Worried that Arizona is often in the triple digits during summertime? The Grand Canyon is a land of extremes and it can get very hot. Luckily, there is an easy and convenient way to cool down. The water that flows out of the bottom of the Glen Canyon Dam is a chilly 50-degrees and does not warm up much along the way. Jumping in the water is a quick solution to cool down, but here are a few additional tips to help you beat the heat on a hot summer day:
- Drink water! Be sure to hydrate continuously throughout the day, drink plenty of electrolytes and eat salty snacks. Listen to your body and notice the color of your urine; it should be a light yellow and well-hydrated folks likely will need to use the restroom at each rest stop.
- Cover up! One of the best ways to keep your skin cool is to keep the sun off of it. We recommend bringing a lightweight, light-colored, breathable UPF long sleeve shirt. Long sleeves may make you sweat a bit more, but the sweat will help cool you down.
- This one is a staff favorite! Bring a sarong, bandana, and/or cooling towel. These are great multipurpose items to have on the river. Use to keep the sun off your skin or dunk in the cold river water and wrap them around you – instant relief.
- Get wet! Take a quick dip when you’re pulled over, this is especially important before side hikes. You can also dunk your clothes and hat in the river if you are getting warm in between rapids. If you are hot at night, get your shirt or sarong wet and lay it over you.
- Reapply sunscreen and lip balm frequently. In addition to being pretty uncomfortable, a sunburn can also make you feel warmer.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. The wide brim will shade your entire head and neck. This makes a huge difference when you are spending all day in the relentless desert sun.
- Take breaks in the shade. If possible, find a shady spot during lunchtime or on side hikes to sit for a few minutes. Chances are you will be able to relax with an amazing view!
- Cotton camp clothes. A comfortable cotton t-shirt and shorts or dress/skirt feel great after a day on the river!
- Set up your cot near the river and skip the tent to enjoy the breeze off of the cold river water.
There are lots of simple tricks to cool down in the heat of the Grand Canyon. Find what works best for you, stay cool, and have a great trip!