Disclosure: Hotels.com asked me to share my ideas on this guide to visiting the Grand Canyon in October.
If you do decide to travel at this time, we suggest that you take the following precautions: wear a face mask; bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis; check official websites for the latest updates; and book a hotel with free cancellation in case your plans need to change.
We found visiting the Grand Canyon in October was the perfect time to head to this bucket list travel item, less crowded than the peak summer season but with still plenty of things to do. The weather in the Grand Canyon in October was near perfect fo hiking Grand Canyon in October, neither too hot nor too cold. Even though we booked a last minute trip, we were still able to get family accommodation inside the national park and make it to both a sunrise and a sunset that was as spectacular as everyone says. Here is all you need to know about the Grand Canyon in October.
We had previously seen the Grand Canyon in Yellowstone but seeing the Grand Canyon it was named after was a real treat.
Where To Stay in the Grand Canyon
You will have plenty of choices on accommodation options for a visit to the Grand Canyon, both inside the national park and outside, either privately-run or NPS-operated, and running the gamut from luxury hotels to camping.
There are various options for where to stay in the Grand Canyon or even where to stay near the Grand Canyon. On our trip, we did both staying at the Grand Canyon Village and nearby at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.
Why? It’s not necessary but we had differing reasons.
We are not morning people and if you want to see the sunrise, it’s best to stay in the Grand Canyon. You can tumble out of bed and get to a viewing point in 15 minutes.
On the other hand, we liked the style of the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, a grand luxury hotel and thought it would be a fun way for the children to experience getting to the Grand Canyon in days of old.
Where To Stay At The Grand Canyon
The various rims of the canyon offer varying degrees of accessibility and remoteness.
The South Rim Grand Canyon Village offers lodging all year round and is the easiest option for first-time visitors. We also loved the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim but that fills up fast so you need to book early.
On the North Rim, which is more difficult to access, you can enjoy accommodation at the Grand Canyon Lodge from mid-May to mid-October.
Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon is the most coveted accommodation of all but reservations can only be made through an online lottery. My son’s dream is to go back-country camping in Grand Canyon but I’ve told him that I’ll be staying at the Phantom Ranch!
Where to Stay Near Grand Canyon
There are also towns close to the various points where you can stay at B&Bs or hotels. Tusayan is a short drive from the south rim and Kingman is located on Route 66.
If you are looking for where to stay near the Grand Canyon, consider Williams Arizona. We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams one night and took the train into the Grand Canyon. Our children loved the experience because at one point our train got “hijacked” by cowboys from the Old West.
Weather in Grand Canyon in October
Grand Canyon in Fall has great weather for an active holiday. It is also important to remember that temperatures on the rim might seem cool, but once you reach the canyon bottom they rise significantly as the heat gets trapped. If you decide hiking Grand Canyon in October is in the cards for you, cooler temperatures might benefit you, as it can get sweltering when the sun starts to beat down.
Grand Canyon October weather means you can expect highs of around 65 degrees and lows around 33 degrees. Desert nights are notoriously cold so make sure to understand what to pack for these extremes. Inside the canyon, however, it can be 10 to 20 degrees warmer than outside. Temperate weather between 60 and 85 degrees is measured at areas around Phantom Ranch.
At the beginning of the month, there are still a few chances of thunderstorms but by mid-October the weather becomes perfect. Unfortunately, the northern-rim closes from 15 October so you have a short window of opportunity if you want to go north.
Things To Do in the Grand Canyon
There are plenty of things to do in the Grand Canyon in October for outdoor activity enthusiasts.
Hiking Grand Canyon in October
There are a ton of hiking options around the Grand Canyon.
Beginners can join hiking groups or you can go at it solo. You can also hike along the rim to experience fantastic views over the canyon that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
To see the canyon from another angle is equally invigorating so look into the canyon hikes that take you down to the basin. From here you can walk along the river, stay overnight, or do day trips.
Camping Grand Canyon October
There are three national park campgrounds with vehicle access around the Grand Canyon. Mather Campground on the South Rim is open year-round but North Rim Campground is only open from the end of May to the end of October.
Desert View Campground is only open until mid-October and advanced reservations are required at all three. Backcountry hiking permits can be obtained from the park which will allow you to stay overnight in the canyon Basin.
Camping is super popular in the Grand Canyon – you will need to book and/or apply for permits very early.
Grand Canyon Rafting October
Grand Canyon Rafting is an exhilarating and unique way to experience the national park.
The Colorado River Management Plan regulates the water levels and through the summer more water is released, making the rapids extra adrenaline-filled.
By October the water flows at a slower pace but there are still bursts of water released, still ensuring you have a fantastic time on the rapids.
Sunset Grand Canyon October
Sunset is when the canyon truly comes alive. The bursts of vivid colors frame the dancing shadows of the rock formations as you try to take in millions of years’ worth of history, coming together before your eyes.
Hopi Point, Yaki, and Yavapai in the south are three of the best spots to see this natural phenomenon. Cape Royal in the North and Horseshoe Bend in the East are equally magnificent and grand.
Sunrise Grand Canyon October
Sunrise over the canyon is something verging on the divine. The colors, the tranquility, and vast expanses consolidate into one awe-inspiring experience.
Mathers Point is one of the most popular spots to view the sunrise. If you find Mathers Point too busy, consider Yavapai Point for a less crowded experience.
During October you get around 12 hours of daytime, so making it in time for sunrise is much easier than in May.
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