Grand Canyon Weather


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The Grand Canyon has three different weather zones:

  • South Rim (about 7000 feet above sea level)

  • North Rim (about 8000 feet above sea level),
  • Inner Gorge (about 2000 feet above sea level).

The south rim can be moderate in the summer with cooler temperatures at night and fairly cool in the winter. The north rim is cool in the summer and is closed in the winter due to heavy snowfall. The inner gorge is usually 20 to 25 degrees warmer than on the north or south rim.

If you are hiking, or on the mules, you will feel the heat as you descend into the canyon. It is important to check the temperatures at the bottom of the canyon before you go.
5 day weather at Phantom Ranch

If you are on a guided tour, the guides won't let you go without taking the proper precautions.

Every year at at least 250 people have to be rescued from the Grand Canyon. It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion. The most important thing to remember is that you need to drink lots of water. Lack of water will be your biggest enemy.

Dehydration-related maladies are the most common factors leading to hiker death or disability in the canyon.

If you are hiking the Grand Canyon in the summer you will need 1 gallon of water an hour. This of course, makes hiking to the bottom of the canyon somewhat of a problem. There are few water sources on the way down. To be safe don't hike during the middle of the day.

Hike below the rim during the temperate months of October through April.

Don't hike the inner gorge during the danger months of May through September.

Remember you are in the Desert Southwest

Other dangers...

Flash floods are one of the greatest dangers. While it is dry most of the year, in the summer months of July, August and September, the Grand Canyon can experience heavy rainfalls. This is considered our monsoon season.

It can rain several inches in a matter of minutes. This creates flooding in the canyons as the runoff from these storms moves into the side canyons. This can produce a wall of water several feet high. It is so powerful that it sprays rocks and pebbles through the air and onto you if you are in the way.

Check conditions at the park service prior to your trip.

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