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The best-ever Grand Canyon hiking guide!,
This review is from: Hiking the Grand Canyon: Revised and Expanded Edition (Paperback)
I hike rim to rim to rim several times a year in the Grand Canyon, so I know the inner corridor trails pretty well. This book should now be considered the definitive guide for hiking in the Grand Canyon and the strong points of this book are worth noting. The maps are excellent, as are the descriptions of how to get to trail head. However, the book is incomplete in certain areas and outdated. The Grand Canyon has implemented a shuttle system to stem the horrific crowds (I don't see much improvement) and hikers now can't drive to the South Kaibab trail or Hermit's Rest trail. The directions in this book are therefore rendered confusing due to the new restrictions.
Most importantly, the authors neglect to stress that in order to successfully complete long hikes at the Grand Canyon, you must be physically prepared. Several times a year I hike rim to rim and then back the next day. This is 24 miles of hiking with some serious elevation gains. Oftentimes I pass many sick, debilitated and unprepared hikers who quite obviously didn't do any physical preparation for this hike. Physically fit people should be able to do it in 3-4 hours coming up, but many are stuck on the trail for 12 hours and suffering. This could be avoided by exercising and hiking for months in advance in order to enjoy and relish the spectacular experience.
The author does detail the debilitating and life-threatening heat conditions that exist in the Canyon. I recommend to anyone planning long hikes *not* to attempt them in the summer! Temperatures frequently exceed 110 degrees and heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke can result. The best months to hike in the Grand Canyon are October, November and April.
The Grand Canyon (even with the terrible crowds) is a sublime experience and Phantom Ranch is the best part of the canyon. Forget the mule and use your own two feet. It's a magical experience, a great hike and one you will want to do again and again!