While everyone on the GCW team — from our office staff to our warehouse crew to your river guides — does their absolute best to ensure your trip of a lifetime goes off without a hitch, there are some things that are just beyond our control. The weather is one of these elements.
The Grand Canyon is HUGE from start to finish and top to bottom! It could be pouring rain at Lees Ferry and sunny and hot at Diamond Creek, some 225 river miles away. Or, snowing at the South Rim, and nearly 4,400 feet below, pleasantly warm on the river. This makes it tough to give a truly accurate forecast for a multi-day river trip.
To get the best idea of what weather you can expect check the report at Phantom Ranch within a week of your trip launch. This gauge is located at river-level about halfway through the canyon.
In general, you can expect our early and late season trips to be mild with a chance of a winter storm. This is great time of year to explore the hidden gems that are not accessible during the heat of summer. Be sure to review our early/late season packing information.
June is considered our sunniest and can feel like the hottest part of the season. The high temperatures pair well with the crisp Colorado River. The main river is ALWAYS cold — about 50 degrees Fahrenheit — and you WILL be getting wet on Grand Canyon whitewater raft trips.
Here are some tips on how to stay cool under the Arizona sun:
- Cover Up. It might seem counter intuitive, but bring long-sleeved shirts, socks and pants. And don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat! Your clothes will be your first layer of protection between you and the sun.
- Stay Wet. Soak Everything — yourself, your clothes, your hair, your hat, your bandana or sarong in that cold river water!
- Keep Away From The Rocks. Don’t set up your campsite next to that really cool-looking rock wall. Rocks retain heat; that rock wall will act like a space heater all night long. Instead, set up your camp (forgo the tent altogether; they turn into furnaces on hot nights) as close to the river as possible. You might get a refreshing breeze coming off the water.
The monsoon season is a period between about mid-July through August where we encounter spectacular rainstorms with lots of electrical activity. Given that we don’t see rain or storms often in this state, we would venture to say most Arizonans love witnessing the natural events of the season. It is exciting and really beautiful. Typically, mornings will be fairly clear and clouds will roll into the Canyon in the afternoon. You might get some showers in the late afternoon, and they often roll out again at night, so make sure to pack your rain gear!
April May June July August September October
Avg. high 82 92 101 106 103 97 84
Avg. low 56 63 72 78 75 69 58