Backpacking in the Grand Canyon – Exploring Nature’s Greatest Work of Art

The Grand Canyon is synonymous with beauty and it's no surprise that over 5 million people visit this natural wonder every year. Long before Europeans discovered the awe inspiring atmosphere of the canyon, Native Americans were living here. While plenty of people visit the Grand Canyon, not many dare to explore this remarkable landscape. Backpacking here is extremely popular as some of the most unique sights of the Grand Canyon can only be seen from the interior.

Before traveling to the Grand Canyon for a backpacking trip, it's important to be prepared. Dehydration is a major problem here, so make sure you've got more than enough water to go around. Other essential items for backpacking here are:

Clean Socks
Wide-brimmed Hat
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Tent & Sleeping Bag
Food & Snacks
First Aid Kit
Swiss Army Knife
Camera (This one is vital for capturing the best moments of your trip)

Whether you're looking for a short day trip or a week-long adventure, backpacking in the Grand Canyon is an exciting experience for both young and old alike. Below you will find 2 of the most popular areas of the Grand Canyon to explore on your backpacking expedition.

Havasu Falls
One of the most popular and widely photographed areas of the Grand Canyon are the green-blue waters of Havasu Falls. Located within the Havasupai Indian reservation, backpacking here will take you back to a time before electricity and running water. Visiting the falls is a 10 mile hike from Hualapai Hilltop, which is only a 4 hour drive from Flagstaff. Many visitors to this area of the canyon end up spending their whole trip here. There are enough trails and beautiful sights near Havasu Falls to keep you busy for well over a week. To camp here you must make reservations with the tribe.

Grandview Trail & Horseshoe Mesa
The Grandview Trail is a steep, unmaintained trail low on foot traffic and high on amazing views. Backpackers will enjoy the spectacular scenery and challenging terrain of this trail which takes you 6 miles to Horseshoe Mesa. Once at horseshoe mesa you will find campsites and outhouses, which with a permit you can make use of. Water is in short supply here, so make sure to bring enough to last your entire stay. The Grandview Trail is one of the most challenging of all trails in the Canyon, in many places taking you near precarious drops and steep hillsides.

The Grand Canyon is a backpackers paradise, full of amazing views and exciting terrain. People for thousands of years have been inspired by the beautiful landscape and immense size of the Canyon. There are far too many sights worth seeing and places worth visiting to list here. The best advice I could give you is to plan out your trip rigorously and decide which areas you want to see most before visiting.

Permits are required for overnight stays in the Canyon and can be purchased at the Backcountry Information Center near the entrance of the park. Camping here is closely monitored and demand always exceeds availability, so make sure to plan ahead.

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