My friend wants to do an overnight on the grand canyon this summer. We are experienced hikers in pretty good shape. However we've NEVER hiked out west, much less the Grand Canyon. What are the key things we should be careful of that we wouldn't think of as hikers in the Eastern US?
(1) Do not try ...
Sign on the rim (2003 - probably still there).
(2) Be aware ... :-)
Sign at rim.
An all-rights-reserved (so it can't be pasted here) picture of this sign is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/redbeardmathpirate/4583270568/sizes/l/in/photostream/
[A newer sign than in 2003 - but the same message].
Have fun :-)
The park service has some good tips. The biggest ones are:
i can only agree to the answers, i was there and did a short hike (we just started like we would do here in switzerland) we're used to big and steep hikes without any trees giving shadow in the blazing sun.
But the desert is dryer than you might think.
Carry enough water and calculate more time than expected and you'll be fine, just don't try to jump around at the edges of the canyon because they are indeed more slippery or instable than they look.
And if you're in doubt better talk to the Park Authority first, most of them know what they're talking about.