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Contact: Joelle Baird, 928-638-7609GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park rangers urge inner canyon hikers to hike smart while visiting the park this fall season. Hikers and backpackers attempting rigorous distances, such as ‘Rim to Rim’ through the inner canyon are strongly encouraged to be self-reliant and to understand their own physical limitations in order to prevent emergency situations for themselves and responders.
Over the past month rangers have responded to 216 hiker assists, 51 search and rescue incidents, and 37 helicopter medical evacuations in the inner canyon. Many of these emergencies could have been prevented by hikers planning ahead, knowing their own physical abilities, and choosing appropriate hiking distances.
Rangers advise that anyone hiking needs to balance food and water intake, drink when thirsty, and watch for signs of distress in traveling companions. Visitors should be prepared to self-rescue while on the canyon's trails. Plan on taking twice as long to hike up as it takes to hike down. Allow 1/3 of your time to descend and 2/3 of your time to ascend. Bring a lightweight flashlight in case you end up hiking in the dark and recreate responsibly at all times while visiting the park.
A backcountry permit is required for any overnight camping in the inner canyon. Information on obtaining a backcountry can be found at: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm
Additional information about hiking smart is available at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-smart.htm.
Last updated: October 5, 2020