The climate of the Grand Canyon Region varies drastically not only by season, but can also go from blazing hot to frosty sub zero in a day, catching unwary travelers off guard.
Any Time of Year
With an elevation spanning from 2,000 to more than 8,000 feet, the Grand Canyon features a variety of weather conditions. Here the weather varies from hot to cold depending on location and season, helping to produce some of the most magnificent sights on earth.
The climate between the rims and the inner canyon differs dramatically with the change in elevation. The South Rim is 4500' higher than the Colorado River. The difference in temperature between the two is usually 15°F to 30°F higher in the inner canyon. There is an even greater difference between the North Rim and the inner canyon, since it is over 1000' higher than the South Rim.
Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant, ranging from 50°-80° F, but inner canyon temperatures are extreme. Daytime highs at the river often exceed 100°F. North Rim temperatures are cooler than the temperatures on the South Rim due to increased elevation. It is common to experience a variation of 40 to 60 degrees between the highs and lows within a 24-hour period. In the summer, you may also experience a North American Monsoon that lets loose with thunderstorms and gale force winds.
Winter conditions at the South Rim can also be extreme; expect snow, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures. The North Rim is closed in winter (usually first snowfall in November until near Memorial Day).
Spring and Fall
Spring and fall weather is extremely unpredictable; be prepared for sudden changes in the weather at those times of year. Spring is generally dry and incredibly sunny, and as the temperature begins to climb. If the rainfall in winter was sparse, the ensuing spring can be exceptionally dry, and the sunny weather can lead to fires when the drying vegetation turns tinder. This extreme weather is part of this enigmatic land and has much to contribute to its untamed magnificence.