Grand Canyon NPS Announces Excessive Heat Warning Amid Record-Breaking Summer

by Megan Molseed

The Grand Canyon National Park Service (NPS) has issued an excessive heat warning. Just in time to damper some of this weekend’s holiday plans.

However, while the heat index may be rising to dangerous peaks this week, the Grand Canyon NPS isn’t encouraging anyone to avoid the national park.

Rather, they are advising that those touring the area practice caution while out and about. An important note, as temperatures continue to soar for the season.

From making sure to avoid strenuous activity in outdoor areas during the hottest times of the day; to making sure visitors know to take in plenty of water and the snack right snacks to stay hydrated, the Grand Canyon NPS has visitors covered.

“An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect starting today, Labor Day and continuing through Wednesday (Sept. 8th) of this week,” noted the Grand Canyon National Park Service (NPS) in a Monday afternoon tweet.

“Best to limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day (10 am – 4 pm),” the Grand Canyon NPS continued. “Drink water and eat salty snacks before, during, and after being outside.”

These warnings come as record-breaking heat has been building up over the last few weeks, finally sweeping across the Southwest. Like the Grand Canyon NPS notes in the Monday Tweet, the temperatures are expected to reach their peak by early this week.

The Grand Canyon NPS Shares Some Life-Saving Tips

According to the National Park Service, while staying properly hydrated does help with safety in conditions of extreme heat, it is still important to use caution.

The NPS recommends that visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park avoid hiking in any kind of direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day; which typically land between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This timing is extremely important. In fact, the Grand Canyon NPS states that most of the people who need “emergency medical help in the canyon due to heat illness” are found to be hiking between 10 am and 4 pm.

The NPS also notes that hiking in the canyon area can be especially dangerous because, the farther one hikes into the canyon, the warmer it gets.

Breaks are important during any hike, but they are especially necessary during times of extreme heat. And, of course, always carry plenty – and we mean plenty of water.

When taking a break, it is important that hikers avoid any resting area in the sun. Finding a breaking spot near shade is the best option to recharge an overheated body. However, finding a shaded resting spot near water is the ideal option for hikers who may be experiencing heat exhaustion.

The Deadliest Conditions

While many envision icy weather, snowstorms, or even thunderstorms to be among the deadliest weather conditions, extreme heat is actually the deadliest weather condition.

The National Weather Service notes that, on average, the extreme heat conditions have killed more people across the United States in the last thirty years than any other weather event.

Flooding fatalities come in second as the weather event with the highest fatalities in the same time frame. Followed by first tornados, then hurricanes, lightning, winter storms, and finally, the extreme cold.