The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. So, as you can imagine, it's a very popular destination.
One of the most-asked questions is, "What should you wear to the Grand Canyon?"
It's important to dress for the weather when heading out to explore. But as many first-time visitors learn, knowing exactly what dressing for the weather means and deciding what to wear at the Grand Canyon can be difficult without any context.
Fortunately, there are distinct seasons at the Grand Canyon, each with its own set of weather patterns and recommendations for dressing properly. To help you prepare appropriately for your trip to the Grand Canyon, here's what you should wear at each time of year.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in Spring
Spring Canyon temperatures¹ are mild, and this can be a great time to visit with fewer crowds. Be sure to pack a variety of clothing to keep comfortable throughout the day.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in March
Temperatures in March are usually between 48 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The South Rim tends to be a little cooler than the inner Canyon, so check temperatures depending on your plans for the day. The key is to dress in layers. Think light sweaters, long sleeves, and pants made of a material that breathes well, like cotton or linen.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in April
April is when the weather starts to heat up. You can expect lows of 55 degrees to highs of 83 this time of year. Temperatures are warmer but still relatively mild, so layers are ideal. You'll need to bring a little bit of everything this time of year.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in May
During the spring, days in Arizona can get hot. Temperatures tend to be between 93 and 63 degrees. Again, layers are a good idea, including t-shirts, long sleeves, shorts, and pants. You'll want sun protection as well. Bring a hat for shade and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in the Summer
Traveling to the Grand Canyon during the summer is a great idea. June through August are peak months, but they can get pretty hot, so come prepared.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in June
June temperatures get hot quickly and tend to range from 73 to 104. Packing shorts and t-shirts are a must, and a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are a good idea to prevent burns and protect your eyes.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in July
July brings the hottest temperatures all year. Shorts and t-shirts are a must, but with temperatures between 77 to 107, be sure to pack plenty of water too. If you're planning on spending time in air-conditioned buildings, bring a sweater or light jacket.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in August
Though temperatures cool down slightly, it's still quite blistering in August. On average, you'll see temperatures between 75 to 103 degrees. Shorts and t-shirts will be your staple, and you may also want to bring a hat or long sleeves to help prevent sunburn.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in the Fall
Visiting the Grand Canyon in the fall can be glorious. With crowds thinning out and the weather cooling off, this may be the best time to see the sights.
What Should I Wear to the Grand Canyon in September?
You'll definitely want to layer when choosing what to wear to the Grand Canyon in September. Temperatures in September range from 68 to 96 throughout the day and can vary even more depending on what part of the Canyon you're in².
What Should I Wear to the Grand Canyon in October
October has similar weather to September, but the weather cools off a bit with lows of 58 degrees and highs of 83. The milder weather can make for lovely outdoor exploring. You definitely need to pack long pants and long sleeves for the evenings, but be sure to throw in a few t-shirts and shorts for the warmer days.
What Should I Wear to the Grand Canyon in November?
Temperatures in November can range from 46 to 69 degrees. Visiting this time of year means it's best to play it safe and bring a wide range of options. There is also the chance of rain. Light snowfall is also not uncommon, so definitely bring a jacket and long pants if you plan to go on walks.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in the Winter
The winter season (December through February) can get frigid, especially at higher elevations, often dipping below freezing. In some cases, such as when large amounts of snow fall on roadways near the Canyon, roads may be closed for safety reasons. Make sure you check before you head out on a hike.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in December
Temperatures range from 39 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Night temps, however, can quickly drop into the low 30s, so pack some extra warm clothes for the evening. It's a good idea to pack a winter coat, a hat, and gloves to keep everything toasty when out exploring.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in January
January weather is similar to December, with temperatures ranging from 38 to 58. You can wear your fleece jacket and pants or jeans and a long-sleeved shirt for the most part. However, you should also bring a hat, gloves, and mittens. If you're hiking in snow, boots with traction are essential for safe hiking. Most people will tell you that these types of boots are exactly what to wear in the Grand Canyon, no matter what the weather is doing.
What To Wear to the Grand Canyon in February
Temperatures start to warm up a tad in February, but things are still pretty chilly, with temperatures between 42 and 65 degrees. You're still going to want to pack winter gear but include a few warm-weather clothes too. Shoot for a variety of T-shirts, pants, long sleeves, jackets, and even some shorts. It's best to come prepared for any weather because you just don't know what it will do.
Winter is also when park rangers host several programs about local wildlife. Visit one of these events if you're interested in learning more about critters that share space with us at night. These events are usually hosted indoors, so it's a good place to duck into for a bit of warmth.
What Shoes To Wear to the Grand Canyon
A good pair of hiking boots³, sturdy socks, and a pair of dry shoes will keep your feet dry and happy. If you're planning on taking long walks in the Canyon, you may want to buy a comfortable pair of lightweight waterproof boots specifically for trips like these.
A standard walking shoe won't do. Water from puddles can work its way into your shoes (wet feet equal cold feet) and make your day miserable. This is especially true if it's snowing or raining. In these cases, you'll want waterproof hiking boots with non-slip soles so that you don't slip on icy trails or get your shoes wet while crossing creeks.
What To Wear Rafting in the Grand Canyon
It is recommended that you wear a swimsuit while rafting on your trip through the Colorado River layered with clothes according to the weather. The rapids can get intense, and at times it's impossible to avoid getting wet when they occur.
It is also recommended that you bring sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the Arizona sun. Rugged hiking shoes that cover your toes rather than sandals are a good choice during your river trip.
What To Wear on a Helicopter Ride From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
For most, a helicopter ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The views of Las Vegas and its famous Strip are breathtaking from above, as are the wonders of the Grand Canyon.
Wearing something comfortable is a must for your helicopter ride. Depending on the time of year, pants or shorts with t-shirts and long sleeves or jackets to add and remove layers are your best bet.
Bringing a lightweight backpack with warmer clothing and other essentials just in case, will ensure that your trip is a success.
What To Wear When Hiking the Grand Canyon
Most people plan to hike when they visit the Grand Canyon. Your experience can vary greatly with each season. Here's what you should wear when hiking the Grand Canyon.
What To Wear Hiking in the Cooler Months
Planning what to wear when hiking in the Grand Canyon from November through March can get tricky. Temperatures vary significantly over short periods, so, again, bring layers so you can add or remove clothing depending on what Mother Nature is serving up that day.
If you get too hot, stop for a few minutes and remove layers. The South Rim tends to be 10 degrees cooler than temperatures at North Rim due to its higher elevation.
What To Wear While Hiking in the Grand Canyon During Summer and Fall
Planning what to wear hiking in the Grand Canyon in April through October tends to be a little more predictable. Warmer temperatures during the day allow for t-shirts and shorts but come prepared with long pants as the weather cools as you move towards fall.
Also, refer back to the "shoes" section of this guide to understand what footwear is necessary for your trek.
Grand Canyon Tours
Visiting the Grand Canyon is a wonderful experience. Those who see it for the first time often find their way back.
Visiting without a plan, however, can be a little daunting. You'll likely miss some of the best attractions it has to offer. Gray Line Tours offers tours from Vegas to the Grand Canyon by helicopter or bus. By booking a tour with us, you won't miss a single thing, and you'll have fun along the way. Contact us today for more information.
¹Grand Canyon Weather. thecanyon.com. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
²Weather and Climate. Grand Canyon National Park. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
³Douglas, E. (9 August 2019) How Does It Benefit Me to Wear Hiking Boots Instead of Tennis Shoes on the Trail? Retrieved 8 June 2022.