Grand Canyon Weather and Climate
The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural wonders on earth and inspires over 5 million visitors from all over the world every year with its gigantic canyon.
The largest area of the canyon is part of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, it divides the state into two parts. With an area of almost 5000 square kilometers, it is not possible to circumnavigate the Grand Canyon as part of a day tour.
A distinction is made in particular between the South Rim and North Rim, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, on the other hand, is located in an Indian reservation in the so-called “Grand Canyon West” outside the national park.
It does not offer the real experience of visiting the Grand Canyon, and photography is prohibited there.
We therefore strongly recommend heading for the South Rim or North Rim. From all major travel destinations (e.g. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix), the southern edge is much easier to reach than the comparatively little-visited northern edge.
The Grand Canyon is part of many USA tours together with Yosemite National Park, Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon via Las Vegas and California.
Grand Canyon Climate (Weather)
The north rim of the Grand Canyon (North Rim) is around 2400 meters above sea level on average 300 meters higher than the South Rim and has a completely different ecosystem. To illustrate the measured values, we have used the values from Phoenix as an example on this page (see climate table), they serve as a guide for the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
On the popular southern edge, daily values of over 38 degrees are from the end of May to around mid- September the absolute rule, the air is dry and hot. Even at night, temperatures in summer are rarely below 24 degrees Celsius. There is no rainy season at the Grand Canyon. The North Rim is noticeably cooler in the course of the year, but also reaches peak temperatures above 40 degrees in midsummer.
Winter is also different at the Gran Canyon: The south with the Grand Canyon Village is open all year round and only experiences light snowfall in exceptional cases. The wilder North Rim, however, even closes completely in winter due to the weather. The facilities on the northern edge are usually open from May to October. Spring and fall at the Grand Canyon are still warm, but not as oppressively hot as summer.
When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
According to our climate records at the most important attraction in the USA, we recommend that visitors avoid the enormous scorching heat of the summer months of June, July and August if possible. September can also be very hot, especially in the first half of the month, so you should think of plenty of fluids and don’t forget that the hiking trails into the valley also have to be tackled back up.
We therefore recommend the transition months of March, April and May in spring and mid-September to mid- November as the best time to visit the Grand Canyon (South Rim and North Rim)in the autumn. The southern edge is open all year round, as described, here you should think of appropriate clothing in winter from November to early March. The nights reach lows of an average of 5 ° C.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine
|Daytime temperature||13 ° C||17 ° C||22 ° C||28 ° C||31 ° C||34 ° C||38 ° C||36 ° C||34 ° C||29 ° C||20 ° C||14 ° C|
|Night temperature||0 ° C||5 ° C||9 ° C||13 ° C||17 ° C||22 ° C||26 ° C||24 ° C||21 ° C||14 ° C||8 ° C||2 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||17||17||22||6||3||3||21st||24||22||17||17||25|
|Hours of sunshine||8||9||10||12||13||14||12||12||11||10||9||8|
The annual average temperature is 19.9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (32 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 6.6 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 194 mm on 26 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February and December snowfall is possible.
As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 13.6 hours of sunshine per day. In the annual mean, the sun shines an average of 10.6 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Highlights and tours
For your first visit to the Grand Canyon, we recommend the south rim of the national park due to the excellent infrastructure and pleasant journey. This is open 365 days a year and has several lodges as well as restaurants and shops right in the park, and there are several hotels right in front of the park entrance (e.g. in the village of Tusayan). However, we strongly recommend that you make reservations several months in advance, as many accommodations are quickly booked out.
The entrance fee for the Grand Canyon is (as of 2016) only $ 30.00 US dollars per vehicle including all occupants. The pass is valid for 7 days for the South and North Rim. The highlights of the Grand Canyon include the many hiking trails and viewpoints, which can be easily reached by (free) shuttle bus, especially on the southern edge. Outside of the park, several operators offer helicopter tours over the canyon.
The park is part of many USA rental car and bus tours through the Southwest of the USA. A popular route, for example, is Las Vegas via Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon, on to Lake Powell, into Monument Valley and Arches National Park into Canyonlands and via Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park back to the glittering city of Las Vegas. Longer USA tours also include Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and Los Angeles in California.
Grand Canyon weather in March, April, and May
Average daily temperatures between 22 ° C and 31 ° C can be expected over the next three months. In Grand Canyon it gets warmest in May, but March is noticeably cooler.
You can expect about 3 days of rainfall in March, about one day in April and about 0 days in May.
In the period from March to May , the sun shines between 10 and 13 hours a day on average. The sunniest weather in Grand Canyon is in May, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.