Grand Canyon Weather – which month should I go down the river?

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“What will the weather be like on my Grand Canyon River Trip?” 

Weather By Months

April

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 82° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS: 56° F

April is generally a little cooler than the other months. This is still early spring, and depending on how our winter season went it can be a little colder. Early April has the possibility of being cold, especially if it’s been a wet winter. Don’t let that worry you, though! The bottom of the Canyon is much warmer than the top of the Canyon. GCEX also takes precautions to keep our guests warmer in April, and we have added more suggested clothing from the packing list to keep you warm.

“Before May 15 and after Sept 15 we recommend bringing a warm jacket and polypropylene long underwear (two pairs – top and bottom); a hood or warm cap; gloves and wool or neoprene socks. This clothing may not be needed, but it’s better to bring it and be prepared than to wish you had it along. Since spring and fall trips have fewer hours of direct sun and lower daytime temperatures, it is important for your comfort to bring a 2-piece rain suit. Waterproof ground cloths, as well as two-person dome tents, are provided for protection against rain.” GCE Trip Details 

April is a great time to see wildflowers in bloom, as well as a good chance to see more of the fauna of the Canyon!

April / Patricia C

Flowers / Judyta F

May

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 92° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS: 63° F

May is a beautiful time of year to go down the Canyon and is especially a popular time for families with children getting out of school. The weather is generally cool, but not too hot. There sometimes is a chance of having a little bit of rain but it generally warms up quite quickly, and the rain is a comfortable one.

The water at this time is usually still green and clear, making for a cool view when you are on the boats. We recommend rain suits year-round for rapids, and it’s still a good idea to maybe bring a light jacket depending on when your trip is.

May / Bobby S

May / Craig R

June

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 101° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS:  72° F

June is similar to May but is warmer, the water is usually clear and the temperatures are starting to feel like summer. It’s a beautiful time of year to go down the river and enjoy the Canyon.

June / Sandy C

Lava in June / Robert W

July

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 106° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS: 78° F

July is when the Canyon starts to warm up. It’s not bad when you are on one of our rafts, though – we suggest drinking plenty of water, wearing sun protection, and applying sunscreen regularly. I’ve found that just when it starts to get too warm, you go through another rapid that cools you off quickly.

July / Gary and Lois S

July Sunset / Shane B

August

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 103° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS: 75° F

The end of July into August is our rainy season, but don’t let that put you off! There is nothing like experiencing a thunderstorm on the river. Imagine yourself – sitting on the boat, looking around at the towering beauty of the Canyon. Suddenly, you hear a crash that sounds close and so beautiful. The sky is darkening and you are being rained on by warm rain. 20 minutes later, though, it’s over, and you have a chance to see a rainbow over the Canyon. The Canyon is a beautiful place no matter what, and the rain makes it even more interesting. Especially if you get to see a Rimfall.

August / Laura G

August / Laura G

September

TEMPERATURES: 
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPS: 97° F
AVERAGE NIGHTTIME TEMPS: 69° F

The last month of our season can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes it’s warm and sunny, others it’s rainy and darker. September is a month that can do whatever it wants weather-wise, but we couldn’t care less. The temperatures have generally cooled down (but not too cool) and no matter what the weather, it will be a good river trip.

September / Sabine S

September / Sabine S

To get a better indication of the weather at any given time, you can visit the Phantom Ranch Weather Forecast.

Please keep in mind that despite the weather, we recommend a Rain Suit year-round.

In conclusion, the Canyon is a beautiful place full of multiple different weather patterns. Despite the weather, you will have a great river trip with Grand Canyon Expeditions. We are prepared for everything, and take wonderful care to make sure you have the trip of a lifetime.

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