Grand Canyon National Park Issues Warning to Visitors As Temperature Hits Dangerous Levels

by Courtney Blackann

If you’re looking to hike amid the gorgeous scenery of the Grand Canyon, this weekend may not be the time for it. Authorities are warning that extreme temperatures could be hazardous to park-goers.

Authorities expect temperatures to be in the triple digits this weekend. Temperatures could reach up to a scorching 114 degrees, FOX News reported.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the Flagstaff National Weather Service reported.

For areas below 4,000 feet of Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, authorities are warning that extreme heat will be an issue Friday night. The agency encourages visitors to use caution for all activities.

“Hike in the early morning or late evening—avoid hiking between 10am and 4pm,” the National Park Service shared in an announcement. “Bring a headlamp, as well as plenty of food and water, in case you need extra time to cool off in the shade. Consider hiking above the rim where the temperatures will be their coolest; if you think 90°F and above is cool! Be safe and hike smart.”

Temperatures Influenced by West Coast Wildfires

In addition to the dry, hot weather, the National Park Service warned about lingering smoke in the canyon and urged hikers to avoid the area where it was present.

Because of an increase in wildfires in the west, the smoke in the canyon could lead to low air quality. From 2020, there is about a 16 percent increase in wildfires in California. Furthermore, the dry air conditions and extreme heat broke records this summer. Certainly, those trends are continuing at the Grand Canyon.

Affecting more than 31 million people, the stretch of land across Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona were blanketed in triple digits, according to the Washington Post.

Beating the Heat in the Grand Canyon

In extreme temperatures, authorities have a few tips for those who plan to venture outdoors.

It is absolutely necessary to keep cool and stay hydrated. Consider packing a first aid kit with cool compresses. Also, wear clothing that absorbs sweat, according to The American Hiking Society. Furthermore, if there is water near, it’s okay to jump in fully clothed.

Additionally, the organization encourages the use of sunblock and awareness of heatstroke symptoms.

“For your own safety and the safety of those with whom you’re hiking, know what heat exhaustion and heatstroke look like and know what to do,” the organization states on its website.