What is the best time of year to go on a Colorado River rafting trip in Grand Canyon?
Grand Canyon rafting trips run from April to October and honestly, any time is a good time to go rafting! There are a few factors that fluctuate throughout the season that may sway you in one direction over another. Keep in mind that trips tend to book well in advance, so flexibility in your schedule can be valuable.
Milder weather is expected in April/May and September/October. These shoulder season trips offer added opportunities for longer and tougher side hikes. However, there’s a chance for unexpected brisk temps. We suggest additional warm layers when packing for these trips.
If you’re hoping to book a trip in the peak summer months, there are some things you should know. Clear skies and high temps make for a nice contrast to the 50-degree Colorado River. We have some tips and tricks on how to keep on cool on a river trip when temperatures soar.
Not all mid-season trips follow the dry and hot Arizona reputation. The desert often experiences a dramatic monsoon in July and August. You may witness sudden showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoons. Typically, the storm builds throughout the day and creates quite a show for about an hour. The cloud coverage and rain are typically well received by our guides and guests as an alternative to the intense Arizona sun.
We’re often asked about the water levels of the Colorado River and how it relates to the time of year. Because the river is controlled by the Glen Canyon Dam, water levels remain pretty consistent throughout the season.
Even with a regular monsoon, Arizona typically has very low humidity and dry heat. Check out the current temperature at river level at the Phantom Ranch weather station.