February in the Grand Canyon
Learn all about what it means to visit Grand Canyon National Park in February
January and February are the two quietest months in Grand Canyon National Park. February is the calm before the Spring Break storm in many ways, as the winter temperatures and impending spring travel have many national park tourists grounded in their home cities. Which means it’s a great time to visit the Canyon! Winter storms are certainly a possibility, but also possible is a chance to have the Canyon mostly to yourself with perfect hiking temperatures.
Benefits of Visiting in February
The biggest benefit with February is without a doubt the lack of crowds. Visitation peaks over the summer months, and the trough is in January and February. What this means is you don’t have to wait in lines for shuttles; backpacking permits and hotel reservations are much easier to get; hiking trails are quiet; and tours are available and some have off-season discounts. Also, the photography and views in winter can be stunning with the top half of the Canyon dusted in white powder.
Drawbacks of Visiting in February
The most significant drawback with visiting in February is the possibility of a winter storm. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is at an elevation of 7,000 feet which is far higher, and cooler, than the desert environment one thinks about when they think of the Canyon. Winter storms can drop feet of snow on the rims, making getting around cumbersome, even shutting down roads. After a winter storm the hiking trails can be icy for weeks, requiring the use of hiking crampons. One final drawback of winter is that the North Rim is closed from early November through mid May.
Things to Do in February
The best way to enjoy the Canyon in February is to take full advantage of the cooler temperatures on a hike down the South Kaibab Trail or Bright Angel Trail (hiking crampons recommended, and hiking tours include them.) Helicopter tours, bike rides if the roads are clear, and visiting all the best viewpoints along Desert View Drive are all excellent options. Also, walking the rim trail west of Bright Angel Trailhead is a fantastic way to soak up the views without having to hike into the Canyon, and because Hermit Road is closed to most traffic it’s a quiet, peaceful experience.
Recommended: Phantom Ranch Hike
We highly recommend hiking to Phantom Ranch in February for multiple reasons. First, you’ll have the most popular and scenic backcountry area in Grand Canyon much to yourself. Phantom Ranch is a short walk from the shores of the Colorado River and can be accessed via the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails which make for an amazing loop hike. Second, the temperatures for hiking are wonderful in the inner canyon. December is one of the best months of the year for hiking temperatures inside the Grand Canyon. Third, it can get chilly at night, and the Phantom Ranch cabins are heated. Fourth, Phantom Ranch reservations are easier to secure in the winter, and all-inclusive guided tours are also available.
Hiking in February
Hiking in February is going to be cold and possibly windy at the top of the trails and get warmer the farther down you go, on sunny days becoming perfect for hiking. The trail is often icy and snow-covered at the beginning, requiring Microspike crampons, which are included on hiking tours. We strongly recommend hiking either South Kaibab Trail or Bright Angel Trail, and staying off the other trails like Grandview and Tanner due to steep, icy conditions. If you’d like to do some hiking but don’t want to hike into the Canyon, heading west from Bright Angel Trail on the Rim Trail is a fantastic way to see the Grand Canyon on an easy walk, which is paved and mostly flat.
Backpacking trips in February can be fantastic because much of the hiking is at or near the bottom of the Canyon where temperatures are great for hiking. Snow storms inside the Canyon come in the form of rain, so be prepared with rain gear and a good tent.
Weather in February
The average high at the South Rim in February is 48 degrees fahrenheit, and the average low is 18 degrees fahrenheit (high of 9 degrees celsius, low -8 degrees celsius.) However, these temperatures are much warmer inside the Canyon (by 10-20 degrees, but feels even warmer in the sun.) Average days of rain/snow in February is 5.
At Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon, the average high temperature in February is 64 degrees fahrenheit, and low of 42 degrees fahrenheit (18H/6L degrees celsius.)
Join a Guided Hiking Adventure
Grand Canyon National Park is home to some of the most unique and spectacular hiking vacations in the world. Wildland Trekking offers trips with stunning views, geologic history, and incredible hiking and backpacking for visitors who want to have an active, adventurous experience.
Guided Grand Canyon treks include permits, local transportation (excluded on certain tours), meals, gear, risk management systems and professional guides, allowing guests to make the most of their visit to the Canyon, focus 100% on enjoying their experience, and do it all with an increased level of safety and comfort.
GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE TOURS
- GUIDED BACKPACKING ADVENTURES: these are for people interested in an authentic adventure deep in the Canyon’s wilderness.
- HORSE-ASSISTED TRIP: on this trip to the bottom of the Canyon, guests hike with light day packs and camp near the Colorado River.
- PHANTOM RANCH TOURS: this tour (limited dates) goes to the bottom of the Canyon where we sleep 1 or 2 nights in the Phantom Ranch Lodge 5 minutes from the Colorado River. Showers, A/C, heat…etc.
- ALL-INCLUSIVE HIKING PACKAGES: inn-based and camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of the Grand Canyon.
- DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day at Grand Canyon on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour on one of the Park’s best trails.