Visiting Grand Canyon National Park in Winter

At the mile-deep Grand Canyon, it’s not uncommon to start in down parkas at the South Rim (7,000 feet) and, two hours later, meet hikers in shorts and tank tops. Indeed, temperatures can be 20 degrees warmer on the shores of the Colorado River. The warmest winter corridor to the bottom is the route from Bright Angel to South Kaibab.  Hike down the steeper 7-mile Kaibab Trail and then loop back on the far gentler 9.5-mile Bright Angel Trail. You’ll find that the canyon’s colors look even more dramatic as winter’s sun casts long shadows. All campgrounds on the South Rim stay open year-round while the much colder and snowier North Rim (1,000 feet higher than the South Rim) requires a backcountry use permit and is inaccessible to cars.