The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular attractions in the United States, and it is no surprise why. The national park sees millions of visitors each year, but there are some times that are better to visit the Grand Canyon than others.
The best time of the year to visit the Grand Canyon is in the spring, which has the best weather and views. Alternatively, winter is a good time if you want to avoid crowds, and summer has the most open activities.
Each time of year offers a different way to experience the Grand Canyon, which means that you cannot really go wrong with when you visit the national park. You should consider what you want to do on your trip so that you pick the time of year that is most suitable. Summers and winters offer quite different experiences, so spring is generally the best option. We’ll discuss how to decide which is the best option for you below!
Spring Advantages at the Grand Canyon
Throughout the year, the Grand Canyon sees over six million visitors, which shows just how popular the area is. Naturally, there are peak times for visitors, and this can impact your experience at the Grand Canyon.
Spring Has the Best Weather
From around late March to June, the Grand Canyon has its best weather. The temperatures are mild during the day, which makes for great hiking weather. Hikers will likely find that the conditions for hiking are best in the spring. Rainfall is also low, so there is less concern about having to stay inside on your trip.
Visitors to the Grand Canyon in the spring will find that there can be very cool temperatures at night, but that the days are quite temperate. Visitors do not have to deal with the cold winter days or the scorching days of hot summer.
Fewer Crowds in the Spring
For many people, one of the biggest considerations for planning a trip to the Grand Canyon is the size of crowds that are expected. Many visitors do not want to be stuck in crowds of other tourists. This is especially true for people who go to the Grand Canyon more than once and seek more than just sightseeing from of the experience.
Crowds during the spring are typically much thinner than in the peak season that comes in the summer. Crowds can pick up around the times of spring break and the end of a school year, but spring generally has a smaller number of visitors than the summer months.
Best Time for the West Rim
If you want to explore the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, again spring is the best time of year. The West Rim is not technically part of the national park, but the area does have access to many of the Grand Canyon’s best assets.
The West Rim has access to the Skywalk, which is one of the Grand Canyon’s highlights because it offers incredible views. Many of the whitewater rafting trips through the Grand Canyon also start at the West Rim, and spring is the best time to go on the rafting trips.
Best Times of Year for Grand Canyon Attractions
Summer is the peak season for tourism at the Grand Canyon. Kids are out of school, family trips are at their peak, and people want to enjoy a summer vacation. Plus, summer has the most attractions at the Grand Canyon that are accessible, so people have lots of options. For the best experience, though, some of the attractions should be visited at other times.
The best place to view the beauty of the Grand Canyon is from the Skywalk, a glass bridge that reaches 70 feet out from the Grand Canyon. The bridge allows visitors to look down 4,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon. It is also one of the few Grand Canyon attractions that is open all year.
As previously mentioned, spring is a great time to visit the Skywalk. But if you are looking for the most peaceful experience at the Skywalk, winter is the best time. You will find the smallest crowds during the winter, which allows you to enjoy the magic of the Skywalk without as many distractions.
Seeing the North Rim
The best time to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is in the summer. The North Rim is not open during the winter, except for a few winter activities like skiing. While you can go to the North Rim during the spring or fall, the summer is the best time.
During the summer, the North Rim is not as crowded as the South Rim, even though it is peak season. Plus, the temperatures are usually much cooler in the North Rim than the South Rim. Temperatures can range quite widely, even in the summer, so you do not have to worry as much about the high temperatures that can hit in the summer.
Fall and spring are accessible times for the North Rim, but the temperatures are much more unpredictable. If you enjoy cooler weather, this time of year might be fine for you, but be sure to pack appropriately for the unpredictable weather.
Visiting the South Rim
The South Rim, like the Skywalk, stays open all year. It is one of the most popular spots in the Grand Canyon during the peak summer season. You will likely find the biggest crowds at the South Rim between June and August.
Instead of going during the peak season, try going to the South Rim during the fall. Temperatures will be lower than in the summer, so activities like biking or hiking will be much more enjoyable.
Seeing the South Rim in the fall is also a great time to watch the sunset at the Grand Canyon. The days are shorter, which makes it easier to catch a sunset, but the weather is still warm enough for the viewing to be comfortable.
Most Important Takeaways
Ultimately, the best time to visit the Grand Canyon may depend on what you want to do and see. Luckily, there are attractions to visit at all times of the year. You will be able to view the magical beauty of the Grand Canyon no matter the month you go.
But it is important to keep a few things in mind:
Spring is generally the best. The temperatures are at their best in the spring. It is not peak season, so crowds should not be too thick. This is a great time to visit the Skywalk, West Rim, or to go whitewater rafting.
Do not count winter out. It may seem daunting to visit the Grand Canyon during the winter, but the temperatures are not as extreme as you might think. We do recommend checking The Grand Canyon’s website for latest road conditions and park closures. They get a good amount of snow storms so just keep this in mind. This time of year sees the fewest tourists, so you will likely have a more personal, quiet experience. You can still see the South Rim and Skywalk during the winter.
Summer is peak season. The biggest crowds will be present during the summer months. This time of year has the biggest variety of open attractions, but it can also be too hot for some people’s comfort. The North Rim is best to visit in the summer for a quieter, cooler experience.