Grand Canyon tours are a popular travel destination during all seasons, attracting over 6 million visitors each year. Travelers who are visiting the Grand Canyon can enjoy their time with a wide variety of activities such as camping, rafting, hiking and much more! The Grand Canyon National Park offers visitors so many different vantage points to take in the beauty and scope of the natural wonder. These are just a few of the reasons why the Grand Canyon is a favorite for family vacations and other trips.
It can take up to a dozen visits to experience all that the Grand Canyon has to offer, but you may only get the chance to go once. If that’s the case, it’s only natural to want to find the best times to visit the Grand Canyon in order to make the most out of your trip. Whether it’s your first time or you are coming back to visit again, here are a few of the most ideal times to take a trip to the Grand Canyon based on different criteria.
Best Times for Weather at the Grand Canyon
When you are planning your Grand Canyon vacation, one of the most important things to keep in mind is what kind of weather to expect during your visit. No matter which season you choose to visit, there will be certain advantages and disadvantages to each option. In fact, certain parts of the Grand Canyon are not even open for visitors during a few months of the year while others reach high temperatures that may not be manageable for some travelers.
Weather at the North Rim
Visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim can make for an exciting family vacation, but this section is only open from mid-May through mid-October because of the snowy conditions during winter and fall. During the months where it is open, temperatures at the North Rim can range from lows in the 30s up to highs in the 60s. Temperatures at the North Rim start to warm up the most during the summertime. If you have the opportunity to visit the North Rim while it is open, you can avoid much of the Grand Canyon crowds.
Weather at the South Rim
Grand Canyon South Rim tours are open year round but temperatures and weather conditions can vary drastically during different seasons. The South Rim is one of the few areas of the canyon that remains open in the winter. Temperatures at the South Rim during winter months can range from the 20s to low 40s, with temperatures being slightly warmer on the floor of the Canyon. Visiting the Grand Canyon in the winter months is special because you can see much of the red rocks covered in powder white snow.
Typically, spring and fall at the South Rim will offer visitors relatively moderate temperatures. In the nighttime, the lowest temperatures during these months will usually be in the 30s. Daytime temperatures can rise into the 60s, which is pleasant for Grand Canyon hiking trips. However, temperatures inside the canyon will be warmer, ranging from a low of 55 to 82 degrees during these months.
Weather at the West Rim
If you are planning a trip to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, you’ll come across the famous Skywalk. The West Rim is typically the warmest section of the canyon with temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees in the spring. In the summer months, canyon temperatures can reach between the 70s to the high 90s. If you plan to visit the West Rim during the summer, be sure to prepare for the heat!
Best Times to Explore the Interior of the Grand Canyon
Many travelers who visit the Grand Canyon are determined to take the trek into the canyon, or at least a part of the way down. Whether they choose an independent or guided hike on foot or on mule-back to get to the interior, visitors want the special experience of being deep inside the Grand Canyon. The view from the canyon’s rims are beautiful, but the view from inside is a unique experience of its own. However, it is important to be prepared for the trek and find the best times to explore the canyon’s interior.
Making the hike in and out of the Grand Canyon is only recommended in the daytime. The trip down into the interior of the canyon is around 7 to 9 miles, and hiking back up is even more physically demanding. The Grand Canyon National Park has placed a number of signs at the South Rim warning visitors not to hike to the interior and back in a single day because the trails can become treacherous in the night.
The best time to visit the Grand Canyon to explore the interior can vary depending on your family and whether they prefer to face the heat or the cold. The activities you want to participate in can also influence when you should visit the canyon. For example, if you would like to make a splash in the Colorado River, it may be best to visit in the summer when the water is warmer. However, a winter trip may be great if you want to avoid crowds and have a more intimate experience.
Best Times to Avoid Crowds at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular travel destinations in America, with more than 6 million annual visitors. As you can likely expect, Grand Canyon trips are most popular in the summer time when school is out of session and families are spending their vacation traveling. The Grand Canyon National Park has even gone so far as to offer guides to visitors on how to survive the crowds.
From family vacations to school trips, the summer brings the longest lines to the Grand Canyon. Other vacation periods for kids in school such as spring or winter break also tend to be the busiest times to visit the canyon. In order to avoid crowds, you should try to visit during times when schools are still in session. During your visit, enter the park as early in the morning as you can for the lightest crowds.