Enjoy the Grand Canyon’s beautiful views of natural scenery at any time of the year. Depending on your favorite outdoor activities, a visit during summer offers a different experience than a winter trip. After a long day of hiking or rafting in the spring, you can enjoy a delicious meal at an eatery like El Tovar Dining Room, or take an educational tour at the Yavapai Geology Museum. Stay close to exciting attractions and activities by booking a vacation rental near the Grand Canyon. Check out the top things to do and see at the Grand Canyon each season.
Visiting the Grand Canyon in the Summer
Summer is considered peak season for the Grand Canyon, and aside from battling the heat, you are sure to battle large crowds of people. Both the South Rim and North Rim are open during summer to offer a truly unique experience. July is the hottest month for the canyon, where temperatures in certain areas can exceed 100 degrees. When thinking of what to pack for your trip, be sure to include a sun hat, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes for lots of walking. From July until early September, you should pack a raincoat or umbrella to combat the afternoon thunderstorms of the monsoon season. With school out for summer, expect lots of families with small children, less available parking, tons of traffic, and premium pricing for lodging. Summer offers longer days and increased sunlight, which provides a better chance to view wildlife and colorful foliage along the hiking trails.
When your done hiking, check out the Grand Canyon Music Festival from August to September to enjoy live music and purchase artwork or memorabilia. In June, The Grand Canyon Star Party offers a detailed view of the night sky through telescopes. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix ensure you see a variety of planets, double stars, and star clusters.
Visiting the Grand Canyon in the Fall
With monsoon season coming to an end and children returning to school, the fall season delivers smaller crowds and better weather to ensure you enjoy your trip to the Grand Canyon. Daytime temperatures rest around the low to mid-70s in September but slip into the mid-20s by early November. Bringing a warm jacket or sweater along while hiking to keep the chilly winds at bay when temperatures drop during evening outings. With slightly cheaper lodging and less traffic, you can travel to and from the canyon effortlessly. The hiking trails are less congested during the fall season, and as the days grow shorter, the canyon receives beautiful warm light much earlier for striking views. The North Rim generally closes around late November or when snow begins to cover the trails, so be sure to get some valuable time during the fall season before this location is out of commission.
From September to November, be sure to check out the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art to view or purchases pieces from a selection of artists inspired by the canyon. You can watch as artists create gorgeous works from the ever-shifting light and shadows of the vast canyon.
Visiting the Grand Canyon in the Winter
The winter season at the Grand Canyon offers a peaceful and serene time to visit. With limited crowds and reduced rates, visiting the canyon during this time of year delivers a quiet and personal experience you are sure to enjoy. Although the bottom of the canyon offers spring-like temperatures, daytime temperatures range from the low teens in the evening to the low 40s during the day.
The North Rim is closed during the winter, and the South Rim typically receives up to five feet of snow. The beautiful layer of snow over the South Rim creates a majestic feel to leave a lasting impression on you. Permits for backcountry hiking are easier to obtain during winter, so be sure to pack waterproof shoes and warm jackets while exploring the trails.
To enjoy clear views of the Grand Canyon during the winter, relax inside the Yavapai Museum of Geology for a stunning panoramic view of the canyon in a warm setting.
Visiting the Grand Canyon in the Spring
Spring delivers beautiful views of budding foliage during wildflower season while melting snow from the tops of the North and South Rim creates a picturesque backdrop. With temperatures on the rise from the mid-40s in March to the low 70s in May, keep a lookout for emerging wildlife along hiking trails. The spring offers a beautiful time to visit the Grand Canyon with light to moderate crowds, and increasingly pleasant weather. Rates are lower than the summer peak season, and parking is available regularly. Smaller crowds provide more privacy and more time to explore during spring, and the warmer temperatures require a light jacket when the canyon cools off in the evenings.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Grand Canyon?
Although it varies depending on your personal interest and favored activities, the best time to visit the Grand Canyon is during the fall season. The fall offers pleasant weather for hiking, and both the South and North Rim locations are open for an all-encompassing experience. Children are back in school and adults are back to work, so smaller crowds on the hiking trails create a more engaging atmosphere. During the fall season, rates are cheaper and traffic is reduced considerably to provide an enjoyable and affordable time. With all these pluses, visiting the Grand Canyon during the fall offers a memorable and more well-rounded experience.
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