Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon in the Spring

March 14, 2013 by

Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Things to Do, Top Attractions, Tours & Activities, Travel Tips

Spring is a great time to visit the Grand Canyon. You’ll get to avoid the heavy crowds and intense heat that exist during the summer months, as well as the risks involved with visiting in winter, like road closures, bitter cold and storms. During spring, visitors enjoy average daytime highs between 55-65º F, with nighttime lows getting down to 25-35º F. In the lower canyons, temperatures are often 20º F higher. Just remember to bring some warm clothes and layer so you’re always prepared for unpredictable weather when visiting the Grand Canyon in the spring.

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Grand Canyon things to do, Grand Canyon attractions, and Grand Canyon recommendations.

As the changing seasons bring new colors and more mild weather to the 1,217,262 acres of landscape, exploring the canyon’s crevices up close is a must. The Grand Canyon is home to a large number of hiking trails, from the well-maintained corridor trails to the more rugged primitive trails. If you’re looking for something with a clear path, the South Kaibab Trail is only 1.8 miles round-trip and takes you below the canyon rim to the appropriately-named Ooh-Aah lookout point. Bright Angel is also beautiful, taking you 9.3 miles from the Grand Canyon Village to the Colorado River. The trail is not only picturesque but historical, constructed by the Havasupi Indians to access water from what we know today as Garden Creek.

new hance trail

Views from the New Hance Trail. Photo courtesy of Gonzo fan2007.

If you’re looking for one of the South Rim’s most scenic yet difficult hikes, the New Hance Trail, also known as the Red Canyon Trail, is unmaintained and a steep descent to the bottom. This is recommended for spring or fall only, as the summer can be brutally hot and the winter can leave the landscape icy. It’s about 6.5 miles and a 4,440-feet descent, so two days is recommended for the round-trip. Although difficult, it is worth it to experience the many pinks, blues and purples along the trail.

For those interested in viewing wildlife, spring is an ideal time to go bird-watching. There are over 300 different bird species in the park, some of which include Kestrels, Hawks, Bald Eagles, Spotted Owls and Peregrine falcons. Additionally, keep your eyes out for the California Condor, one of the rarest birds in the world.


Mules at the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy of George Vnoucek.

Another way to get to know the local animals is through a mule ride, offered year-round. You’ll ride through Ponderosa Forest and a Piñon and Juniper woodland to the Abyss, an overlook on the canyon rim. Keep in mind this excursion should be booked well in advance by calling (888)-297-2757.

Every spring the Grand Canyon hosts Celebrate Wildlife Day, which features an educational day of wildlife-focused activities. Rangers and biologists host an array of programs, interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and live animal demonstrations. While the event took place on May 18 in 2012, future dates are still being determined.

-Jessica Festa

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