grand canyon winter kent

GCcvb GrandCanyon Winter view

Red Feather Lodge lobby winter
The Red Feather Lodge lobby during Christmas season

grand canyon winter gift shop
RP's Stage Stop Gift Shop

grand canyon winter
IMax Theater Grand Canyon movie

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open year-round, every day of the year, and so is Red Feather Lodge.

Many people think winter is the best time to visit the canyon. Visitors can enjoy the same services that are available during the peak summertime season, but in the winter you don't have to contend with the crowds. If you are looking for solitude, Grand Canyon makes an ideal winter escape. 

The South Rim does get some snow, but roads are plowed, and most trails are open.  During summer, temperatures are relatively cool on the rim, but heat is a major issue as you hike down into the canyon. In winter, it is easy to dress for current conditions,and temperatures are more manageable.

In mid-January, average temperatures on the South Rim are usually in the low to mid-40s (fahrenheit). The bottom of the canyon is more than a mile below that. Hikers who travel to the bottom of the canyon can expect temperatures to be nearly 20 degrees warmer - perfect for serious hiking and adventure.

Snow and ice may force closure of some higher-elevation trails at times, but closures are usually brief. Crampons may be recommended for the upper portions of the trails due to icy conditions. The Park Service does a very good job of keeping roads and trails open. Check with the visitor center before exploring, to learn about current conditions and recommendations.

Visitors can enjoy many activities in winter:

  • Hiking/ Biking - Bike rentals and tours are available year-round and have proven to be a favorite among visitors. Bike to Yaki Point, or along the Scenic Trail. Hike along the Rim Trail or brave one of the canyon’s longer hikes, such as the South Kaibab Trail leading down to the Colorado River and campgrounds (2-day high).

  • Visitor Center/Education - There are several visitor centers in the area to get information, including the National Geographic Visitor Center which is home to the World’s most watched IMAX® film ever. Grand Canyon - The Hidden Secrets is a spectacular 34 minute film that explores the innermost depths of Grand Canyon, taking viewers to places they could never go all through the startling immersive reality of IMAX®.  The film moves through time, starting with the mysterious Anasazi who inhabited the Canyon 4,000 years ago, to Major John Wesley Powell’s challenges in conquering the unexplored Canyon and raging Colorado River in 1869.
  • Tours - Many ground and air tours are available, suited to different visitors needs.

  • Shopping - There are many stores close by that offer unique Native jewelry, pottery, and other arts.

In winter, there are plenty of places to get food and supplies. Our sister property, RP's Stage Stop, is open year-round and offers excellent coffee, sandwiches, gifts and supplies. Plaza Bonita restaurant is located on the Red Feather Lodge property and is also open year-round.

Aim to visit the South Rim November through February to experience the beautiful and snow-topped canyon, cooler wintertime temperatures, and fewer crowds.

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