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What To Wear On A Trip To The Grand Canyon

Last Update on December 01, 2020
by Matthew Meier
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What should you wear on a trip to the Grand Canyon? Most visitors to the Grand Canyon will come from a dry desert climate, from Las Vegas, Phoenix, or such. 

While the Grand Canyon may be geographically close to these cities, climate-wise it is different. Start with an elevation over 7,000 feet (2133 meters), add in a thick forest at the rim, and count on quickly changing weather and you end up with confusion on what to wear.  

If you are getting ready for a trip to the Grand Canyon from your Las Vegas hotel and it is over 100 degrees out, it's easy to under-pack for your trip to the Grand Canyon.  Read on to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Las Vegas

The number one rule when choosing what to wear to the Grand Canyon is to dress in layers. Conditions can change quickly and you want to adapt to these changing conditions. The number two rule is to not underestimate how cold it can get at the Grand Canyon, even in summer.   

The best way to find out what you should prepare for on your Grand Canyon trip is to check the weather forecast.  Check what the daily high, daily low, wind speed, and forecasted precipitation are going to be for your time there.

What to Wear at the Grand Canyon
A Sunny Day At The Grand Canyon

This is the best way to choose what to wear on your trip to the Grand Canyon. But what about when you are at home and trying to figure out what to pack to make sure you bring the correct clothes with you? Use the following guide, broken down by season.

The following assumes you will not be hiking into the Grand Canyon.  If you are planning on hiking into the Grand Canyon, know that the weather inside the Canyon can differ greatly from at the rim.  Most notably, it will be a lot hotter inside the canyon during the summer than it would be on the rim. 

What to wear to the Grand Canyon in Spring

What To Wear Grand Canyon Spring
Snow in the Spring

The weather in the Spring can vary wildly, so you need to choose carefully what you are going to wear.  Your choice on March 25th will be a lot different from on June 15th. 

Earlier in the spring, in March and April, bring your full winter ensemble: Hats, gloves, winter jackets.  You may not need them, but your time could be ruined if you don’t have them.

Later in the spring, in May and early June, the weather can get hot during the day, however, if you are staying overnight, expect it to get cold.  Later in the spring, dress in layers with warmer layers worn over summer clothes like hats, shorts, and t-shirts.

A lot depends on the time of day you will visit the Grand Canyon, overnight, sunset, and sunrise visits will be a lot colder than daytime visits.

Related Reading: 5 Amazing Facts about the Grand Canyon (Will #1 Gross You Out?!)

What to wear to the Grand Canyon in Winter

What To Wear At The Grand Canyon Winter
Bundle Up in Winter!

If you don’t wear the correct clothes to the Grand Canyon in the winter, your visit could be ruined.

During the winter, we usually finish our portion of the Grand Canyon tour with a sunset over the canyon.  Every tour there are underdressed guests that skip the sunset and wait it out in the warmth of the tour van because they are just too cold.

So what should you wear? Every piece of warm clothing that you own: Hats, Gloves, long underwear, jackets, hand warmers.  For guests coming from warm climates like Singapore and Taiwan, this is a fun chance to dust off your new winter hats and jackets. 

One of the biggest issues with the weather at the Grand Canyon is the wind. A chilly day can become unbearable with a brisk wind. During the winter, early Spring, and late Fall, try to wear a windbreaker jacket, it will help protect you from the windy conditions that often are found at the Grand Canyon.

What to wear to the Grand Canyon in Summer.

What To Wear At The Grand Canyon Summer
Sunny Summer Day At The Grand Canyon

The summer can have some of the best weather at the Grand Canyon, but you still need to be prepared.

It can be hot during the day during the summer, but if you are going to be watching and sunrise or doing some stargazing at night, it can get cold. 

For trips during the day, you should wear your summer clothes: shorts, t-shirts, hats, and sunglasses.

For trips at night or early morning, wear some long pants and a sweater, hoodie, or light jacket. The summer can bring thunderstorms, so grab an umbrella as well.

What to wear to the Grand Canyon in the Fall

Fall Colors at the Grand Canyon

The fall can be the best time to visit the Grand Canyon, with September, and October being a great times to go.

In September you should prepare like it is summer with shorts and t-shirts, however in October it can start getting cold, and at the end of October through November you should wear pants and bring your winter gear with you.

The conditions can change quickly at the Grand Canyon and wearing the correct clothes can make or break your visit. Follow the above guide and dress in layers to give yourself the best chance of having a fantastic trip. 


Matthew Meier

World Traveler. Mandarin Speaker. Founder of MaxTour.
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