Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon – Avoid the Crowds

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

The best time to visit the Grand Canyon can vary a little depending on what’s important to you, but spring is often a good season, because it’s a little quieter and the daytime temperatures aren’t as high.

This is ideal if you want to hike and explore.

When Should You Visit The Grand Canyon?

When Should You Visit The Grand Canyon?
Visiting Grand Canyon

The ultimate time for going to the Grand Canyon depends slightly on what part of it you intend to visit, and what you plan to do while you are there:

  • You should be aware that the North Rim and much of the surrounding area will be closed as soon as snow starts to fall, so you shouldn’t plan to visit it during the winter.

If you don’t want to be dealing with crowds of people, this is a good time to go.

However, you will need to dress warmly, because it can be extremely cold during the winter.

Most people agree that the best time to visit the Grand Canyon as a whole is during the spring.

Let’s find out why!

It’s Quieter

Any time between March and May will be relatively quiet, as far fewer tourists go to the Grand Canyon at this time of year.

If you don’t want people crowding around you while you’re trying to take some once-in-a-lifetime snaps of the amazing rocks, this is pretty important.

Many people find it hard to appreciate the beauty of the Canyon when there are tourists everywhere, so going when it’s quieter is often the best approach.

To further pinpoint it, a lot of people find that May is the best season, because you can enjoy the quieter environment combined with the better weather.

This makes the Grand Canyon a particularly pleasant place to be – so see if you can book your holiday in May.

The Temperatures Are Better

Of course, the temperature is a big factor when you’re outdoors, and spring temperatures in the Grand Canyon tend to be reasonable, even as early as March.

Temperatures will vary, but can reach as much as 55°F (13 degrees C), or as low as 21°F (-6 degrees C).

Plan to visit Grand Canyon
Planning to visit Grand Canyon

Inside the Canyon itself, it may be as high as 73°F (23 degrees C) or even more if it’s sunny, as it’s often up to 10 degrees warmer in the Canyon.

You’ll still need to pack some good gear, but this is much warmer than during mid-winter.

Here is what to expect:

  • If you go in December or early January, temperatures can drop to below 17°F (-8 degrees C). That’s cold enough to ruin the trip for most people, so it’s best to wait until at least March.
  • If you delay until April or May, the lowest temperatures you’re likely to experience are 26°F (-3 degrees C) and 35°F (2 degrees C), respectively.

That means that from March onwards, it’s still possible for it to be pretty chilly, but it should be warm and pleasant enough to do some activities.

Indeed, you may find that the temperature is more comfortable than the scorching summer heat, especially if you plan to hike.

In the summer, temperatures inside the Canyon can hit almost 104°F (40 degrees C.)

For many people, that means picking a month between March and May is the best way to see the Grand Canyon.

It’s Cheaper

Enjoying the Grand Canyon view
Grand Canyon view

Costs are pretty much always a factor when you’re booking a vacation, and it’s worth noting that the prices for the hotels both on the South Rim and in the surrounding area are likely to be a lot cheaper if you visit in the spring, rather than during the summer.

However, they will creep up the closer to summer you get.

If you visit as early as March – You’ll likely find quite a lot of vacancies and low prices accordingly. However, if you want to go in late April or any time in May, you should book in advance and be aware that the prices will be climbing.

It’s still cheaper to visit at this time of year than during the Grand Canyon’s busiest periods (June and July).

Hotels aren’t the only cost factor, either.

Things like rental cars will also go up as summer approaches, and you might find your flights are more expensive if you fly during the school holidays.

To keep your costs down, plan a trip during the spring if you can!

The North Rim Will Be Open

If you want to explore the Grand Canyon completely, you’ll probably need to wait until May. The North Rim opens in May, so you can only visit it toward the end of spring.

That means if you want to hike from Rim to Rim or if you have plans to explore and photograph the North Rim, you can’t go earlier than May.

Bear this in mind if you’ve got a specific itinerary you want to follow while you’re there.

Should You Visit The Grand Canyon In Summer?

A lot of people do visit the Grand Canyon during the summer – which is why these are its busiest months.

It will be warmer, and you’ll get earlier sunrises and sunsets. You may also enjoy better photography opportunities.

The Grand Canyon view
The Grand Canyon

However, you’ll find the prices are higher, the hiking trails are crowded, and the temperature can spike. This may make activities challenging, and you’ll need to be careful to avoid overheating there.

Since hiking is one of the most popular activities in the Grand Canyon, summer often isn’t an ideal time to visit – even though so many people choose it.

Overall, the Grand Canyon certainly has a lot of appeal during the summer, but spring tends to be a better season.

Late April and May are likely to offer the best of both worlds, allowing you to enjoy an experience with lower prices, better temperatures, and fewer people.

Should You Visit The Grand Canyon In Autumn?

Autumn in the Grand Canyon has some of the advantages of spring, such as low prices and fewer people, but it may not be as quiet as spring.

The temperature in September is often around 41°F (5 degrees C), and sometimes as high as 75°F (24 degrees C).

Grand Canyon National Park United States
Exploring Grand Canyon National Park

The North Rim usually closes in mid-October, so you only have a narrow window if you want to access the whole Canyon.

Some people enjoy autumn visits, but spring tends to be a better season overall.


Visiting the Grand Canyon in spring offers some significant advantages, which is why more and more tourists are starting to go during this period.

You can certainly visit in the summer if you prefer, but you’ll have to deal with crowds, high prices, and high temperatures.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.