5 Things to Expect From the Grand Canyon During Winter

Although The Grand Canyon is a stunning sight to see all year long, taking a trip during the winter may offer up the opportunity to see a variety of different scenes. Shorter days coupled with the possibility for snow usually means The Grand Canyon experiences a slower pace around the winter time.

grand canyon with snow

This is great for anyone who wants to experience this wonder without the congestion sometimes experienced is the warmer months. If you are planning on taking a trip during the winter, here are 5 things you can expect.

1. A different perspective

The presence of snow, even a light dusting can change what you are able to see. Temples and buttes rising from the floor of the canyon allow you to see more of the complex geography of the canyon. A coating of snow allows you the opportunity to see different features and landscapes than those who visit during the warmer months, especially from world famous Grand Canyon helicopter tours.

2. Animals

elk at grand canyon

Many animals slow down or burrow during the winter, however, there are plenty of opportunities to see animals. Mule deer, elk, bald eagles and tree squirrels are a common sight during the colder months. Less common but still seen occasionally are California condors and rock squirrels.

3. Significantly less people

This is great for anyone who likes to enjoy the solitude of nature. During the winter months, The Grand Canyon has about 5 times fewer visitors than during peak season. This allows you better access to roads, trails, parking and accommodation.

4. Possible discounts

The winter is the off season at The Grand Canyon, which may mean discounts. Many hotels offer discounted rates to try and fill rooms during the winter months. Visitors often find cheap accommodation at some of the most desirable hotels, including the famous El Tovar, is more readily available during these months.

5. Constantly changing weather

grand canyon weather changing

The Grand Canyon will experience several storms over the course of a winter. Some of the most amazing views are afforded to those who wait out these usually quick moving storms. In December of 2014, Grand Canyon visitors were treated to the rare sight of a temperature inversion.


If you are planning a trip to The Grand Canyon during the winter, don’t forget to come prepared. Layers of warm clothing, sturdy slip resistant shoes or boots and sunblock will ensure you are able to enjoy your trip.

For more information or for help on planning a memorable winter vacation, call GC Flight at (800) 871-1030 today.

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