It’s an unfortunate reality that something as magnificent as the grand canyon can be looked like an “out of the way trip”, only “if we have time”. It’s true – the majority of visitors to the park come on the way or from Las Vegas; to these people, the grand canyon is nothing more than a detour. Since grand canyon traffic is so dependent on tourist traffic, the busiest times to visit the grand canyon are the busiest tourist times – the summer months. During the winter, the grand canyon is practically desolate. To some people, this is the park at its finest.
During the winter, gone are the throngs of tourists; replaced is quiet, and sometimes snow. The north rim isn’t open during the wintertime, just the south and west rims. The weather is brisk during the way, and downright cold at night. And sure, there are torrential rains here and there, but what does rain mean? Snow and snow mean for 3 months out of the year, the grand canyon turns into a winter wonderland. A visit to the park during this time is serene, a quiet moment between you and nature.
Should you choose to visit in the wintertime, you should still plan on booking 6-9 months in advance for in-park facilities. These facilities are managed by a single company, Xanterra South Rim. Alternatively, hotel lodgings are available in the nearby towns of Williams, Cameron, and Flagstaff Arizona. If you want something different for your trip and plan to stay in Williams anyway, consider the grand canyon train. This tram departs from Williams and reaches the south rim in just over 2 hours. You spend 3.5 hours at the south rim (or overnight should you choose) and then return back to Williams – definitely an unforgettable trip.
The grand canyon during the winter is a true spectacle that everyone should experience at least once. The tranquility, beauty, and sheer mass of the canyon really put things in perspective. If you can stand the cold, be sure to check it out.