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Fit Travel: Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

Looking for a hike that'll kick your ass and demand months of training? Head southwest and traverse the width of the Grand Canyon—here are 8 tips on how to do it.

Hike down the North Kaibob Trail and up the Bright Angel Trail
Start your trek at sunup on the North Kaibob Trail accessible at the Kaibob National Forest on the North Rim. It doesn’t feel much like desert here, where the temperatures hover around freezing in the morning. You’ll descend nine miles through pine forest as the sun rises over the canyon. At the bottom, the trail turns sandy and runs through fields of cacti. Beware, rattlesnakes sun themselves on the hot, dusty ground.

Stop for a beer and a box lunch
The next seven or so miles across the base of the canyon is known as The Box and is at least 20 degrees hotter (120-degrees Fahrenheit) than the rest of the canyon. Power through and reward yourself with a beer at Phantom Ranch. You can pre order a box lunch as well, which will be waiting for you when you arrive. Try not to overeat though, because after Phantom Ranch, the ascent out of the canyon is the toughest part.

Finish strong up the switchbacks
Take Bright Angel Trail to finish at the South Rim because it has several water stops along the way. And you’ll need them. You’ll face miles and miles of steep switchbacks as you make your way up, and though you’ll be huffing and puffing, the view from the top is totally worth it. 

 

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