The Best Time To Visit The Grand Canyon, Arizona - Updated 2021

best time of year to visit the grand canyon

Visit the world-renowned Grand Canyon, a natural wonder carved by the Colorado River. It is a 277 miles (446 km) long canyon that has top world-class tourist destinations and visited by travellers from all around the world. You will crave all that is being offered including visiting the Grand Canyon National Park, a world premier natural attraction, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation, and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was greatly interested in the preservation of the Grand Canyon area and is said to have visited the area occasionally to hunt and enjoy the scenery. If you yourself plan to explore for more than a day, there are a number of hotels near the Grand Canyon, as well as camping spots if you prefer to stay out in nature. Scroll below to find out the best time to visit the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA.

1. Visit North Rim sightseeing and hiking – May to October

Grand Canyon National Park: North Rim: Muted Sunrise From Cape Royal 0163
Source: Photo by Flickr user Grand Canyon Nati... used under CC BY 2.0

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a busy place to be in during the summer months. It is the hotter side of the Grand Canyon during the summer, and most crowded too. The North Rim is less crowded and less hot compared to its southern counterpart. However, the only downside is that it is opened seasonally from around May 15th through October 15th for the summer period. If this is your preferred choice, then a visit between these months would be ideal to enjoy summer activities in the North Rim. The North Rim offers incredible views and some great day hikes as well. Also, travelers fancy visiting the parks including the Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park as well as the incredible viewpoints like Point Imperial, Cape Royal, Roosevelt Point, Walhalla Overlook and Bright Angel Point among others.

2. Avoid crowds – December to February

Grand Canyon National Park: South Kaibab Trail: 2745
Source: Photo by Flickr user Grand Canyon Nati... used under CC BY 2.0

While the Grand Canyon is a basket of fun waiting for you to receive, there are those who would rather behold all it has to offer at its most serene times and away from hustle and bustle of large crowds. The best months to do that are from December to February. This is the very midst of the off-season. If your ideal environment is that of sound relaxation and privacy while you enjoy your vacation with no crowds during explorations, as well as solo immersions in nature, then this season just perfect for you.

3. Cheap flights – November to February

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
Source: Photo by Flickr user used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Grand Canyon is a world attraction with over six million tourists received annually. The prices for copter flights to experience a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking sites in the Grand Canyon landscape varies depending on the time of the season and could be higher than usual in some. If you are on a tight budget and yet you still want to experience all that scenic landscapes, get low and affordable chopper flights and tour the whole of the Grand Canyon between the months of November to February.

4. Holiday in the North Rim – mid-May to mid-October

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim 0067
Source: Photo by Flickr user Grand Canyon Nati... used under CC BY 2.0

The North Rim is open seasonally from around May 15th through October 15th for the summer period. This period is good for fun outdoor activities like sightseeing the breathtaking scenes of the north side of the Grand Canyon during scenic drives, exploring hiking trails, camping and mule riding. The North Rim offers incredible views and some great day hikes. Also fancy mule riding, bookings are easily available compared to the southside mule rides.

5. Camping – June to August

Camping in the Grand Canyon
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dan Dwyer used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Enjoy camping at the Grand Canyon during the summer period June to August. The South Rim provides several camping grounds for both tents and recreational vehicles (RVs). Campgrounds such as the Mather Point Campground, one of the popular sites has over 300 areas for camping, because of the nearby amenities like lodges, shuttles, the train station, and visitor center. Another is the Trailer Village which is one of the RV parks, as well as the Desert View Campground with over 50 sites for camping. Pack your camping gear and head to the Canyon for your ultimate summer experience. If you’re not a fan of camping, there are also a number of pet-friendly cabins near the Grand Canyon.

6. Mule rides – December

Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel Trial: Mule Trip 4825
Source: Photo by Flickr user Grand Canyon Nati... used under CC BY 2.0

Looking for an exciting adventure to create the perfect memories of your visit to the Grand Canyon? Then a ride down into the Grand Canyon or along the rim on a mule, it would be just the perfect choice. Having been around since the early 1800s, mule riding is deemed more rewarding with the overnight rides deep into the canyon, staying at Phantom Ranch especially during the December period. The mules are well trained and it will be quite interesting an adventure. Book now and enjoy the ride!

7. River rafting – May to September

IMG_9038 (1)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nate Loper used under CC BY 2.0

Visitors and tourists can also get to enjoy exciting and breathtaking outdoor activities like water rafting in the Grand Canyon. Get your tickets and book early between the spring and summer months (March through to September) and get to experience rafting down the Colorado River. Get to see the beautiful landscapes of the Grand Canyon. While rafting you will to see the legendary Lava Falls and Crystal Rapids, sandstone cliffs with numerous waterfalls and pools.

8. Hiking – September to November

Grand Canyon National Park: Cedar Ridge Ranger-led Hike 9986
Source: Photo by Flickr user Grand Canyon Nati... used under CC BY 2.0

The South rim which is the most popular area of the Grand Canyon has a lot of traffic or crowds all year-round but especially during the summer. The South Rim, however, has a very little crowd during fall. You can avoid the rush and hustle you may be subjected to if you get to visit the area during this period. There is less tourism but cooler weather after summer and therefore enabling you to enjoy nature hikes and biking and other outdoor activities.

9. Suitable weather – April to June

Grand Canyon(HDR5)
Source: Photo by Flickr user lwtt93 used under CC BY 2.0

April to June is a great season to experience the Grand Canyon. Both the South Rim and North Rim has got lots of interesting activities on offer for visitors and tourists. The south side which is nearer of the two experiences a lot of tourists as it is between the spring and summer period, and therefore great for outdoor activities. The great weather helps make possible for visitors to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Grand Canyon, with activities like hiking, water rafting, and sightseeing. Take note, however, that this tends to also be the busiest season in the area as everyone else knows exactly how great it is.

10. South Rim outdoor activities – January to December

Ebiking in McInnis Canyons NCA in Grand Junction, Colorado
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bureau of Land M... used under CC BY 2.0

The South Rim is the prime part for visitors during the months from January to December. Lots of exciting activities can be done during these months. Hiking is one such activity. However, due to the hot temperature conditions experienced in the South Rim, the authorities advice hikers to take precautions to prevent challenges like dehydration, injuries, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke and thus urges for adequate preparation for the extreme environment. Other activities include biking, camping, as well as ranger programs and mule riding.

Breathtaking Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon truly lives up to its name. With breathtaking views of its landscape, and fun activities like hiking, mule riding, camping in yurts and many many more for you and your loved one(s). Find the best time of the year to visit. Don’t miss out. Book now!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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