Arguably the most popular and recognized national park in the entire United States is certainly the Grand Canyon. This absolutely fascinating landscape attracts 6 million visitors annually. Just to have a glimpse of this natural beauty, people travel from all around the world. They visit to see the huge mile-deep canyon that wonderfully stretches out for around 227 miles along entire northern Arizona.
However, if you are planning to visit Grand Canyon National Park, you must first decide if you are interested in whitewater rafting, hiking or camping. All of them are quite weather dependent activities and may be better suited only for particular times of the year.
Even though your travel planning depends on physical needs, preferences and your budget, you must know the best time to visit the Grand Canyon. No doubt, the scenery remains a spectacular and fascinating location throughout the year and in all seasons but if you are looking forward to a more adrenaline pumping and unforgettable experience on a 70-foot skywalk while enjoying the ample views leisurely, you must know the best times to visit the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Often Creates its Own Weather
As one of the biggest facts of Grand Canyon and to your surprise, a sudden variation in elevation creates an enormous impact on precipitation and temperature, so chances are that the weather you expect may vary drastically on the basis of where you are in the giant Canyon. The wettest, coldest weather station in the entire region is known as Bright Angel Ranger Station located on the North Rim, whereas the driest and the hottest station are 8 miles away at Phantom Ranch.
To help you make the most of your Grand Canyon trip, here are the best and even worst times to visit Grand Canyon.
Best Time to Explore the Skywalk
The skywalk, as we know, is extended up to 4000 ft above the Grand Canyon. Many tourists visit the skywalk every year as the glass floors of the Skywalk of the West Rim offer them a very unique outlook of the gorge below. If you want to have the best experience of visiting Skywalk then you must avoid the winter season.
Winter is the least preferred time to visit this particular area. But this also means that it is the most peaceful time to actually visit this scenery. Grand Canyon West remain open throughout the year but the last ticket usually sold at 4:30 p.m. this means that you must plan to arrive early so that you can see some absolutely stunning views.
The Best time to Trip the North Rim
Even though early summer season ushers in the great weather all across the Grand Canyon, it may be the busiest time to explore the canyon. But luckily, the North Rim, during this peaks season, is a lot more isolated than compared to South Rim. This makes North Rim an ideal location during the summer season.
Since the temperature in the park varies widely i.e. anywhere from the mid-80s between June – August to low-40s, the famous North Rim remains the cooler stretch of the Canyon. In fact, it shut down completely during the winter season, except for cross-country skiing and backcountry camping.
To access all the North Rim’s restaurants and lodging, you should plan your trip between May and October.
The Best Time to Tour the South Rim
South Rim is the most popular area of the park. It is among the two entrances that stay open throughout the year. Therefore, if you check out the South Rim during fall, you can strike a very good balance between inevitable crowds and great weather. However, during early September, the temperature may drop even below 0 degrees, so make sure you go prepared and wear warm clothes.
But if you are planning to venture off the well-beaten path, some services provide a Grand Canyon and beyond itinerary which include Bright Angels and South, Kaibab trails hikes, as both of them actually originate on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
The Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon’s, West Rim
Even though the West Rim is not actually considered as the part of the entire National Park System, this part also offers several accessible attractions throughout the year. This may include Sa’ Nyu Wa restaurant and the Skywalk. To explore West Rim peacefully, spring is considered the best time for a visit. This is particularly true for the enthusiasts who wish to experience a whitewater rafting trip, as most of them depart from the Grand Canyon’s West Rim.
If you are planning to visit the Grand Canyon during the best weather conditions, then you must plan your trip during April and June. During these months, rainfall averages are quite low. Also, the temperature remains moderate without reaching the scorching summer highs. However, you may find this season extremely crowded as schools usually let out during the month of June. So plan your trip accordingly or before then to get the best experience.
When Not to Visit the Grand Canyon
Well, as we stated earlier, Grand Canyon is the only spot that remains spectacular throughout the year and in all seasons, but for your utmost comfort and memorable experience; avoid visiting the scenery during July and August. They are the hottest, busiest and rainiest month in the National Park.
This weather makes these spots far less ideal times to tour and explore the Canyon. Instead, you may plan your trip during spring or fall season. However, if you are planning to explore the North Rim then you must avoid the idea during the winter season. Visiting North Rim during winter will deprive you of open restaurants, roads, and even accommodation.
In a nutshell, it is much better to know what to expect, in advance, than finding out after reaching there. When you plan to visit the landscapes like Grand Canyon, you plan a fantastic and most memorable trip of your life. So as you now know the best time to visit the Grand Canyon, plan your trip accordingly and don’t forget to add more exotic locations to your bucket list.