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Why You Should Visit the Grand Canyon in the Winter

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Snowfall on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park.
Snowfall on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park.

In the summer, visitors flock to the Grand Canyon, taking in the epic views of the vast chasm cut by the Colorado River. But taking a winter trip to the Grand Canyon welcomes a solitary experience that can only be found offseason. While the rim can be cold and snowy, the bottom of the canyon is surprisingly temperate.

Exploring northern Arizona’s forests. Photo by Dawn Kish.
Exploring northern Arizona’s forests. Photo by Dawn Kish.

If you are looking for a truly diverse experience with a balance of civilization and solitude, Debbie Hendricks, owner of Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company, recommends the Rim to Rim to Rim trip. The guided six-day backpacking journey can be customized to ensure a mostly solitary and absolutely stunning experience. The trip starts at the South Rim, dips into the canyon, works its way up to the North Rim and back again.

Rustic accommodations at the North Rim Yurt. Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park.
Rustic accommodations at the North Rim Yurt. Photo courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park.

The option to stay at the North Rim Yurt is great for those looking to take a break from sleeping outdoors and experience the magic of yurt life — communal dwelling in the light and warmth of a wood-burning stove. And because the North Rim is closed to vehicle access from December to May, it is the perfect destination for adventurers looking to feel the massive power of the canyon’s presence among the quiet company of just a few people.

— By Jordan Martindell

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