Family Vacation to the Grand Canyon: Planning the Perfect Trip
After months of Grand Canyon trip planning, you're on the verge of the trip of a lifetime. One critical piece of final preparation is researching and selecting the gear you'll need to keep your family safe and protected from the challenging weather conditions in and around the park. Grand Canyon's weather can sidetrack your plans if you're not prepared. Packing the right gear will guarantee that your time in the park will stay focused on the positive moments and not the weather.
Grand Canyon's Weather Above & Below-the-Rim
Most people think the weather at the Grand Canyon is hot and dry, and well, that assumption is accurate approximately half of the time. The reality is the temperature and conditions vary widely depending on the time of day and whether you're on the canyon rim (7,000 feet) or hiking down into the canyon (base is at 2,500 feet).
During the summer months the canyon rim sees average highs in the low 80's and average lows in the low 50's, but down in the canyon the average highs reach 105 with the average lows in the mid 70's - darn right hot. April and May can be extremely windy, with gusts often in the 40 mph range. July, August, and September brings monsoon season, so count on afternoon thunderstorms with frequent rain and lightning.
Bring Gear and Clothes to Stay Dry and Comfortable
When you're in the Grand Canyon, you want to remember the moment, not the fact that you couldn't stay warm enough to enjoy the stunning sunrise over the canyon. Remember that above-the rim and below-the-rim weather conditions vary greatly. While temperatures are warm to hot during the height of the day, they can be downright chilly in the morning, especially with windy conditions! and be prepared for daily afternoon thunderstorms. These conditions can be a challenge if you're not prepared with proper footwear and outerwear.
Grand Canyon Gear Suggestions
A protective all-weather shell and waterproof sturdy footwear are two essential pieces of gear you'll need to pack to overcome the Grand Canyon's challenging weather conditions. Here are a few recommendations:
Hiking Footwear That is Waterproof but Also Breathable
Zamberlan Airound GORE-TEX® SURROUND® Shoe - This ultralight, low-cut hiker is stable but yet very responsive. Engineered with GORE-TEX® SURROUND® product technology, this shoe offers waterproof protection and optimum breathability all around the foot - ideal for the Grand Canyon's hot conditions.
Salewa Alp Flow Mid GORE-TEX® SURROUND® Boot - This mid cut boot is ideal for those endeavoring to explore Grand Canyon's epic hiking routes. With GORE-TEX® SURROUND® product technology your feet will stay protected from wet conditions while remaining cool and dry thanks to the technology's excellent all-around-the-foot breathability.
Lowa Kody GTX® Mid Boot - Your kids will love this lightweight GORE-TEX® hiking boot. It's made for tough outdoor conditions and is a great choice for the Grand Canyon.
All-Weather Shells That'll Keep You Warm in Cool Temps and Dry in Wet Conditions
Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell Jacket - This women's jacket is lightweight, wind-proof, waterproof and highly breathable. The GORE-TEX® fabric lets sweat vapor escape, so you stay dry in the Grand Canyon's hot conditions.
The North Face Dryzzle Jacket - With GORE-TEX® fabric technology built in, this jacket is waterproof, windproof, and highly breathable. And with Paclite® product technology it's also lightweight and packable, making it an ideal jacket for your Grand Canyon adventures.
Article by Rob Wood