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Grand Canyon Park Warns Hikers It’s So Hot Boots Are Literally Melting

by : Lucy Connolly on :
Grand Canyon Park Warns Hikers It's So Hot Boots Are Literally MeltingPA Images/Pixabay

Have you ever been so hot you’ve felt like you were melting? Probably, right? But have you ever been so hot parts of your clothing have actually melted?

If you’re planning on heading to the Grand Canyon anytime soon you might just be able to add that one to your list of things you’ve checked off throughout your lifetime, as the national park has warned visitors of that exact thing.

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Yup, you read that right: the Grand Canyon is so hot hikers are being warned against visiting for fear their boots will melt apart and their feet will suffer painful blisters as a result. Why? Because apparently it’s already happened to one unsuspecting visitor.

Towards the beginning of the week, would-be visitors were warned against going to the canyon’s lower elevations, which were expected to reach 112°F (44°C) by 8pm yesterday, June 24.

‘Thinking of hiking in the Grand Canyon this week? Not a good idea,’ the National Weather Service tweeted, warning hikers away from the lower areas and alerting that ‘an Excessive Heat Warning’ was issued below 4,000 feet through Wednesday.

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For anyone who didn’t believe just how hot the tourist destination was going to get, the National Park service itself later took to social media to share a picture of one hiker’s boot after it succumbed to the extreme heat.

‘Grand Canyon is an unforgiving environment,’ the caption alongside the photo read. ‘The heat inside the canyon can cause shoes to come apart, and heavy hiking boots can trap sweat and lead to painful blisters. Before setting off on a hike, understand the limitations of yourself and your gear.’

The extreme heat in the lower elevations is reportedly caused by a compression of air as it descends into the canyon, a process known as ‘adiabatic heating’, according to the National Weather Service.

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For example, temperatures of around 89°F (32°C) at an elevation of 8,200 feet can increase to 112°F (44°C) at an elevation of 2,500 feet as the air becomes more and more compressed. This is what the park service predicted would happen yesterday afternoon.

CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said:

Temperatures can be vastly different on ridges and mountains than down in canyons and valleys. This is why you can see temperatures in the 90’s at the top of the Grand Canyon but temperatures 20-30 degrees hotter at the bottom of the canyon.

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The National Park Service advised that all hikers practice ‘special caution’ during the summer months, adding they should ‘stay hydrated and limit outdoor activities during the late morning and afternoon hours’.

Stay safe out there.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, Climate, Climate Change, hiking, Now, US, weather

Credits

NWS Flagstaff/Twitter and 3 others
  1. NWS Flagstaff/Twitter

    @NWSFlagstaff

  2. Grand Canyon NPS/Twitter

    @GrandCanyonNPS

  3. CNN

    It is so hot at the Grand Canyon National Park that your shoes could melt

  4. The National Park Service

    Summer Hiking - Hike Smart