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Grand Canyon officials urge hikers to be smart, safe during fall season

(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

PHOENIX — Grand Canyon National Park rangers are urging hikers to be smart and safe during the fall season after responding to more than 300 incidents over the past month.

Rangers have responded to 216 hiker assists, 51 search and rescue calls and 37 helicopter medical evacuations in the past month.

Officials recommend hikers be self-reliant and understand their physical limitations before making plans to do long journeys.

“Many of these emergencies could have been prevented by hikers planning ahead, knowing their own physical abilities and choosing appropriate hiking distances,” Grand Canyon National Park officials said in a press release.

Rangers advise that hikers need to balance food and water intake, drink water when thirsty and watch for signs of distress in traveling companions.

They also say to plan on taking twice as long to hike up as it takes to hike down and to bring a lightweight flashlight in case you end up hiking in the dark.

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