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Know Before You Go: Visiting the Grand Canyon in Winter

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Know Before You Go: Visiting the Grand Canyon in Winter
A wintertime visit to Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a great way to avoid crowds, spot the national park’s elusive wildlife, and enjoy festive activities organized by nearby businesses. Here are some tips to maximize your visit during the year’s colder months. 

Head to the South Rim
During the winter the Grand Canyon’s North Rim area is closed to visitors, meaning you should plan your accommodations and sightseeing outings near the park’s South Rim. Even during the colder periods of the year, the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a main attraction, offering a wide variety of hiking trails, restaurants, and sightseeing opportunities.

Watch the Weather
Weather can be downright unpredictable in Grand Canyon National Park during winter, with periods of rain, snow, and sun all possible—even in one day. Average temperatures typically hover between 20°F (-6°C) and 40°F (4°C). Keep in mind that sometimes even the South Rim can be temporarily closed due to weather. Make sure to check the forecast and road conditions before you head out each day, and plan to dress in layered, quick-drying clothing that be easily taken on and off as conditions demand.

Plan for Winter Activities
Again, winter weather at the Grand Canyon can be hard to forecast. As a result, you’d be wise to consider planning a few “climate-controlled” activities where weather isn’t likely to be a factor. Bus and railroad excursions are great options for getting out of the elements. And of course, if the weather goes really south, consider catching an IMAX Movie at the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater.

Celebrate the Holiday Cheer
One of the biggest benefits of a winter visit to the Grand Canyon is the wide variety of holiday-themed activities and attractions that local businesses organize. Eateries like El Tovar make a great spot for a celebratory holiday meal, and Grand Canyon Village is the perfect locale for some holiday shopping. The Hermit’s Rest gift shop and snack bar is another nice spot to soak up the holiday atmosphere with a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
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Grand Canyon National Park Tours & Activities (4)
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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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Grand Canyon Railway Adventure PackageDay Trips

Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package

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Journey across the Northern Arizona countryside on a full-day journey aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Hear folklore and stories from the crew and witness authentic characters and musicians who bring the Old West to life on this scenic adventure. Arrive at Grand Canyon Depot and choose from a variety of activities, including a narrated motor coach tour of Grand Canyon National Park. Upgrade to include first class seats and a buffet lunch at the Maswick Lodge at the Grand Canyon.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$188.03 
Price varies by group size
From  
$188.03 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Grand Canyon Railroad Excursion from SedonaDay Trips

Grand Canyon Railroad Excursion from Sedona

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Travel through the otherworldly landscape of the Arizona desert with a ride on the historic Grand Canyon Railroad. Settle into reserved seats on this train that’s been carrying passengers since 1901, and enjoy onboard commentary along the way. Hop off near the edge of the magnificent, sprawling canyon for a guided south rim tour to learn about the history of this natural wonder while soaking up spectacular views.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$224.21 
From  
$224.21 
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX MovieNature and Wildlife

Grand Canyon East Rim Drive by Jeep and IMAX Movie

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Get to know the Grand Canyon on this guided Jeep tour around the East Rim. Begin with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center’s IMAX Theater and watch “Grand Canyon: the Movie.” Then choose one of three different tours: a daytime voyage and two sunset options. Enjoy amazing views of the Grand Canyon’s brilliant colors and various rock formations while learning about the history and geology of the area from the expert tour guide. A hotel pickup and drop-off in the town of Tusayan, AZ is included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$128.50 
From  
$128.50 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Grand Canyon South Rim by Tour TrekkerDay Trips

Grand Canyon South Rim by Tour Trekker

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Explore the Grand Canyon with this guided, full-day sightseeing adventure around the South Rim. Beginning in Las Vegas, travel through the Mojave Desert and Black Mountains en route to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for an entertaining and educational 3-hour tour. See a number of different panoramic views from various lookout locations while learning about the history and geology of the canyon from the expert tour guide. Lunch, bottled water and Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$294.00 
From  
$294.00 
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures