This was my coldest trip except for ski days. The Grand Canyon looks totally different in Winter and that’s why I decided the article name ” Explore the beauty of Grand Canyon in Winter “.
It has been assumed that the Grand Canyon is formed by the erosion of Colorado river water and wind. The Grand Canyon can be explored from two sides south rim and north rim. The South rim of the Grand Canyon stays open all year around. The North rim part remains close is winter.
The Grand Canyon trip was a magical adventure for us. Before we plan our trip to the west, we checked the weather forecast and it was fine. Hence, we were not worried that much as in Midwest weather was not great and we had face back to back two snow storm already. Everything was great until we get there. The Arctic air brought changes in the weather and the day we woke up, we saw snow on the ground and windshield of the car. The weather transformed from sunny to foggy, windy and cloudy. Although We got ready with good hope and 3 layers of clothes to stay warm.We directly went to the visitor center to know about the status of roads and what points we can visit in this conditions. As the snow was over but the cold wind was still there.
How to reach Grand Canyon?
- You can take a flight to any of two airports McCarran International Airport Las Vegas and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Once you reach the airport get a rental car and head to your destination.
- Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is the small commercial airport but it doesn’t offer that much flights.
- Grand Canyon national park has airport facility but just for private or charters only.
- If you are living in California, Utah, Nevada, or colorado try to have a road trip. It will be so much fun.
- We took a flight to McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas and rent a car from Airport.
Where to stay?
- In Grand Canyon Village, they have set up a small town where you can get all the lodging, restaurant and camping facilities.
- However, there are other lodging facilities in Tusayan town, which is around 5-7 miles from Grand Canyon Village.
- We stayed in Tusayan town, It has a gas station, restaurants, and a gift shop as well. The major reason was it’s close by the park so hardly 10-15 mins drive and we can reach to the visitor center.
- There are other towns named Williams, Flagstaff, and Cameron, where you can find lodging services. It’s more than 50 miles drive from all these towns to the park.
Explore the beauty of Grand Canyon in Winter
We have visited Grand Canyon in Christmas week. Before we planned for the trip weather was good but when we reached to Tusayan town it was so windy and there was a prediction for snow at night. So when we woke up in morning we saw snow on the ground. It was a cold, cloudy and foggy day. We were worried as it was foggy visibility was too low to see anything, so we decided to stop by the visitor center and ask about the road conditions and grab a map. In winter months Hermit Road route and Tusayan park & ride shuttle don’t operate, so you have to take your car to explore those routes. And if there is bad weather condition then they close the Hermit road route.
After getting the map we decided to start with Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route) and head to out first stop “Mather Point”. Generally, Mather point is best nearby spot from the visitor center to view Grand canyon. You can also walk to this point. But guess what? the weather has nearly zero visibility, we barely saw a small cliff rock. You can see the fog in the picture posted below.
Hence instead of going to Yavapai point, we decided to head back to the visitor center and explore Grand canyon village. So we drive to the Grand Canyon village. There is plenty of parking in the village otherwise, you can take the shuttle if you want to walk around. The El Tovar hotel and Bright Angel lodge are the oldest lodging services in the Village. The Market plaza has shops and gas service which full fill your basic needs. Even Maswik Lodge has plenty of food options and gift shop.
Besides shopping and dining, you can also explore train depot of the village, which is a major attraction. The Hopi House is a historic landmark, which offers native Indian art & crafts. I saw some of the unique crafts, which are amazing and you don’t get to see anywhere else. There are other gift shops at Hermit’s rest, Lookout studio and Kolb studio.
Hence by the time we finish our lunch and explore the Village finally fog was started to clearing out and people rushed to the south rim trail and enjoying the view. We immediately head to the Hermit road because it’s most scenic route in Grand Canyon National Park and stop by to Maricopa point, Hopi point, Mohave point, and Pima point. It gives a breathtaking view of Grand canyon and Colorado river.
This was the best view I can ever imagine. All viewpoints on Hermit road hs small parking space. The Hermit road will allow cars only in winter. Rest of the time you have to take the shuttle bus in order to explore Hermit Road. The last point on Hermit road is Hermit’s rest. It’s nice and cozy place which offers hot & cold beverages, gift shop and nice fire place.
After exploring Hermit road we went to Yavapai point as it is accessible by car and on the way to a visitor center. It also has Geological Museum but we didn’t get the chance to visit it as we were running out of time. In winter early sunset will leave you less time to explore, so finish outdoor activities first.
After enjoying the view of Yavapai, we head back to visitor center. Instead of waiting for the shuttle bus, we walked to the Mather point. It’s just behind the bus parking and around 10-15 mins walk. The Mather point is nearest, easy to access and view is also stunning.
Check out my Instagram for more pictures of Grand canyon.