Summer is fast approaching, with sunshine and soaring temperatures hot on its trail.
The Grand Canyon is usually a little cooler than the dry desert heat of Las Vegas because of its higher elevation, but the mercury still skyrockets along the Rim and inside the Canyon during the summer. In some areas, average temperatures regularly reach (and exceed) 100 degrees:
Despite the heat, the summer months are peak tourism season thanks to summer break and the influx of family vacationers. So don’t let a little weather deter you from visiting the Grand Canyon!
We reached out to expert travel bloggers to get their tips on beating the heat and staying cool during your visit. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Refill your water bottle whenever you can
The air at the Grand Canyon is very dry (it is in the desert, after all), so it’s important to stay hydrated and drink water often, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
If you do spritz your face with water, be sure to reapply sunscreen afterward. There are water refill stations located throughout the park. Try to fill your bottle every time you see one.
2. Consider a guided tour
Instead of sweating it out as you walk along the Rim, sit back and relax in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus, complete with historical tidbits from expert tour guides. Bonus: You’ll also avoid waiting in line for and standing on one of the National Park’s crowded shuttle buses.
Check out our guided Grand Canyon tours:
3. Stay out of the sun
The National Park Service recommends staying out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, which gives you ample opportunity to explore other attractions along the Rim. Megan & Mike Jerrard of Mapping Megan and Waking Up Wild recommend activities beyond hiking, such as:
The Visitor Center plays a film, “Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder”, every day on the hour and half hour, offering an informative and entertaining introduction to the Grand Canyon and its rich history. It’s a great way to stay cool and kick off your Grand Canyon adventure at the same time!
4. Time your visit
Plan ahead and schedule your visit with the hottest times of day in mind. Suzanne from the Travel Bunny suggests visiting early in the day or in the early evening, “especially if you’re hiking”:
5. Pack layers
It can be cool in the mornings and evenings, and a light layer during the day can help protect you from the sun’s rays.
Take Suzanne’s advice:
6. Visit a cooler region.
JoAnna from Kaleidoscopic Wandering recommends visiting the North Rim:
The quickest and easiest way to reach the North Rim is by air.
Visit the North Rim on one of our airplane and helicopter tours:
7. Don't forget bug spray.
Bug spray is a must-pack item if you’re planning a summertime visit to the Grand Canyon.
8. Go for a swim!
If you have the time and can make the trip deep into the Canyon, Havasu Falls is a hidden desert oasis where you can take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the Colorado River.
The only way to reach Havasu Falls is on foot, but the Havasupai trailhead (called Hualapai Hilltop) is located at a remote location that is accessible by car.
If you’re planning a summer vacation to the Grand Canyon, these expert tips can help you stay cool and hydrated while you visit.
Big thanks to all the travel bloggers who graciously agreed to share their expertise with us!