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- Trip Styles
- Visiting Grand Canyon in May
- Grand Canyon Visitor Guide
May in the Grand Canyon
Learn all about what it means to visit Grand Canyon National Park in May
May in Grand Canyon National Park is when winter is definitively over and summer is beginning to appear. It’s a fantastic month to visit, hike, backpack, raft, to do it all, really. May 15 is when the North Rim opens, allowing visitors to hike Rim to Rim , either as a long day hike or as a multi-day backpacking trip or a Phantom Ranch visit. The summer crowds begin to appear in May, but the wonderful weather and sheer beauty of the place offset any inconvenience caused by increased visitation.
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Benefits of Visiting in MAY
Another benefit of May is that it is prime time for rafting the Colorado River as the temperatures in the canyon have warmed up (but are not yet entirely baking) so it is refreshing to get splashed by the river’s icy water. Unlike later in the summer, May is typically fairly dry so you won’t have the monsoon season’s thunderstorms to threaten your rafting adventure by raising water levels or blocking side hikes. The temperatures on the rims are still relatively pleasant in May so sightseeing, bicycling, walking the overlooks, helicopter tours, and many other activities are almost perfect in May.
This one can be seen as a benefit or a drawback depending on if you were contemplating visiting earlier or later in the season: the crowds. May certainly has more crowds than earlier in the year as schools get out of session and people race to the park to catch the last few days of pleasant weather on the rims before summer is in full swing. But this month does not compare to the crowds that arrive in summer. So while you will probably find it busier than you would like, it won’t be the traffic and long line mania of summer in the park. May also afford guests great opportunities to see wildlife in the park. The reptiles (lizards and snakes) and amphibians (frogs and toads) are out of hibernation for the warmer weather and visitors often get glimpses of them in the streams or sunbathing on the rocks. Some of the park’s bigger animals such as elk, deer, and big horn sheep are also about this time of year. May is truly a great time to go to Grand Canyon and affords guests opportunities that do not come around as often in other months.
Drawbacks of Visiting in MAY
The other major drawback with May is that the summer crowds are beginning to appear. As mentioned above, they aren’t at summer levels yet, but it’s much busier than the winter months and even March and April. This makes trails crowded, roads busy and sometimes congested, and overlook parking lots full. At many national parks, the key to avoiding crowds in the summer is to go on a hike, but in Grand Canyon, long hikes to avoid crowds are not advisable because of the heat. This leaves guests crowded, especially during midday when the temperatures are at their hottest and the air-conditioned buildings are nearing capacity.
Another downside that comes along with the crowds is accommodations rates go up and availability goes down. With such an influx of visitors, the rates for hotels within the park skyrocket and are booked up months in advance. This makes planning a last-minute trip difficult if you want to stay within the park or within an hour or so from the park’s entrance as many of these accommodations will have been booked for months. It is best to reserve rooms or campsites at least the winter before your summer trip.
Things to Do in MAY
A rim-to-rim hike can be done as a day hike, but this is highly discouraged by the National Park Service, and shouldn’t be done unless you’re experienced and very fit. Grand Canyon weather and environment are not to be trifled with and heat exhaustion, heat stroke, water intoxication, and dangerous animal encounters are very real risks, all of which can lead to serious injury or death. You can do a rim-to-rim hike on a multi-day trip with a stay at Phantom Ranch (reservations are extremely competitive) or on a backpacking trip . This is by far the better option as you can rest during the middle of the day when the heat is most intense and enjoy more of the canyon as you won’t be rushing back up to the rim to beat the heat.
Rafting in the Grand Canyon is extremely popular in May as the hot (but not yet summer level) temperatures make getting splashed with the Colorado River’s frigid waters refreshing. Rafting the Colorado River can be done in as little as 6 days and is an experience you’ll never forget. Sightseeing and photography are also very popular options in May as the animals are out and about and the monsoon season has not yet started to cloud the canyon in the afternoons. Night sky photography is also perfect this time of year as the nights are not bitterly cold like they are in winter and most nights are clear for your milky way shot with the red rock canyon in the foreground.
If the weather is unusually hot or if you’re looking for a way to spend the heat of the day indoors, the Yavapai Geology Museum which has fantastic exhibits on the fossils and geology in the park, or the Kolb Studio and photo gallery are great options as well as the visitor center on the South Rim that has an excellent, 22-min film about the park and the surrounding area. Native American and early settler history is also available to see in the park at the Tusayan Museum and Ruin, Eagle Point Native American village on the west rim, or the Desert View Watchtower to the east. Hermit’s Rest which marks the end of Hermit’s Rest scenic drive is a great representation of a miner’s cabin and there are many other mining sites in and around the canyon that guests can visit.
A trip on the Grand Canyon Railway from the nearby town of Williams, a stroll on the Grand Canyon skywalk (a bridge made entirely of glass suspended nearly 4,000 feet above the canyon floor), or an all-American dinner at the famous and historic El Tovar restaurant are all major attractions to the area as well as a plethora of other locations outside the park such as Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Sedona, and Flagstaff. There are nearly endless options for activities in Grand Canyon in May, so gear up for any adventure of your choosing.
Things see in may
Hopi Point: This well-known overlook along Hermit’s Rest Scenic Drive is well worth stopping at to take in the fantastic views. You can’t drive your private vehicle down this road in the warmer seasons, so you’ll have to take the shuttle service or explore the trail on foot or with a bike. If you can spare the whole day, biking Hermit’s Rest Trail is a great option for a more relaxing trip instead of taking the shuttle bus. Hopi Point is one of the best places in the park for seeing the sunrise or the sunset splash brilliant colors on the canyon’s already colorful walls.
Fossils: The Grand Canyon is full of geological and archeological secrets, not the least of which is the abundance of fossils, mostly of marine creatures, hidden in the canyon walls. If you find a fossil, take a picture or make a drawing and show a ranger to see if you can identify it. If you want to see specific fossils, such as the famous tracks of an unknown and extinct reptile preserved in sandstone, you can ask a ranger where a good place is to find marked fossils or visit the Yavapai Geology Museum for more information.
Desert View Watchtower: Located near the east entrance to the park, this watchtower is seldom visited and even more seldom climbed. The work of famous architect Mary Colter, this tower seems to rise out of the very canyon walls itself. Inside the first level, you’ll find a replica of a Native American Kiva where cultural demonstrations are often performed while the upper floors feature spectacular views of the canyon. Make sure not to miss these beautiful sights, especially if you are coming into the park through the east entrance.
Tusayan Museum and Ruin: Near the east entrance to the park and the Desert View Watchtower lies the Tusayan Museum and Ruins, an estimated 800-year-old site of Native American Ruins. The people who lived here are thought to be the ancestors of the modern Pueblo and Hopi peoples and much of the history of these people can be found in the pottery and buildings that were left here. Take a self-guided walk or join a ranger-led tour around these amazing ruins and get a glimpse into what life was like for some of the first people who lived here.
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Hiking in MAY
If you’re hiking Rim to Rim, you might consider sitting out the hottest part of the day at Bright Angel Campground, under the shade of cottonwood trees, and finishing your hike later in the day. The National Park’s Service does not recommend (and yet does not forbid) hiking rim to rim in one day. This hike is 24 miles (from one rim to the other)) and is incredibly strenuous and difficult. The added dangers of having to carry more water and food because of the heat, coupled with the steep trails and high elevation make this trek much safer if it is done in a few days instead of only one. Staying the night at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch or backpacking will allow you to be safer on the trail and enjoy the canyon more as you aren’t rushing to beat the heat up the canyon walls.
Guided hiking and backpacking tours are available in May, which is one of the most popular months of the year for such experiences. There are also many hikes along the rims which allow guests to stay at higher elevations where the temperature is cooler. Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails both have waypoints and overlooks that serve as markers for guests who do not want to hike all the way into the canyon. Doing a shorter hike of 1-3 miles in the morning or evening can be a great way to experience the canyon without as many of the risks of a longer trek on your own.
Hikers should be aware of the dangers they might encounter while on the trail and what they can do to prevent them. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most immediate dangers, the latter of which can lead to death if not treated. Make sure you know the differences between these two conditions as heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency while heat exhaustion (though it can lead to heat stroke and thus is still dangerous) can be dealt with without emergency medical assistance.
The NPS has also seen an increase in water poisoning in the park. This condition is caused by an individual drinking too much water and throwing off the sodium balance in their bloodstream. To prevent this, hikers should eat plenty of salty snacks while on the trail along with drinking plenty of water. While many hikers chose to cool off in the frigid waters of the Colorado, currents can be strong and hikers should be careful not to be swept away by currents and rapids. May is still a great time in the park for hiking, but does come with some additional risks than earlier in the year. Going on a guided hike , even for just a day, is a great way to make sure you have all the safety information and an expert guide to show you around the canyon.
backpacking in may
While backpacking this time of year is an amazing experience, it is important to be both mentally and physically prepared for hiking in extreme heat and dryness. Temperatures in the canyon can feel as though they are in the triple digits in May if you are in the sun and exerting yourself. It is important to take plenty of water as well as salty snacks to prevent dehydration and water intoxication (a condition when a person drinks too much water and throws off the sodium balance in their blood), both of which can lead to death. All the dangers that come with day hiking also come with backpacking so make sure to read the section above if you are interested in this activity. The canyon is at about 7,000 ft of elevation and the trails can be brutal and steep. Backpackers need to be sure that they can handle the trail that they chose. Talk to a ranger before setting out to see what the trail conditions are and if the trail is suitable to your experience level.
Weather in MAY
At Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon, the average high temperature in May is 92 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low of 63 degrees Fahrenheit (33H/17L degrees Celsius.) It rains on average only 2 days in May. Visitors should keep in mind that these temperatures are only averages and the park can experience much colder– or hotter– temperatures than this. May at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is the equivalent of summer for many places in the United States (although not the equivalent of real summer in the park). This leaves guests in a sticky situation when trying to pack for their trip. Even if you’re going to spend most of your time in the canyon, you’ll still need a jacket or two for the chilly nights up on the rim. You could probably leave it in your car though if you’re not planning on being out at night while in the canyon.
May is when the heat in the canyon begins to become dangerous and you will want to take precautions to keep you and your party safe. The intense heat, elevation, and dryness should tell all visitors that resting in the shade during the heat of the day is a good idea. Even if you are on a longer hike, waiting in the shade from noon to three pm can significantly decrease your chance of falling victim to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both of these conditions can be fatal (as heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke) and it is very important to know the difference between them as the first is a “sit down and cool off” situation while the second is a life-threatening, medical emergency. As both of these conditions can cause disorientation and confusion, it is important to hike in groups for your safety and to make sure everyone knows the symptoms of these conditions.
Make sure to drink plenty of water as dehydration from the heat is a real risk. The National Park’s Service now recommends drinking water and eating plenty of snacks while on the trail or even leisurely enjoying the canyon as there has been a rise in water poisoning in the canyon. This happens when a person drinks too much water and disturbs the sodium balance in their bloodstream which can cause cells to swell. If this swelling happens in the brain, it can lead to serious injury or death. In order to combat this, it’s best to eat salty snacks along with drinking water to maintain your sodium balance. Make sure to check the forecast each day before you set out and to know that the temperatures in the sun will probably feel hotter than what the forecast said. May is one of the last months where you might still get some pleasant days in the 80s in the canyon, so make sure to get out there before the summer heat limits more activities.
Wildlife in may
Elk and bison also inhabit the park (with bison only inhabiting the North Rim). These creatures are majestic and wonderful to see, but make sure to keep a distance of about 100 ft as these animals are wild and can be dangerous if they feel threatened. Even the rock squirrels that the park is famous for can be dangerous. If they are used to being fed by humans, they can become aggressive and approach you, sometimes being brave enough to steal the food off your table. Squirrels cause the most injuries to humans or any animals at the Grand Canyon, mostly resulting in scratches and bites when trying to steal food.
One of the most elusive animals in the park is notorious for worming its way into buildings in search of food, yet is careful to avoid detection and is strictly nocturnal. The ringtail, often called the ringtail cat, is probably the cutest animal you’ve never seen. Looking like a cross between a mouse and a red panda, these adorable creatures are closely related to raccoons and are only seen at night. They are sometimes seen around Phantom Ranch in the evening so keep your eyes peeled there if you want to see one.
\California condors, the biggest bird– and one of the rarest– native to North America has a population in the Grand Canyon. With a wingspan of up to 9.5 ft, these massive birds can often be seen soaring above the canyon walls, riding the updrafts of warm air rising from the canyon.
The park is also home to a large variety of creatures we haven’t mentioned here such as mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, toads, tortoises, mountain lions, and javelinas. Wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk because of the lack of crowds and the lack of heat. You won’t be disappointed if you spend some of your visit to the park looking for some of these creatures, so ask a ranger where you are most likely to see your particular animal or what has been caught recently on remote cameras.
Recommended wildland trips in may
Grand Canyon Basecamp Tour: This 4-day camping tour begins with a hike on the South Rim before heading to the much more remote and wild North Rim for the remainder of the trip. Experience both the popular trails and little-known gems during the day hiking with only a light day pack and having your camp set up for you each night to return to. All-inclusive with meals, accommodation, local transportation, and much of your gear included, you won’t want to miss out on getting a taste of both rims on this tour.
Grand Circuit Inn Based: Get the perfect balance between adventure and luxury on this inn-based tour that will give you a taste of it all. Experience 2 hikes off the North Rim, 3 hikes off the South Rim, see Lee’s Ferry (the official beginning of the canyon), dripping desert oases, and stunning fossils. After all your adventures, relax each night at the lodge near the rim. We’ll take care of everything from reservations to accommodations, meals to transport. All you have to do is get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
New Hance Loop: This backpacking tour in the Grand Canyon is no joke and is one of our most strenuous trips, but is well worth the fatigue. Journey away from the crowds into some of the most remote areas of the canyon near Horseshoe Mesa, desert oases, the stunning Red Rock Canyon, and the banks of the Colorado River. Enjoy solitude like a few other places in the park and focus on enjoying the journey while your expert guide takes care of all the details, meals, and itinerary.
Join a Guided Hiking Adventure
Guided Grand Canyon treks include permits, local transportation (excluded on certain tours), meals, gear, risk management systems, and professional guides, allowing guests to make the most of their visit to the Canyon, focus 100% on enjoying their experience, and do it all with an increased level of safety and comfort.
GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE TOURS
- GUIDED BACKPACKING ADVENTURES : these are for people interested in an authentic adventure deep in the Canyon’s wilderness.
- HORSE-ASSISTED TRIP : on this trip to the bottom of the Canyon, guests hike with light day packs and camp near the Colorado River.
- PHANTOM RANCH TOURS : this tour (limited dates) goes to the bottom of the Canyon where we sleep 1 or 2 nights in the Phantom Ranch Lodge 5 minutes from the Colorado River. Showers, A/C, heat…etc.
- ALL-INCLUSIVE HIKING PACKAGES : inn-based and camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of the Grand Canyon.
- DAY HIKE TOURS : maximize your day at Grand Canyon on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour on one of the Park’s best trails.
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Phantom ranch, arizona, latitude: 36.1383 longitude: -112.0958, elevation: 2529.9 feet (771.1 meters), monthly data table for phantom ranch, arizona.
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Phantom Ranch, AZ
PHANTOM RANCH, ARIZONA
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Alerts in effect, weather and climate, average temperatures in the inner canyon (by month), average temperatures on the north rim (by month), average precipitation in inches at grand canyon (by month), grand canyon climate links.
- National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
- Weekly Meteorological Data Collected at the Abyss Monitoring Site (South Rim)
Climate Overview for the Grand Canyon Region
Summer temperatures on the South Rim, at 7000 feet (2135 m), are relatively pleasant with high temperatures generally in the 80s (27-32°C) (with temperatures typically warming to over 100 degrees (>38°C) at the river near Phantom Ranch (2400 feet/762m). North Rim summer high temperatures are typically cooler than the South Rim due to increased elevation (8000 feet/2440 m), with highs typically ranging in the 70s (21-26°C). Overnight lows can still drop near to below freezing occasionally on the North Rim, although typically low temperatures range from the 40s and 50s (4-15°C) at the South Rim to the 60s and 70s (16-26°C) at Phantom Ranch. Summer thunderstorms frequently occur during July, August, and early September with the potential for torrential rains, frequent lightning, and sudden flash floods. These thunderstorms are extremely variable in intensity and location and occur mainly between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Some of these storms can reach severe levels, with large hail, damaging winds, and occasionally even a tornado.
The summer heat gives way to a cooler but nonetheless pleasant fall period with average high temperatures gradually falling from the 60s (16-21°C) in September through the 50s (10-15°C) by November along the Rim, and from the 90s (32-37°C) in September to near 70 (21°C) by November along the river. Low temperatures will typically fall below freezing on the Rim, but still remain in the warm 50s and 60s (10-21°C) along the river. The summer rains typically diminish in mid September with a drier fall period the norm with fewer days of precipitation. However, late summer thunderstorms or early winter snow storms have been known to take place during this transition season, making for sudden changes to the weather.
Winter conditions on the South Rim can be extreme. Be prepared for snow, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures. Winter weather typically begins by November and becomes well entrenched by December and January, with frequent light to moderate snows and increasingly colder weather. Low temperatures are generally in the teens along the Rim; however afternoon high temperatures still average in the 40s (4-9°C), due to the amount of sunshine the area receives. Along the river, cold air typically becomes trapped in the canyon leading to high temperatures only in the 40s and 50s (4-15°C) and low temperatures in the 30s and 40s (-1C-+9°C). Even with all of the winter sunshine, significant snowfall can be expected during the winter with an average snowfall of 50 to over 100 inches (1.3-2.5m) per year on the Rim, and occasionally snow will make it even to the river. Between storms, when dry high pressure builds in, winds become light, and fresh snow cover is on the ground, minimum temperatures can plummet, especially on the Rim, with sub-zero temperatures likely. Snow continues to be possible at the higher elevations through April. During the winter and early spring months, fog occasionally forms due to radiational cooling from snow cover on the ground. However, this fog usually breaks up quickly by morning. Learn more about winter visits...
Last updated: June 5, 2020
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PO Box 129 Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Phantom Ranch Average Weather by Day
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- Average temperatures from 1991–2020. Daily averages are a mean of the period from 14 days before to 14 days after, inclusive.
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Weather in the Grand Canyon
The South Rim is 7,000 feet above sea level, which means snow in winter and cool nights even in summer. However, when hiking at Grand Canyon, you’ll experience warmer temperatures in the summer along the Colorado River as temperatures can reach 120 ºF / 47 ºC. Weather is particularly changeable in spring and fall; visitors should be prepared for a variety of climates.
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Our Seasonal Weather
Whatever time of year you choose to visit Grand Canyon National Park, be prepared for a variety of climates as weather is changeable during all seasons.
The South Rim, where Grand Canyon Village is located, is 7,000 feet above sea level. This means a chance of snow in winter and cool nights in summer. High temperatures range from the 70s to 80s (21 – 27 ºC) in the summer months during the day to 30s and 40s (-1 – 4 ºC) during the winter.
However, if you plan to hike into the canyon below the rim, be prepared for much warmer conditions. In fact, summer temperatures along the Colorado River at the canyon bottom can reach as high as 120 ºF / 47 ºC.
Long sleeves and pants are advised to prevent dehydration and sunburn. And be sure to carry lots of water. While you’re hiking, you’ll want to drink plenty of water and sport drinks, and snack on salty high-carbohydrate foods.
The great depth of Grand Canyon produces a variety of conditions between the South Rim and Phantom Ranch. Temperatures usually vary by 20 ºF (11 ºC) between the top and the bottom.
Summer (June – August) – Temperatures often exceed 100 ºF (38 ºC) at the bottom of the canyon.
Winter (December – February) – From the snow at the South Rim to the more-temperate Phantom Ranch, a winter trip in the canyon is an unbelievable experience. Average temperatures on the rim range from a low of 20 ºF to a high of 43 ºF. Average temperatures at Phantom Ranch range from a low of 38 ºF to a high of 58 ºF.
Spring (March – May) & Fall (September – November) – Be prepared for anything as the weather varies wildly during these seasons. Inner-canyon temperatures are generally very mild. The leaves turning in the fall and the wildflowers blooming in the spring are simply spectacular. Average temperatures at the South Rim range from a low of 34 ºF to a high of 62 ºF. Average temperatures at Phantom Ranch range from a low of 55 ºF to a high of 82 ºF.
Whatever the weather, you’ll be happy to know that the South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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Grand Canyon Weather
When most people think of Arizona, they think of heat, sand dunes, cactus, and rattlesnakes. Many do not realize that the only place you’ll even find large concentrations of sand dunes in Arizona is near Yuma, right on the Arizona/California border! Even much of Phoenix rises over 1000 feet in elevation.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon sits at about 7000′ (2135 meters); the North Rim rises up to nearly 9000′ (2745 meters). Remember, Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is only 6288′ (1918 meters) high and notorious for its extreme and unpredictable weather.
Just as the weather differs from the top of the peak down to the cities below, so does it differ in Arizona. I cannot tell you how often we see visitors driving up from Phoenix to the South Rim in November wearing only shorts and t-shirts! I can tell you the local stores that sell jackets and sweatshirts do a booming business!
I’ve experienced snow in June at the South Rim and sixty degrees in the middle of winter. These are the mountains folks! Dress properly. And although I’ve included a table below showing annual average temperatures on the South Rim, weather is unpredictable; it can vary widely from the “average.”
- Grand Canyon Weather and Road Conditions – NPS Website
- National Weather Service – the most accurate weather forecast for Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona
- Phantom Ranch Weather – NWS forecast specifically for Phantom Ranch
- Indian Garden Campground Weather – NWS forecast specifically for Indian Garden
- North Rim Weather – NWS forecast specifically for the North Rim which is 1000 feet higher than the South Rim
- Toroweap/Tuweep Weather Forecast – Remote area located on Arizona Strip in western Grand Canyon off of North Rim above Lava Falls
- Grand Canyon Webcam – Live view of Grand Canyon from the South Rim’s Yavapai Point. The page also has webcams from other locations at Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona.
- Weather Underground – Another favorite weather site for current, extended, and historical conditions at the Grand Canyon. Access to historical conditions is very helpful when planning a trip for a particular time of year by comparing what happened in previous years.
- For the latest Road and Weather Conditions in Arizona, dial “5-1-1” on your phone. For Grand Canyon specific information, enter this speed code “4215#” from the opening menu.
- Did you know that official temperatures are taken in the shade? As you can imagine, it is much hotter in the sun than the shade. To find out how much difference there can be between shade and sun, grass and concrete, as well as other contributing factors, read the extremely informative “ What Does it Mean to be Hot? ” page from NASA Earth Observatory .
Grand Canyon Webcam
Above is a live image from the webcam located at Kolb Studio on the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Click here to go to the webcam page for more detailed information on the park service site. If the image is black, you’re very likely looking at Grand Canyon at night. It gets dark out here!
Keep in mind that the climate between the rims and the inner canyon differs dramatically with the change in elevation. The South Rim is 4500′ (1372 meters) higher than the Colorado River.
The difference in temperature between the two is usually 15° to 30°F warmer in the inner canyon. There is an even greater difference between the North Rim and the inner canyon, since it is over 1000′ (305 meters) higher than the South Rim.
Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant (50°-80° F), but inner canyon temperatures are extreme.
Daytime highs at the river often exceed 100°F. North Rim temperatures are cooler than those on the South Rim due to increased elevation. Afternoon rain showers are common on both rims in the summer.
Summer is also the time that we experience most of our severe weather. Weather and how you deal with it plays a major role in your survival outdoors. Did you know that flash floods are the number one weather related killer in the United States, killing about 150 people per year?
Winter conditions at the South Rim can also be extreme; expect snow, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures. Canyon views may be temporarily obscured during winter storms; in such cases entrance fees are not refundable.
The North Rim is closed in winter (usually first snowfall in November until near Memorial Day).
Spring and fall weather is extremely unpredictable; be prepared for sudden changes in the weather at those times of year. Shown below are “average” temperatures for each month of the year for the South Rim, North Rim, and Phantom Ranch.
Average Temperatures and Precipitation (F/C)
Inner canyon averages, south rim averages, north rim averages.
Please realize that the following temperatures are taken in the shade in a special ventilated enclosure with a calibrated gauge suspended five feet off the ground. To get an idea of what actual temperatures are in the direct sun, add 20°F/11°C to those listed below.
National Weather Service – An excellent, easy-to-navigate site to find weather information for all of Arizona and the United States.
Flagstaff National Weather Service – For a complete resource and up-to-date information on all of Northern Arizona’s weather, including at the Colorado River near Phantom Ranch, be sure to check out NOAA’s site. For those running the river, NOAA’s site also has river flow (hydrology) information for the entire area.
The U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department has an excellent web site for those wishing to find out sunrise/sunset times and the phases of the moon. To get data for Grand Canyon, simply fill in “Arizona” in the state section and “Grand Canyon” in the city section for whatever date you’re interested in.
This is especially useful if you plan on doing any night hiking using moonlight to avoid the heat of the day, or if you are interested in viewing as many constellations as possible with a new moon. I love to plan my trips so that I will be at a spectacular viewpoint for the sunset and rise of the full moon—someplace like Plateau Point. Awesome!
** "Inner Gorge" includes Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel Campground and any areas at the Colorado River
The temperature charts displayed below are color coded to reflect the best and worst times to be in the Canyon. Keep in mind that if you are heading to the Colorado River, the temperatures there will be significantly different (i.e., much warmer) than at the Rim. The " Green " months are prime for exploration. Temperatures can be cold at night, but the daytime highs will be easily managed. Months depicted in " Yellow " are the "shoulder" months. These can be quite pleasant or downright hot depending on the luck of the draw. The summer months colored in " Red " should be avoided. Travel in the Canyon during these months is not to be taken lightly. Water and having plenty of it are critical to survival. If you are inexperienced in Grand Canyon backcountry travel, this IS NOT the time for you to be learning.
Average Temperatures* (°F.) - Other Areas of Grand Canyon
We're hiking to the river... we can cool off there - not so fast.
Who cares about the heat? Were going to the River. We can swim and cool off there. Well this is a yes and no proposition. Getting TO the River can be a challenge in the heat and requires carrying enough water to get you there fully hydrated.
So, there you are at the end of your hike to the Colorado River. Youre hot, tired and have feet looking for some relief. Resist the temptation to just dive in. Currents in the River are deceptively strong and the average temperature of the water is a bone-chilling 42 ° F (5.5 ° C). So, swimming is out. If youre in the right location, perhaps you can wade in to the knees or so, but youll not stay long. Another paradox of the Canyon From the knees up, you long to get out of the100 ° + heat, and from the knees down you cant wait to get out of that frigid cold water.
Sunrise & Sunset Times (Key Info for "Acting Like a Lizard")
If heat will be a factor during your travels in the Canyon, the following table can be used to determine sunrises and sunsets for early morning and early evening hiking to avoid the most intense heat of the day.
- Click Here for 2011 Sunrise-Sunset Times for Grand Canyon, AZ (U.S. Naval Observatory)
Precipitation (Rain, Sleet, Snow & Ice)
What about rain? Its the desert right? Is it really something you have to worry about? Generally, the answer is no. Rain encountered during backcountry travel is typically light and when more intense it is often brief. This doesnt mean that it doesnt command respect. It doesnt have to be raining where you are to create potential problems for you. The dryness of the soil and volume of rock contribute to a real danger from flash-flooding. If you are fortunate enough to be in the Canyon during a heavy downpour you may be treated to the proliferation of water features that spring to life. Washes become rivulets then streams, then rivers, and waterfalls appear all over on the Canyon walls. The cautions? Be mindful that theres a reason behind how the Canyon became Grand. Its water. Beware of distant thunderstorms and the potential for flashfloods that can seemingly come from nowhere, and avoid camping in washes, despite those of so inviting flat beds of gravel.
Don't forget about snow and ice either. During the winter months (November through March, and sometimes a month on either side) You might be on snowshoes or crampons for the first mile and a half or so coming down the trail off the South Rim. Double the distance if you're hiking in off the North Rim.
The table below provides information on average precipitation to be expected during your travel time in the Canyon. Keep in mind that an inch of rain typically translates into between 12 and 20 inches of snow in this region of the country.
Average Precipitation* (Inches of Rain)
* statistics based on national weather service data:, south rim: 1903-2006, lee's ferry: 1916-1985, north rim, inner gorge & tuweep/toroweap: 1948-2006, supai: 1956-1987, main menu pages:.
Freezing temperatures in Coventry as city set to be colder than Moscow
Temperatures are expected to be very low in Coventry and Warwickshire, says the Met Office
- 13:54, 20 JAN 2023
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The cold snap will bring blisteringly cold weather to Coventry with widespread frost and freezing fog that will leave us colder than Moscow. It comes as temperatures dipped below freezing yet again overnight in parts of the country, bringing potential disruption to road networks.
Night-time conditions are likely to remain cold into the weekend, with lows of -7C expected in Coventry and Warwickshire . That means it will be colder here overnight than in Moscow, where conditions overnight are set to be mere -2C, the Met Office says.
Met Office forecasters are warning us cold air is sweeping across the UK. Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office , Paul Gundersen, said: “Cold air is continuing to push across the UK from the north and many areas have seen some snow, wintry conditions, and overnight frosts.”
READ MORE: Crash in Coventry sees man taken to hospital with serious injuries
Drivers have been advised to plan ahead, listen to weather forecasts and adjust their driving behaviour if cold weather hazards are present. Dale Hipkiss, National Network Manager at National Highways, added that motorists should also 'allow lots of extra time' when travelling in case they encounter delays, reports the Daily Mirror .
Milder conditions are expected to arrive early next week, with temperatures nudging towards mid-single figures overnight by Tuesday and Wednesday.
It was a very cold start to the day. Wales, north-east England, Scotland's far north and Northern Ireland all had a yellow weather warning for ice in place until 10am. A Level 3 Cold Weather Alert - put out by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) - was also in force for all of England until 9am.
Forecast for Coventry and Warwickshire
After a frosty and locally icy start, Friday will be dry with plenty of sunshine, once any freezing fog patches have cleared. Feeling chilly but winds will be light. Maximum: 6C.
Staying dry with mostly clear skies this evening and overnight. Temperatures falling well below freezing for most and turning frosty with some ice. Patchy freezing fog developing by the morning. Minimum: -7C.
After a cold and frosty start, tomorrow will be another dry day with sunny periods, albeit possibly cloudier than today. Freezing fog may however linger into the afternoon locally. Chilly. Maximum: 5C.
Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:
After an early frost, Sunday will probably be much cloudier, perhaps with patchy rain later. Thereafter, generally cloudy and turning milder with patchy rain and drizzle at times.
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Critical Fire Weather, Wintry Weather and Flooding Rain on Tap for Sunday
The combination of gusty offshore winds, dry conditions and low relative humidity will produce critical fire weather conditions across large portions of California. Wintry weather of snow and light icing will spread from the central Rockies into the central and southern Plains. Flooding rainfall will be possible from the southern Plains to the Lower Ohio River Valley. Read More >
Hazardous Weather Conditions
- Freeze Watch in effect from October 30, 02:00 AM MST until October 30, 09:00 AM MST
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