I recently wrote about our disastrous hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where we ended up sleeping in the rest house. Word of advice: do not be like us. Be prepared. Know what you are getting into and do not assume that you are too smart because chances are, you are not, like us. This is not your typical list with telling you to bring your first aid kits, trail maps, and such because, really that would be a given. These are things that we NEEDED, but forgot to bring when preparing for our hike. Below are our tips for hiking in the Grand Canyon!
Because I believe that every good hiking story should be based around hugging the porcelain throne…
Six years ago when we moved to the Grand Canyon and a little bit before we went on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, we decided it would be “fun” to go hiking in the Grand Canyon and camp under the stars. Note: fun is a word I am using loosely and you will eventually know why.
We rented a tent, sleeping mats, trekking poles, and hiking boots from our job (hello, free!) and raided the store for necessities. Protein/energy bars, check. Jerky, check. Goldfish, check. We borrowed Camelback backpacks from some of our coworkers. All we had left to do was wait until dawn to catch the bus to the trail-head. We thought we were prepared for hiking in the Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon trails, but like many other things, were we wrong.
About this time six years ago we decided to up and move to the Grand Canyon in Arizona for the summer. We landed jobs at one of the local concessions that gave us housing and we were off. We Adam drove (I slept uncomfortably in the front seat) for three days from Pennsylvania, to Michigan, to the Grand Canyon.
There’s this ongoing joke that we have. Normally, if we drive to the gas station five minutes away I’m wide awake. However, if we are doing a long drive that’s more than a half an hour long I’m asleep by the time we get to the gas station…five minutes away. You see, I’ve been trained. Trained to sleep during long car rides. From our vacations to Michigan and to Florida (hell, even New Jersey), long car rides meant time to go to sleep. And when sleep is calling your name, you give in.
So, as you might have already guessed. We were driving three days, across country. That’s it. I was out. I did manage to wake up a few times when Adam would shake my arm and tell me to look at something he thought was cool, but after that…back to sleep I went.
Working at the Grand Canyon we have some perks the other companies do not have:
- Discounts at the Canyon grocery store and a few others that they own
- Free Camping Rentals
- Discounted Rafting Trips (Which I found out about….one day BEFORE we left the Canyon)
- Better employee housing
The other company got other (better) perks. We’re talking about $6 helicopter rides over the Canyon and free mule rides down the Canyon. Two of the things EVERYONE wants to do when they visit the Grand Canyon.