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Tourists hiking a narrow trail along the edge of the Grand Canyon, with expansive views of the canyon and colorful rock formations.

Weather at the Grand Canyon

What to Expect


Winter in the Grand Canyon is a quiet, peaceful time with surprisingly ideal hiking weather, smaller crowds and shorter lines. There’s less competition with Phantom Ranch reservations and backpacking permits and you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Canyon when the upper cliffs are dusted with snow.

The South Rim receives just under 58″ each year. When snow does fall, it will change to rain by the time it reaches the bottom of the Canyon floor. Places like Phantom Ranch see less than one inch of snow.

A panoramic view of the Grand Canyon at sunset, showcasing layered red rock formations under a cloudy sky with patches of snow on the ledges.


It pays to be prepared. The weather changes quickly at the Grand Canyon, and so does visibility.

Planning a multiple-day visit allows guests to experience some of these changes. In addition, it provides additional time to explore various aspects of the Canyon.


  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and fluid
  • Cell phone
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Food and water
  • Matches
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens or gloves
  • First aid kit with a pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Blankets
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Sand or cat litter (road salt is not permitted in the park)
  • Booster cables
Interior of an outdoor supply store featuring racks and displays of various apparel including shirts, pants, and accessories.


Snow-covered Grand Canyon Yavapai Point Overlook with a stone railing, pine tree in the foreground, and expansive canyon views under a cloudy sky.

Bright Angel Trail:
One of the most popular trails at South Rim is the Bright Angel Trail. While open in the winter, the trail’s drop-offs must be navigated with caution. You will likely encounter slick snow and ice for at least the first few miles. Hermit Trail is your best bet when avoiding walking on ice, as it descends from a point lower than 7,000 feet of elevation. There will be snow and ice initially, but this will dissipate as you get further into the Canyon.

South to North Time Hike:
You may decide to hike from South Rim to North Rim and back. This extreme multi-day journey takes a great deal of planning and preparation, especially in winter.

Shoshone Point:
An unsigned dirt parking area marks the trail out to Shoshone Point. An easy, one-mile walk along an old dirt road moves through ponderosa forest, which transitions to pinyon-juniper woodlands near the Canyon’s rim. A relatively quiet viewpoint along the perimeter of the Canyon facing north-northeast awaits at the end of the walk.


Spring, summer and fall are the park’s busiest times. As such, we recommend making lodging reservations well in advance.

Winter Hiking and RVing

During the winter, snow and ice can make trails into the Canyon slippery. Make sure you have the appropriate gear, clothing and supplies. It’s also a good idea to get advice from park rangers at the Backcountry Information Center. Above all, always check the weather forecast before leaving.

Check out our page about visiting the Grand Canyon in winter!

Average Temperatures at the South Rim

*Please note: these are South Rim seasonal average temperatures, which can vary depending on current conditions. Temperatures down in the inner Canyon tend to be 15-20 degrees warmer compared to temperatures on the South Rim, which is at higher elevation (~7,000 feet). Please plan accordingly when hiking into the Canyon.

Two women standing by a railing, overlooking the South Rim at the Grand Canyon.


The night sky filled with stars and the milky way visible above silhouetted pine trees.

The North Rim is open from May 15 to October 15 each year.

This includes lodging, dining and the general store. The park is open for day use from October 15 until December 1 (or until snow closes Highway 67), but facilities are limited.


A man with a backpack and walking sticks stands on a cliff, looking at a sunset over the Grand Canyon.

While hiking through Grand Canyon National Park in winter, you’ll want to pack additional gear. This will keep the trip enjoyable and also safe. Be sure to bring the following items:

  • Extra layers, including thermal base layers
  • Warm socks
  • Winter hiking boots
  • Spikes (to add to your boots)
  • Thin headband ear muffs, worn under a warm winter hat
  • Gloves or mittens (mittens will keep your fingers warmer)
  • Pants and jacket with a waterproof outer layer
  • Backpack
  • Trekking poles
  • Flashlight with strobe feature
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket

If you forgot something, check out the Yavapai Marketplace for all your needs!

A modern hotel room with two double beds, a desk area, and a tv mounted on the wall, decorated with framed artwork.


Immerse yourself in amenity-rich accommodations near Grand Canyon National Park.

A woman and a young boy looking out the window of a vehicle during a Grand Canyon tour, with sunlight highlighting the natural landscape outside.


Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the park, where you’ll delve into the fascinating history that has shaped this extraordinary landscape.