Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon, Weather Year Round
The peak season to visit the Grand Canyon is during the summer months. The weather is warm but there are large crowds of tourists because many schools have breaks in the summer. Hotel room rates go up and it can be difficult to find a room because many hotels are full. Between March and May is a good time to visit the because the weather is pleasant, the crowds have not yet arrived, and hotel rooms are available and rates are not as high as during the peak season. September to November are some of the best times to visit the Grand Canyon as well. Photo: Bon /Fotolia
»Grand Canyon Weather & Temperature by Month
January is the coldest month of the year as the average low temperature is a frigid 18°F (-8°C). The average high temperature is quite cold as well as it reaches 45°F (7°C).
In February, the average low temperature sees a 3-degree increase to 21°F (-6°C) for the final month of winter. The average high temperature also sees an increase to 47°F (8°C).
Grand Canyon Weather in March: It’s a beautiful time to head to the Grand Canyon in March as spring descends in this beautiful area. The average high temperature remains quite cool at 53°F (12°C) while the average low temperature is chilly at 25°F (-4°C).
In April, both the low temperature average and the high temperature average see quick increases. Measurements are at 61°F (16°C) for the high temperature and 29°F (-2°C) for the low temperature.
May sees significant increases in temperatures with the average low temperature jumping to 36°F (2°C). High temperature averages shoot up by over 10 degrees to 72°F (22°C).
In June, summer settles in the Grand Canyon. The average high temperature increases by another 10 degrees to 82°F (28°C). Meanwhile, the average low temperature sees a 7-degree rise to 43°F (6°C).
Grand Canyon Weather in July: As the hottest month of the year, July sees both the average high and average low temperatures peaking at 86°F (30°C) and 51°F (10°C) respectively. It’s a beautiful time to head out and explore everything that the Grand Canyon has to offer.
August is the last month summer and tows in cooler temperatures all around. The high temperature average drops a few degrees to 82°F (28°C). At the same time, the low temperature sees a 1-degree decrease to 50°F (10°C).
In September, the low temperature average sees a significant fall to 43°F (6°C) as autumn begins. The high temperature average sees a nearly equal rate of decrease to measure in at 76°F (25°C).
October brings in rapid decreases of temperature for both the average high and average low temperature. An 11-degree decrease makes the high temperature average 65°F (18°C). The low temperature average, likewise, sinks to 33°F (1°C).
Grand Canyon Weather in November: The temperatures in November continue to decrease with autumn coming to an end. Low temperatures average at 24°F (-4°C), while the high temperatures drop to an average of 53°F (12°C).
In December, winter comes to the Grand Canyon along with frigid low temperature averages of 18°F (-8°C) and high temperature averages of 45°F (7°C).
At any time of the year, the Grand Canyon is a spectacular destination with its majestic vistas and stunning colors. Explorers who want nothing more than to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, should undoubtedly plan to visit between the months of March and May. For those who plan to hike around the canyon, it’s best to come in the early spring while the temperatures are nice and cool. To see the Grand Canyon’s wildflower season, a visit in April is absolutely non-negotiable. One of the popular activities at the Grand Canyon is to watch a thunderstorm shower the canyon with breathtaking displays of light. To catch this awe-inspiring sight, visit in the “monsoon season” from July to mid-September.
Photo: Krzysztof Wiktor/Fotolia
»Getting to Grand Canyon
There are several ways to get to the Grand Canyon. The closest major airports are the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. There is also a small airport called the Grand Canyon Airport located in Tusayan close to the South Rim of the Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the most enjoyable ways to get to the canyon. This is a restored vintage train that leaves from the town of Williams and offers great views along the way. You can also arrive by car: most people pass through Flagstaff to get to the canyon. Arizona Shuttle is a bus service between Flagstaff and Williams and the canyon.
»Getting From the Airport
To get from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to the Grand Canyon National Park you will need to rent a car. A Rental Car Shuttle will take you from the terminal to the Rental Car Center. If you don’t like to drive or rent a car, you can take a shuttle bus or taxi to Flagstaff; then you’ll need an additional shuttle or taxi to take you to the canyon. If you arrive at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, you’ll need to rent a car. Hop on a Rent-a-Car Center shuttle to get from the terminal to the car rental center.
»Visitor Information Centers
The Grand Canyon National Park offers several visitor centers from which you can choose. On the South Rim there are the Backcountry Information Center, the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, and Verkamp’s Visitor Center. On the North Rim there is the North Rim Visitor Center. Most visitors arrive at the South Rim through the park’s South Entrance Station. After parking, head for the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. This is a large center that is full of information, exhibits, displays, and an interesting video called “Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder.” Staff members at the visitor centers are happy to help tourists with all their needs.
Photo: Bon /Fotolia
»Getting Around the Grand Canyon
After arriving at Grand Canyon National Park and learning about the canyon at the visitors center, why bother to get back into your car and try to navigate new and unknown territory? Take the shuttle! It is definitely the best way to see the canyon because you can sit back, relax, and take in the breathtaking views. The shuttles will take you around the South Rim for free. There are three routes and the shuttles run about every 15 to 30 minutes. The Hiker’s Express Shuttle leaves from the Bright Angel Lodge and goes to the North Kaibab Trail head on the North Rim.
»Restaurants and Shopping
There are quite a few restaurants that are scattered around the rim of the canyon or are located quite close to it. The Bright Angel Restaurant on the South Rim is one of the most convenient restaurants in the area. It is also one of the most famous: the Bright Angel Lodge was built by a female architect, Mary Colter, in 1935. Most of the restaurants are located on the South Rim; one on the North Rim; and one inside the canyon! If you are interested in shopping, look for Hopi Kachina dolls, Hopi overlay silver work, Hopi baskets and pottery, and Navajo rugs.
»The South Rim & The North Rim
Most visitors arrive at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park - this is the most popular part of the park and offers amazing views of the canyon. The South Rim is the home of the El Tovar Hotel, the Bright Angel Lodge, the visitors center, and several restaurants and shops. The North Rim is less crowded and, for that reason, is preferred by some visitors. It has fewer facilities, but it is more secluded while offering the same great views. Grand Canyon West is located on the southern side of the Colorado River and is operated by the Native American Hualapai tribe.
»Getting Married at Grand Canyon National Park
Because it is one of the most spectacular natural locations in the world, it is no surprise that many people want to get married at Grand Canyon National Park. Before the wedding, you will need to obtain an Arizona marriage license, a Special Use Permit from the park, and arrange to have someone officiate over your ceremony. This can be a municipal judge, a justice of the peace, or an ordained clergy member. Some of the best locations on the South Rim include Grandeur Point, Pima Point, and Shoshone Point. On the North Rim they include the Cape Royal Amphitheater and Point Imperial Viewpoint.
Photo: iefremov /Fotolia
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»Where to Stay
For accommodations, you can choose to stay inside Grand Canyon National Park or places just outside of the park. On the South Rim the El Tovar Hotel is the most upscale choice inside the park: it was built in 1905 and is decorated to look like a hunting lodge. The nearby Bright Angel Lodge is popular with families and hikers. The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only option on the North Rim. Tusayan is a small community just five miles south of the canyon. Many people choose to stay here because there are many hotels as well as campgrounds.
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Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon, Weather Year Round
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