The Grand Canyon, one of the most well-known national parks in the country, receives around five million visitors annually. Visitors from over the globe go to northern Arizona to see the massive, 277-mile-long, mile-deep canyon.
When kids are out of school and families are more likely to take summer vacations, late May to early September tend to be the busiest times at Grand Canyon National Park. Choose if you want to do hiking, whitewater rafting, or camping before you go on your journey. These dordle activities are all quite weather-dependent and may be better suited to certain seasons. The tourism seasons are broken out as follows:
These are the finest times to visit the Grand Canyon, regardless of whether you want an adrenaline-pumping experience at Grand Canyon West’s Skywalk or you want to simply take in the breathtaking natural scenery.
Best Times to Visit the Grand Canyon for Smaller Crowds
June is the busiest month in the park, so try to avoid going then if you can. It is best to be as flexible as you can since spring and autumn are often less congested. You won’t find crowds if you go between November and March, but you’ll need to make plans since certain areas of the park can closed. To experience fantastic weather and less people, try to visit the South Rim, the park’s most visited location (and one of the gates that is always open), in the autumn.
The North Rim, South Rim, as well as Grand Canyon West, which isn’t officially a part of Grand Canyon National Park, are all worthwhile areas to explore. Due to the substantial travel distances between each place, you may need to choose only a few to visit since each has its own benefits and attractions. Since it takes an additional four hours to get there from the South Rim, the North Rim is the farthest away and often has fewer visitors, even at the busiest times of year. Plan ahead if doing the Skywalk is on your bucket list since Grand Canyon West is also roughly a four-hour journey from the South Rim (or a seven-hour drive from the North Rim).
Best Times to Visit the Grand Canyon for Good Weather
The Grand Canyon’s weather is at its finest from April through June, when average rainfall is minimal and summertime peak temperatures have not yet arrived. If you want to travel in the late summer or early autumn, dress in layers since it may be cold as early as September.
Although the Grand Canyon has its greatest weather in the early summer, it is also the busiest season to go there. Between June and August, temperatures may range greatly across the park, from the low 40s to the mid-80s, although the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is often colder. Keep in mind that this area of the park does completely close down in the winter, with the exception of backcountry camping and cross-country skiing. Plan your vacation between May and October to have access to all the North Rim’s top hotel and dining choices.
Best Times to Visit the Grand Canyon for Lower Prices
Keep in mind that costs tend to decline in the winter, spring, and autumn to save money on travel-related expenditures such as lodging, rental vehicles, dordle and flights. Four times a year, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January, the first day of National Park Week in April, the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act in August, and Veteran’s Day in November, you can visit the Grand Canyon National Park for free. The Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit costs $35.
A number of visitors entitled to a free annual pass from the National Park Service, including fourth-graders who sign up through the Every Kid Outdoors website, Gold Star Families, people with permanent disabilities, and former and current members of the U.S. military. Annual passes are also available for $80 from the National Park Service. Seniors 62 years and over may choose between paying $20 for a lifetime admission or $80 for a reduced yearly pass.
Best Times to Visit Grand Canyon West
Grand Canyon West provides year-round accessible activities, such as helicopter and pontoon tours, zip line excursions, shopping, and eating, while not being a member of the National Park System. The Skywalk’s glass floors, which extend 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon, provide tourists a distinctive view of the canyon below. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit Hualapai Point, where you can meet locals, take in traditional performances, and see historical relics to learn more about the Hualapai Tribe.
For those who wish to go whitewater rafting, which many do from here, spring is the ideal time to go. Winter the least crowded and hence most tranquil season to explore the region. Every day of the year, Grand Canyon West is open, and you should plan to be there early to take advantage of all it has to offer.
Worst Times to Visit the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon best explored in spring or fall, since July and August are the warmest and busiest months in the park. The canyon often reaches temperatures of above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making walks during the heat of the day unpleasant (and sometimes deadly). Thunderstorms, which are normally short but powerful, may also occur in the summer. Avoid visiting the North Rim in the winter when all roads, eateries, and lodging closed if you interested in seeing it. What you want to avoid—massive crowds, hot weather, or cold weather—really depends on that.
If you absolutely must visit the Grand Canyon at the height of the summer (we understand that schedules are difficult! ), at the very least try to go to the North Rim. You’ll probably run across less tourists because of its separation from the South Rim and Grand Canyon West, and you’ll normally experience milder temps.