Epic Grand Canyon Hike: A 650-Mile Challenge (Part 1)

Photographer Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko embark on a perilous adventure to make a sectional thru-hike of the Grand Canyon, a feat few have accomplished. In places, the canyon is 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep, and the adventurers quickly realize the enormity of the task ahead, enduring sprained ankles and hyponatremia mere days into the hike. But the endless scrambling and climbing in the extreme heat give way to staring in awe at the beauty of the Confluence, an area considered sacred by local tribes, where the waters of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River meet—and where developers hope to build a tram to serve up to 10,000 tourists a day. Published August 19, 2016.

Continue with Pete and Kevin on their journey: Part 2: Frozen Shoes and Low on Food and Part 3: Thirst and Threats in the Godscape

Read "Are We Losing the Grand Canyon," National Geographic Magazine's in-depth story about the development pressures facing the Grand Canyon.

© 2016 Peter McBride Productions LLC, WGBH Educational Foundation, National Geographic Partners, LLC with support from the National Geographic Society