Spring break is right around the corner! Whether you’re planning a college getaway or a family vacation with your kids, the Southwest is the perfect place to escape from the blustery winds and frigid temperatures many face every winter.
Las Vegas is a common starting point for the well-travelled Grand Canyon-Bryce Canyon-Zion Park loop. This loop is a popular route for Southwest roadtrippers, but if a single week isn’t enough time for you hit all three locations, Las Vegas is a perfect home base for exploring a number of iconic Southwest landmarks, like the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, the Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon.
If you only have a day to visit the Grand Canyon, there are a number of guided tour options from Las Vegas that will easily fit into your busy schedule. Day trips to the South and West Rims by helicopter, airplane, and bus (or all three!) are the perfect choice for busy travellers hoping to check out other Southwest hotspots.
Why Should You Visit the Grand Canyon Over Spring Break?
School may be out, but the learning never stops at the Grand Canyon – even over spring break! The Grand Canyon offers many educational opportunities, with ranger demonstrations and visitor centers chock full of interesting facts about the history, geology, and wildlife of the region.
Here are a two more reasons why you should consider visiting the Grand Canyon over spring break:
- The temperatures are cooler. Summertime temperatures can be quite warm, so if you’re not a big fan of sun and heat, spring break may offer some welcome relief. Average daytime temperatures range between 55 and 65 degrees.
- Spring break brings an influx of visitors, but overall, the Grand Canyon is significantly less crowded in February and March than in the summertime.
There are also tons of fun activities to do with your friends or family, such as:
- Exploring the Rim and the Grand Canyon Village.
- Hiking the Rim trail or venturing below the Rim.
- Fly to the Canyon floor in a helicopter. Check out our helicopter tours.
- Cruise down the Colorado River. It’s usually cool on the river at this time of year, so make sure to bring warm clothes. Take a look at our boat tours.
- Become a Junior Ranger. Learn more about the Junior Ranger program.
- Walk 70 feet out from the edge of the West Rim on the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
- Check out the Hualapai Ranch on the West Rim.
What to Expect at the Grand Canyon on Spring Break
Knowing what to expect when you visit a new location can help you plan what to pack and how to schedule your time.
While the Grand Canyon won’t be as busy over spring break as it is during the peak summer season, you should still expect some crowds. Long lines at entrance stations and shuttle bus stops are common. Parking may also be limited, so you may prefer to take a guided tour. Viewpoints may also be crowded, especially at sunset.
The weather on the Rim can be unpredictable in the early spring. Be prepared for sudden weather changes by wearing sturdy shoes with good tread, and by packing a jacket and a few pieces of warmer clothing, especially if you’re planning to stay till the sun sets.
5 Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon on Spring Break
Keep these tips in mind to make sure your Grand Canyon adventure goes off without a hitch:
- Be prepared for snow! Because of the season and the Grand Canyon’s higher elevation, there’s a chance it might be snowy. Don’t worry about the snow ruining your #CanyonSelfie—a snow-covered Canyon is just as beautiful!
- Pack a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water. It’ll still be sunny during the day, but it gets cool at night, and because the climate is drier, you’ll dehydrate quicker than you might expect.
- Bring binoculars, sunscreen, spare batteries for your camera. Consider carrying a backpack instead of purse – it’ll hold more, it’s more comfortable, and your hands will be free to snap as many photos as you like. Make sure you come home with beautiful shots with our photography tips.
- Don’t feed the wildlife! Squirrel bites are one of the most common injuries sustained at the Grand Canyon. Discover 6 cool creatures to look for when you visit.
- Restaurants will be packed and lines will be long. Save some time and money by bringing your own snacks. Make sure you don’t forget anything with our free printable packing list!
It’s a little late to book accommodation (hotels can book up to a year in advance), but many guided tours can be booked as soon as the day before you wish to visit. However, if you’re driving yourself to the Grand Canyon, follow these tips:
- Plan to arrive at the Grand Canyon early so you can take full advantage of your time on the Rim.
- If you plan on visiting other National Parks, considering purchasing a Parks Pass so you can access every park for a single fee.
- The Cameron Trading Post, which is just a few miles outside the Grand Canyon National park, has a fantastic restaurant where you can try local specialties such as Navajo tacos and deep-fried sopapillas with honey or powdered sugar.
- Stop at the Hoover Dam along the way. It’s a great way to break up the long drive from Las Vegas. Discover 7 more reasons why you should visit the Hoover Dam.
Not sure whether to drive yourself to the Grand Canyon or take a guided tour? We can help you decide – read our post on driving yourself versus taking a guided tour.
Bring on Spring
Whether you’re just starting to plan your spring break vacation or if you’re seeking advice for how to make sure your Southwest adventure goes smoothly, we’ve got you covered!
Take a look at our most popular guided Grand Canyon day tours:
Featured image source: Grand Canyon National Park via Flickr.