You may not be able to go white water rafting in the Grand Canyon while the snow is flying, but you have to do something in the off season.

Grand Canyon Snow

SNOW! (Photo credit: NPS)

At Hatch, we are big time Canyon fans all year round. Here are 5 reasons the Grand Canyon is worth a visit in the winter:

5 – No Crowds

If you want to see the canyon in all its glory, minus the extra people, try checking it out in the winter. The South Rim stays open year round and the roads are maintained and passable in all but the worst weather conditions, but most visitors plan their trips in the summer. Avoid the crowds. See the canyon in the winter.

4 – Hiking

Because fewer people are vying for them, you can get backcountry passes more easily, which means hiking and camping trips down to Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Trail, or even the North Rim are possible. Just remember to camp and hike smart! You still get dehydrated even if you aren’t feeling hot.

3 – Sunrise and Sunset

Desert sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful around. Add to them, the backdrop of red layered canyon walls, and you come close to perfection. In the winter, the sun rises later and sets earlier, meaning you can catch the Grand Canyon at its most beautiful more easily than you can during the summer. At the end of November, sunset will be as early as 5:15pm, and in the beginning of January, sunrise will be as late as 7:40am.

2 – Great Weather

If you don’t mind a bit of a chill, the Grand Canyon’s winter weather can be absolutely beautiful. From sunny days that can only be described as "crisp" to snow storms that leave the Canyon’s trees and rock ledges lined in white, the winter weather will leave you breathless. Make sure to dress in warm layers! If the winds pick up or a snow storm comes down on you, you’ll be happy to have your winter gear.

Grand Canyon Total Cloud Inversion

Total cloud inversion near Desert View, Grand Canyon National Park, Thursday, December 11, 2014. NPS photo by Maci MacPherson.

1 – Rare Phenomena

If you’re lucky, your winter visit to the Grand Canyon might give you an opportunity to see a total cloud inversion. Every so often, the Grand Canyon will play host to this rare climate event in which cold air is trapped in the canyon underneath a warm layer of air. When there is enough moisture in the cold layer, it will condense and form fog. Though these typically only occur every few years, the winter of 2014 saw two inversion events within 6 weeks of each other. Who knows what this winter will bring?

5 Reasons Grand Canyon is Amazing in Winter (even though you can’t go white water rafting) was last modified: November 2nd, 2015 by Jessica Clark

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