9. Training & Trail Descriptions 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ready To Hike One Of The Most Beautiful Trails On Earth in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA!

Plan to be on the trail for 7 - 9 Hours on Each Hike Day - Nearly 20 Miles w/6500' of Elevation Change!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iConquer offers a wide range of trails for your hike at Grand Canyon. While each trail offers differing views and varying degrees of difficulty, all provide an exciting adventure in Grand Canyon National Park. 

 

Hiking the Grand Canyon is challenging for everyone on many different levels. The first challenge is hiking in an altitude range of 4000-7000 feet where cardiovascular fitness is vital. The second challenge is hiking in extremely low relative humidity and high temperatures where hydration is critical. The other key challenges for hikers at Grand Canyon are based on personal choices and considerations (self-examination). We want your experience to be extraordinary and will put you with the team of hikers that most closely resembles your interests and hiking ability.  The following trail choices are categorized based on unique characteristics of the types of trails along the rim or into canyon. Trail choices should NOT be based solely on distance in miles (endurance) or steepness of descent/ascent (elevation gain/loss). 

 

The physical demands of hiking in and out of Grand Canyon are in stark contrast to those found in fitness walking or hiking on a relatively flat terrain. The first portion of the adventure is in a forest that provides shade and a cool beginning to the hike. Weather permitting, the view from here is spectacular. Soon after, the hike down through the switchbacks, the trail opens up to a much different environment. The shade trees turn into smaller and shorter trees and shrubs, and the ground underfoot becomes much more technical. At the same time, the trail becomes steeper as it lowers into the canyon. It is here that you will be glad for the local knowledge of an expert guide and also where you will begin to really appreciate the training hikes that prepared you for this adventure. BOTH trails in BOTH directions can be summed up in one word: STEEP! 

Strong knees and shins along with well-fitting boots are a must. As you descend the temperature can rise. As you take time to rest and enjoy the views, know that for every step-down, it will take an extra step to get back up. For each minute walked in, it will take an extra half-minute to walk out. The hike down is hardest on lower limbs, feet, and back. The returning hike will come when legs are most tired. The atmosphere will become increasingly thin as you near the top (the average rim elevation is 7000 feet.) There is 3200 feet of elevation change from the rim to the lowest part of the trail we will hike over a relatively short distance.

 

The walk up is hardest on your feet, legs, lungs and your mental toughness. Finally, though you may have overcome the “intimidation” factor of taking the first actual steps over the rim, as you hike down the steep walls, your mind's eye will be on the rim. You will always be cognizant of the climb back out. Believe it or not, it is a good thing. It will help you to not overextend yourself or burn any excess energy going down. You'll need your reserve coming back up. 

 

What Goes Down, Must Come Back Up - Under Your Own Power!


With that in mind, the best way for us to assure that you will be safe and successful in your trail experience is to give you all the tools you will need to prepare and train! The first are the images in the slideshow on the first page of this site. They should help you gain a healthy respect for the trail from where we start on the rim of Grand Canyon, the trail underfoot, and the steepness of the hike in both directions.

 

Timed hike and YOUR adventure

 

Our adventure and hike in Grand Canyon will be based upon several variables that will determine the amount of time we have to hike. As always, iConquer hikes as a team. As you have read in other sections of this guide, we have planned for quicker paced hikers as well as for those who choose a slower or less demanding pace. As you train, it is up to you to decide which hike is best for you. Once you are on the trail, our actual hikes and distances will be determined by your guides. They, and they alone, have prepared for the logistics of transportation, gauged the abilities and interests of the team, assessed the trail and weather conditions and have set a predetermined time to hike into and then out of the canyon. For your safety and the safety of the other team members, you will be required to turn around and stay with the team at all times. Our guides will not hike beyond the predetermined turnaround point. 

 

Grand Canyon Weather and Trail Conditions 

 

Like all iConquer adventures, safety is our highest priority. So NO ONE EVER hikes alone. Weather at Grand Canyon this time of year is fairly consistent. It should be sunny and warm (mid 70's) at the top and heat up quickly as we descend into the canyon. The sun grows in intensity and the heat rises quickly the lower we go into the canyon. Depending upon the day, temperatures can exceed 100f, with little or no protection from the shade. We will have a more accurate prediction of the weather as we get closer and will let you know what the weather service is predicting prior to your departure from home. While we cannot foresee any circumstance where we will not be able to do this hike, please be aware that conditions of the day will determine exactly what our adventure together will be.

 

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Recipe For Success

2 - 3 Liters of Water

Trail Snacks and Lunch

Deep Tread Hiking Boots

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iConquer - Grand Canyon Trail Descriptions

 

 Grand Canyon - Bright Angel TrailGrand Canyon - South Kaibab Trail

 

Here are detailed descriptions of the two primary trails we will utilize on your hike, Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail. Together the combined distance is up to 21 miles with nearly 6500' of elevation change over 12 - 14 hours of actual trail time! The links below are to PDF documents that can easily be printed out or downloaded to your phone for easy access. We will provide more in-depth information when we release the 10-Week Training Schedule.

Grand Canyon - The Rim Trail

 

For your convenience, here is detailed information about the Rim Trail, which is by far the most popular trail at Grand Canyon. It is not necessarily a trail we incorporate into the our SRA in-canyon hikes, but it is a fantastic 16 mile trail with some of the most spectacular views in all of Grand Canyon.

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Getting Ready To Train - Run/Walk/Aerobics

 

Our goal is to prepare you to meet the rigors that come with hiking the special nuances that not only make hiking in Grand Canyon a challenge but to overcome some of the mental and physical challenges that are typically a part of all iConquer series hikes!

 

We know that some of you are longtime runners, some of you prefer to walk for your daily fitness regime and still others prefer a combination of aerobic workouts and weight training in the gym. In training for our hike, all are great ways to prepare yourself so long as you actually get up, out and do them every day. Consistency is the key. 

 

Through our experience and in research over the years, we have learned that the single biggest challenge that most of our hike participants face is not just what to do, but rather to find the time, motivation and drive to stay active and train on a regular basis. If you follow the recommended schedule, Hike Day will be at least 56 consecutive days of walk training. So not only will you have Conquered The Canyon, but you will have started a daily fitness routine that can help you live healthier for the rest of your life. If you would like to join a free global group of people who are walking/hiking every day, please click here to visit: Im In!

 

Even if you are unable to take the time to fully follow the scheduled times/distances, make sure you walk at least 30 minutes every day to keep the consistency part going. Once you reach 20 or 30 days in a row, you will be more highly motivated to keep it going, if for no other reason than to just avoid the dreaded "Day One" all over again.

 

Training Definitions

Use these definitions in conjunction with the training schedule

 

With that in mind, we have "uncomplicated" our training recommendations so that it easier to follow and stick with for the next few months. Below are a few definitions that will help as you read the schedule and get started on it.

 

1. Run/Power Walk/Gym - This means exercising with a purpose for the time allotted. This is an aerobic exercise so if you are running or walking make sure you are building and maintaining a pace that gets your heart rate and respiration elevated. Keep it going during your entire workout.

 

2. Incline Walk - Walk uphill! It is as simple as that. 50% of your hike and 75% of your energy will be spent walking uphill. Much of it is very steep. For this exercise, stair climbers in the gym or stairs in a local building, stadium work really well. 

 

3. Get your mind right! If you are not used to hiking DOWN hill first, then back up, try it. It has a different feel than loops or out and back activities. Have someone drop you off 3 or 4 kilometers downhill from your house with only your regular gear, water, a snack and your phone. Now walk home. Build this up until you are doing several a week until you can comfortably do 12 to 14k.

 

4. Hike (Sundays and Midweek) - Get out in nature and hike. The goal is for you to develop the dexterity, balance, and stamina for walking on uneven, rocky and inconsistent surfaces and pitches that make up a forest or mountain trail.

 

5. Hike (Saturdays) - This hike should be something you set up that will challenge your strength, endurance, agility, and motivation. It is meant to be a harder hike than the Sunday or midweek hikes and is designed to help you develop your sense of commitment to a longer hike. Remember, hiking down is optional. Hiking back up is mandatory. Approach these training hikes with that mindset.

 

6. Keep Your Walk Consistent - Walk (Week 10) - Just do a purposeful walk anywhere you can for 30 minutes each day. Home, work, airport - anywhere that is convenient. The key is to keep your consistency streak going!

 

As a general reminder, while you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the hike, keep in mind that unless you live in an area where the elevation is 7000' and in a dry desert, you can't fully duplicate the environment that you will experience in Grand Canyon. As we stated before, while you can never really know how the environment will affect you until you arrive at the Canyon, you can increase your ability to cope with the added physical stress by increasing your endurance and lung capacity as you train. 

 

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"When you are moving your feet, look down!
When you are looking up, stand still!" 
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START WALKING RIGHT NOW! 

That's Right. Put down your mouse, plug in your earbuds or grab a friend and go for a WALK! 

 

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Nolan Burman, Walking Connection - iConquer Lead Guide & Plateau Point Team

iConquer Adventures

6635 W Happy Valley Road

Suite A104-410

Glendale, AZ 85310   USA

Call

USA & Canada  -  800.295.WALK

International  -  +1 623.561.0846

 

© 2019 iConquer Adventures

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