What is Monsoon Season at the Grand Canyon?

Monsoon Storm from South Rim

Description of Arizona’s Monsoon Season

Generally when people speak of monsoons it brings a mental image of the horrendous torrential rains that plague Southeastern Asia.  In Arizona we speak of monsoon rains when we have thunderstorms that produce  two or three inches of rain in an hour or a day because generally Arizona gets less than 10 inches of rainfall per year.  To receive two or three inches of moisture in less than a day causes flash flooding and water accumulating in low-lying areas.  This is well demonstrated by the massive flooding in Phoenix on September 8, 2014 when part of the I-10 freeway system was covered with water.

Arizona’s “Monsoon Season” lasts from mid-June to mid-September generally speaking. Do we get heavy rain during that entire time?  No, but the potential exists for it.  We frequently get afternoon thundershowers that are more wind and lightning than rain.  That is why we caution you to be aware of the weather when planning your vacation.

Cautions from the National Park Service

Lightning is a real threat so that is why the National Park Service cautions, “Summer storms in the southwest are often accompanied by potentially deadly lightning. Visitors walking and hiking in the park are reminded that if they can hear thunder, they should consider ending outdoor activities. If the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds, seek shelter inside a building or vehicle. If this is not possible, move well away from high points such as ridges and the edge of the canyon. Do not seek shelter beneath tall trees.”

“Summer thunderstorms frequently occur during July, August, and early September with the potential for torrential rains, frequent lightning, and sudden flash floods. These thunderstorms are extremely variable in intensity and location and occur mainly between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Some of these storms can reach severe levels, with large hail, damaging winds, and occasionally even a tornado.”

How to Plan a Vacation That Doesn’t Get Ruined by Weather

When you plan your Grand Canyon Vacation during “Monsoon Season” what can you do to make sure your visit isn’t marred or completely ruined?  Well, because you can’t control the weather you can’t completely control how your vacation will turn out but you can plan some alternatives in case your tour is cancelled or in case you are unable to stand on the rim to get the views you want.

To begin with, if at all possible, plan for more than one day at the South Rim.  This is especially true if you plan to take a tour.  Plan for a tour on the first day you are there so you have the flexibility to reschedule your tour if it is cancelled by weather.  This doesn’t always make it so you can take the tour because tours for the next day may already be sold out, but it gives you a better chance.

Have a back-up plan for a different tour or things to do in case of inclement weather.  There are many historic buildings and museums at the South Rim that you could visit on a rainy day.  Another option would be to go to the IMAX Theater.

These suggestions are South Rim specific but at the other rims there will be alternative things to do as well.  Make sure you know what your options are and plan to have fun regardless of the weather!

 

 

64 Responses

  1. We are visiting Las Vegas July 25 and leaving on the 29th. We have never been but would like to take one day to visit Grand Canyon. I am not sure how to plan to get the most of the short time we will be there. I think we will rent a car in Las Vegas and drive.
    Thanks,
    Tonya

    1. Driving to Grand Canyon West from Las Vegas is an easy day-trip – driving to the South Rim is a very long day-trip. Grand Canyon West will likely be hot, however, you will want to check the weather and take the necessary precautions if rain is in the forecast. The South Rim is cooler but the drive is about twice as long – about 4.5 hours compared to 2.5 for Grand Canyon West. The up-side to traveling to the South Rim is that there is a lot more to do there.

  2. My family and I are considering a short (4 day) vacation to Las Vegas during the 1st week of April. We would also like to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon during our stay. Would 1 day be feasible for visiting the South Rim?

    1. George,

      The challenge with 1 Day…if you are thinking of driving to/from Las Vegas and seeing the Grand Canyon South Rim in that 1 Day…is that you will spend most of the day on HWY 93/95, I-40, HWY 64…it’s not high quality time together. Here is a Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/95EGSbC6SZD2

      As you will see, it’s 275 miles each way and Google approximates it will take you 4 hours 13 minutes each way. That’s fairly accurate…with no stops.

      I am assuming you would drive yourself over there…now, if you take the South Rim Motorcoach Tour and have time to visit…that would be a better quality experience…still a VERY long day though.
      https://grandcanyon.com/tours/south-rim-tours/grand-canyon-south-rim-bus-tour/
      This tour primarily spends it’s time at the El Tovar/Bright Angel Lodge area after lunch at the Grand Canyon IMAX.

      We normally recommend driving over to the South Rim and spending at least 1 night so that you can watch Sunset and visit a few viewpoints when you get there. Then you have the next day to catch more viewpoints and enjoy the Historic Grand Canyon Village area: https://grandcanyon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/south-rim-village-map-full.pdf
      And, also consider the Motorcoach, Airplane and Helicopter tours available from the South Rim.

      Thank You,

      Karlyn

  3. Hi,
    I am visiting Las Vegas for 3 Nights from 13-16th Jun’16 with my family and parents. I am planning for a 1 day trip to South Rim (leaving early from LV and returning same day by night). I need to know which route will be best option to visit in South rim (Hermits Rest Route, Tusayan Route, Village Route, kaibab/ rim route). To visit any of the route will I’ll be taking any shuttle service out there like in West rim or i’ll be allowed to take my car in any of the routes. What will be the GPS address which can be put up while travelling from Las Vegas strip.
    I’ll be driving from LV to grand canyon. I had already visited West rim and it will be my second trip.
    Also need to know about the food which can be available out there. As we are purely vegetarians (no meat, chicken), so where will we be able to find a vegetarian meal out in south rim. Thanks.
    Vikrant

    1. Vikrant Jain,

      Here is a Google Map from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim Village:
      https://goo.gl/maps/ne2hVJzm6SF2
      Departure: Las Vegas, NV or Paradise, NV
      Arrival: Grand Canyon Village, AZ

      Since you are ONLY spending part of the day (It’s 4 1/2 hours each way to the South Rim from Vegas), I ONLY recommend that you go to viewpoints that you can drive to…which are many beginning with Desertview, Grandview, Yavapai Point & Geologic Museum, Mather Point with Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Grand Canyon Village with time in front of Hopi House, El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge…and visit Lookout Studio and Kolb Studio. That is all way more than you will have time for…don’t even think about Hermits Rest and taking the NPS Shuttle out there.

      Also, you have many, many more options for food at the South Rim than the West Rim: El Tovar Dining Room, Bright Angel Lodge Restaurant, Maswik Lodge Restaurant, Yavapai Lodge Restaurant, General Store at the South Rim, and many more restaurants in Tusayan. All of which can provide you with vegetarian options.

      The South Rim is HIGHLY developed compared to Grand Canyon West and it have the views you are expecting at the Grand Canyon!

      Take a camera and enjoy your visit,

      Karlyn

      1. Thanks Karlyn for the information. I need to know is there any specific car parking areas to visit the points. Because, I was going to different websites and it was mentioned that in summers going with car inside Grand Canyon is tough and parking might also not be available. The views which you have told me are on different locations of the park like Red, Blue and Orange route. So in this case i need to park the car at some point and then check out these views by walking. If yes, please let me know locations where car can be park.
        Also I’ll be carrying a Garmin GPS with me. So is there any specific address which needs to be entered on it for reaching Grand Canyon South Rim.
        Vikrant Jain

          1. Hi Vikrant Jain,

            You can leave your car in Tusayan and ride the shuttle into the park but you will need to get your entrance pass at one of the locations in Tusayan. Then you will be able to ride the shuttle to the Village and use transfers to go to Hermit’s Rest. There are some view areas along the way that you can stop at. Another shuttle will be along in 15 minutes so you can continue on your way. For the return trip the shuttle only stops at a few of the view areas.

            You asked about an address for the South Rim:
            Grand Canyon Visitor Center:
            Latitude, Longitude: 36° 03’32”N 112° 06’33”W
            UTM Zone 12, NAD 83: 400093 East, 3991074 North

            If you prefer to drive along the Desert View Drive there won’t be as many view areas but the Desert View Watchtower is worth the drive if you have the time. Here are directions for the Watchtower: Latitude, Longitude: 36° 2’38”N 111° 49’33”W
            UTM Zone 12, NAD 83: 425584 East, 3989159 North

  4. Hi,

    I am planning a trip to Grand Canyon, including Antelope Canyon and other National Parks around beginning from Las Vegas and ending in Las Vegas. I will have 3 days and I will have a rental SUV. I am wondering if I could spend the night in the car within or near the parks? I have no interest in camping. In order to reduce expenses, I would want to sleep in a car for a day or two. Camping sites are open to everyone right? Thanks.

    Umut

  5. Hi, we will be travelling to Vegas next week for the first time and I want to see the Grand Canyon, I am pregnant nearing my 3rd trimester and I do not want to do any tours really, is there any way to just drive there, park, see some of the canyon and the mountains and amazing views, take some pictures and then go back to Vegas? We are low on funds to pay for these high price tours but I really need to see the beauty of these mountains and cliffs somehow.

    1. CB Sm,

      If this is your first time to visit the Grand Canyon, I would recommend that you go to the South Rim and you can drive yourself to many of the viewpoints there: Desertview, Grandview, Mather Point, Yavapai Point & Geologic Museum, and the Grand Canyon Village area.

      The challenge is that the South Rim is 275 One Way from Las Vegas. And normally takes 4 1/2 hours to drive it each way…so it’s long, long day. Here is a Google Map of the drive: https://goo.gl/maps/ZUcf6YSdjhN2

      Also, you will pass by Hoover Dam and cross over the Colorado River Bridge going and coming to Las Vegas.

      Enjoy,

      Karlyn

  6. Was wondering how the weather is usually around the 1st 2 weeks of May at the south rim. We are planning a trip there then.Thanks for any information on this.

    1. Hi Penny,

      I’m sorry that we didn’t reply soon enough to answer your question but for anyone else who is wondering, the first 2 weeks of May are generally good weather. There might be an occasional shower but overall it is generally bright and sunny. That hasn’t been the case this year. The weather has been cooler and rainy and definitely windy.

  7. Hi Karlyn..
    We plan to go to Grand Canyon and it will be around 1st July and going to stay one night in Grand Canyon. As you suggest on your previous comments, we will go to South Rim (this will be our first time). I want to ask you about admission fee, if we stay in flagstaff and go back next day, how are we going to pay the admission and car park fee. And do you think we should stay in flagstaff or is there any other place you recommend?
    Can you please advise about the lodge or bnb cost?
    What time do they close the park in the night? And is it safe to drive back to Vegas in the night (this will be my first time drive in US)?
    Thank you so much,
    Maharani Mok

    1. Hi Maharani,
      When you pay the admission fee you will get a receipt. Keep it so that you can get back into the Park without having to pay again. Flagstaff or Williams would be good places to stay. You can find more information about them on our South Rim hotels section. Because there is lodging inside the National Park it never closes. It is safe to drive back to Las Vegas at night.

      1. Thank you for your advise, Sandy.
        One more thing, we plan to drive from anaheim to grand canyon start from 7am and arrive around 3pm. Should we go to east rim (horseshoe bend for sunset) or to south rim?
        Thank you.

        1. The more direct route for you would take you to the South Rim. It will take about 2.5 more hours of driving to get to Horseshoe Bend and that would be all you could do at the east rim that day. Then you would have a 2 hour drive back to Flagstaff or 2.5 hour drive back to Williams to your hotel. It would be better for you to spend that time at the South Rim viewing a sunset.

  8. Hello. We are driving from Phoenix to the grand Canyon June 10 to 19. How’s the weather and what’s the best thing to see? Thank you simone

    1. Generally the weather during June is hot. My favorite thing to see at the South Rim is the Desert View Watchtower. It is near the east entrance to the South Rim and generally not quite as crowded as some of the other view areas.

  9. Hi, I’d like to visit the South Rim in October with my mom, sister, sister’s boyfriend, and two nephews. Can you advise on what the weather will be like? I’m hoping to avoid mansoons and heavy rains.

    1. In October, generally the monsoon storms are over and the weather is mild and mostly perfect. Generally there won’t be heavy rains if it even rains at all.

  10. My husband & I are coming to visit Grand Canyon from Oct 3 – Oct 6, leaving Oct 7th. We would like to visit the South, West Rims,,Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Do we stay at one hotel and make a day trip to these places or should we move every night to a different lodging closer to where we want to go the next day? Are we able to drive into all of these attractions ourselves or do we need to buy tour packages. Is it recommended to go with the tour vs doing it ourselves? Is it difficult to get around or is the canyon tourist friendly. Sorry for posing too many questions. Your guidance is greatly appreciated.

    1. I suggest that you stay in Las Vegas the first night and then drive to Grand Canyon West. You will have to leave early to go to Grand Canyon West so you can drive from there to Flagstaff, AZ. Stay there two nights. The first day there you can drive to the South Rim and the second day you can drive to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon or vice-versa. It is fairly easy to get around going to these locations.

  11. my husband & I thinking of visiting GC between 28 Aug – 31 Aug , fly from LV . Not very sure about the tours for GC, is there a hotel Packages include tour visiting to South & West Rim of GC within these few days?

    Your advice will be appreciated.

    1. We do not offer packages that include hotels. You can fly to the South Rim or to the West Rim from Las Vegas. The tours that go to the South Rim also fly over Grand Canyon West on the way. Email us at info@grandcanyon.com for more information about the tours or visit our tours pages.

  12. Hello Sandy,

    We are planning to visit Grand Canyon around Sept 1st week time. While coming from east coast, which would be a better option to drive down to Grand Canyon south Rim.

    From Pheonix or from Vegas?

    Additionally, can you please advise if we rent a car what would be a suitable place to have a night stop over.

  13. Hello Sandy,

    My family and I are planning on driving to the Canyon from Las Vegas and staying there for two nights. As we only have one day there, what are the major points you would suggest we see? And should we live in the canyon or outside? We were thinking of going to the South Rim.

    Thank you!
    Sophia

    1. Sophia,

      The Major points that I would recommend to you at the South Rim are:
      1-Desertview Watchtower at the East Entrance
      2-Grandview Point
      3-Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Mather Point
      4-Yavapai Point & Museum
      5-Historic Grand Canyon Village: El Tovar, Hopi House, Verkamps, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, Kolb Studio.
      6-If there’s time left, take the Shuttle out to Hermit’s Rest and Hopi Point for Sunset.

      We also recommend you go see the IMAX in Tusayan for a great visual overview of Grand Canyon…after Sunset. Spend MAX time viewing the Grand Canyon.

      Also, just a point of logistics and timing, once that Train arrives at 11:45AM until it leaves at 3:30PM the Historic Village area is MORE congested and Restaurants at El Tovar, Bright Angel, and Maswik can be a challenge.

      If you want a great Overview of Grand Canyon, also consider a Helicopter Tour:
      https://grandcanyon.com/planning/grand-canyon-helicopter-tours/

      Or the Grand Discovery Airplane Tour:
      https://grandcanyon.com/tours/south-rim-tours/grand-canyon-south-rim-airplane-tour/

      Enjoy,

      Karlyn

  14. Can you please advise is sept 1 week good time to visit grand canyon south rim. I am planning to travel to antelopes to south rim from vegas .Dates are Sept 9-12 .I have check some forecast its mixed opinion. Is it time of monsoon? with heavy rainfall and storms or its usually end of sept

    1. Deepak,

      It depends on how the Monsoon season goes each year. You can’t really tell until that week. The first two weeks of September still generally have a few Monsoonal showers. The great thing is that after the shower it is great for picture taking. The NOT so great thing is that it can shut down Antelope Canyon while it is occurring…so you need to plan some flexibility in there.

      Usually, by the end of September most of the Monsoonal showers have ceased…but not always. Again, it just depends on the monsoonal rain showers that week. I have seen it be completely clear and beautiful…and I’ve seen it get monsoonal.

      The temperatures are usually starting to come down a bit and that makes for more enjoyable evenings that time of the year.

      Thank You,

      Karlyn

  15. Need advise on how to plan my trip. We will be traveling some time late September early October for 4 days to the Grand Canyon. We are interested in taking the Grand Canyon Railway. I think the Phoenix Sky Harbor is the best possibility. What is the best way of transportation other than driving ourselves to Williams area.
    Other option would be going to Vegas and taking a tour from their. But the Railway sounds more interesting to me.

  16. Nelly,

    There is an Overnight package that departs from Las Vegas offered by Grand Canyon Tour Company that you might consider: https://grandcanyontours.com/tlasvegas.html

    I am not aware of any Tour company’s from Phoenix that package up the Grand Canyon Railway from Phoenix at this time.

    It’s really hard to package up the Grand Canyon Railway in a day from either Phoenix or Las Vegas. Believe me, I’ve been a part of two company’s that have tried over the years. Arizona Air from Scottsdale and Scenic Airlines from Las Vegas both tried.

    Otherwise, I recommend that you drive to the Train in a Rental Car. In that case, Phoenix is closer, however, Las Vegas often has lower Air Fares. This life always has trade-off’s.

    Enjoy the Grand Canyon Railway. It is a nostalgic and historic way to visit the Grand Canyon.

    Thank You,

    Karlyn

  17. We are driving route 66 from Tennessee will be at Grand Canyon around 15 or 18 of Sept. We aren’t interested in a tour just want to drive ourself around at our on pace , what should we see, and where should we spent the night , we won’t be traveling past the grand Canyon, as that is our. Turn around point

    1. I suggest that you drive along the Desert View Drive and visit the view areas there. The logical way to do this would be to take US Hwy 89 north from Flagstaff to Cameron, AZ. Then you can continue to Grand Canyon Village where you can park at the Visitor Center and take a shuttle bus to the other view areas if you have time. If you are tired of driving you can just head straight to the Village and ride the shuttles instead of taking the turn-outs to the view areas along Desert View Drive. You might have to spend the night in Williams due to sold out hotels at the South Rim and in Tusayan but that could be a fun part of your Route 66 experience.

  18. Hi! I will be visiting Grand Canyon’s south rim in early November and staying 2 nights in Tusayan. This will be my first time here and I am planning to do some stargazing on the first night but I couldn’t find much info on it for November. I will have a rental car with me.

    Can you advice:
    1) the ways I have to view the night sky?
    2) if there are any tours or guides available
    3) if it is dangerous if I go on my own with a friend
    4) where should I park and what spots should I go for the best and least crowded spots?
    5) what is the best time (e.g 10pm) to go as it is in November?

    Thank you so much in advance!
    Zen

    1. Zen,

      Fortunately, Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a great place for Stargazing!

      In November, the South Rim begins to slow down and many of the Viewpoints are a great place to Stargaze:

      1-Ways To Gaze:
      The primary way to Gaze at the Grand Canyon is to take a fold out chair and visit one of the Viewpoints along the Rim. If you are an Astronomer, you will need to bring your own Telescope.

      You might consider a quick folding chair from Amazon:

      2-Guides or Tours:

      There are No Guided Tours at this time, however, there is an Annual Stargazing Party in 2017. Learn more here: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm

      3-Is it Dangerous to go on my Own:

      No more Dangerous than visiting any location in a National Park at night. Obviously, there is wildlife in the Park and Human Beings…both can be threats. Also, with the darkness you will want to be aware of your location and be sure of the Viewpoints rails before going at night…especially a completely dark night. You wouldn’t want to fall off of the edge of the Grand Canyon accidentally.

      4-Best Locations:

      I personally would chose to go to any of the following Viewpoints to be away from lights-
      Grandview
      Hopi Point out the West Rim road
      Lipan Point
      Moran

      To be closer to Lodging and some possible lights-
      Yavapai Point & Museum
      Up the Rim Trail from the El Tovar by Verkamps Studio
      Down the Rim Trail from the Bright Angel Lodge near the Bright Angel Trailhead
      Desertview Watchtower out the East Rim road

      5-Best Time in November:

      After it’s completely dark. Remember it is going to be very cold. The Rim of the Grand Canyon can experience some of the coldest temperatures in Arizona. Typically, it’s colder than Flagstaff that is at a higher Altitude too.

      I hope this helps in your Stargazing experience at the Grand Canyon.

      Thank You,

      Karlyn

  19. Hi. We will be taking a family trip in an rv from Florida to the GC in March or April of 2017 for our first time. Are there parking accommodations for such a vehicle at the south rim, and could we pull our 2 young children in a wagon around the park with ease? Also, any suggestions on what items to bring with us other than a camera, like bug spray, flash lights?
    Thank you.
    Kids are 4 and 6 if that helps

    1. Erica,

      Yes, there is parking for your RV at the South Rim at selected Overlooks:
      Desertview Watchtower
      Yavapai Point and Museum
      Grand Canyon Visitor Center/Mather Point
      Grand Canyon Village

      If you plan on Overnighting in the Park, please make reservations at Trailer Village:
      https://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/trailer-village-rv-park
      Call: 877-404-4611

      March and April still have low temperatures at night. Coming from Florida you will want to dress warm. Bug spray isn’t normally needed that early in the season. Flash lights are always a good idea.

      There is a paved trail along the Rim where you could pull a Wagon around with the 2 Young Children:

      https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/upload/SRfall2014_guidemap.pdf

      https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/2013SRsummer-guidemap_letter.pdf

      Thank You,

      Karlyn

  20. I’m coming to Vegas in a group with 6 friends. We arrive Vegas 15/11/16. We plan a day trip or even an overnight stay at the Canyon. My issue is I have had surgery on my knee, I will be 9 weeks post op when I arrive but I’m in a leg brace. I will be fairly mobile but can’t walk too far. I was hoping to get into the canyon and do a river boat ride, maybe a helicopter down? What would you suggest? How about a mule! Please can you help with my enquiry.

  21. Hello !
    Please I have a question about “monsoon season”.
    We (my kids and myself) are camping at Mather campground on july 1 for 2 nights..
    How does one protect themselves when camping from severe thunderstorm and lighting? Can this happen in the middle of the night? Or are they just in the afternoon as I’ve read?
    Thanks very much !

    1. Luna,

      The best protection is a good tent. The Campground is in the tree’s, so it’s fairly protected from the wind.

      Now for lightning, mother nature is going to do what she’s going to do. Lightning is not normally a huge threat, however, it can be. There are Restrooms in the campgrounds that you can go into if it gets too frightening that might help you out.

      And, normally, the monsoons hit in the afternoon. However, it can rain in the nighttime, as well.

      Enjoy,

      Karlyn

  22. Hello there
    Me and my wife plan on spending 2-3 days at the grand canyon, in August we will be coming from Las Vegas. We want to camp in the backcountry but I’m not quite sure the best entry area and/or spots to camp out. Do you think 2 days is a sufficient amount of time? and do you have any suggestions?

  23. Hi, I’ll be visiting Las Vegas in the middle of April and want to go to the Grand Canyon South Rim since I have read that West Rim is not part of the park and South Rim have the best viewpoints to visit. I only have one day to spend there and get back to Las Vegas at night. Can you help me with these questions, please?

    1. Which mayor viewpoints do you recommend for a one-day visit
    2. Is there an specific and safe spot to park the car and walk to the viewpoints or ride the shuttle for an easier and faster tour. If so, can you tell me the location and what shuttle we should take.
    3. As we don’t have enough time and we really want to experience the GC visit, what other recommendation do you suggest?

    Thank you!
    Priscilla

  24. We will be going to Grand Canyon North 1st then to the South Rim, what are the must see’s in between? How long does it take to get from the North to the South Rim? How much time do we need at each? If we were to add the West rim and then head to Las Vegas, how much time should we have to do all 3 rims? Distance of all 3 rims together? Thanks

    1. Hello Kathy,
      It takes about 4 hours to drive from the North Rim to the South Rim. You could stop at Lee’s Ferry before you cross Navajo Bridge. Also I suggest stopping at the Navajo Culture Center directly before crossing the bridge. You will be able to take pictures of both bridges. You could stop in Cameron at the Cameron Trading post and have lunch or dinner. Between Cameron and the South Rim you will be traveling near the Little Colorado River. There are a couple of view areas where you can take a short walk to the rim and take pictures. You will also have to opportunity to support members of the Navajo Tribe by purchasing hand-crafted items.

      It takes about 4.5 hours to drive from the South Rim to Grand Canyon West and another 2.5 hours to drive from their to Las Vegas. You can easily fill one day each at the North Rim and the South Rim. You need 3 to 4 hours at Grand Canyon West. See our planning pages for more information on things to do at each rim.

  25. Hi,

    I will be visiting UT and AZ on the 3rd week of May. We are arriving in Phoenix first and then heading our way to Antelope, Zion and then to Vegas. We are coming in on Friday morning at 10am, what would be the best route to see the Grand Canyon before heading to our hotel near Horseshoe Bend?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Mimi,

      The route I would advise taking is to drive to Flagstaff on I-17 and then take I-40 west to Williams. At Williams you take the first exit to go to the Grand Canyon. This will get you on State Hwy 64 which will take you directly to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After you go through the Entrance Station and pay your fee you can choose (depending on how much time you want to spend)to go to the Grand Canyon Village area and ride the Park Service’s free shuttle system or you can go to the Desert View Drive and drive to view areas all the way along to the East Entrance of the South Rim. You can exit the Park there and continue on Hwy 64 to Cameron, Arizona where you will meet US Hwy 89. You can travel on Hwy 89 the remainder of the way to Page, Arizona/Horseshoe Bend

  26. Hello,
    Visiting the Grand Canyons has been my dream since long.
    When I finally managed to get some time for a vacation, I was so excited that I booked flight tickets without even thinking about what my itinerary should look like and what places must I visit to call it a “dream vacation”.
    I will land in Vegas on the evening of 9th May and have a return flight on 17th morning. I need your guidance/help in planning this trip. I was wondering if I could start in Vegas and do a road trip stopping at places during the course of my time there and return to Vegas covering as many places as possible.
    Im travelling with my spouse and a 2 year old. Please help me identify the “must see” places at the canyons, places to stay and routes to take (scenic drives). I would like to spend the last day of my trip in Vegas and it would be great if I could reach Vegas by 16th afternoon latest.
    Could you please help me plan my dream vacation?

    1. Hello Anvar,

      With a 2-year-old, you will want to plan for as many breaks from driving as possible. The distances between Las Vegas and the rims of the Grand Canyon are rather lengthy and in some places there isn’t much but desert. The South Rim, east rim and North Rim are my suggestions for must sees. You can visit Grand Canyon West if you have the desire to walk on the Skywalk but the more beautiful parts of the Grand Canyon are found in the National Parks. You can drive a loop from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West to the South Rim to the east rim to the North Rim and back to Las Vegas. This will take at least a few days – a lot more if you really want to experience what the Grand Canyon has to offer.

      The North Rim does not open until May 15th and it will likely be cold there but you could visit there on your way back to Las Vegas. You could also include visits to other locations such as Sedona, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park.

      Lodging is going to be your biggest issue because most of it sells out way in advance. You will want to check our hotels pages for availability.

      1. Thank you so much for the detailed reply, Sandy.
        I quickly booked a night’s stay at the Grand Canyon south rim for 10th May (1 night- is this sufficient?).
        Thanks for the heads up on the challenge in finding a lodging.

        I will skip the west rim as I don’t think there is much to do there. I will directly reach south rim from Vegas on Wednesday (10th). Please suggest scenic places that I can stop en route.
        Will arrive at the south rim later that afternoon or evening (based on the number of stops) and as I mentioned, I now have lodging booked at the south Rim!!
        I now have Wednesday(half day) to Monday before heading back to Vegas to be there by Tuesday late afternoon.

        I found the following places that might be worth a visit (Antelope pics look really nice!!).
        >> Antelope canyons
        >> Horse shoe bend
        >> Monument Valley
        >> Arches National park

        Could you advise on these locations and suggest how to fit in to my trip?
        I really like natural beauty and appreciate majestic views. Please advise a trip to make the most out of my vacation.

        Once again, thanks for the guidance. Looking forward to hear from you soon.

  27. Hi there-
    I’m trying to pay attention to the approve questions and feeback you are providing, however I need some advise about traveling to the GC in late November. We are going to Phx for a wedding over Thanksgiving and the Grand Canyon would be a tremendous addition to our trip with our 6 & 7 yr olds. I see the GC village is the best location to come in at? Will any or all locations be open at this time in the season?
    Any recommendations regarding locations to visit & attire? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Laura,

      The South Rim remains open year-round. It takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to drive there from Phoenix depending on traffic and weather. Generally all of the roads to the view points at the South Rim will be open. You will be able to ride the free park shuttles to part of them and drive to the remainder. I recommend that you dress for cold weather. The air tours will still be operational then. If you want to visit the Inner Canyon you can get a tour there from Flagstaff (about 2 hours from Phoenix) or Williams (about 2.5 hours away from Phoenix.)

  28. Hi,

    I’m planning to visit the Canyon’s South rim from Vegas during the Independence Day weekend. Are thunderstorms very frequent during the first week of July (just need to know the averages)?

    Thank You.

    1. Mary,
      Normally, the monsoon season begins in mid-July, however, this has been a very different year.
      So, on average, no, we don’t experience many thunderstorms around Independence Day…but, who can predict the weather???
      Thank You,
      Karlyn

  29. We planned on visiting today but had to reschedule due to storms on route to Grand Canyon. We cut our trio shirt from California to vegas to Grand Canyon but will definitely be back. So I’m planning on renting a room for one night on June 9. Checking out the 10th then heading back to vegas. What’s the weather like early June? (We caught an ugly storm along with gusts in Arizona worst thing ever) I want to avoid any driving in those conditions.

    1. Erika,

      Early June is generally better than Monsoon Season. It can be hotter, but not always. Late June and early July are the hottest time of the year generally at the Grand Canyon.

      Early June has a much higher likelihood of being a good experience over the late July monsoon season.

      Thank You,

      Karlyn

  30. I’m planning a trip to the grand canyon in late February early March with my 3 teens. I’m planning a South rim visit and would like to stay in the Park. What is the weather this time of year, does the weather influence the sights I should plan to see, what would you suggest are the “not to be missed” sights this time of year? Which lodge would be our best bet?

    1. Amy,

      Here is a great link to Weather for the February/March time of the year:
      https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-condition.htm#CP_JUMP_2664363

      “Not To Be Missed” sights for this time of the Year:
      -Desertview Watchtower
      -Hermits Rest
      -Yavapai Geologic Museum
      -Grand Canyon Village to include:
      * The Hopi House
      * The El Tovar
      * Lookout Studio
      * The Bright Angel Lodge
      * The Kolb Studio

      And, if you are looking for great activities, we recommend the following three Tour Operators:
      Buck Wild Hummer Tours
      Papillon Helicopters
      Grand Canyon Airlines

      If you are economically inclined, the El Tovar is the Best, however, you must book immediately…as it may already be Sold Out!
      Next, I would say the Thunderbird or Kachina Lodge as they are right next door on the South Rim, as well.

      Karlyn

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