Deciding what is essential vs. not on your Grand Canyon rim to rim day hike packing list could be a difficult task as you try to balance necessity and weight. You must leave most of your belongings on either the north rim or south rim and pack only essentials in a daypack for a one-night hotel stay and a long hiking day from winter to summer-like weather within a day.
Below, we list the packing list essentials for the rim-to-rim day hike in spring and fall (no snow/winter) conditions:
- Daypack with rain-cover
- LED headlamp
- 2-3 water bottles or hydration pack: plan water for 0.5-1 qt. per hour
- Trekking poles (optional)
- Compass (optional): it’s not likely to get lost if you stay on the rim-to-rim trails
- Trail map
- Pocket knife
- Phone charger
- Power bank for phone
- Camera & extra batteries (optional)
Clothing & Footwear
- Wicking, quick-drying underwear: 1 set of fresh underwear for change
- Wicking, quick-drying thermal long underwear
- Wicking, quick-drying T-shirt and long-sleeve shirt
- Wicking, quick-drying hiking pants
- Wicking, quick-drying shorts
- Fleece jacket or vest
- Water-resistant thermal leggings
- Insulated jacket or vest (packable light down jacket or alternative)
- Rain jacket / Windbreaker
- Rain pants (optional)
- Socks: 2 pairs of thick wool or synthetic socks and 1 pair of thin liner. (Layering socks could help to prevent blisters which is a common problem on this hike.)
- Breathable wide brim hat with sun protection
- Fleece ear warmer
- Winter gloves or mittens
- Hiking boots for rocky terrain
- Flip flops
- Travel-size or single-use personal grooming items for the hotel stay prior to the hike: toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleanser, feminine hygiene products, etc.
- First-aid kit: bandages are a must.
- Sunscreen: high SPF and apply every hour
- Lip balm
- Toilet paper tablets or personal wipes
- Ziplock bags
- Quick-drying microfiber towel
- Nail clipper
- Insect repellent (optional)
- Venom extractor (optional)
- Energy bars
- Energy gels
- Snacks contains sugar and salt: cookies, dried fruit, nuts, jerky, etc.
- 10+ liters water (0.5-1 qt. per hour). You should drink a lot more water than a normal day due to the heat.
- Electrolyte drink tablets (pack plenty and drink frequently)
Our list tries to minimize the weight you have to carry on this day hike but feel free to add items if you don’t mind carrying a little extra weight. Did we miss anything that you packed to make the adventure more enjoyable? Add them in the comments below to help other hikers!
If you have not read our Ultimate Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike Planning Guide, be sure to check it out.
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