Are you training to hike the Grand Canyon? Whether you’re planning a day hike or an overnight one, check out these tips on how to physically train for this bucket list hike!
Physically Training to Hike the Grand Canyon
For both of my Grand Canyon hikes, I started training several months ahead of time.
Make sure to train enough so that you’re comfortable hiking with a weighted pack for several hours.
Make sure to check out my recommended gear for the Grand Canyon National Park!
Use a treadmill, and try walking with the incline grade turned all the way up.
Avoid supporting yourself on the handles.
Keep in mind that in places, the Grand Canyon has a much steeper grade than most treadmills can replicate.
Hiking the Grand Canyon is like walking down and then up the biggest staircase in the world.
To train, grab a sturdy step stool and some hand weights, and practice stepping up and down.
Avoid “Hiker’s Knee”
Keep in mind that this hike is incredibly hard on the knees– especially going downhill.
It can cause knee pain known as “hiker’s knee,” and make your trip less enjoyable.
I don’t have knee problems, and my knees hurt after the hike. If you wear a knee brace— don’t forget it.
Work ahead of time to strengthen the leg muscles surrounding your knee by doing lunges, squats, step-ups, and other exercises that help build up your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calf muscles.
A trekking pole can also help provide support.
Back Strengthening Training
Use a rowing machine to help strengthen your upper back muscles. This will help you deal with the weight of your pack.
Leave the gym, add weight to your backpack, and go hiking.
Try to find long trails, and get used to carrying your pack for long stretches. Bring along some of the dehydrated meals, Clif bars, and electrolytes— or whatever food and drink that you’re planning on taking– and make sure you like the flavors.