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What to Wear to the Grand Canyon? PLUS a Packing List!

| Updated Dec 20, 2023

Wondering what to wear to the Grand Canyon? Here's a packing list and other helpful info!

The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most impressive and awe-inspiring locations in the United States. Once you see it for yourself you'll understand why the Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

It can also make a great day trip, from places like Las Vegas. Or, it is an excellent RV road trip destination so that you can really take your time there to explore everything it has to offer.

You can check out the views from the North Rim, or day hike the Rim Trail. You can even take a daring helicopter tour to get a birds-eye view of the canyon from the sky!

However you take in the splendor, you don't want to be uncomfortable. So, I'm going to give you a packing list plus some helpful info for your trip.

Weather in the Grand Canyon

what to wear to the grand canyon - depends on the weather - man at the grand canyon in winter
What time of year will it be?

The weather at the Grand Canyon has a wide range. In the winter months, the temperature can dip below freezing and have snowy conditions. The hot days of the summer months can get over one hundred degrees.

If you plan to hike to the bottom of the canyon, the temperatures will become hotter. In the summer months, temperatures at the bottom can reach 120 degrees F along the Colorado River. However, temperatures can rise and fall quickly so you don't just want to pack shorts and a tank top.

There really is no best time to go since this wide range of weather can appeal to different people. You will, however, find the mildest temperatures with the least amount of rainfall between April and June. Many consider these the best months to visit the park.

Once school lets out in June, the park can become very busy. So, expect crowds from April through August.

Don't let warmer months fool you, though! You still want to come prepared with long pants, a tank top, a long-sleeved shirt, and sun protection!

Sound confusing? The following should help clarify…

What to Wear to Grand Canyon

what to wear to the grand canyon - dress in layers - a couple hiking
Dress in layers

When preparing what to wear to the Grand Canyon trip, you want to pack the right items so that you have a great time no matter the weather!

The key to safety in the park is to pack extra layers. The temperatures overnight and early morning hours can get dangerously low. Even if the daytime temperatures have hot weather.

You also want to be sure to wear sunscreen, even if the day has cloud cover. The Arizona sun is very strong!

What to Wear to the Grand Canyon Packing List

You will want to be sure to include the following in your bag:


  • Long pants
  • Long underwear (if going in the very cold months)
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Tank top
  • Shorts

Shoes & Socks:

  • Sturdy shoes (plus trail shoes or hiking boots for hiking)
  • Breathable socks
  • Warm socks for nighttime (like Merino wool)

Other Items:

  • Sun Hat (or knit hat for colder temperatures)
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip flops (or water shoes if hiking to any water)
  • Light jacket (or heavier for the very cold months)
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen

Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure

What to Wear to the Grand Canyon? PLUS a Packing List! 1
Your Adventure Awaits! New colors and designs are waiting for you.

Where Exactly is the Grand Canyon National Park Located?

The Grand Canyon lies mostly in the state of Arizona. Located in the arid desert, temperatures can vary greatly in a single day.

The Grand Canyon is a deep canyon that was formed over millions of years by the Colorado River. The walls of the canyon are made from layered bands of red-colored rock. You can literally see millions of years of geological history when looking over the canyon!

Visiting the Grand Canyon

what to wear to the grand canyon - map of the grand canyon
Where will you be exactly?

When visiting the Grand Canyon National Park, you will likely visit either the North Rim or the South Rim. There are viewpoints and trails with parking lots located throughout the park. But these two locations attract the most visitors.

All visitors centers will have a park ranger you can speak to.

South Rim

The South Rim is very popular because it is home to the Grand Canyon Village. This is where you can find some of the best views in the park as well as historic buildings. It is also home to most services that park visitors may find.

Not only are there many places to grab a bite, but you can visit one of the many visitor's centers. Or, grab some goodies from the gift shop to take back to family back home.

Stay at one of the park's popular hotels including the El Tovar Hotel, Bright angel Landing, Maswik Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Yavapai Lodge, and Tusayan Arizona.

If you want to camp, check out the Mather Campground near the Grand Canyon Village.

North Rim

What to Wear to the Grand Canyon? PLUS a Packing List! 2
The North Rim at sunrise.

The North Rim is a little less popular but is home to the Grand Canyon Lodge and a campground called the North Rim Campground. You can see beautiful views from 8,000 feet in elevation.

The North Rim offers full services (in normal years of course) from May 15 through October 15.

Other Popular Trails & Camping

The most popular trails in the park include Bright Angel Trail and (South) Rim Trail.

A popular campground that you might be interested in hiking to is Bright Angel Campground, located on the N. Kaibab Trail. The campground is located a half-mile north of the Colorado River. It sits on the banks of Bright Angel Creek, which is one tributary of the Colorado River.

Backcountry Permits

If you want to do off-the-grid hiking and packing, be sure to look into getting a backcountry permit. One popular back-country campground is the Indian Garden Campground.

If you're curious about our trip to the gorgeous Grand Canyon, check out The Grand Canyon… Truly Is.

7-Day Arizona Adventure Guide

Don't begin and end your trip at the Grand Canyon! There are so many beautiful sites to see and fun things to do in Arizona.

Be sure to check out our 7-Day Arizona Adventure Guide or save money and planning time by getting the whole bundle of ebooks (see below!).

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-12-20

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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