Update Feb 24, 2020
The Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to go visit, and while many people prefer to visit in the warmer months of the year, winter offers an incredible perspective of the monument that summer visitors may never experience.
Visiting the park during winter allows you to enjoy the Grand Canyon South Rim in its entirety without massive crowds, bugs, heat, and other annoyances. Roads are typically kept very clear during this time, and the only facilities closed during the colder months are on the North Rim, which is closed from October 15th to May 15th, so this may be the perfect time to start planning your next winter getaway.
People travel across the world to visit the Grand Canyon. We can get there within a few days with a couple hundred dollars and many still never go.
Planning your trip, you’re even more likely to find available lodging during the colder months, and great Grand Canyon lodging can be found in Williams, Arizona. This town can be seen as a gateway to the monument, and many visitors choose to leave their car in Williams and take the train to the monument itself. The scenic Grand Canyon Railway is ideal, and it drops you off at an historic South Rim destination. Other lodging options exist within the park and just outside of it.
Entrance fee is currently $35/car for seven days. Cooler of food for weekend: $50. Photos, memories: Free. This adds up to $200-350 total for a weekend of experiences and memories like no other. Winter offers unique frosty landscapes, massive bodies of untouched snow, and all the amenities the park has to offer. Consider one of the efficient and fun shuttle trips around the park! They only take 75 minutes round-trip, they offer the opportunity to see the canyon from a variety of interesting angles, and if you plan accordingly, you can even catch the sunrise. The shuttle first departs at 4:30 A.M. and stops running on hour after sunset.
The park’s shuttle system will take you to most popular destinations along the rim. Some of the shuttle routes provide lengthy, unobstructed views of the Canyon.
Lodging. There is a hotel in the park with rooms from $100/night at Bright Angel or Maswik Lodges. The hotel in nearby Tusayan has options available for $100 a night for less.
The South Rim’s Grand Canyon Village, has plenty to offer this time of year as well. Some of the park’s most historically significant buildings were erected here, some nearly 100 years old, built by the Santa Fe Railroad at the beginning of the 20th century. Lodging is offered here, but it’s often hard to book, so even if you’re staying nearby, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take in some of the history found in the Grand Canyon Village.
With all of these sights to see, winter is a perfect time to visit that’s too often overlooked. If you’re planning a trip, make sure to come prepared. It will be cold, after all, so come equipped to beat the cold, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Wear heavy boots with reliable treads, and stay hydrated out there!
What other benefits are there to visiting in the winter? Would you prefer a summer visit? Share your favorite things about any season in the comments below.