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Grand Canyon

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Grand Canyon

What is the best time of year to visit the grand canyon?

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Grand Canyon

There is never a bad time to visit the Grand Canyon. Advising you would be easier if you tell us more about yourself and what you think you want to see or do there.

Read the Top Questions on the right side of this page. Then ask some specific questions if you have any.

Wickenburg, Arizona
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for Wickenburg
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2. Re: Grand Canyon

If you're planning on doing any hiking, I'd not go during the winter months, since then the trails can be very icy and slippery at the top and require crampons. It could also happen that a snowstorm gets the roads and even the interstate closed down for some hours or even half a day or so. Late spring and fall are probably the most pleasant as the afternoons don't get furnace hot then in the canyon.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Grand Canyon

"Best" is too subjective, imo, but people have their favorites depending on their personal priorities.

If you're a hiker, spring and fall are generally favored, with mid-April to mid-May and mid-Sept to mid-Oct probably being the peak times. That said, many veteran hikers vastly prefer the colder months (Nov thru March) when permits are easier to get. Most visitors don't realize how warm it stays below the rim all year-round.

Below the rim, the cacti and wild-flowers bloom mid-April into May, depending on the elevation.

If avoiding crowds is a priority, I would avoid the summer and Easter week, i.e. school vacation times.

If hiking weather isn't a priority but warmer weather is, then consider early May or late September. The park is still popular but less so than during summer-vacation times.

Here's the park's write-up about the seasons and, at the bottom of the page, you'll find tables of average temperatures:

nps.gov/grca/…weather-condition.htm

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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4. Re: Grand Canyon

Agree that it depends who you're traveling with (kids or no kids?) and what your priorities are (like to hike or no?). But if you have absolute flexibility as to when to visit, late September/early October is my favorite time of year. Crowds are thinning since most schoolkids are "back to the grind," and temperatures are thinning. Daytime highs run in the 60's and 70's, nighttime lows are chilly, down around freezing, but snow doesn't start to become a concern until late November/early December (usually). If you're going to be in the vicinity of the North Rim, late September is an amazing time to be there to witness the changing colors of the autumn trees.

Here's a video that addresses the pros and cons of the four seasons at the park ->: http://youtu.be/Jq7hayjEcs8

5. Re: Grand Canyon

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