Grand Canyon Weather Climate throughout the year

Simple awareness of the Grand Canyon weather patterns can help you plan the perfect vacation. On the other hand, having no knowledge of when to go is a recipe for failure.

Arizona is known for hosting every temperature from the searing heat of the desert to the ice and snow of the mountains. In the Grand Canyon weather on one rim of the gorge can be completely different from the other; with human hazards such as dehydration and flash floods hinging on heat and rain, it’s always best to be prepared. Up to the minute weather forecasts and reports for Grand Canyon can be found on weather.com, while seasonal patterns are as follows:

Summer Weather

Summer on the popular South Rim is a pleasant experience. An elevation of 7,000 feet (2134 m) results in temperatures hovering between the 50s and 80s°F (10° to 20°C). Temperatures on the North Rim are cooler due to its higher elevation; 8,000 feet (2438 m) above sea level. Expect temperatures ranging between 40° and 70°F (5° to 21°C). Thunderstorms are common on both sides of the canyon in the late summer months of July, August and early September.

Exercise caution when descending into the canyon during the summer; temperature at the river, located 5,000 feet (1500 m) below the South Rim, often rise well above 105°F (40°C).

Winter Weather

Turbulent Grand Canyon weather conditions make winter a difficult time of year to visit. Both rims can receive heavy snowfall, resulting in icy roads and trails. Views of the canyon can be hindered by clouds and fog and National Park entry fees are not refundable due to the weather.

The roads on the South Rim are only plowed when necessary, so expect frequent road closures. Highway 67, the road to the North Rim, is closed from the first snowfall (usually in November, sometimes mid October) until spring (approximately mid May).

If you do visit in winter, be prepared to encounter numerous warnings from the National Park Service regarding the behaviour of the wild animals. Deer and elk may be more aggressive as it is their rutting season. Many other animals such as the rock squirrel are deep in hibernation.

Spring and Fall in the Grand Canyon

Although spring and fall are the best times of year for hiking in the canyon, unpredictable weather conditions make them less than ideal. The weather in the Grand Canyon can shift at any minute, making careful planning essential for a successful visit. May and October are comparatively dry months, though snowstorms are still recorded. Late April and May can be windy, resulting in possible facility closings. Highway 67, which leads from Jacob Lake, AZ to the North Rim typically re opens in mid May and closes again in the fall.