grand canyon in winter?

Dec 3rd, 2008, 04:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 36
grand canyon in winter?

We have 4 southwest free tickets we have to use by March. We obviously have to pick a city that SW flies into. We were wondering if Phoenix and the Grand Canyon would be any fun in the winter.
Has anyone visited the Grand Canyon in winter and was it too cold/snowy/miserable or was it a good time?
We are a family with two teens and will be traveling over President's Day in Feb 2009.
family_travelers is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 304
SW also flies into Tucson which would be much warmer with a wide variety of things to see and do without a weather concern. The GC is high in elevation so weather could be an issue especially if you have a short trip. I have been there in late March and had a white out in the morning with nothing visible except snow being blown by strong winds. The afternoon and evening before were beautiful.

Phoenix has many things to offer also but IMO Tucson has more things for teens--Sabino Canyon for hiking, U of A for Native American exhibits, Kitt Peak for astronomy, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for desert plants and animals, Mt. Lemmon for more astronomy or possibly skiing, golfing in many areas, Kartchner caverns, old West reinactments in Tombstone, mine tours in Bisbee, Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley plus many other activities. Of course both cities offer resorts with spas and pools if just relaxing is your choice. IMO I would plan to see GC when weather would not be an issue and enjoy somewhere warm and sunny with the free tickets. What do your teens like to do since having happy teens means having a happy trip!
CollegeMom is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 402
It can be beautiful, but cold and icy, and you need to be prepared and watching the weather for the drive up there. You will be traveling up to 8000 ft from Phoenix. Sometime chains are required. Depends on what you are looking for in a trip. Might be very adventursome. If that was going to be the only trip to GC, I would do it in more predictable and better weather.
charli is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We've been there in March with our 2 kids. Grand Canyon can be cold, and have snow. It snowed about 5" when we visited, but the temps did go up to about 50 during the day. We took the rim shuttle to stop at all the scenic spots. Hiking into the canyon (even just a little ways) wasn't recommended unless you had special spiked hiking boots (or something along those lines) because of the ice.

It still is beautiful, but I think an overnight is enough. There could also be heavy snow in FLagstaff. Sedona, Phoenix and Tucson on the other hand could be warm (70/80s). The Pink Jeep tour is worthwhile in Sedona, and Talieson West is worth visiting in Pheonix. There also may be some spring training activity if that interests your kids. Those sights in Tucson already mentioned are great as well. Both Tucson and Pheonix/Scottsdale have lovely resorts.
MFNYC is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
Has anyone visited the Grand Canyon in winter and was it too cold/snowy/miserable or was it a good time?

The usual winter weather pattern is clear sunny skies and cold temperatures, very cold at night. Every so often (once a month in a dry winter, 3-4 times a month in a wet winter) a storm blows thru off the Pacific and it snows, then clears up a day or so later. It's beautiful when it snows but roads are treacherous unless you have 4WD. It's not too bad getting around if you are already up there, but traveling to or from the area on icy roads is stressful. Usually the roads are cleared within a day after the storm passes.

Phoenix is much lower and much warmer and will likely have desert wildflowers blooming by late February. Sedona will be in-between (distance and temperature wise).

Go for it ... just bring winter coats.
Bill_H is offline  
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