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Climate

General Climate

The Grand Canyon is the world’s premiere chasm of incredible proportions. It is this unique characteristic that sets it apart and yet it is also this characteristic that makes it similar to what some have classified as “an inverted mountain”, in essence, the negative image of a colossal mountain range. Tempratures and climate vary greatly depending on the location within the Canyon and the season of the year that one is experiencing a Grand Canyon airplane tour.

North Rim

The North Rim sits approximately 1,500 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, making it colder in the winter and damper during the monsoon seasons. The North Rim receives over 200” of snow in a season, at times 6-10 feet deep and is closed for the majority of the year between approximately October 16th and May 15th. Summer temperatures at the North Rim may reach as high as 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 degrees in the winter.

South Rim

The South Rim is relatively pleasant throughout the year, receiving less than 16” of precipitation annually with very mild snowfalls. Temperatures at the South Rim range from summer highs of 70-84 degrees Fahrenheit to winter highs of 40-50 degrees. Together, the North and South Rims and the Inner Gorge form a highly integrated environment that provides dramatic contrast.

Inner Gorge

The Inner Gorge is much more dramatic in its temperature swings than the North or South Rims, namely owing to the angles of the sun during the winter and summer seasons. During the summer, the sun is high and literally can bake the Inner Gorge. Temperatures can reach as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The winter sun, on the other hand, is low and temperatures can drop to 35 degrees Fahrenheit in January.

Monsoons

Monsoons generally begin in July and continue through August, which is typically the wettest month of the year at the Grand Canyon. Monsoons have the ability to result in flash flooding throughout the Canyon, in which rainwater traverses rocky desert landscapes and overwhelms canyon gullies. Campers and hikers need to use precaution during potentially dangerous rainstorms.

Annual Average Temperature

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK ELEVATION RANGE ANNUAL AVG – HIGH (Fahrenheit/Celsius) ANNUAL AVG – LOW (Fahrenheit/Celsius)
North Rim 8,000 – 8,500 ft 56.2 / 13.4 30.4 / 9.0
South Rim 7,000 - 7,500 ft 62.3 / 16.8 34.3 / 1.3
Inner Gorge 2,400 ft 81.7 / 27.6 56.6 / 13.6

North Rim Average Temperatures

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High (F) 37 39 44 53 62 73 77 75 69 59 46 40
Low (F) 16 18 21 29 34 40 46 45 39 31 24 20
High (C) 3 4 7 12 17 23 25 24 21 15 8 4
Low (C) -9 -8 -6 -2 1 4 8 7 4 -1 -4 -7

South Rim Average Temperatures

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High (F) 41 45 51 60 70 81 84 82 76 65 52 43
Low (F) 18 21 25 32 39 47 54 53 47 36 27 20
High (C) 5 7 10 15 21 27 29 28 24 18 11 6
Low (C) -8 -6 -4 0 4 8 12 12 8 2 -3 7

Inner Gorge Average Temperatures

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High (F) 56 62 71 82 92 101 106 103 97 84 68 57
Low (F) 36 42 48 56 63 72 78 75 69 58 46 37
High (C) 13 17 22 28 33 38 41 39 36 29 20 14
Low (C) 2 6 9 13 17 22 26 24 21 14 8 2

Average Precipitation

The North Rim receives approximately 25.6”/652mm precipitation per year. The South Rim receives an average of 14.4”/366mm per year, and Phantom Ranch, located within the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon, receives 9.4”/239mm per year.

Sunrise and Sunset at the Canyon

There is nothing quite so spectacular or serene as watching a sunrise or a sunset at the Grand Canyon. It is an experience worth taking once in your life. The South Rim offers more vantage points than the North Rim for this sky-watching experience, however, the open grounds of the Grand Canyon Lodge or the position of Bright Angel Point offer great spots nonetheless on the North Rim.

MONTH SUNRISE SUNSET

JANUARY

7:31 a.m. – 7:40 a.m.

5:24 p.m. – 5:53 p.m.

FEBRUARY

7:01 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

5:54 p.m. – 6:21 p.m.

MARCH

6:17 a.m. – 6:59 a.m.

6:22 p.m. – 6:48 p.m.

APRIL

5:37 a.m. – 6:15 a.m.

6:49 p.m. – 7:14 p.m.

MAY

5:13 a.m. – 5:36 a.m.

7:15 p.m. – 7:39 p.m.

JUNE

5:10 a.m. – 5:14 a.m.

7:39 p.m. – 7:49 p.m.

JULY

5:14 a.m. – 5:32 a.m.

7:34 p.m. – 7:49 p.m.

AUGUST

5:34 a.m. – 5:58 a.m.

6:58 p.m. – 7:33 p.m.

SEPTEMBER

5:59 a.m. – 6:21 a.m.

6:14 p.m. – 6:57 p.m.

OCTOBER

6:22 a.m. – 6:49 a.m.

5:34 p.m. – 6:13 p.m.

NOVEMBER

6:50 a.m. – 7:19 a.m.

5:14 p.m. – 5:32 p.m.

DECEMBER

7:20 a.m. – 7:39 a.m.

5:13 p.m. – 5:23 p.m.