Warnings and Dangers in Grand Canyon, Don’t Fall
Visiting the Grand Canyon is a trip of a lifetime. The whole appeal of this place is it is wild and untamed, but that is also where its danger is as well.
Dangerous High Cliffs
The Grand Canyon is a mile deep and, for the most part, has no railings except at a few of the viewpoints. Be extremely careful when in areas without rails (such as the West Rim), but also in those with rails (the South Rim). People get comfortable with the rails and think they don’t need to carefully watch their kids or themselves. If you take some of the rim trails, be prepared you will be hiking sometimes quite literally on the edge of the canyon. Take your time, and don’t take your kids along some of these more dangerous routes.
This is probably stating the obvious, but it’s a very long way down and a fall is likely to be, if not fatal, certainly very unpleasant. While you are in the canyon, always pay attention to where you are standing and heed any warning signs. It is so easy to get distracted and fall, the park rangers say people are too busy taking pictures to realize how close they are to the ledge. Numerous people fall every year and about a dozen die.
Dehydration and Other Risks
Be sure to drink enough water while on your excursion and know your exertion limits. Sometimes people become very overheated and get into trouble. Even people in good shape can suffer from heat exhaustion. Don’t hike down too far if you are not prepared. Also, watch for areas where there might be falling rocks.
There are also a lot of rattle snakes and scorpions around the canyon. Don’t look under rocks and stay away from anything that looks weird. When viewing wildlife at the canyon, keep a respectful distance. Seemingly gentle animals can turn aggressive without warning. Beware of the rock squirrels – they’re cute, but they’re wild and will bite.
A good rule of thumb is stay your body’s length away from the edge, especially since the ground can be rough or slippery and it would be so easy to fall over. It’s also easy to be distracted about your surroundings or while you’re trying to get that perfect shot of the canyon. Other safety tips:
- Wear sturdy shoes, the better footing you have, the safer you’ll be.
- Hold onto your child’s hand.
- Always watch where you are walking.
- Carry plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
- Don’t attempt any rock-climbing.
Aside from being slippery, the dirt and gravel on the trails can give way to your weight. Respect the steep areas! Also, be very careful walking when there is ice or snow. You’re probably better off not taking the chance and it’s advisable to get off the trail.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about the warnings and dangers at the Grand Canyon.
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