When to Go to Grand Canyon National Park

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When to Go to Grand Canyon National Park

There's no bad time to visit the canyon, though the busiest times of year are summer and spring break. Visiting during these peak seasons, as well as holidays, requires patience and a tolerance for crowds. Note that weather changes on a whim in this exposed high-desert region. The North Rim shuts down from mid-October through mid-May due to weather conditions and related road closures.

Festivals and Events

May

Williams Rendezvous Days. A black-powder shooting competition, 1800s-era crafts, horse-barrel racing, and a parade fire up Memorial Day weekend in honor of Bill Williams, the town's namesake mountain man. 928/635–4061. www.experiencewilliams.com.

August

Grand Canyon Music Festival. For three weekends in late August–early September, this festival brings mostly chamber music to the Shrine of Ages amphitheater at Grand Canyon Village. In the early 1980s, music aficionados Robert Bonfiglio and Clare Hoffman hiked through the Grand Canyon and decided the stunning spectacle should be accompanied by the strains of a symphony. One of the park rangers agreed, and the wandering musicians performed an impromptu concert. Encouraged by the experience, Bonfiglio and Hoffman started the festival. 928/638–9215 or 800/997–8285. www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org.

December

Mountain Village Holiday. Williams hails the holidays with a parade of lights, ice-skating rink, and live entertainment in December–early January. 928/635–4061. www.experiencewilliams.com.

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