Visitors to the Grand Canyon are being warned that the extreme heat being experienced at present is dangerous to pets, and even visitors' hiking boots could be in jeopardy.

Rafters on a small river in the Grand Canyon
Visitors to Grand Canyon should be careful in extreme heat © Joseph Dube-Arsenault/Shutterstock

The National Weather Service has issued a warning around excessive heat for elevations below 4000 feet, and has advised visitors that temperatures will get more extreme deeper into the canyon. This is because air sinking down into a lower elevation becomes compressed and releases heat as energy. Grand Canyon NPS has warned visitors that as the temperatures rise, the asphalt on the trails can become too hot for dogs' paws. This could cause burns to the pads on their feet.

It also advises people to mind their own feet and be careful around their footwear, as the extreme heat can result in the glue on hiking boots melting, causing them to come apart. In addition, heavy hiking books can trap sweat in such heat and cause painful blisters to develop. Hikers and backpackers attempting hikes in the inner canyon are strongly encouraged to be prepared for excessively hot temperatures and to understand their own physical limitations, in order to prevent emergency situations arising for themselves and responders.

Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park are urging visitors who plan to hike in the canyon to do so before 10am and after 4pm. It says that anyone hiking in heat needs to ensure they are drinking plenty of fluids and rest in the shade during the heat of the day.

Additional information about hiking smart in the heat is available here.

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