What to Wear for Grand Canyon's Weather Above & Below-the-Rim

Weather can sidetrack your plans if you're not prepared, so guarantee your time in the park is spent relishing the moment by packing the right gear.
Rainbow at the end of a storm in the Grand Canyon

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.

Zamberlan Shoe

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.

Salewa Boot

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.

Lowa Boot

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.

Black Diamond Jacket

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.

North Face Jacket
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Article by Rob Wood


The Grand Canyon in Winter

Grand Canyon Weather - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

With an elevation spanning from around 2000 feet to over 8000 feet (760-2440m), the Grand Canyon area experiences a variety of weather conditions.

Grand Canyon visitor at Yavapai Point in December

Enjoy Winter in the Grand Canyon

The South Rim is open year round, but the North Rim has limited access from mid-October until mid-May. Learn about winter activities here.

Thermostat on the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon

Extreme Heat in the Grand Canyon

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Alpine meadows on the drive to the Grand Canyon North Rim entrance, Arizona. Photo by Whit Richardson

Grand Canyon Weather and Road Condition Hotlines

Be prepared by using these resources for weather and road conditions.


South Rim Heat Index & Climate Overview

Grand Canyon South Rim, at about 7,000 feet elevation, is generally pleasant in the summer, with the average high temperature 84F and the average low 50F in July (the warmest month).

Sunset at Hopi Point on the South Rim. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

Grand Canyon South Rim

Open 365 days a year, the South Rim offers plenty of activities, restaurants and, of course, gorgeous views. It is the most-visited part of the canyon.

Temperature Inversion Fog. NP Photo by Erin Whittaker

Grand Canyon Filled with Clouds - Temperature Inversion

The canyon sometimes gets fog called "temperature inversion" when warm air sits on top of cold air. A partial inversion occurs a couple times each year, usually in winter. Total inversions are rare.

Winter in the Grand Canyon

North Rim's Winter Caretaker

In a place where heights reach 8,800 feet in elevation, the North Rim can accumulate vast amounts of snow.

Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon Village. Photo by NPS Michael Quinn

Guide to Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim

Learn about the lore behind the national park's most legendary places.