Snow at Grand Canyon

Over 4 million people missed seeing snow in the Canyon this summer.   Summer visitors experience the brilliant reds, golds, and all the shades of glorious colors reflected by the sun overhead. But they missed the winter snow.

Visitors at the Canyon in winter may be given a special gift of a snow storm. Flakes dance and prance over and in, and then out again of the canyon; each determined to reach the bottom a mile down to the Colorado river. The temperatures are warmer by the river, both winter and summer, but only the condors and the ravens really appreciate the rising thermals and swish and swoon seemingly effortlessly over the canyon in the summer. We can’t really “see” the thermals rising, but we can watch the birds and can imagine.

But in the winter, the snowflakes follow the thermals and paint a visual picture of swirling veils floating around invisible dancers.   Standing on the rim is a perfect place to watch the show and take part in the catch-a-snowflake-on-your-tongue winter ritual. It is like being inside a snow globe.

When the snow stops and the world around the canyon becomes a muted, white landscape, and everything is soft, gentle and quiet; I want to grasp the canyon and shake it…….make the snow globe real and come alive again!!!!

For the fortunate few snowflakes that make it to the bottom of the canyon, I am reminded of the saying that no snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. I just know that they had a good ride to the bottom.

About the Author

Joy Grand Canyon

Joy taught environmental sciences at Southern Vermont College and became active in outdoor land use.  Joy now lives ‘off-the-grid’ near the Grand Canyon on an acreage with solar power, and hauls water for her own needs and for her struggling raised-bed desert garden, dogs, cat, chickens, and Garrett-the-goose. Joy has rafted the Colorado River from Moab to Lake Mead, hiked many of the trails, and stayed at Phantom Ranch several times either by hiking or by mule.  Learning and reading is her passion, and she is constantly learning more about the Grand Canyon.

Joy is well traveled but never found a place that was more well suited for her than the Grand Canyon.  This is her home.  Stop in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and allow her to share her home with you.

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