Park has provided a free shuttle bus system on the South Rim. Visitors and residents have made 75,000,000 boardings. Riding the shuttles makes your stay more enjoyable, while reducing pollution and decreasing traffic congestion. More...