October in the Grand Canyon
Learn all about what it means to visit Grand Canyon National Park in October
October, the true beginning of autumn in the Grand Canyon, sees cooler temperatures and even possibly snow at the rims begin to appear. Amazingly, it can still be 100 degrees fahrenheit at the bottom of the Canyon in early October, or it can be 60. Crowds at the rims are thinner, but the backcountry (hiking, backpacking and rafting) is at its prime time because it’s the best month for those activities. Reservations at the rims are easier to get, but permits and Phantom Ranch reservations in the Canyon are extremely competitive.
Benefits of Visiting in October
The benefits of visiting in October are that the temperatures inside the Canyon are becoming perfect for hiking and backpacking, the summer crowds at the South Rim and the North Rim have thinned out significantly, the North Rim is still open (although technically it closes at the first serious snowfall after October 15, which most years is in November) to Rim to Rim hiking is at its best, and rafting is still great.
Drawbacks of Visiting in October
The main drawbacks with visiting Grand Canyon in October are that the rims are getting too cold at night for comfortable camping, especially in mid to late October; backpacking permits and Phantom Ranch reservations are extremely competitive because so many people want to hike in October; the North Rim could potentially close if an early storm hits Northern Arizona after October 15; and Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim closes on October 15.
Things to Do in October
October is especially great for backcountry activities – hiking, backpacking and rafting. It’s the last month of the year that you can raft the Colorado River on a guided trip. The Rim to Rim hike is at its peak popularity with ideal temperatures.
At the rims all tours are excellent in October – helicopter, airplane, bicycle, van tours, day hike tours, guided backpacking trips…etc. And indoor activities – museums (especially the Yavapai Geology Museum!), eating dinner at El Tovar, staying at Grand Canyon Lodge, explore the South Rim Village, are fantastic in October.
Hiking in October
October is the best month of the year for hiking and backpacking the Grand Canyon. All areas of the Canyon and types of hikes are fantastic – backpacking trips and day hikes in the Corridor (South Kaibab, North Kaibab, Bright Angel), backpacking trips and day hikes outside the Corridor (trails like Hermit, Grandview, Tanner and others), Rim to Rim hikes, hikes to Phantom Ranch…all of it!
Backpacking permits are difficult to secure in October as it’s very competitive. Day hiking in the Canyon does not require permits.
Weather in October
The average high at the South Rim in October is 65 degrees fahrenheit, and the average low is 33 degrees fahrenheit (high of 18 degrees celsius, low 1 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 in October is 3.
At Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon, the average high temperature in October is 83 degrees fahrenheit, and low of 58 degrees fahrenheit (28H/14L 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.