Tag Archive for: grand canyon

Elzada Clover, the first botanist to catalog plants in the Grand Canyon and one of the first women to traverse the Colorado.

Elzada Clover: The Botanist Of The Grand Canyon

Elzada Urseba Clover was born in Auburn, Nebraska in 1897, the seventh of nine children of Maynard French Clover and Sarah Gates Clover. She had six sisters (Alice, Mabel, Bessie, Vida, Cora, and Maud) and two brothers (Maynard and Verne).

She grew up on her father’s farm and attended high school in the nearby town of Peru. Her mother died in 1913 and her father remarried around 1925 and moved to Texas, where he set up as a farmer near Alamo.

Clover began her career as a public school teacher in 1919, working first in Nebraska and later in Texas; she also supervised an Indian mission school in the latter state. She graduated from Nebraska State Teachers College in 1930 and went on to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for her M.S. (1932) and Ph.D. (1935) degrees. The subject of her doctoral thesis was the vegetation of the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Elzada Clover, the first female botanist of the Grand Canyon to catalog the plant life there.

via University of Utah

Elzada is most famous for her 1938 expedition down the Colorado River. In fact, she was the first woman to successfully travel by boat down the Colorado, at the time still largely unexplored and treacherous. During that expedition, she planned to record and discover new plant species along the river.

While that is a long list of accomplishments for any individual, Elzada Clover did this at a time when for the most part women weren’t accepted in the sciences. She heard repeatedly before her expedition that the Colorado River is “no place for a woman,” and she was denied any title above instructor for many years at the University of Michigan. Elzada Clover proved them wrong. And she is credited with identifying over 50 species of desert plants and powerfully influencing the future of botany.

Elzada Clover, the first female botanist of the Grand Canyon to catalog the plant life there.

Grand Canyon Superintendent Tillotson, Dr Clover, and Norm Nevills, 12 July 1938.
via NPS Photo

No woman had launched down the Colorado River and survived. The river had claimed many men, too, with its force and fury. Knifing through seven American states and parts of Mexico over 6 million years, the river had created a deep, winding gouge in the earth best known for the Grand Canyon.

The lone woman to attempt the river had been Bessie Hyde, who with her husband, Glen, set off in 1928 for their honeymoon. Both the trip and marriage were short-lived; the Hydes never reached their destination and their bodies were never found.

Now came a U-M professor and a graduate assistant named Lois Jotter. “Just because the only other woman who ever attempted the trip was drowned is no reason women have any more to fear than men,” Jotter told a reporter.

The Colorado River Expedition

Elzada was appointed an instructor in botany at the University of Michigan in 1935, as well as assistant curator of its botanical gardens. With her research and teaching focused on the Cactaceae, Clover was collecting cacti in the Colorado Plateau (Utah) in 1937 when her dreams of exploring the plants of the Grand Canyon first began to take shape.

She then started planning a research trip down the Colorado River to catalog its flora, and the university gave her some funding for the trip in the expectation that it would yield specimens for its collection. Although she originally intended to go by pack mule, she discussed the idea of going by boat instead with the pioneering Colorado River boatman, Norman Nevills, whom she met on a collecting expedition in Mexican Hat, Utah.

Elzada Clover, the first female botanist of the Grand Canyon to catalog the plant life there.

via University of Utah

Rushing down the river in three green-and-white wooden boats, Clover, at 42, was the oldest. In addition to teaching botany at U-M—where she had earned her doctorate—she was an assistant curator at the Botanical Gardens. Jotter, the daughter of a U-M forestry professor, was studying both botany and biology.

Also on the trip were graduate students, Eugene Atkinson, artist Bill Gibson (who took photographs and film of the trip), and, as Nevills’s assistant, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist named Don Harris. Part way through the trip, due to tensions among expedition members, Atkinson left and was replaced by photographer Emery Kolb.

Clover and Jotter floated the Green and Colorado rivers in 43 days, cataloging the plants they found along the way. The female botanists made plant lists and collected specimens throughout the trip, although the rigors of the journey—especially lack of space and difficulty keeping specimens dry—meant that they ended up with fewer specimens than they had hoped.

They described the canyon as having five plant zones, from the moist sand along the river’s edge up to higher zones with shrubs and trees. Most of what they found were typical riparian species, with a major exception being tamarisk, a non-native species that they saw in a few locations.

Tamarisk shrub at the Grand Canyon.

Tamarisk (Tamarix L.)

They found very little snakeweed, which has since become common throughout the canyon.

Snakeweed bush in the Grand Canyon.

Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae)

The team identified five plant zones, 50+ species of desert plants, and discovered four new species: Grand Canyon claret cup with a red-purple flower, fishhook cactus with small flowers and curved spines, strawberry hedgehog cactus, and beavertail prickly pear. The cactus Clover collected formed the basis for what is now Matthaei’s desert house collection.

They published their findings six years later in a scientific journal under the title, “Floristic Studies in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and Tributaries.”

After the successful river run, Elzada Clover spent her entire career at U-M, slowly climbing the faculty ranks to become a full professor in 1960. Over her career, she identified nearly 50 species of cacti, begonia, mosses and other plants in the United States, Guatemala and Mexico. She retired in 1967 and died 13 years later. In 2007, the University established the Elzada U. Clover Collegiate Professorship in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

The cactus she collected along the Colorado River and shipped to Ann Arbor became the foundation of the desert collections at what is today’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens. In thanking Clover, the Board of Regents called the plants “her continuing monument.”

Clover and Jotters’ survey of plant life, completed on about 600 miles of river, remains the only comprehensive study of plant life in the riparian ecosystem before Glen Canyon Dam altered the landscape.

sources: mbgna.umich.edu, heritage.umich.edu, williamsnews.com, grandcanyontrust.org, wikivisually.com, plants.jstor.org

Famous for revitalizing Hopi pottery by creating a contemporary style inspired by prehistoric ceramics, this Hopi-Tewa potter's name is still known for her contribution to Southwestern pottery.

Nampeyo: The Noted Hopi Potter

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Hopi-Tewa potter Nampeyo revitalized Hopi pottery by creating a contemporary style inspired by prehistoric ceramics. Nampeyo made clay pots at a time when her people had begun using manufactured vessels, and her skill helped convert pottery-making from a utilitarian process to an art form.

Nampeyo and her pottery.

Nampeyo with one of her Sikyátki Revival vessels, ca. 1908–1910. Hopi, Arizona. Photo by Charles M. Wood. P07128
via The National Museum of the American Indian

Nampeyo, from the Hopi village of Hano on First Mesa, was born around 1860, the daughter of Quootsva of the Hopi Snake clan and White Corn of the Tewa clan. At puberty, she was given the Tewa name “Nung-beh-yong,” usually pronounced “Nahm-pay-oh” by outsiders.

She was known as one of the finest Hopi potters, crafting beautiful pieces of pottery in the traditional Old Hopi style. When she married her second husband, who was assisting at an archaeological excavation of Sikyátki near her home village, she became interested in the ancient style of Hopi pottery. Created between the 14th and 16th centuries, the ancient style of pottery was harder and less prone to cracks that the style of pottery Nampeyo’s contemporaries were producing.

Sikyatki is the name of an enormous ancient Hopi village on the east flank of First Mesa that was abandoned about 1500. The abandonment of Sikyatki is told in Hopi oral tradition as due to a dispute with Walpi, whose descendents still reside on top of First Mesa, that resulted in the destruction of Sikyatki.

Along with her husband, Nampeyo gathered pottery shards and studied the ancient designs painted on them by her ancestors, which she incorporated into her own pottery. She used ancient methods to fire and finish the pottery, producing a smoother finished surface.

“When I first began to paint, I used to go to the ancient village and pick up pieces of pottery and copy the designs,” Nampeyo told interviewers at the time. “That is how I learned to paint. But now, I just close my eyes and see designs and I paint them.”

Nampeyo was a sought-after potter by the time she was 20 years old. She married a Tewa man named Kwivioya, but the union was short-lived.

In 1878, she married Lesou of the Cedarwood clan from Walpi. She gave birth to six children from 1884 to 1900. During this time, she also produced some of her most artistic and innovative work.

Nampeyo’s Pottery Style

Nampeyo Hopi's pottery collection.

via Arizona State Museum

Sikyatki polychrome, also called yellow ware, was produced from about 1325 to 1630 at Sikyatki and two other Hopi villages. It was made with fine local clay that polished to a smooth, hard surface and represented a high watermark in known Hopi pottery prior to the turn of the 20th century.

When Nampeyo began making pottery, the predominant style was what is now referred to as Polacca polychrome. Produced with coarse clay, it required a thin layer of finer clay applied to the surface, on which to paint designs. The white surface layer, or slip, often cracked over time and was not as aesthetically pleasing as the earlier, Sikyatki style.

Seeking out specific clays and the raw materials needed for color, Nampeyo preferred to shape low, wide pots with abstract, geometric designs. She did not fill her bowls with detail, but used space as an art form along with intricate brush strokes and bold splashes of color.

Decorative elements that appear on the cookware or clothing are drawn from each tribe’s unique religious beliefs or world views. When Nampeyo first began making her pots, Hopi motifs had been diluted by the influence of Spanish, Tewa or Zuni designs, most frequently “Mera,” the rain bird. Even the clay used by the Hopi potters was inferior. Nampeyo’s brilliance was not only her superior natural gifts as an artist but her ability to recognize the importance of reclaiming the long-lost Hopi symbols. At the same time, she went beyond imitation and became the inspiration for continuing generations of Hopi potters.

Nampeyo' rare Hopi-Tewa pottery
Nampeyo' rare Hopi-Tewa pottery

via suduva.com

In 1904, the Fred Harvey Co. hired architect Mary Colter to design a building at the Grand Canyon that resembled a Hopi dwelling, three stories high with pole ladders ascending to each terrace.Native artisans were invited to Hopi House to demonstrate their crafts of weaving, basketry, jewelry, and pottery-making, and to sell their products to the public. Nampeyo and her family were the first to arrive in January 1905. For three months, Nampeyo and her daughter Annie crafted pottery and were so successful they ran out of clay. Harvey employees were sent to the Hopi reservation for more materials, as Nampeyo would only use clays from certain areas.

She stayed and lived as an artist in residence at Mary Colter’s Hopi House, selling her pottery there until 1907, when she left to exhibit her works across the U.S.

Nampeyo’s daughters — Annie, Nellie, and Fannie — all became talented potters. Together with Lesou, they assisted their mother in painting her designs, especially after she began losing her eyesight in the early 1920s. Trachoma, an infectious eye disease that results in scarring of the cornea and eventual blindness, ran rampant through the Hopi Nation. Brought on by poor sanitary conditions, lack of water and an abundance of flies, the only treatment available at the time was an antiseptic solution that temporarily halted the progression of the disease, but did not cure it.

On July 20, 1942, Nampeyo died in the red-roofed house below First Mesa. She had continued to shape her pots until about three years before her death.

Today, the extraordinary quality encouraged by Nampeyo continues, even as artists incorporate their own designs and many have moved in contemporary directions. The prevalence of the motifs Nampeyo reintroduced even in Southwestern pottery today stands to show how important she was to revitalizing Southwestern pottery.

sources: williamsnews.com, grandcanyontrust.org, tucson.com, suduva.com, statemuseum.arizona.edu, cowboysindians.com, encyclopedia.com, uapress.arizona.edu, bowers.org

The Grand Canyon National Park with its Colorado River has attracted more than six million visitors a year. But have you ever wondered, who mapped the Grand Canyon for the first time?

Barbara Washburn: The Accidental Adventurer Who Mapped The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park, preserving more than 1.2 million acres of the country’s most spectacularly scenic land, has attracted more than six million visitors a year, exerting an almost magnetic pull on hikers, rafters, explorers, and tourists from all over the world. Artists and writers are also drawn to the canyon, hoping to capture its legendary beauty and breadth. But have you ever wondered, who mapped the Grand Canyon for the first time?It was done by this forgotten female mountain climber, who spent years to map the entire canyon. If you are not familiar with her cartography story, you might have heard her historic Denali ascent instead.

Barbara Washburn, the female mountaineer who mapped the Grand Canyon.

Left to right: Barbara Washburn, Mt. McKinley National Park Supt. Frank Been, and Bradford Washburn in 1947
via National Park Service

Not only did Barbara become the first woman in the world to climb Denali (Mount McKinley), the highest peak in North America, she also worked with her husband, Bradford Washburn, to map the Grand Canyon.

Barbara’s Life

Barbara Washburn

via The American Alpine Club

Born in 1914, Barbara, like most women of her generation, was brought up with the idea that her place was in the home. After graduated from Smith College at the age of 24, Barbara Polk was happily employed as the secretary of the Harvard biology department. But in the spring of 1939, Clarkie, the mailman, encouraged her to apply for a job opening at the New England Museum of Natural History, whose leadership had just been taken over by an ambitious young mountaineer named Bradford Washburn.

Bradford was a mountain climber and had already established several first ascents in Alaska. After her job interview, he said he’d call her in two weeks about the job. He called her every day for two weeks, and she took the job in March 1939. Their professional relationship became more intimate, and a year after that, he proposed to her.

After their marriage in April 1940, the couple went on a trip to Alaska. Together with six other people, the couple signed up for an expedition to ascend Mt. Bertha, which stands 10,812 feet tall. One year after that, the couple, along with their team, became the first to successfully summit 13,628-foot Mount Hayes.

In 1947, Barbara and Bradford left their three children at home to climb Mount McKinley (now called Denali). The 14,600-foot climb took 70 days. She had trained for the climb by pushing a baby carriage, she later said. After nearly two months of trekking, as they neared the top, a member of the team turned around and encouraged Barbara to be the first to reach the top. “I said, ‘Who cares a rip? I don’t care—I’m perfectly happy being number two here,’” she later recalled. She eventually agreed to take the lead, and she soon stood on the summit as the first woman to look out from North America’s highest point.

No woman followed in her footsteps for another 20 years.

Barbara and Brad were married for 67 years. They were ideal companions and partners in the field, not only in Alaska but also in such monumental projects as mapping the Grand Canyon. Late in life, Barbara started writing down sketches of her adventures, in a typescript intended only to serve as a legacy for her children. But Alaska journalist Lew Freedman borrowed the only copy of the typescript, read it overnight, and persuaded her to publish it as a memoir, The Accidental Adventurer (Epicenter Press, 2001).

On September 25, 2014, Barbara Washburn died in her home in Lexington, Massachusetts, just two months shy of her 100th birthday and seven years after her husband. With her passing, America lost one of its truly great adventurers and pioneer climbers.

Mapping The Grand Canyon

The Washburns' Map of Grand Canyon

via National Geographic Maps

In the 1970s, Barbara and her husband took on an ambitious project to map the entire Grand Canyon, the results of which were published as a supplement to National Geographic magazine in 1978.

The story of Washburn’s map, as told in the 2018 National Geographic book All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey, started when Washburn and his wife, Barbara, visited the Grand Canyon in 1969. They had come to acquire a boulder from the bottom of the canyon to display in front of Boston’s Museum of Science, where Washburn was the director. “We were astonished that no good large-scale map was available anywhere,” he recalled. So he decided to make one himself.

It took eight years of planning, fieldwork, analysis, drafting, painting, and negotiating to create his map of the Grand Canyon. Such an endeavor would be unheard of in today’s digital world.

Many of the points in their survey were extremely difficult or impossible to reach on foot, so Washburn hired helicopters to get them there. With 697 helicopter landings on obscure buttes and ledges in the 1970s, the Washburns and their assistants may have been the first people to ever set foot on some of the canyon’s most remote points.

Turning all of this fieldwork into a map would turn out to be just as laborious and twice as complicated as gathering the data. Bradford’s goal was to produce a masterpiece, which meant putting together an all-star team to make the map. “Nothing quite like this has ever been done before,” he wrote to the president of the National Geographic Society.

The mapping team, which included staff members of the National Geographic Society, conducted a photographic survey before employing a then-novel technique of flying helicopters to land on unscaled peaks. After cross-checking measurements of what Mr Washburn described as “this magnificent but desiccated and vertiginous wilderness,” the team produced a map of the Inner Canyon in 1974 and then a map of the center of the Grand Canyon in 1978.

In the end, all that work paid off exactly as the Washburns hoped: the map is exceptional, both technically and aesthetically. National Geographic produced two versions of “The Heart of the Grand Canyon” map, one at the full 33-by-34-inch size and another covering slightly less territory as a supplement to the July 1978 issue of National Geographic magazine, putting it in the hands of more than ten million readers around the world.

For this cartography achievement, the Washburn couple was awarded the 1980 Alexander Graham Bell Medal from the National Geographic Society. Eight years later in 1988, the couple also received the National Geographic Centennial award together with 15 other legends like Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Edmund Hillary.

For more details about Barbara’s life and climbing adventures, listen to her oral history from the University of Alaska’s Project Jukebox.

sources: nationalgeographic.com, adventure-journal.com, publications.americanalpineclub.org, nytimes.com, visiontimes.com, wcvb.com, outsideonline.com, nps.gov

Mary Jane Colter, the architect behind your favorite buildings in the Grand Canyon South Rim. Contact SWEETours for your next big adventure. Talk to one of our customer service agents for more info!

Mary Colter: The Architect Behind Your Favorite Buildings at the Grand Canyon South

If you’ve sipped a lemonade at Phantom Ranch, or stayed at Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim, you’re familiar with Mary Colter’s work. She was a lady ahead of her time, where she designed and supervised the construction of six of Grand Canyon National Park’s most famous buildings, all of which still stand today.

Mary Colter: The Female Architect

Mary Jane Colter, the chief designer of Grand Canyon.

via National Park Service

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was born in 1869 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and while her family lived briefly in Texas and Colorado, the Colter’s finally settled in St. Paul. She desired to pursue art as a career but couldn’t due to family opposition. It wasn’t until the death of her father that she moved toward following her dream. She was, at the time, one of the few female architects working in the U.S.—a woman in a man’s world who had to fight hard for recognition.

Mary attended the California School of Design in San Francisco, studying art and design. Few universities taught architecture, so she apprenticed with a practicing architect. This was unusual for a woman, but Mary was determined. In 1892, at the age of 23, she began a 15-year teaching career at the Mechanic Arts High School, an all-boys institution, back in St. Paul.

Through informal contacts with the Fred Harvey Company, Colter eventually landed a job as an interior designer of the Indian Building adjacent to the Santa Fe’s new Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque, along the main line. As a full-time architect in the Fred Harvey Company, Mary Colter would build six buildings on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Colter was a perfectionist, who spent a lifetime advocating and defending her aesthetic vision in a largely male-dominated field. In 1948, at the age of 79, Colter officially retired from the Fred Harvey Company. On January 8, 1958, at the age of 88, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter died.

Mary Colter’s Buildings

At the time, American architecture followed the fashions of Europe, but Mary preferred to let her conceptions grow from the land, paying homage to the Native Americans who inhabited the area. Her creative free-form buildings at Grand Canyon took direct inspiration from the landscape and served as part of the basis of the developing artistic aesthetic for appropriate development in areas that became national parks. Her designs include Hermit’s RestLookout StudioBright Angel LodgeHopi House and the Watchtower, along with Phantom Ranch, situated at the bottom of the canyon.

Located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, these buildings* highlight the ingenuity of Colter, chief architect and decorator for the Fred Harvey Company from 1902 to 1948.

*As a group, these buildings were designated a National Historic Landmark District on May 28, 1987.

1. Hopi House (1904)

Hopi House postcard. Mary Colter's Hopi House.
When the Fred Harvey Company noticed that native American craftspeople were doing a booming trade selling their arts and crafts at railroad stops, they began planning Hopi House, a dedicated marketplace for native American wares on the South Rim.

Located next to El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House is a prime example of Colter’s unique site-specific style. The building was built by Hopi craftsmen and constructed using local materials and salvaged items, such as Civil War-era Western Union telegraph poles and rails.

For many Grand Canyon visitors, Hopi House was their first introduction to Hopi and Native American culture, and to this day, Hopi House still operates as a native American gift shop.

2. Hermit’s Rest (1914)

Hermit's Rest postcard. Mary Colter's Hermit's Rest.
Hermit’s Rest was built in 1914 as a rest area for tourists travelling on coaches operated by (you guessed it!) the Fred Harvey Company on their way to what was once Hermit Camp.

This simple log-and-stone building was designed to look like a rustic getaway that Louis Boucher, a trail guide and infamous “hermit” who once lived in the area, would have built. With this in mind, Mary Colter actually ordered the fireplace to be intentionally streaked with soot to add an aged effect.

Hermit’s Rest is located at the western end of Hermit Road and is the western terminus of the Rim Trail.

3. Lookout Studio (1914)

Lookout Studio postcard. Mary Colter's Lookout Studio.
Situated just west of Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio is one of the most prominent examples of Mary Colter’s unique style.

Colter’s design for Lookout Studio draws heavily from its natural surroundings: the native stone exterior and multi-level design blend in seamlessly with the layers and edge of the Grand Canyon, while it’s asymmetrical roofline mimics the Canyon’s natural shape to create the illusion that the Studio is an extension of the Canyon’s steadfast stone walls.

Today, Lookout Studio offers multiple viewing platforms and a gift shop where Grand Canyon visitors can pick up a memento of their adventure.

4. Phantom Ranch (1922)

Phantom Ranch postcard. Mary Colter's Phantom Ranch.
Mary Colter’s use of on-site fieldstone and rough-hewn wood was largely a product of necessity based on the Ranch’s remote location, but the use of native materials to construct National Park Service Structures soon became the default for NPS and Civilian Conservation Corps buildings. In fact, Mary Colter’s design for Phantom Ranch influenced an entire genre of “parkitecture”, often referred to as “National Park Service Rustic”.

5. Desert View Watchtower (1932)

Desert View Watchtower postcard. Mary Colter's Desert View Watchtower.
Considered by many to be Mary Colter’s Grand Canyon masterpiece, this 70-foot tall tower is located near the east entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park, about 20 miles outside of the Grand Canyon Village.

Modeled after ancient Puebloan watchtowers found throughout the Four Corners region, Desert View Watchtower’s concrete foundation and steel structure is covered in intentionally-aged native stone. The Watchtower’s interior is adorned with Native American motifs, including murals and paintings by Hopi artist Frank Kabotie, as well as petroglyphs from the Hopi reservation approximately 100 more miles east.

6. Bright Angel Lodge (1935)

Bright Angel Lodge postcard. Mary Colter's Bright Angel Lodge.
Bright Angel Lodge was built to provide tourists with affordable accommodation on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Like Mary Colter’s other buildings, the design for Bright Angel Lodge was inspired by local native architecture—in this case, the influence of early pioneer buildings can be seen in the welcoming porch and pitched roof.

Mary Colter also designed the many cabins that surround the lodge. Her eclectic approach to sourcing materials for these cabins mimics the effect and appearance of a diverse settlement built over time.

The cornerstone of Bright Angel Lodge is its fireplace. Colter’s design features native stone (hauled out of the Canyon by mule) arranged from floor to ceiling in the same order as the geologic strata you’ll see as you descend into the Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.

sources: cowboykisses.blogspot.com, grandcanyontrust.org, westernoutdoortimes.com, latimes.com, nps.gov, canyontours.com

2 girls jumping at the grand canyon

Best Places to Stay at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in the world – certainly in the United States of America. Set slap bang in the middle of arid Arizona, it is a bucket list destination for almost every self-respecting traveler.

A rare but beautiful landscape, the Grand Canyon spans an awesome 4,926 km². Many people tend to believe that the Grand Canyon is just one specific viewpoint, but how wrong they are. The Grand Canyon is, in fact, a whole national park area that is crisscrossed with hiking trails and bouldering routes galore. That one specific viewpoint, however, is Mather Point.

Welcoming in excess of five million visitors every year, the Grand Canyon National Park is very well set up for the onslaught of eager tourists. There are a hotel, motel and B&B to suit every budget and travel style.

Although the Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most loved landscape, there are a number of other beautiful national parks to explore in the state too. This one is really just the beginning.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Grand Canyon and where else you can visit in the area.

Grand Canyon Lodge

This North Rim hotel features both basic rooms and cabins, meaning that everyone’s budget can be catered for; some rooms even feature views across the stunning canyon itself. Seasonal events such as outdoor barbecues are held here. The Grand Canyon Lodge also offers free shuttles to the Kaibab trailhead, making it great for hikers. As an added bonus, since children aged 15 and under stay free at this hotel, it’s a very good option for families.

However, this is the only lodge that offers accommodation inside the national park boundaries of the North Rim; therefore, booking a year in advanced is advised. Stay amid the solitude and remoteness in this historic lodge; choose from cabins and lodgings nestled among ancient trees around the canyon edge, and after the day’s hike you can dine in the lodge’s restaurants with magnificent views of the night sky.

Grand Canyon Village – Tusayan

Grand Canyon Village is the most popular place to stay in Grand Canyon and it is not hard to see why. This tiny township has been purpose-built for easy access to the National Park’s main entrance gate. Unless you camp inside the park, you can’t stay any closer than this.

Grand Canyon Village is home to just 2,000 permanent residents, who take great pride in living so close to this national treasure. In the town, you will find Hopi House, an interesting historical landmark well worth a quick visit. The gift shop is one of the best around and offers a wonderful selection of authentic Native American gifts.

By staying in Grand Canyon Village, you are within walking distance of trailheads of some of the National Park’s most famous hikes – Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail and even Mather Point.

Naturally, no visit would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Centre.

El Tovar – Grand Canyon lodging

El Tovar Grand Canyon first opened for service in 1905. The premier hotel and restaurant at the Grand Canyon were originally operated by the Fred Harvey company. It was designed by Charles Whittlesey (who also designed the Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff, Arizona). The El Tovar has been the most sought after lodging for over 100 years. In 2005, the 100th anniversary was celebrated for this classic historic National Park lodge. It was originally built to accommodate those distinguished passengers who arrived on the Sante Fe Railway. You can make the El Tovar a part of your Grand Canyon vacation if you plan far enough in advance. If you desire to stay at the El Tovar, we recommend that you call Xanterra Parks and Resorts at 1-888-297-2757 at least 13 months in advance. With the exception of January and February, the El Tovar normally books up 13 months in advance.

The El Tovar has 78 rooms. Each one of them is unique and distinctive. Interestingly enough, Charles Whittlesey specifically designed the El Tovar so that you would have to leave your room to enjoy a view of the Grand Canyon.

Tuba City and Moenkopi

These neighboring communities can be found on native Navajo lands about an hour due east of Grand Canyon National Park. Small but welcoming communities that are proud of their heritage ties, Tuba City and Moenkopi are a little off the tourist trail but well worth a visit.

For budget backpackers or road-trippers, Tuba City and Moenkopi are great places to stay in Grand Canyon, as they offer all the facilities you could need and are a gateway to some of Arizona’s best landscapes. The awesome – in the true sense of the word – Antelope Canyon is less than 80-miles north of Tuba City and surely gives Grand Canyon a run for its money.

There are some wonderful family-run diners to explore in Tuba City and Moenkopi. Even out here in rural Arizona, there are all your usual big chain fast-food outlets too, should you fancy something more familiar.

Yavapai Lodge – Grand Canyon lodging

The Yavapai Lodge is located close to a General Store, has a cafeteria-style restaurant, and is within a quarter-mile of the South Rim.

Yavapai Lodge is the largest lodge at Grand Canyon National Park with 358 rooms. It is located adjacent to the Canyon Village Market Plaza, and houses the Guest Registration Desk, Transportation Desk, Gift Shop and the Canyon Café. The entire complex is surrounded by Pinyon and Juniper woodlands, and is a half-mile from the canyon rim. The rooms are often referred to as Yavapai East and Yavapai West. Yavapai is a favorite destination due to the wide range of services available. The Market Plaza includes a general store, deli, bank and U.S. Post Office. The National Park Service Visitor Center is within a short walk — approximately a half-mile. You will also find a coin-operated laundry within walking distance of the lodge.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
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sources: thecrazytourist.com, grandcanyon.com, touropia.com

7 Hidden Gems at the Grand Canyon You Might Have Never Known Before

The geological marvel Grand Canyon is a wildly popular place. Wide vistas and majestic views attract over 6 million visitors each year. As a result, it can get a little crowded. But it does not mean that you cannot find some privacy there. You only need to know where to look. If you’d rather take the road less traveled, there are quite a few hidden gems of the Grand Canyon area. Here are 7 hidden gems of Grand Canyon we think are the best.

1. Grand Canyon East Entrance

Since the South Rim is where most canyon visitors tend to congregate, you’ll enjoy a bit more solitude on the east side. The famed Horseshoe Bend is visible from here, so consider this a trick to experience it without craning your neck around a sea of people.

2. Shinumo Creek

Shinumo Creek Grand Canyon
If your feet get tired from hiking, hop in a raft and explore some side canyons. Shinumo Creek culminates in a shallow, waterfall-fed pool that is perfect for splashing away the sweltering desert heat. The best part? You likely won’t have to share the space at all.

3. Blacktail Canyon

Blacktail Canyon Grand Canyon
Blacktail Canyon is another area accessible by boat. Unique, ancient rock formations and wildlife make the experience an unforgettable one.

4. Clear Creek Trail to Cheyava Falls

Paralleling the pristine Clear Creek, this trail takes hikers on an unforgettable journey across the canyon floor. It passes Bright Angel Campground, where you’ll encounter a few dozen people at most (and likely a herd of bighorn sheep). Finally, upon reaching the tallest waterfall in Arizona, its majesty will overtake your every sense.

5. Tonto Trail

While many trails wind through the Grand Canyon, they’re often plagued with bumper-to-bumper tourist traffic pretty much all year long. Tonto Trail in the South Rim is a 70-mile respite from the crowds. You don’t have to hike the entire thing, of course – just pick a segment and enjoy some solitude while marveling at the gently flowing Colorado River.

6. Diamond Creek Road

This road leading down into the canyon is so remote, you’ll need a permit from the Hualapai people to drive on it. If you so desire, there is a campground at the bottom. It doesn’t have facilities but is still a viable option for those who would rather not traverse the risky route back out of the canyon after dark.

7. North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim
A mere 5% of park visitors gravitate to the North Rim, which is much cooler and features plant and animal life unable to thrive in other parts of the canyon. The views are incredible and your photos won’t be filled with strangers.

It is only open from mid-May through mid-October due to heavy snowfall during the winter months. The vistas are different from the South Rim with wide open space rather than views of the Colorado River.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: onlyinyourstate.com, grandcanyonhelicoptertour.net

winter hiking tips from sweetours grand canyon

Winter Hiking Safety Tips at Grand Canyon

While most visitors to the Grand Canyon experience its beauty in the spring, summer and fall, winter is still a great time to visit – mild temperatures in the inner canyon for the Grand Canyon hiker, fewer people, and the scenery is still amazing, especially when the rim is dusted with snow. It’s obvious that a winter hike in Grand Canyon is much different than a summer hike, and there are few things you need to know to help make your hike an enjoyable and safe one. Your clothing, food, and shelter are all critical elements that can make or break your hike.

To help you on your hike into the canyon, here are some tips for a safe and enjoyable Grand Canyon hiking trip, during the winter or whenever.

Clothing: Light but functional

Let’s start with clothing. Temperature and weather conditions can vary dramatically from the rim to the river. You are dropping nearly a mile in elevation as you trek down the trails. The difference between the temperature on the rim and at the Colorado River can range as much as thirty degrees. So on the rim, you may start with a thick fleece jacket, a parka, long underwear, a hat and gloves, but by the time you are halfway down the trail, you may be comfortable in just pants and a shirt. The lightweight and waterproof material is the key to ideal clothing. Although functional clothing has its price, the investment is well worth it.

The fiber content of your clothing is extremely important. You do not want to wear cotton. Once cotton gets wet, it takes a long time, which cools down the body temperature. Hypothermia is a very real threat during a Grand Canyon winter. Go with synthetic fabrics since they do not absorb water and dry quickly.

The right footwear is important

Before you start your hike, you need to purchase optimal footwear. Ill-fitting shoes can cause pain, blisters and a bad mood. Find a specialty store with a great selection and let the trained staff advise you. A hiking shoe for the winter should be waterproof with outer leather and breathable lining. The shoes should be as light as possible and not add unnecessary weight to your feet.

Another important item to have along are instep crampons, Kahtoola Microspikes or Yaktrax Traction devices. The trails at the Canyon can be covered with slick ice for the first mile or two or even more. It is treacherous and scary to be slipping and sliding while walking on the edges of cliffs!

However, the use of snow traction devices as those mentioned above, will allow you to actually enjoy hiking on the icy trail. No kidding! The Canyon Village Marketplace in the Village also sells instep crampons very at very reasonable prices. Check for availability to make sure they have them in stock. Their phone number is (928) 638-2262; ask for the camping department.

Hiking sticks are also very useful when hiking in mud and ice. In fact, hiking sticks can be some of the most useful items you can take with you on your hike! Read my Walking Sticks & Trekking Poles for all the benefits of their use.

Go on a guided hiking or backpacking tour

You don’t even have to read the rest of this article if you hire a guide – he or she knows the trails, knows how to stay safe, will be sure you are safe, is prepared before you even show up, and can even teach you a thing or two about the Canyon’s history, flora, fauna and geology. Most guide services will also supply the gear you need, so no worrying about being underprepared or forgetting the essentials.

Don’t underestimate the Grand Canyon or overestimate your abilities

Hiking the Grand Canyon is like nothing else in most of the rest of the world. There is a different dynamic in hiking down first, then up. If your knees and ankles don’t feel the strain of constant gravitational pull down the steep trails, you may unintentionally hike too far, forgetting that the hike out is strenuous. Give yourself twice as much time to hike out than it takes to hike in. If you hike out in is less time than expected – good job! – now take in the sites from the rim and enjoy the rest of your day worry and relatively pain-free. If you are a generally sedentary person, stick with hiking along the rim.

Eat and drink

Yes, it is cooler this time of year, but the desert is very arid and you will lose fluids quickly so be sure to drink water often. Also, eat! When hiking, you can and should take plenty of snack breaks. It is best to replace electrolytes with food rather than through electrolyte replacements such as Gatorade. Take these items as a quick fix, not as a replacement. The calories in food also warm you up as your body burns them, so even if you don’t feel hungry, the fuel will warm you up!

Follow trail etiquette for a safe and fun hike

Aside from many other hikers, especially on the main trails – South Kaibab and Bright Angel – there are also mules on the trails carrying gear and people. When you are approached by a mule going uphill or downhill, always move as far off the trail as possible to the inside of the canyon (by the wall of the canyon, not by the exposed area) to allow them to pass. Failure to move over can put you in a battle between mule and human – mule will win and human will likely be at the bottom of the canyon at record speeds. If you are unsure, listen to and follow the trail boss for instructions. When you approach other hikers, it is an unwritten rule to always yield to hikers going uphill. Uphill hikers are slower but are also moving steady and once you are hiking uphill, you will too find that stopping for the energetic downhill speedster makes it much more challenging to keep going (unless you need to take a breather anyway). You will find slow and steady is much better than fast with numerous stops. And for those of you going downhill, the hiker hiking uphill will be looking down most of the hike and likely wearing a brimmed hat. These two factors make it very likely that they will not see you barreling down the trail. In the case of ice and snow – slipping down the trail – so intentional, slower speed is better anyway.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: explorethecanyon.com, hitthetrail.com, justroughinit.com

top reasons to visit grand canyon this year

Top 4 Reasons To Visit Grand Canyon

If you ever have the opportunity to, or the means to, visit the Grand Canyon. And not just view it from the top of the South Rim, like so many others do on their road trips across the West — don’t just stop for a day, take some photos, buy some souvenirs, and leave. Really visit it; spend a week in the Canyon’s depths and caverns, sleeping on sand that has been formed over centuries, being born again as you bathe in the pure, icy blue of the Colorado River. Get to know her crevices and caves, the texture of her rock, the location of her hidden waterfalls and beaches. Feel the power and soul of mile-high walls!

Fun fact: Did you know that the Grand Canyon creates its own weather? Elevation changes influence temperature and precipitation. So, if the temperature is really low at one point, just 8 miles away, it could be the hottest. The canyon surprises its visitors in many other ways.

Let’s take a look at the key reasons why this is a must-visit destination.

Scenic Beauty

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon can’t be emphasized enough.

The Grand Canyon was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being one of the most spectacular places in the world. No photographs or descriptions can ever completely describe the timeless beauty of the canyon. The stunning visual changes and the vastness can only be experienced. It stretches for more than 100 miles and is nothing less than a truly American experience.

Iconic Activities

You can hike for miles here since most of the area has been left in its pristine natural state. Colorado offers rafting opportunities, giving you the chance to get a whole different perspective of the vast canyon as you raft down the river. Helicopter rides are also offered to tourists for that perfect bird’s eye view of the canyon. Apart from these, the Grand Canyon Railway offers rides between Arizona, Williams and the South Rim. The railway line stretches across 64 miles and offers stunning views of the canyon, creating a memorable experience. You can also explore the South Rim on a bicycle.

It’s Great Exercise

Visiting the Grand Canyon offers abundant opportunities to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise. You can go hiking, horseback or burro riding, rafting, swimming, or simply go for a leisurely walk if strenuous activities aren’t on your agenda.

Camping Opportunities

The Grand Canyon National Park offers camping opportunities for tourists from all across the globe. There are multiple places you can choose for overnight camping, such as Tuweep Campground, North Rim of Grand Canyon, outside Mather campground and more. At the North Rim, you can also experience ski camping.

BONUS: It Makes an Excellent Day Trip

Residents of apartments in Flagstaff, Arizona, can drive to the Grand Canyon in a matter of several hours, making it an ideal road trip for those seeking an excellent experience but are short on time. You can pack a picnic lunch to enjoy when you reach your destination, or you can dine at one of the fine restaurants near the Grand Canyon.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: pineviewvillagesite.com, medium.com, thoughtcatalog.com

Grand Canyon: Prevention and First Aid Tips

At Grand Canyon: Prevention and First Aid Tips

Here is the full guide on how not to die at Grand Canyon, by Thomas M. Myers, MD (author of Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon). Get your own copy now — Click here.

First Aid

Shock

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Lightheadedness/dizziness; clammy, pale, or gray skin; rapid, shallow breathing; rapid, weak pulse; anxiety; drowsiness to a gradual loss of consciousness.

DO THIS:

First aid tips for shocked victimes

1. Calm the victim.
2. Place in shock position (flat on the back, legs elevated 8 to 12 inches) unless there is uncontrolled bleeding or a possible head or spinal injury, or if it causes more distress or breathing difficulty. Cover with a blanket.
3. Assess and treat the underlying cause.
4. Give clear fluids if the victim is able to swallow and appears dehydrated, but do not give food.
5. Evacuate to a local hospital.

Heat Illness (Dehydration/Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke)

Watch out! Early on, this problem can appear similar to water intoxication. Typically takes several hours to develop. Words in bold represent differences between the two.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Mild: Headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting/dry heaves, weakness, thirst, irritability, decreased urination.
Moderate: Lightheadedness/dizziness, worse with standing; warm to hot clammy skin; rapid, weak pulse; anxiety.
Severe (Heatstroke): Hot sweaty/dry skin; rapid, shallow respiration; rapid, weak pulse; confusion; unresponsive, abnormal body posturing (stiffening, arching, seizures).

DO THIS:

Ask about total fluid intake before giving fluids. If it sounds low for the conditions (e.g., < ¼ to 1/3 liter or 1 to 1 ½ cups per hour over several hours for an average-size adult hiking in hot weather), and signs and symptoms support it, treat as dehydration/heat illness. If in doubt, do not give fluids until the condition can be more accurately assessed.

Mild to Moderate:
1. Encourage the victim to stop and rest immediately (in shade during hot weather).
2. Douse head and skin with water to cool down and decrease sweat loss.
3. Provide fluids as tolerated; do not force.* Wait for 15 to 20 minutes if vomiting.
4. If the victim displays signs of shock, place in shock position.
5. Evacuate if condition worsens.
*Consider water intoxication before giving fluids!

Severe (Heatstroke):
1. Begin immediate cooling. Submerge body in cold water (creek or Colorado River) if possible, while protecting head and airway.
2. Do not give fluids.
3. Arrange immediate evacuation.
4. Start CPR if needed.

Water Intoxication (Hyponatremia)

Watch out! Early on, this problem can appear similar to heat illness. Words in bold represent differences between the two.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Early: Headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting fluid (initially), bloated feeling, weakness, no thirst, irritability, excessive urination.
Moderate: Lightheadedness/dizziness, worsening headache (may feel worse lying flat), clammy skin, normal to rapid pulse, anxiety, confusion, trouble speaking, blank stare, paradoxical decrease in or absence of urination.
Severe: Grand mal seizures, erratic breathing, unresponsive.

DO THIS:

Ask about total fluid intake before giving fluids. If it sounds high (e.g., > ¾ to 1 liter or 3 to 4 cups per hour over several hours for an average-size adult) and signs and symptoms support it, treat as hyponatremia.

Early to Moderate:
1. Encourage the victim to stop drinking and rest immediately in shade.
2. Douse skin with cool water to stop further salt loss via sweat.
3. Do not give victim fluids. Provide salty snacks and restrict fluids until symptoms improve and urination is normal (this may take several hours).
4. Evacuate if conditions worsen.

Severe:
1. Start immediate cooling if heat illness is suspected.
2. Do not give fluids.
3. Arrange immediate evacuation.
4. Start CPR if needed.

Broken Bones, Dislocations, Sprains/Strains

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Usually related to direct blow, fall, or twist. All: Sudden, sharp pain; pain with movement and/or swelling; bruising; numbness; tingling (often but not always). Broken Bones: Audible snap or crack, deformity, crunching or crackling sounds and point tenderness over the bone (associated wound or break in skin indicates open, or compound, fracture). Dislocations: Deformity, pop or clunk in joint. Sprains/Strains: Pop or clunk in joint, localized muscle or tendon pain/tenderness.

DO THIS:

White gold wedding rings
1. Support the injured area to limit use and movement.
2. Clean and apply the dressing to any visible wound (see Wound Care).
3. Pad area around the injury (use soft material).
4. Splint significant injuries in the position you find them (do not attempt to straighten an angles injury): place rigid support on both sides, immobilizing the joints above and below (improvise with materials at hand); adjust for comfort.
5. Secure splint with gauze, cloth, belt, or laces.
6. Elevate and apply cold pack/ice if available, 20 minutes per hour.
7. Arrange immediate evacuation.

Wounds

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Visible bleeding, tearing, gaping, or loss of skin. Subcutaneous fat or other tissues may be visible.

DO THIS:

1. To protect yourself from blood-borne infection, wear gloves (if none are available, improvise with plastic bags).
2. Expose wound to evaluate the severity of the injury.
3. Control bleeding. Using a sterile gauze pad, apply direct pressure on the wound for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Once bleeding is controlled, gently clean around wound with an antibacterial agent if available (e.g., povidone-iodine, soap); do not get disinfectant in the wound.
5. Irrigate with the cleanest water available (do not irrigate puncture wounds).
6. Apply topical antibiotic and sterile/clean dressing (if available) and keep dressing clean and dry.
7. For minor wounds, cleanse and replace dressing daily.
8. Evacuate if the wound is large, gaping, or highly contaminated; a deep puncture; potentially disfiguring; involves joints or possibly internal organs; or if it becomes infected (e.g., warm, red, swollen, pus begins to drain, the victim develops fever).

Near Drowning/Cold-Water Immersion

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Difficulty breathing, coughing, dizziness, altered level of consciousness, nausea and vomiting, pale skin, shivering.

DO THIS:

1. Pull victim from the water (do not enter the Colorado River without a life jacket and lifeline to on-shore support).
2. Remove cold, wet clothing to avoid hypothermia.
3. Wrap in warm sleeping bag or blanket.
4. If the victim displays signs of shock, place in shock position.
5. Give clear, warm fluids if the victim is able to swallow, but do not give food.
6. Evacuate if the victim has trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or goes into shock.
7. If required, CPR can be initiated up to 60 minutes after the incident and should continue until the victim has been warmed.

Heart Attack

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Chest pain (squeezing, pressure, heaviness); shortness of breath; nausea and vomiting; pale, gray skin and/or sweating; anxiety; dizziness.

DO THIS:

1. The victim should stop and rest immediately (in shade during hot weather).
2. Place the victim in a sitting, partially inclined position or position of best comfort.
3. Help the victim remains calm.
4. Give one full aspirin (325 mg) or 4 low-dose/baby aspirin (81 mg each) if available; have victim chew and swallow.
5. Monitor airway and breathing (start chest compression if the victim becomes unresponsive and you can’t find a pulse).
6. Allow victim to sit up if tolerated and if it helps to breathe.
7. Place in shock position if signs of shock.
8. Evacuate immediately.

Rattlesnake Bites*

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Fang (bite) marks; immediate burning and stinging; immediate swelling; oozing of fluid, non-clotting blood; bruising at site, migrating up extremity. Severe symptoms may include shortness of breath; nausea and vomiting; pale, gray, and/or sweating skin; anxiety, dizziness.

DO THIS:

1. Retreating slowly, move victim away from the snake. (Do not attempt to kill the snake! Even decapitated heads can reflex-bite for 20-60 minutes after death, causing further envenomation.)
2. Place the victim in a sitting, partially inclined position or position of best comfort.
3. Calm the victim.
4. Cleanse the area around the bite wound thoroughly with soap and water. Do not cut or apply suction devices to the bite or place constriction bands above the bite.
5. If the victim is wearing jewelry on the affected extremity, remove before swelling sets in.
6. Splint bitten extremity to limit use, and periodically measure girth to help gauge severity and how rapid envenomation is spreading.
7. Position affected extremity level with the heart.
8. Evacuate immediately for possible antivenom therapy. Tissue damage can be permanent and may be minimized with treatment. Time is an issue! If you are the victim and are alone, attempt to hike out or go for help.
*25 percent of bites are “dry” (no venom injected).

Scorpion Stings

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Tingling, throbbing, nerve pain extending from sting site (tapping on sting site sends shock wave of pain up nerve), anxiety, apprehension. An infant or small child may have roving eyes or trouble breathing, be restless, or drool.

DO THIS:

1. Calm the victim.
2. Treat pain with an age-appropriate dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
3. A cold compress may help.
4. Limit activity pending improvement (usually 1 to 2 days).
5. Evacuate if the victim is an infant or small child with severe symptoms.

Getting Help

Important: Provide the following information to Emergency Medical Services personnel: victim’s location, the nature of the medical problem, and condition (stable or unstable).

Corridor Ranger Stations
Ranger stations and medical clinics are staffed year-round at Indian Garden and Phantom Ranch. Cottonwood and Manzanita Ranger Stations are staffed seasonally.
Emergency Phone Locations (auto-connect to 911).
• Bright Angel Trail: Trail Head, Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse, Three-Mile Resthouse, Pipe Creek River Resthouse and Bright Angel Campground
• South Kaibab Trail: Trail Head and The Tipoff
• North Kaibab Trail: Cottonwood and Manzanita Ranger Stations
Emergency Phone Numbers: 911 or (928) 638-7911
• Cell Phone: Coverage is sporadic and limited to corridor areas near South Rim on Bright Angel Trail.
• Satellite Phone: Coverage is usually obtainable. Be ready to give information quickly.
Emergency Evacuation
• Go to or send for help if you are close to the rim, river, or a ranger station; you have inadequate food, water, or shelter; you have to way to signal.
• Wait for help to come to you if the rim, river, or ranger station is too far away; food, water, and shelter are adequate; you have means to send a distress signal (signal mirror or ground-to-air radio). Note: Smoky fires are not recommended because they go unnoticed.


Thomas M. Myers, MD
 — A physician at Grand Canyon Clinic since 1990, Tom has treated thousands of canyon visitors and residents. He has devoted much of his medical career to understanding, treating, and preventing medical problems for those who explore the region and is the co-author of the award-winning book, Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon.

© 2020 Grand Canyon Conservancy
Text © 2020 Thomas M. Myers
ALL RIGHT RESERVED.
Printed in the United States of America
Editing: Susan Tasaki Design: David Jenney Design

Photos: Bronze Black, Adam Schallau (cover composite); Randy Prentice (heat illness); Kerrick James (drowning); all other NPS.

Safety is an important concern in all outdoor activities, and users of this pocket guide are fully responsible for their own well-being. This guide is intended to provide general information and guidance with regard to the treatment of injury or illness when professional medical attention is not readily available. The author and publisher disclaim and are in no way responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by the use or misuse of the information contained herein.

Grand Canyon Conservancy
Post Office Box 399,
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
grandcanyon.org

Grand Canyon: How Not to Die Full Guide

Here is the full guide on how not to die at Grand Canyon, by Thomas M. Myers, MD (author of Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon). Get your own copy now — Click here.

What Can Kill You At Grand Canyon?

(in order of likelihood)

Common Causes
1. Heat Illness
2. Traumatic Falls
3. Drowning
4. Heart Attack
5. Flash Floods
6. Cold Exposure
Less Common/Rare Causes
7. Lightning Strikes
8. Falling Rocks, Tree Limbs
9. Water Intoxication (Hyponatremia)
10. Hantavirus
11. Sacred Datura Poisoning
12. Rattlesnake Bites/Scorpion Stings

Hazards and How to Avoid Them

1. Heat Illness

• Avoid potentially deadly dehydration or heat stroke by not hiking in Grand Canyon during the hottest months of the year (May through September) or the hottest times of day (10 AM to 4 PM).
• Wear a hat and protective clothing; use sunscreen.
• Bring adequate water /rehydration fluid appropriate for the time of year and environmental conditions.
• Drink only when thirsty, and stop when thirst is quenched; do not overdrink (see Water Intoxication).
• Rather than overdrink in hot weather, wet down torso, neck, and head when possible to keep your body cool. A cotton shirt retains water and keeps the skin cooler longer.
• Stop, rest, and eat a salty snack often (15 minutes per hour of strenuous hiking), ideally in the shade.

2. Traumatic Falls

• Stay on trails.
• Avoid exposed cliff areas.
• Do not climb or scramble above your skill level.
• Use hiking poles for better balance and wear instep crampons on seasonally ice trails.
• Stop when tired; fatigue increases trip/fall risk.

3. Drowning

• Swimming in the Colorado River is strongly advised against; hazards include extremely cold water (which can trigger a heart attack of hypothermia), strong currents, and possible rapids.
• Wear a correctly fitted and secured life jacket.
• Do not wade more than knee-deep into the current without a life jacket.
• Exercise caution on river ledges near fast-moving water.

4. Heart Attack

• High elevation, steep trails, and seasonal heat make hiking extremely difficult and physically demanding. Accidental swimming in the cold, turbulent Colorado River (e.g., boat flip or falling out of a boat) is also very strenuous. Both increase the risk of a heart attack.
• Those with known heart disease (prior heart attack, heart surgery) or risk factor (age 50+, smoker, diabetic, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease) should get medical clearance from a cardiologist and a cardiac stress-test before hiking or boating in Grand Canyon.

5. Flash Floods

• Avoid hiking or camping in narrow (“slot”) canyons or drainage bottoms in rainy or wet weather, particularly during monsoon season (late June through mid-September).
• Watch for signs of flash flooding, including creek water turning muddy, water flowing in previously dry washes, a sudden earthy smell in the air, or animals hurrying down-canyon.
• If you hear a loud roar while in a canyon bottom, seek higher ground immediately; a flash flood may becoming.

6. Cold Exposure

• Cold-weather gear is required when hiking/backpacking from November through March.
• For emergencies only, carry fire-starting equipment. Otherwise, fires are prohibited inside the park.

7. Lightning Strikes

• Avoid exposed cliff edges and open spaces during lightning storms.
• Avoid rocky outcrops, lone trees, tall trees, poles, metal railings, and water.
• If in an open space, crouch on the balls of your feet with heels touching; keep your head down and your hands over your ears. Do not lie flat or touch the ground with your hands.

8. Falling Rocks, Tree Limbs

• Pay attention to your surroundings.
• Avoid camping near or under trees with dead limbs, especially in windy weather, or under loose-rock cliff faces, especially in stormy weather.

9. Water Intoxication (Hyponatremia)

• Avoid dangerous drop in blood sodium (dilution of salt) by not overdrinking.
• Drink only when thirsty; stop when thirst is quenched. It is not necessary (and can be dangerous) to drink fixed amounts of fluids at fixed times.
• Eat salty snacks about every 15 minutes per hour of strenuous hiking. (Not eating increases the risk of hyponatremia).
• Excessive or frequent voiding of clear urine is a common sign that you’re drinking more than you need.
• Note that although fatalities are rare, you are ten times more likely to be hospitalized for hyponatremia than for heatstroke.

10. Hantavirus

• Avoid acquiring this deadly lung infection (caused by inhaling the virus often found in deer mouse feces) by not scrambling in caves or old buildings with rodent droppings.
• Avoid kicking up dust in rodent middens.
• Follow up with your doctor if you develop breathing problems, shortness of breath, or a bad cough, even weeks after potential exposure.

11. Sacred Datura Poisoning

• Learn to recognize the plant (large leaves, trumpet-like flowers).
• Don’t handle or consume any part of the plant, especially the seed pod. All parts of the Sacred Datura plant are toxic to the nervous system. As little as one-quarter teaspoon of its seeds may be deadly.

12. Rattlesnake Bites/Scorpion Stings

• Don’t handle these venomous creatures, or attempt to move (or kill) them!
• Shake out your shoes and bedding before use or packing away.
• Don’t stick your hands or feet into places you can’t see.

Medical Emergencies: Stop, Scan, Respond

1. Scan the scene for potential dangers. Do not put yourself or others at risk in order to rescue someone! Make sure the scene is safe before providing assistance.
2. Do a quick assessment. If the victim is unconscious (cannot be roused by painful stimuli) and does not appear to be breathing:
• Call 911 or send for help immediately.
• Carefully roll victim onto back on a flat surface.
• Start chest compressions (“Hands-Only” CPR). For teens and adults, place crossed hands in the center of chest, push down hard, compressing the chest by about one-third its depth at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. Push hard and fast! (For small children, toddlers, and infants, use one hand or fingers.)
• For those trained in providing rescue breathing, give 2 breaths for every 30 compressions.

How to do CPRGood to know
If victim is bleeding severely:
• Cover wound with clean cloth or gauze dressing and apply direct pressure until bleeding stops. If available, wear gloves or improvise with plastic bags.
• Wrap continuously bleeding wounds with a pressure dressing. Avoid wrapping too tightly; if extremity becomes cold, bluish, or numb, or pain worsens, loosen dressing.
• For severe bleeding (spurting blood or limb amputation) that cannot be immediately controlled with direct pressure, apply a tourniquet, which can be improvised from a long and wide (2” to 3”) piece of soft material or a belt.

How to apply a tourniquet
Thomas M. Myers, MD — A physician at Grand Canyon Clinic since 1990, Tom has treated thousands of canyon visitors and residents. He has devoted much of his medical career to understanding, treating, and preventing medical problems for those who explore the region and is the co-author of the award-winning book, Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon.

© 2020 Grand Canyon Conservancy
Text © 2020 Thomas M. Myers
ALL RIGHT RESERVED.
Printed in the United States of America
Editing: Susan Tasaki Design: David Jenney Design

Photos: Bronze Black, Adam Schallau (cover composite); Randy Prentice (heat illness); Kerrick James (drowning); all other NPS.

Safety is an important concern in all outdoor activities, and users of this pocket guide are fully responsible for their own well-being. This guide is intended to provide general information and guidance with regard to the treatment of injury or illness when professional medical attention is not readily available. The author and publisher disclaim and are in no way responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by the use or misuse of the information contained herein.


Grand Canyon Conservancy
Post Office Box 399,
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
grandcanyon.org