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!