March in the Grand Canyon
Learn all about what it means to visit Grand Canyon National Park in March
March, the Spring Break month, is a popular time to visit the Grand Canyon. Early March tends to be quiet as activity at the Canyon picks up throughout the month, peaking toward the end of the month as Spring Break visitors head to the Park. The shoulder season months (March, April, May, September, October, and November) are the best months for backpacking trips, and March is excellent for hiking in general. Rafting tours begin in March but are the chilliest this month. March can still have winter storms, but the temperatures can just as easily be sunny and cool at the rim, with warmer, lovely weather inside the Canyon.
Benefits of Visiting in March
The biggest benefits of visiting Grand Canyon in March are the overall fantastic temperatures inside the Canyon, the thin crowds in the first half of the month, the start of the rafting season, tapering winter weather at the South Rim, and excellent backpacking. While the rim can still be chilly as winter winds down, it will be less so than January and February, and inside the Canyon the temperatures are most often in the ideal range for hiking.
Drawbacks of Visiting in March
The biggest drawbacks of visiting in March are the lingering possibility of winter storms that could close roads and make hiking more difficult, and in the second half of the month Spring Break crowds can make the South Rim quite busy, although not as much as summer months. If you go in the first half of the month, the odds of a significant winter storm are more possible, but you’ll be avoiding the crowds. If you go in the second half the odds of a winter storm are less, but you’ll visit at a busier time. Also the North Rim is closed in March, so the South Rim is the only park of the Park you can visit.
Things to Do in March
March is one of the best months of the year for hiking and backpacking the Grand Canyon, so that’s the number one recommended thing to do if you visit this month. Backcountry camping permits are required for backpacking, and you’ll want hiking crampons for hiking or backpacking (permits and crampons are included on guided tours.) All other tours, including rafting, are also recommended in March: helicopter tours, fixed wing tours, sightseeing tours, Colorado River rafting tours, and bicycle tours.
Hiking or doing the mule ride to Phantom Ranch is excellent in March if you can get reservations (very competitive).
Hiking in March
As we’ve emphasized above, March is an excellent month for hiking the Canyon, and that includes day hikes, backpacking trips, and hikes to Phantom Ranch. Backpacking permits are easier to get in the first half of March than the second half (permits aren’t required for day hiking.) We recommend having hiking crampons with you in March, and those are included on guided tours. As long as you have crampons, there are no trails we recommend avoiding in March, although the North Rim is closed so the South Rim Trails (Hermit, Bright Angel, South Kaibab, Grandview, New Hance, Tanner) are the best options.
Weather in March
The average high at the South Rim in March is 55 degrees fahrenheit, and the average low is 22 degrees fahrenheit (high of 13 degrees celsius, low -6 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 March is 6.
At Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon, the average high temperature in March is 72 degrees fahrenheit, and low of 47 degrees fahrenheit (22H/8L 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.