Training to Hike the Grand Canyon

Training to Hike the Grand Canyon

Training to Hike the Grand Canyon


Recently I made the decision, along with a couple friends of mine to hike the Grand Canyon this fall. It seemed like a great idea over a few beers (ok, maybe more than a few), as I’d grown up hiking and backpacking and continued to hike fairly regularly…or so I’d told myself.

See, what I’d forgotten is that I hadn’t actually been hiking in a while – not on a real hike, anyway. Until I started looking into hiking the Grand Canyon, I didn’t realize that the majority of my hikes had been pretty simple with minimal elevation changes and not a lot of challenging terrain. So I decided to take to the trail.

I’m sure I’ll be writing about a lot of different things in my articles here on Love the Backcountry but, over the next few months specifically, I’ll be talking a lot about my work to train for my hike into the Grand Canyon. I used to think that I was in decent shape. I used to think that hiking would just come back to me and that the trail and I would be able to reunite like old friends and nothing would be changed. Wow…was I wrong.

The first hike that I decided to do on my “trail reunion” was Mt Woodson. I figured I’d take a quick jaunt up to Potato Chip Rock, take in the view and come back down. If I’d only known. Mount Woodson is one of San Diego’s more aggressive hikes and not something you do on a whim. I was in a lot of pain climbing that mountain and it only underscored my need to really train for Grand Canyon.

So I’ve been developing my own little training program – a mixture of trail days, treadmill days and strength training days – in order to prepare myself. There are a couple great training hikes around here that are moderate to aggressive hikes in San Diego that I’m working on and, of course, there are the really strenuous hikes like Woodson that require some solid planning.

As I mentioned, I’ll be writing about a lot of my hiking and training experiences over coming articles (including a somewhat embarrassing account of my Mt Woodson experience), along with various revelations, skills articles, reviews, etc.

In the mean time, get outside and Love the Backcountry!

Ian Campbell Ian Campbell is the founder of Love the Backcountry and a long time lover of adventure travel. When not writing about the backcountry, he can typically be found hiking, backpacking and camping in the mountains and looking to lay his head beneath as many trees as he can find.