Temperatures vary wildly throughout the year, with summer highs within the Inner Gorge commonly exceeding 100 °F (37.8 °C) and winter minimum temperatures sometimes falling below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 °C) along the canyon's rims. I have seen the canyon with rain, snow and extreme heat - so know the weather before going, bring closed shoes, drink a lot of water and suntan during summer, and remember the road can get slippery in winter!
And remember that there are two sides to the Canyon – THE NORTH RIM AND THE SOUTH RIM. The North Rim is 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim. The North Rim is also closed for most of the winter, between October and May, because of too much snow…
So, make sure you check weather conditions before going…
We were determined on our first trip to Grand Canyon. Although it was snowing, we proceeded to Southern Rim entrance. Was prepared with snow chains and had to put them on the car tires at the entrance before we allowed to proceed.
It was fun driving on snow chain for the first time albeit slowly.
But alas, we cannot see the Grand Canyon even at the edge because the whole canyon was covered by a thick mist for the past few days and on the day we were there.
If you have a choice, it is a must to check weather and visibility conditions to vist Grand Canyon.
Not only can the weather in and around the Grand Canyon change on a dime, but there are a multitude of potential hazards. Lightening strikes might send you scurrying for cover (not under a tree!). We arrived to a beautiful morning and within an hour there were storm clouds. Within two hours it was raining. The afternoon brought lightening strikes all around the rim of the canyon.
If it's in the 80's on the rim of the canyon, it's likely to be 100 degrees at the bottom. Temperatures rise quickly as you decend elevation. Carry water. Be prepared!
A lot of people warn about heat and dehydration. Because this is the desert, and heat, sun and dehydration are life-threatening problems. The top of the Grand Canyon is up at altitude (6,790' Elevation for the South Rim), so not only are you closer to the sun (better sunburn), so there are altitude problems as well.
But sometimes people forget the other side of the desert - the cold side - the fact is that the desert and high altitudes get COLDer when it is cold.
My dad and my daughter got up with us to take pictures at sunrise. We had come from Califorina and didn't realize how cold it would be.
So in addition to packing for heat and sun, put something in to protect you from the cold at night, even in the summer. In August, the high will average 83, and the low will average 47. And in the fall or spring, what you pack ought to be really warm because it will go down to the low 20s and be windy.
When we were there, it was cold. There had been a big snowstorm the day before. It can be windy too on the rims, so the windchills can be quite low. Bring a big coat, hat, and gloves if you're going there in the winter. But I've heard the bottom of the canyon can get pretty warm. So dress accordingly.
The climate can be very harsh at the Grand Canyon. Very hot summers, especially if you descend into the canyon. Very cold winters, especially in the early morning. And very arid all year round. Don't make the mistake that I did of hiking without water. It is easy to get dehydrated. People actually die in the summertime from heatstroke and dehydration.
It goes without saying that in a desert - which the river is definitely running through - the sun will get you if you don't come prepared.
Caming in the desert can be fun but remember to bring som warm clothes for all of us Easterners there isn't any fire wood in the a desert haha