Grand Canyon Weddings: Month by Month Weather Guide

Grand Canyon weather rainbow and flowers

Planning a wedding at the Grand Canyon is a unique and unforgettable experience. We want to help you understand weather conditions as you pick the perfect time of year for your nuptials.

One common assumption is that the Grand Canyon weather is hot, sunny, and clear year-round. On the contrary, the weather at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon can produce winter wonderlands, dynamic thunderstorms, and fleeting cloud inversion.


Understanding Arizona’s Climates

We often get asked about how hot the Grand Canyon is in various months when planning weddings, but there’s a misconception about Arizona and the high desert ecosystem. Simply put, it’s not as hot as you might expect throughout the year. Here’s why.

Northern Arizona is on the Colorado Plateau, separated by the Mogollon Rim escarpment. South of that feature, the landscape drops elevation to the Sonoran Desert. North of I-40 is all Northern Arizona.  

The Grand Canyon South Rim sits at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, resulting in cooler temperatures with more precipitation than locations south of the Mogollon Rim. 


Elevation Examples

  • South Rim Wedding Sites: 6,800’ – 7,400’
  • Tusayan: 6,746’
  • Williams: 6,765’
  • Valle: 5,942’
  • Flagstaff: 7,000’
  • Sedona: 4,360’
  • Phoenix: 1,086’
  • Tucson: 2,389’
  • Las Vegas: 2,001’

In addition, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is in a climate and ecological zone different from places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. With a much higher elevation and more precipitation, it feels more like Denver than Phoenix. Humidity levels will stay low, which means minimal sweating compared to a place like Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

bride and groom in the sunset at grand canyon

Monthly Wedding Guide for Grand Canyon Weather

Understanding the seasonal variations is crucial for a successful Grand Canyon wedding. This month-by-month guide helps you understand what conditions might be like on the day of your big event. 

January

  • Average High: 41°F
  • Average Low: 18°F
  • Average Snowfall: 12.9”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 7:39am/5:35pm

Those dreaming of a white wedding should consider January, but that’s also a risky endeavor as it’s the snowiest month of the year. On average, at least a foot of snow falls at the South Rim over the month. Daytime highs average in the 40s, but lows dip into the teens. Temperatures have gotten as high as 70°F and as low as -29°.

Snow accumulation can make the road hazardous or even lead to temporary closures at the discretion of the park and the Arizona Department of Transportation. This risk generally runs through March.

The winter months also bring the potential for a rare but stunning site of cloud inversion. This happens when warm air trapped in the canyon absorbs moisture, forming clouds. 

Harun Mehmedinovic grand canyon wedding packages destination weddings USA
Cloud inversion at Grand Canyon National Park is one of the unique Grand Canyon weather possibilities in winter.

February

  • Average High: 45°F
  • Average Low: 21°F
  • Average Snowfall: 7.8”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 7:21am/6:04pm

If Valentine’s Day or February is on your preferred list of months for a Grand Canyon wedding, you should know it’s part of a three-way tie for the second-snowiest months. While an average of nearly eight inches falls, we saw years like in February 2019 when 40.8 inches fell with one snowstorm in Flagstaff. 

On the flip side, the warmest temperatures you’d see would be in the mid-50s. The freeze-thaw cycle from daytime highs above freezing and nighttime lows below freezing can lead to icy spots on walkways. 

January and February are the months that are the least visited at Grand Canyon National Park, with crowds up to 75% lower than the summer peak and 50% lower than in March. It’s one of the best times for solitude during a Grand Canyon wedding if you don’t mind winter weather. 

grand canyon wedding packages lipan point desert view watchtower

March

  • Average High: 51°F
  • Average Low: 25°F
  • Average Snowfall: 8.1”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 6:45am/6:32pm

*Arizona doesn’t adhere to Daylight Saving Time. Between November and March, the state is in the Pacific Time Zone. For the rest of the year, Arizona will be in the Mountain Time Zone.

March could almost be split into two months at the Grand Canyon, with the first half looking a lot like February. Later in March, temperatures can reach highs in the low to mid-70s. However, a warm spell is generally followed by a temperature drop. 

This is the time of year when you could get winter and spring over the course of just a day or two. The eight inches of snow that fall on average here tend to happen earlier in the month. By late March, windy days – from inconvenient to excessive – are more common. 

Grand Canyon weather rainy day

April

  • Average High: 60°F
  • Average Low: 32°F
  • Average Snowfall: 2.8”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 6:01am/6:58pm

April brings the windiest month and driest season at the Grand Canyon. Daytime highs can double nighttime lows, so plan for those drastic temperature shifts. The hottest temperature recorded since 2000 in April was 82°F. Lows can get into the teens and rarely into the single digits, with still a chance for snow. 

The average precipitation is 0.64”, and when we convert the precipitation to match the average snowfall, that leaves about .35” of rain in April. The dry season also means a greater risk of wildfires, which could impact air quality. 

The winds can kick up to near hurricane-force gusts at times, with sustained winds near 30-40 miles per hour. In April 2023, the highest wind gust was 59 miles per hour in the Grand Canyon and 62 in Flagstaff. 

Certain species of wildflowers start to bloom in April, like the desert phlox, lupine and sacred datura.

Clouds over Lipan Point

May

  • Average High: 70°F
  • Average Low: 39°F
  • Average Snowfall: 0.01”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 5:36am/7:24pm

The chasm of temperature swings lasts into May when highs can reach the 90s during the day or drop into the teens overnight. The daytime high usually comes around 3pm. May is also the second driest month, with an average rainfall of about 0.4”. However, a May snowstorm shouldn’t be ruled out. 

Tourism starts to peak in May at the Grand Canyon, with anywhere from 500,000 to 630,000 people visiting. The North Rim re-opens to traffic in mid-May, a sign that summer isn’t far behind. 

grand canyon wedding packages star wars elopement lipan point (10)
A “May the 4th Be With You” elopement at Lipan Point.

June

  • Average High: 81°F
  • Average Low: 47°F
  • Average Precipitation: 0.22” 
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 5:11am/7:44pm

June ranks as one of our top three months for Grand Canyon elopements or weddings, and that comes from years of experience. While the crowds will keep increasing, June will bring moderate temperatures, with the chance of snow being gone and the summer monsoons still a few weeks away. 

While the highs can get into the low 90s during June, the upper 80s are more typical, and the humidity is very low. That makes sunny, warm days beautiful without the concern of sweating and other humidity-inducing issues. June also brings Indian paintbrush blooms with stunning fire-red colors. 

Keep in mind that June is also the first month that the average high at the bottom of the canyon reaches triple digits at 101°F. Your wedding guests should know that due to the risks of hiking below the rim during the excessive heat. 

Grand Canyon weather wedding

July

  • Average High: 84°F
  • Average Low: 54°F
  • Average Precipitation: 2.33”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 5:20am/7:47pm

July is the hottest, wettest, and busiest month at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. While the monsoon season kicks off in mid-June, Northern Arizona sees the first storms usually the first week of July. 

The high-pressure ridge over Mexico that keeps rain out in June heads north, allowing moist Gulf air to move over the Southwest. The aforementioned Mogollon Ridge fuels the storms by forcing moist air up into clouds and eventually short-lived but potentially powerful thunderstorms.

Monsoon storms generally happen in the afternoon and dissipate by early evening but create dynamic views of lightning, rain shafts, and towering clouds during the life cycle. After the storms, the air cools and creates comfortable temperatures for nighttime activities.

Planning a Grand Canyon wedding in July can lead to astonishing views and photos but come with a certain risk. We prefer smaller wedding groups during July and August to react and adapt to changing weather conditions. We’ll have a safety plan in place for your wedding party. 

Grand canyon weather couple on a ledge looking at clouds with a rainbow dropping into the canyon

August

  • Average High: 82°F
  • Average Low: 53°F
  • Average Precipitation: 2.19”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 5:43am/7:23pm

August looks a lot like July at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Monsoonal activity is strong, with the second-wettest month of the year. While these storms are a normal part of life in Arizona, they can reach dangerous levels, as we saw in 2023 when floodwaters three feet high forced road closures in nearby Tusayan.

Lightning-sparked wildfires are still a risk, but you should know there are emergency plans laid out if they ever require an evacuation. Plus, teams of wildland firefighters are ready to help battle any fire that starts. 

Grand Canyon weather wedding storm clouds rain

September

  • Average High: 76°
  • Average Low: 47°
  • Average Precipitation: 1.5”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 6:07am/6:42pm

September is one of the top months we recommend for a Grand Canyon wedding. After the first week or so, the monsoon risk drops. Visitation drops about 10% compared to August. Temperatures at the South Rim are down from the summer highpoint with crisp evenings. 

If a rafting trip is part of your Grand Canyon wedding trip itinerary, this is the last month regular tours are scheduled on the Colorado River. Keep an ear open for the famous bugling call of elk in the rut. 

The fall also brings one of the safest times for prescribed burns around the rims due to the weather consistency. That leaves a small chance of haze or air quality issues. 

Grand Canyon weather

October

  • Average High: 65°F
  • Average Low: 36°F
  • Average Snowfall: 1.1”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 6:31am/5:58pm

October comes in as the last in our list of the top three weather months for a Grand Canyon wedding. The temperature rarely gets above 80°F, and the lows generally stay above freezing but can dip into the teens. 

The month starts with average highs near the 70°F but drops to the upper 50s by the end of the month. An early October cold snap shouldn’t be ruled out.

Across the canyon plateaus and Kaibab National Forest, fall foliage peaks in mid to late October. While the change is subtle, the superb weather encourages more exploring and romantic walks through the forests. The elk rut goes through the end of the month. 

If your Grand Canyon wedding plans include a visit to the North Rim, keep in mind that amenities close for the season on October 15. 

Fall Grand Canyon weather elopement Shoshone Point

November

  • Average High: 52°F
  • Average Low: 27°F
  • Average Snowfall: 2.2”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 7:00am/5:23pm

*Reminder: Arizona does not “fall back” for Daylight Saving Time.

The South Rim averages 58” of snow

The chill of late fall brings beautiful days and epic stargazing nights. Temperatures likely won’t get about 70°F at the South Rim, with lows into single digits at times. The average day at the South Rim will be in the 50s. 

By November, crowds are half the size of the summer peak. While the first snow of the year typically falls in November, generally, it’s a light dusting or a few inches that doesn’t impact operations as much as a storm in February might. 


December

  • Average High: 43°F
  • Average Low: 20°F
  • Average Snowfall: 8”
  • Sunrise/Sunset: 7:28am/5:14pm

Winter is in full swing at the Grand Canyon South Rim by December, with the return of mist or cloud inversion blocking views deep into the canyon. However, some of the most amazing wedding photographs can be taken when this phenomenon happens. Partial or full inversions happen every couple of years.

grand canyon wedding packages lipan point desert view watchtower

Understanding Microclimates

When planning a Grand Canyon Wedding, be sure your weather information is coming from the microclimate at the South Rim. Several weather stations through the National Weather Service are set up in the park. 

The stark contrast of elevations means different weather at the South Rim, the North Rim, which is 1,000 feet higher in elevation, and at the Colorado River level. In general, the temperatures change 5-6 degrees for every foot of elevation gained or lost. 

Since no weddings are allowed on the canyon bottom, the weather conditions at Phantom Ranch won’t be helpful during your wedding planning. Use Grand Canyon Village weather information. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages, Arizona Wedding Photographer, Flagstaff, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Pretty Please Photography

Plan Your Grand Canyon Elopement Today

Our team lives in Northern Arizona and has experienced the best and most challenging aspects of the weather. June, September, and October are the best months for a Grand Canyon wedding when you want the weather to be comfortable, clear, and calm. 

We take the stress out of wedding planning in any month. Contact us today to start planning your Grand Canyon wedding. 

Yes, You Need a Permit to Get Married at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Shoshone Point

Before you can start happily ever after with a Grand Cayon wedding or elopement, you’ll need to get the paperwork in order. Grand Canyon National Park requires a Special Use Permit for all ceremonies, no matter how small. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages helps with every step of the process, down to a final review of the application before you submit it. Let’s talk through the timeline and application process. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Rainbow
Before you can get married at one of the designated spots, like Shoshone Point, you’ll need a Grand Canyon wedding permit, also known as a Special Use Permit.

Grand Canyon National Park Wedding Ceremony Permit

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most helpful in the park system when it comes to getting married or eloping. Combined with our experience planning Grand Canyon weddings, the permit process is easy and efficient. 

The paperwork required for a Grand Canyon Wedding is called a Special Use Permit (SUP). Only the couple getting married can apply for a permit and sign it. That’s a park rule. Here’s the Special Use Permit Application for Grand Canyon weddings and elopements.

Application submissions are accepted up to a year in advance but not less than four weeks out. Our experience shows that the earlier you submit, the better chance you have since consideration are first-come, first-served. The National Park Service does not consider expedited requests. Contact us immediately if your wedding date is less than 45 days away. 

DID YOU KNOW?

A Special Use Permit is not required for a Grand Canyon proposal. We can help you find the perfect spot.

Grand Canyon proposal

Important Things to Know About Your Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Application

After you’ve determined your wedding date, it’s time to choose a location in Grand Canyon National Park. Several approved locations are available for consideration, and each spot offers incredible views but unique aspects.

We have an amazing Look Book of all spots to help you find the right one. We’ve helped with countless weddings at each location through every season. 

If you have your heart set on a particular location, it’s good to have a preferred date in mind as well as an alternate date.  If your date is set in stone, it’s good to have a preferred location and a backup in mind, just in case.

grand canyon wedding packages lipan point desert view watchtower
Grand Canyon wedding permits are issued throughout the year, offering several ideal locations for a winter Grand Canyon wedding.

Simple, Scenic Wedding Guidelines

Keep in mind that the preservation of the national park will be a top priority over decorations or other items that could impede or harm the surroundings during a Grand Canyon wedding. Floral displays are limited to small bouquets and boutonnieres to avoid bringing invasive species into the environment.

Other things to consider that won’t be allowed are chairs, tables, amplified music or sounds, signs, balloons, and arches. Plus, nothing can be thrown, like rice or flower petals.

All sites are within easy walking distance, with one requiring creative carpooling, which we have down to a science. 

Flowers for a Grand Canyon wedding
Small, simple floral bouquets are allowed per the conditions of a Grand Canyon wedding permit.

Submit the Application

We’re happy to review the application with you before you submit it to ensure every aspect is covered. Rejected applications can happen if the form is incomplete, requiring couples to start over again.

Once you’ve sent the application via email, a confirmation of receipt will be sent, prompting you to pay the proper permit fee. The cost is $240 for all sites except for Shoshone Point, which is $500. However, don’t send payment until the park office requests it. 

Once it is approved, the park service will send you the permit. You must read, sign, and return the permit to get the final okay. An authorized copy will be sent afterward.  

DID YOU KNOW?: The permit does NOT cover the entrance fee to Grand Canyon National Park for the guests but will cover it for the couple. 

Grand Canyon wedding permit Shoshone Point

Grand Canyon Wedding Packages for You

No matter how big or small you want the Grand Canyon elopement or wedding to be, our expert and friendly team takes the stress and worry out of the big day. Getting the Grand Canyon permit for your wedding is one big checkmark off the to-do list! 

EPIC Northern Arizona Adventures for a Grand Canyon Wedding

Shoshone Point Grand Canyon Wedding

Planning a Grand Canyon wedding comes with plenty of adventures to be found before and after the ceremony. Northern Arizona is bursting with unique places to visit, from the lap of high-desert luxury to some of the hardest hikes in the country. 

We put together this general overview to help you explore some of these options. Our team has spent years exploring this region and can help with excursions, tours, or just general guidance and insider tips. 

Throughout this list, we’ll highlight some of the regions and things to do within those areas of Northern Arizona, figuring in a wide variety of options for different ages and interests.

Wedding couple standing on a ledge of the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a stunning place for a wedding, but Northern Arizona is filled with many other beautiful adventures.

The Parts of the Grand Canyon

Our Grand Canyon wedding services include six of the best points on the South Rim, but it also helps to understand that not all of the Grand Canyon is Grand Canyon National Park. Let’s quickly breakdown the Arizona Grand Canyon regions.

Grand Canyon National Park

The national park includes entrances at the South Rim and North Rim. It is not feasible to travel between the two rims in a day. The two are about 200 miles apart, which will take about four hours to drive. 

At the same time, the North Rim only sees a fraction of the tourists that the South Rim does, and it stands 1,000 feet taller. If anyone in your group is considering a rim-to-rim hike during the week of your wedding, starting at the North Rim is ideal. 

Keep in mind that the North Rim services close from October 15 through May 15 due to winter weather. After December 1, the road to the North Rim closes to vehicles. 

Shoshone Point in Grand Canyon National Park
Shoshone Point in Grand Canyon National Park is one of the approved locations for a Grand Canyon wedding.

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

It’s important to note that Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is west of Grand Canyon National Park, covering almost as much space. The National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management co-manage this location, which is only accessible through St. George, Utah.

Named, in part, after the Parashant Gorge, this monument is vast, remote, and rugged, with four wilderness areas. No paved roads, amenities, or mobile service is found there. This is not a place to visit without extensive wilderness experience. 

Grand Canyon Parashant Arizona Adventures
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

Grand Canyon West

On the western side of the canyon, land owned by the Hualapai Tribe offers excursions on the river, hiking, helicopter rides, and ziplining. This is also where the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk is located, a curved walkway that juts out 70 feet over the rim.

It’s important to note that the drive to Grand Canyon West takes about four hours. Basic admission for the Skywalk and entrance costs about $70. 

THE ARIZONA STRIP: The area known as the Arizona Strip is the remote and rugged section of Arizona north of the Colorado River, served by various federal and state land management agencies.

picture of the Grand Canyon West skywalk
Grand Canyon West Skywalk is on tribal land 240 miles away from Grand Canyon National Park.

MORE: Weddings at Grand Canyon West vs. Grand Canyon National Park


National Forests

Two national forests in Northern Arizona offer more adventures in the wilderness. Kaibab National Forest is split into two parts, separated by Grand Canyon National Park. 

The area surrounding Flagstaff and Sedona is part of Coconino National Forest, with three districts covering nearly two million acres. 

Peak baggers should know the highest summit in Arizona is in Coconino National Forest. Humphreys Peak is 12,633 feet high. On the other hand, you can also head underground to the Lava River Cave, a former molten lava tube.

Kaibab National Forest Northern Arizona Adventures
Kanab Creek Wilderness in Kaibab National Forest.
(Courtesy: U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Kaibab National Forest)

The Painted Desert

Those looking for the Painted Desert of Arizona should look east/northeast. The best way to see it is by driving through Petrified Forest National Park. Keep in mind that the park is not open 24/7 to protect the precious resources inside that were too often subject to vandalism or theft. 

Petrified Forest is about three hours from the Grand Canyon South Rim on the way to New Mexico. A drive there takes you through the charming towns of Holbrook and “Standing On a Corner In” Winslow, Arizona. 

In between Flagstaff and Winslow, an out-of-this-world attraction takes guests to the edge of a mile-wide crater. Meteor Crater is more than 50,000 years old, and the Barringer Space Museum details how astronauts trained here to walk on the moon. Sunset Crater, just north of Flagstaff, is the volcanic kind that changed the landscape a thousand years ago. 

DID YOU KNOW? 2026 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Mother Road, Route 66, and a huge centennial celebration is being planned at locations along the way. 

Northern Arizona Adventures Painted Desert
The Northern Arizona Painted Desert is seen in Petrified Forest National Park. (Courtesy: NPS/Stuart Holmes)

Page, Arizona Things to Do

About two and a half hours northeast of the Grand Canyon, Page is surrounded by its own natural treasures near the Utah state line. The place might look familiar as several locations were used in blockbuster films.

The largest natural attraction near Page is Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a much easier way to enjoy the Colorado River than you find in the Grand Canyon. Horseshoe Bend, where the river curves into a horseshoe shape, is one of the top photo ops in Northern Arizona. Glen Canyon Dam is also a sight to behold.

Antelope Canyon stuns with swirling slot canyons and colorful combinations of desert rock. This amazing site is at Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, south of the river and lake just east of Page. Only guided tours are allowed in the slot canyons. Stargazing tours are also offered.

If you’re considering a visit to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, please note the distance and remote location. Plus, access is through the recreation area, but the monument is on tribal land. 

Those who want to explore the wilderness in more solitude can check out Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, which has colorful sandstone formations you can’t find in the Grand Canyon. Enter the lottery if you want to see The Wave, as only a limited number of people are allowed daily.

Reflection Canyon at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, one of the best things to do in Northern Arizona.
Reflection Canyon at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (NPS Photo)

Williams

About an hour south of Grand Canyon Village, Williams is a nostalgic trip back in time. As one of the stops on Route 66 before I-40 was extended, plenty of original Mother Road locations are preserved and open to explore. 

Williams is also where the Grand Canyon Railway starts, a scenic ride that started in 1901. 

Other places to consider in Williams include: 

Grand Canyon Railway Northern Arizona Adventures
We can help plan an excursion on the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff

Flagstaff sits around 7,000 feet above sea level and offers a robust four seasons of fun. Downtown Flagstaff mixes modern amenities with historical attractions and trendy nightlife. Plus, get your kicks on Route 66 locations in Flagstaff.

As the first International Dark Sky City, you’ll notice the steps taken to dim the bright lights of the big city. Get a close look at the stars from Lowell Observatory

Snowbowl sounds like it’s just for skiing, but get ready for year-round fun. Plus, the ski season in 2024 went into June! Summer includes sky rides to see the tallest peaks in the state.

Here are some of our other favorite stops in Flagstaff.

Humphreys Peak near Flagstaff, Arizona, under the night sky.
The highest point in Arizona is Humphreys Peak, just outside of Flagstaff. (Photo/U.S. Forest Service Coconino National Forest.)

Sedona 

Between Flagstaff and Phoenix, off winding roads, Sedona is a magical place waiting to be explored. It’s known as much for its natural beauty as its luxurious amenities and vortex energy centers. 

Sedona’s vibe is a unique blend of natural beauty, spiritual energy, artistic creativity, and a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, attracting those seeking outdoor adventures, healing experiences, and inspiration. 

WHAT IS A VORTEX? The Sedona vortices are believed to be powerful energy centers where the earth’s energy is said to enhance meditation, healing, and spiritual experiences.

The four vortex centers are: 

  1. Airport Mesa 
  2. Cathedral Rock
  3. Bell Rock
  4. Boynton Canyon

Another romantic and spiritual stop in Sedona is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Built into the red rock formations, this architectural marvel offers a serene place for reflection and panoramic views of Sedona’s landscape.

The Sedona Museum offers a great walk-through of time to see how a remote region became a sanctity of escape and relaxation.


Explore Outdoors

Surrounded by the beauty of red rocks, canyons, and challenging climbs, there’s a path for everyone in Sedona. Various tours are available, from jeeps to walking adventures. Explore on your own by renting a bike, off-road vehicle or ATV. 

  • Oak Creek Canyon: Often referred to as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon is a scenic gorge with lush vegetation, crystal-clear streams, and numerous trails. 
  • Slide Rock State Park: Located in Oak Creek Canyon, this state park is named for its natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. 
  • Red Rock State Park: A 286-acre nature preserve offering hiking trails, bird watching, and stunning views of Sedona’s red rock formations. 
  • Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park: A serene spiritual site featuring a 36-foot stupa, meditation areas, and scenic trails, inviting visitors for reflection and healing.
A couple relaxing on a hammock with Sedona mountain views in the distance, one of the best things to do in Northern Arizona.
(Courtesy: Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau)

Art Vibes

Whether you’re browning or buying, Sedona’s art collections could easily fill an entire day. Enjoy funky creations, fine art, or exquisite jewelry.

  • Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village: Designed to resemble a traditional Mexican village, this charming shopping area has galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
  • Sedona Arts Center: Rotating exhibits and monthly events showcase Sedona’s creativity.
  • Sedona Artist Market: Explore some of the unique and creative artworks, from paintings to pottery to jewelry.
  • Exposures Fine Art: A must-see for art lovers as this studio has won numerous awards, including one of the bets things to do in Sedona.

Spa Services

One of the best spa cities in Northern Arizona, and the Southwest for that matter, is Sedona. Some resorts have spas on-site, while day spas dot the city layout. When you need to relax, recenter, and recharge, there’s no place quite like Sedona.

Red Rock Ridges Sedona Bear Mountain Northern Arizona Adventures
The Red Rock Ridges near Sedona in Coconino National Forest is one of many outdoor places to explore in Coconino National Forest’s Red Rock Ranger District. (Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest)

Map of Northern Arizona Adventures


Adventures in Northern Arizona

While you’re in this part of the state, it makes sense to explore as much as you can. We can help plan tours, excursions, or hikes, and we even give guidance for the best sunrise and sunset spots or the best breakfast cafes.  

6 Best Grand Canyon National Park Wedding Locations

grand canyon wedding package lipan point

Few national parks are as accommodating as Grand Canyon National Park for weddings and elopements. While you can’t go wrong with any of the 6 top locations for a Grand Canyon wedding, each spot brings something special. 

To help you prepare for a wedding at the Grand Canyon, we want to share our insight after decades of planning events on the South Rim. Be sure to pair this with our Grand Canyon Month-by-Month Weather Wedding Guide to help find the right time of year and spot for your special day. 


Shoshone Point

Elevation: 7,300”

Special Use Permit Fee: $500

Shoshone Point brings a trifecta of wonderful wedding benefits. First, it’s a secluded spot that can be reserved for your Grand Canyon wedding party, no more than 30 minutes from Grand Canyon Village. While other sites have a two-hour time limit, the limit is six hours here. 

Second, the views are great from the picnic area or on Shoshone Point, which is also home to Shoshone Rock, a unique formation and photo op. Finally, it’s the only wedding site location at the rim that allows receptions. Up to 85 people are allowed, including all guests and staff.

The ramada, picnic area, and restroom facilities are at the end of a mile-long dirt road. Aside from the occasional hikers, this area offers privacy and space. The only things to consider are the fact that it’s only available from May 15 through October 15, and the vertigo-inducing point might be a bit overwhelming for some guests.

MORE: Shoshone Point Photo Gallery


Grandeur Point

Elevation: 7,050’

Special Use Permit Fee: $240

Grandeur Point is one of the closest approved wedding spots to Grand Canyon Village, with an easy walk on the paved Trail of Time. It shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to walk from the parking area. That also means restrooms are close by.

The site accommodates up to 45 people, with a bright rock outcropping and one of the most beautiful sunset views in the park. While the crowds will gather, this isn’t nearly as popular as other sunset viewing locations like Yavapai or Hopi Points. 

This spot would be especially important to couples with a love of Bright Angel Trail, as the overlook peers down to Jacob’s Ladder switchbacks, Havasupai Gardens, the Battleship, and Plateau Point. 


Rim Worship Site

Elevation: 6,800’

Special Use Permit Fee: $240

The Rim Worship Site comes with a stone altar used for park religious services, and it’s available for weddings with up to 50 people allowed. This location is closest to the lodging on the South Rim and rises straight up above the Bright Angel Trail’s first set of switchbacks. 

The Rim Trail is paved and level, with great views along the 15-30 minute walk from the collection of hotels nearby. All eyes will be on you as this is a more popular section of the Rim Trail. The Rim Worship Site pairs perfectly with the Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Elopement package.

  • bride and groom kissing on the rim of the grand canyon
  • bride and groom gazing into each others eyes
  • bride and groom walking down the rim path for their elopement
  • bride and groom eloped at rim worship site grand canyon
  • bride and groom sharing a kiss

Moran Point

Elevation: 7,000’

Special Use Permit Fee: $240

Near the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, Moran Point’s wedding site offers the best of the North and South Rims. Plus, solitude and spectacular colors evolve as the sun’s rays strike different angles on the Painted Desert. The ceremony spaces are away from the main lookout, offering more privacy.

A spectrum of geology unfolds arguably the most stunning look at the rock layers. Plus get a unique look into the dazzling Red Canyon, peeks of the Colorado River rapids, and a view of the Sinking Ship rock formation. Across the way, peer into Angels Window or spot Point Imperial, the highest spot on the North Rim (8,803’).

Accessing Moran Point required an 18-mile drive on Desert View Road, where a parking lot with more than 40 spots is right by the overlook. This location is especially dazzling at sunrise or sunset. It’s the least crowded of our top 6 Grand Canyon wedding locations.

Moran Point Wedding Grand Canyon
Moran Point is one of six Grand Canyon wedding locations that offer the best views.

Lipan Point

Elevation: 7,400’

Special Use Permit Fee: $240

The easternmost spot of approved Grand Canyon wedding locations has the best views looking west into the Canyon, with only the birds overhead getting a better look. 

The epic spot shows extensive curves of the Colorado River along the deepest gorges and a view of the whitewater rapids that make the river so mighty. The views extend nearly 360°. There’s a viewing platform, but there’s also a more intimate area available for wedding events away from the crowds. 

Lipan Point is also five minutes from the highest spot on the South Rim at the Desert View Watchtower, a historical tower standing 70 feet above the edge of the canyon. The impressive views are enhanced by special viewing tools that reduce sun glare and focus on the intricate layers of color on canyon walls.

Groups of up to 35 people are allowed at Lipan Point, but parking is limited, and it’s a 40-minute drive back to Grand Canyon Village. 

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Pima Point

Elevation: 6,500’

Special Use Permit Fee: $240

The westernmost approved wedding spots on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim can only be considered for a winter wedding, but what a wonderland site it would be. That seclusion pays off as it’s also one of the only South Rim spots where you can hear the roar of the Colorado River 4,000 feet below.

Hermit Road is only open to private vehicles during the shuttle off-season, which is December through February. However, it’s also one of the first roads to close when winter weather is approaching or a winter storm bears down. 

Views here showcase the Cataract Plains plateau and Granite Gorge, the oldest bedrock in Arizona. What a great foundation to start your new married life on! 

Grand Canyon Wedding Elopement

Map of Top 6 Locations for a Grand Canyon Wedding


List of Top 6 Locations for a Grand Canyon Wedding

  1. Shoshone Point
  2. Grandeur Point
  3. Rim Worship Site
  4. Moran Point
  5. Lipan Point
  6. Pima Point

Pin Grand Canyon Wedding Venues

Grand Canyon Wedding Venues Graphic
Grand Canyon Wedding Venues Graphic

Have You Picked a Favorite Grand Canyon Wedding Location? 

Just writing this article brought back so many memories of wonderful weddings we’ve helped plan at each location, and we can’t wait to start planning yours. Call or email us with any questions so we can find the perfect spot for your dream Grand Canyon wedding. 

Inside or Outside the Park? Grand Canyon Wedding Lodging

Watchtower Pool and Patio, Tusayan, Arizona, Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon

Planning a Grand Canyon destination wedding is exciting, and we can help you every step of the way. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best places to stay near the Grand Canyon for a wedding, ensuring your celebration is nothing short of spectacular.

Whether you want to stay in the park in one of the neighboring communities, we can help with any budget or amenities. Plus, we have some truly unique spots to show you in the high desert of Northern Arizona. 

Milky Way above a dome at Clear Sky Resorts, one of the Grand Canyon wedding lodging options
The Milky Way over a Sky Dome at Clear Sky Resorts Grand Canyon. (Photo Courtesy Clear Sky Resorts)

Grand Canyon Wedding Lodging Overview

With hundreds of lodging accommodations within 80 miles of Grand Canyon National Park, it helps to have an expert who not only knows the area but has also planned many weddings. 

One of the first questions we get asked about Grand Canyon Wedding lodging is, “How many nights should we stay?” We highly recommend staying at a Grand Canyon hotel for two nights – the night before and the night of your wedding. For those who can only stay one night, we suggest the night of the wedding instead of the night before. 

We can also use our experience with Grand Canyon weddings to find the perfect lodging, whether you want to have a romantic getaway for the couple and budget lodging for guests or want the whole group in one place. 

Our team also takes on the task of bargaining rates for larger groups, yet another way to avoid added stress on your to-do list. Let us know how many people you have in your group and how many rooms you need so that we can negotiate a tailored group rate. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Shoshone Point

The Top 5 Grand Canyon Wedding Lodging Locations

From inside the park to closer to the interstate, there are several wonderful communities to consider when you’re choosing the right place to stay for a Grand Canyon wedding. 

Inside Grand Canyon National Park

Our top Grand Canyon Wedding locations are on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is close to several wonderful lodging options. Grand Canyon Village is the heartbeat of the South Rim, with four lodges in a row. The El Tovar is considered the pinnacle of national park hotels nationwide. 

Two other lodges are close to the village but more removed for those who want a little more space.  

El Tovar atop the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
El Tovar is the pinnacle of National Park hotels in the USA. (NPS Photo by Michael Quinn)
Bright Angel Lodge with snow on the ground at Grand Canyon National Park
Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. (NPS Photo by Michael Quinn)

Tusayan

Tusayan is the closest community outside Grand Canyon National Park, just a few minutes from the south entrance. At the same time, guests are surrounded by the beauty of Kaibab National Forest. 

Enjoy local dining, shopping, and attractions that capture the spirit of the Southwest. Tusayan’s blend of comfort and proximity to the canyon ensures your wedding experience is both magical and hassle-free. 

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  • Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon (Tusayan, Grand Canyon) Grand Canyon Weddings
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Valle

Located about 30 miles south of the South Rim, Valle provides a quiet retreat away from the crowds. This scarcely developed area is home to two epic stargazing glamping sites, from luxurious tents to see-through domes. 

These luxury glamping sites come with all the amenities of a hotel – and then some – tucked under some of the most pristine skies in the United States. 

Tap photos to expand to full size


Williams

About an hour south of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is the nostalgic town of Williams. As one of the original Route 66 stops, Williams still brings the Mother Road heyday vibe. Plus, this is where guests board the Grand Canyon Railway. 

Lodging here runs the gamut from remote rentals, railcars converted into rooms, and historic inns. 

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Flagstaff

This is the largest community near the Grand Canyon and the closest to I-40. It is here that guests get the first glimpse of how different Northern Arizona is from the warmer desert portions of the state. 

While Flagstaff is at the intersection of countless things to do and places to see, it also offers impeccable overnight accommodation among the forest landscape at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Plus, it offers a scenic 75-mile drive to the Grand Canyon. 


Nearest Airports for a Grand Canyon Wedding

We recommend one of three airports, all offering year-round flights. Whether you prefer the closest airport or the one with the most flexible flight options, we put together this airport guide to help. 

Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG)

The regional airport offers flights through American Airlines to Phoenix or Dallas (DFW). 

For ground transportation, it’s important to note that Flagstaff is about 75 miles from the Grand Canyon. Groome Transportation offers daily shuttle service to Williams and the Grand Canyon. We find that most clients prefer to rent a vehicle at the airport, with six companies to choose from with 2/47 access to vehicles. 

Should you prefer private transportation by town car, limousine, shuttle, or charter bus, let us know, and we will arrange that for you. 


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

The closest international airport to the Grand Canyon is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, about 220 miles from the South Rim. Sky Harbor is an American Airlines hub, and Southwest and Frontier also have a strong presence. In total, two dozen airlines travel to and from the nation’s 12th busiest airport. 

Groome Transportation also offers a shuttle service from Phoenix. Call (928)350-8566 for questions about the shuttle and reservations. Private transportation like limos and charter buses can be arranged, but that gets expensive. 

Rental cars are the best option, and we find many of our clients prefer to take the 3-4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon at their own pace. Along the way, the drive includes exquisite views of the desert and a drive up the Mogollon Rim through several ecosystems. Between Phoenix and Flagstaff, the elevation increases by 6,000 feet. 


Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas (LAS)

Formerly known as McCarran International Airport, Harry Reid International Airport sees nearly 58 million passengers each year. Southwest Airlines is the dominant carrier at LAS, but the airport is also a hub for Allegiant Air, Frontier, JSX, and Spirit. In total, more than 30 airlines serve the airport between two terminals. 

While Las Vegas is 270 miles from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, along the way, you’ll see Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area before connecting to I-40. Then, the drive includes 150 miles of diverse landscapes, from the arid desert surroundings of Kingman to the pine forests near Flagstaff. This route is also on the famous Route 66 Mother Road. 

Between Las Vegas and Flagstaff, you’ll gain 3,600 feet in elevation. Rental cars are readily available at LAS, and planning for private transportation can be arranged, but the price is certainly not budget-friendly. 


Map of Grand Canyon Wedding Lodging & Airport Locations


What You Should Know About Grand Canyon Helicopter Wedding Packages

Helicopter companies that promise Grand Canyon Wedding Packages to the Grand Canyon aren’t always 100% transparent, and we want to let you know the facts. 

Grand Canyon National Park, where the South Rim is located, doesn’t allow helicopters to fly or land below the rim. Even the airspace above the national park is heavily regulated for safety and to protect park resources. Flights from Las Vegas to “land in the Grand Canyon” will be at Grand Canyon West, which is on Hualapai Tribal Nation Land. 

Helicopter tours also depart from the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan for fly-overs of the national park. We are happy to help you plan a helicopter trip if you’d like. 

Grand Canyon West Helicopter
Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon cannot land in Grand Canyon National Park and have restrictions on flying over the federally protected land. (Courtesy: Maverick Helictopers)

Plan Your Grand Canyon Wedding Today

Once you choose a home base for your Grand Canyon wedding accommodations, we can help you explore the options for add-ons, attractions, and adventures that await in Northern Arizona.

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