At Grand Canyon West, summer temperatures start in June and end in September. During this time, highs will exceed 100 degrees, and lows will play in the low 80’s. No matter how you slice it, it’s hot. And knowing how to travel in such extreme heat will make your trip to the Skywalk safe and enjoyable.
The key is to dress for the heat. That means loose-fitting clothing that let’s your skin breathe while protecting it from the sun’s rays. Shorts, non-constricting pants, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirt, sandals, and running shoes all work. What you decide to wear depends on how sensitive your skin is to the sun and how active you expect to be at the Rim.
Further, consider bringing an article or two of “dry wick” clothing. This material is made of synthetic (polypropylene, polyester) and natural (silk, wool) materials. Its primary function is to lift moisture away from the body, thereby keeping it cool and dry. By contrast, cotton, for example, absorbs moisture and remains wet. There are many brands dry wick t-shirts, socks, and pants.
Hats are strongly recommended. Baseball caps are OK. But try to wear a full-brimmed hat, as it will protect your ears, neck, and cheeks. Examples of such hats include field hats, adventure hats, cowboy hats, and sun hats. It’s also quite common to find hats that have UV protection (SPF 50) coated into their fabric and that protect your scalp from sunburn.
Which brings us to sunscreen: Bring a lot of it. Preferably a cream with SPF 50 (a rating system for how a cream blocks the sun). Use liberally on hands, ears, face, arms, and legs. Tours to the Grand Canyon West can last up to two hours or more, so expect to apply sunscreen at least twice during your visit.
Drink water. Lots of it. Carry a bottle of water with you when outside. This will ensure that you stay hydrated. Failure to drink enough water can result in heatstroke, a condition in which the body is unable to produce enough sweat to cool itself and overheats. If you experience heatstroke symptoms, move into a shaded area, elevate your feet above your head, drink fluids, and get medical attention.
Most people take a luxury motor coach or a helicopter from Las Vegas to the Skywalk. In both cases, you are in a climate-controlled environment. It’s hard to imagine wearing long pants, for instance. It’s only after your feet hit the ground that you experience the heat. Tour companies will update you on weather conditions. But the rule of thumb is this: Plan for the heat.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is open year-round, and can be enjoyed during all seasons if visitors are properly dressed and prepared for prevailing conditions. Summer, specifically, is hot, with temperatures ranging above 100 degrees during daytime. As such, it’s recommended that you wear appropriate clothing that reduces your exposure to the sun and keeps your skin cool. Sunscreen is recommended, as is keeping yourself hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks. It doesn’t happen often, but, if a person is overexposed to the sun, he or she could experience heatstroke. By taking a few precautions, your Grand Canyon West tour will be one you’ll enjoy for many years to come.