Grand Canyon in March is Magic: Beat the Crowds!

Visiting Grand Canyon in March when the crowds start to return!

Things to do in the Grand Canyon in March

One of the benefits of visiting the Grand Canyon in March is that there are far less crowds than in the summer but you need to be on the lookout for the crowds to start in late March for spring break. 

Grand canyon couple jumping for joy

Go on a serene journey to the Grand Canyon in March, a time when the majestic beauty of this natural wonder emerges from its winter slumber. As the early spring sun melts away the chill, explore the canyon’s awe-inspiring landscapes, now freed from the bustling crowds of summer.

This month offers a unique blend of tranquility and adventure, with comfortable temperatures and the chance to witness the vibrant contrast of snow-dusted peaks and blooming desert flora. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-time visitor, March at the Grand Canyon presents an unforgettable experience, where nature’s grandeur meets peaceful exploration.

March and April are two of the best months to visit the Grand Canyon.  You will have pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds than in the summer.  

Depending on when Easter is this will be a busy time at the Grand Canyon along with spring break.

Grand Canyon North Rim

Keep reading to check out these Grand Canyon in March reviews and what to do in the Grand Canyon in March.  This is everything you need to plan your Grand Canyon visit in March.

Thank you for supporting this website written by an American. This post may contain affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission on these links at no extra cost to you.

To visit any of the National Parks in the USA, I recommend buying a National Park Pass. The America the Beautiful Pass is valid for one year and costs $80. Plus 10% of sale proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.

Is the Grand Canyon open in March?

The Grand Canyon National Park remains open every day for year-round visitors.  

The South Rim is open year round and there are many beautiful Grand Canyon Lookout Points.  Grand Canyon South Rim in March is a pleasant time to visit the Grand Canyon.

During March in the Grand Canyon, the North Rim is closed, due to safety concerns from the snow.  The North Rim is open from May 15 – October 15.

How busy is the Grand Canyon in March?

March is a popular time at the Grand Canyon.  With spring break in late March and sometimes Easter falling in March as well it makes it a great time to visit the Grand Canyon.  

You will not have the same crowds as you would in summer but it is much busier than visiting the Grand Canyon in Winter.

The more popular South Rim remains open year-round but the North Rim does not open until May 15th.  You can read more about the South Rim vs the North Rim on my site.

Spring is a great time to visit the national park if you don’t want to be surrounded by too many tourists. The low tourist numbers also allow spring visitors to experience more of the tranquillity that the canyons have to offer.

Another benefit of going in the spring with less tourists is the fact that booking accommodation will be easy! 

I don’t recommend just showing up though because some places will be booked out but check out the list of the best accommodation in Tusayan below.

Grand Canyon in January

Is it a good time to visit Grand Canyon in Spring?

There is never a bad time to visit the Grand Canyon. 

In March, the weather will be warming up, the chance of snow will be less, you will be able to do more of the hiking trails, and the days will be getting longer.

Early March is quiet as the Grand Canyon is coming out of winter and into Spring.  In late March, the traffic is picking up with all of the spring breakers.

Winter in the Grand Canyon is a great time to visit with less crowds, clear skies and cooler weather.  I think the key to visiting in the winter is to have good shoes. You cannot just wear sneakers as the snow will melt and get in your shoes.  Waterproof shoes are a must!

Make sure to pack the following if you are planning to visit the Grand Canyon in March:

  • Waterproof shoes
  • Winter Jacket
  • Gloves, Hat, Scarf
  • Thermal Layer, sweater, sweatshirt
  • Shoes with a good grip

Does it snow in the Grand Canyon in March?

Yes, the Grand Canyon does see snowstorms during March.  Storms can close the roads and hiking trails unexpectedly. 

Grand Canyon in january

Storms in the Grand Canyon in March can dump several inches of snow.  The chances of a storm die down in the later part of the month.

The blankets of snow are contrasted with clear sunny skies and crisp air providing great conditions to get out and experience the beautiful views of the sweeping canyons and Grand Canyon with snow.

Is the Grand Canyon cold in March?

Yes, it can get cold in the Grand Canyon in March.  January and February are the coldest months and it is starting to get warmer in March.  During the day it is on average 55 degrees but at night it averages 18 degrees but it can get well below freezing.

Did you know that it is actually much warmer in the Canyon?  If you walk down into the Canyon or stay at Phantom Ranch, it averages 72 during the day.

Lipon Point Grand Canyon in February
A snow covered ledge overlooking the grand Canyon at Lipon Point.

Things to do at the Grand Canyon in the Spring

You can do all of the same activities in the Grand Canyon in spring that you can do during the warmer months. 

Yes, a few trails will be closed due to the icy conditions but as long as you check with the visitors center you will be able to enjoy visiting the Grand Canyon in spring.

1. Visit the Visitors Centre to find out the conditions.

Whenever I visit the Grand Canyon in March, my first stop is always the Visitor Center. Here, the friendly staff provide up-to-date information on trail conditions, weather forecasts, and any closures.

Insider tip: Ask about less-traveled paths for a more serene experience. During my last visit, they recommended a lesser-known trail that was absolutely breathtaking and surprisingly peaceful.

The Visitor Center is also a treasure trove of fascinating historical and geological facts about the Canyon, enriching your visit beyond the stunning views.

Arizona National Parks

Just a short 5-minute walk from the visitor center is the Mathers Point viewpoint.

This is often the number one choice for many visitors, particularly during the winter due to the close proximity to the carparks and the visitor center.

To get to the viewpoint does not require much effort nor is it time consuming, making it an easy spot to see the canyon if you don’t want to tread the wintery conditions.

2. Take a Shuttle if its snowy and you don’t want to drive.

On my last visit to the Grand Canyon in snowy March, I opted for the shuttle service, and it was a decision I didn’t regret. The shuttles are frequent, comfortable, and offer a stress-free way to explore, especially when the roads are covered in snow.

Each stop along the shuttle route offers its unique view of the Canyon, and you can hop on and off at your leisure. I particularly enjoyed the ride to Yaki Point, a spot not accessible by private vehicles during peak times.

The shuttle drivers often share tidbits about the Canyon, making the journey informative as well as scenic. For those unsure about driving in snow, the shuttle is a perfect solution, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the spectacular winter views the Grand Canyon has to offer.

Remember to check the shuttle schedule in advance, as times can vary depending on the season.

things to see at grand canyon south rim

During the route, the bus takes visitors to 5 major viewpoints offering the beautiful scenery of the canyons. These viewpoints include Mathers Point, Yavapai Geology Museum, South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki Point and Pipe Creek Vista.

3. Drive to Hopi Point, if not snowy and you want to drive

Driving to Hopi Point, especially in March, is an experience I fondly recall. The road leading there, Hermit’s Road, is accessible to private vehicles during the winter months, offering a more intimate journey.

Grand Canyon January

The drive itself is scenic, winding through the forest with occasional glimpses of the Canyon. Hopi Point, known for its expansive views of the Colorado River and the inner canyon, is breathtaking. It’s a popular spot for both sunrise and sunset, providing panoramic views that are simply unmatched.

The tranquility of March, with fewer tourists, makes this spot even more special. Just be mindful of the weather conditions; if it’s snowy, driving might be challenging, and the shuttle service is a safer alternative.

4. Take a Short hike in the Grand Canyon

Taking a short hike in the Grand Canyon in March offers a unique perspective of the park’s natural beauty. The trails in March are less crowded, providing a more intimate experience with nature.

Some trails might still have icy patches, so it’s wise to wear shoes with good grip and maybe carry some traction aids. The Rim Trail is a great option for a short, scenic hike, offering stunning views of the Canyon with minimal elevation change.

Always check with the visitor center for the latest trail conditions and safety tips before heading out.

Take a hike to Shoshone Point

Taking a hike to Shoshone Point in the Grand Canyon is an especially rewarding experience in March. This trail, less known to tourists, offers a peaceful and scenic hike.

It’s a relatively easy, 1.7-mile round trip walk, leading to one of the most breathtaking viewpoints in the park. The trailhead can be a bit hidden, adding to the sense of discovery. Once you reach Shoshone Point, you’re greeted with panoramic views of the canyon, often with fewer people around.

This hike is ideal for those seeking a quieter, more solitary experience with nature.

Take a hike to Ooh Aah Point

Grand Canyon January

Hiking to Ooh Aah Point along the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon is a must-try experience, especially in March when the trail is less crowded.

The hike is about 0.9 miles one way and offers stunning views of the canyon. While the trail is relatively short, it’s steep and can be challenging, especially on the way back up. The unique viewpoint at Ooh Aah Point provides an exceptional panorama of the canyon, making the effort absolutely worthwhile.

Remember to check the trail conditions at the visitor center before setting off, as March weather can be unpredictable.

Check out my post on the best hikes in the Grand Canyon

5. Drive the Hermits Rest Scenic Drive.

Driving the Hermits Rest Scenic Drive along the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is a remarkable experience, particularly in March when the road is open to private vehicles.

Hermit’s Rest Grand Canyon in March

This 7-mile route features several breathtaking viewpoints, including Hopi Point, Mohave Point, and Pima Point, each offering unique and stunning views of the canyon. The drive concludes at Hermits Rest, a historic landmark with additional scenic views.

It’s an excellent way for visitors to explore the less crowded areas of the canyon at their own pace.

6. Rim Trail – Visitors Centre to Village

The Rim Trail from the Visitor Center to the Grand Canyon Village is an accessible and enjoyable walk, perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of the canyon without undertaking a strenuous hike.

grand canyon best hikes

This 2.5-mile trail is mostly flat and paved, offering stunning views along the way. It’s an ideal choice for families, casual walkers, and those who prefer a leisurely pace to soak in the canyon’s grandeur.

With various viewpoints en route, each offering a unique perspective, it’s a must-do for any Grand Canyon visitor.

7. Tusayan Museum and Ruin

The Tusayan Museum and Ruin, located near the Grand Canyon, offers a fascinating glimpse into the area’s ancient past. Just a short drive from the South Rim, this site features the remains of an 800-year-old Puebloan village. The museum provides insightful exhibits about the people who once inhabited this region, enhancing visitors’ understanding of the canyon’s rich history and cultural significance. It’s a worthwhile visit for those interested in archaeology and the early inhabitants of the Grand Canyon area.

8. See the wildlife in the park

Seeing the wildlife in the Grand Canyon National Park is a unique experience, especially in March. The cooler temperatures make it a great time for wildlife to be more active during the day.

Grand Canyon January

Visitors often spot mule deer, rock squirrels, elk, and a variety of bird species, including the majestic ravens. The park’s diverse habitats support a rich array of wildlife, offering a fantastic opportunity for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Remember to observe from a safe distance and respect the natural environment of these wild animals.

9. Catch the Sunset at one of these points

Catching the sunset at the Grand Canyon is an unforgettable experience, with March offering clear skies and spectacular views.

Some of the best sunset points include Hopi Point, known for its wide vistas of the canyon and river. And then Yavapai Point, offering unobstructed views of the sun setting over the canyon’s horizon.

These spots provide panoramic views and are easily accessible, making them ideal for witnessing the stunning play of colors as the sun dips below the rim.

Remember to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, as these locations can be popular.

Check out my post on the Best Grand Canyon Viewpoints in the South Rim or the North Rim Look Out Points.

Where to stay near the Grand Canyon

Tusayan is the nearest city to the Grand Canyon.  The population city of Tusayan is only 550. The city is located along Highway 180 about 70 miles from Flagstaff.

You will find shops and restaurants there, the Grand Canyon IMAX, and the Grand Canyon Airport is about one mile south of town.

Another benefit of going in the winter with less tourists is the fact that booking accommodation will be easy!  I don’t recommend just showing up though because some places will be closed.

Canyon Plaza Premier Studio and Apartments

Views of the valleys and forest areas are featured in select Arizona apartments. Grand Canyon South Rim Entrance is 5 minutes’ drive.

Studios feature a kitchenette and apartments offer a fully equipped kitchen at Canyon Plaza Premier Studio and Apartments. A balcony is provided in each unit.

JJK’s Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Studio and Apartments Canyon Plaza Premier.

Check out Rates on Booking

Arizona Luxury Expeditions – Grand Canyon

Arizona Luxury Expeditions has tents where you can glamp overnight.  This is part of their ll inclusive and customized to include 12’x12′ Expedition Tents, all meals freshly prepared daily, and a professional Tour Guide for your stay with us.

The weather at the Grand Canyon during Dec. averages 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit daytime and 20’s degree at nighttime. They provide heaters for inside your sleeping and the private dining tents with plenty of warm heavy wool blankets.  Most guests enjoy this time of the year in the Grand Canyon because of less crowds of people and the winter landscape that is incredible to experience.

Check out Rates on Booking

Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn

Located right next to the Holiday Inn Express, the Best Western has 250 rooms.  The Best Western has an indoor heated pool, a hot tub, sauna, and fitness center.

There is also two restaurants in the hotel – Coronado Room and the Canyon Room.  If you are looking for fast food you can find the McDonalds and Pizza Hut are close.

Check out Rates on Booking

Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon

The Holiday Inn Express is located just two miles from the South Entrance of the Grand Canyon.  The Holiday Inn Express has 164 rooms and is located centrally in Tusayan which means you can walk to the restaurants and shops.

The Holiday Inn Express has an indoor pool, a whirlpool, and a continental breakfast is included.

Check out Rates on Booking

The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

The hotel offers 5-star accommodation with a hot tub.  All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a microwave, a coffee machine, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. Guest rooms include a wardrobe.

Featuring a restaurant, bar, shared lounge and free WiFi, The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon is located in Tusayan, 10 km from Mather Campground and 12 km from Bright Angel Trail. This 5-star hotel offers a concierge service and a tour desk. The hotel features an indoor pool, fitness centre, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk.

Check out Rates on Booking

Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel

Canyon Plaza Premier Studio and Apartments is a 3 star hotel located 6 miles from the Grand Canyon.

There are only 10 rooms here and each room has a microwave, a refrigerator, and a coffee maker.

There is one restaurant here called JJK’s restaurant.  Close to the hotel is the Plaza Bonita where you can also eat.

Check out Rates on Booking

Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting the Grand Canyon in March

  1. Q: Is the Grand Canyon crowded in March? A: March sees fewer crowds compared to summer, offering a more tranquil experience. However, it can get busier towards late March due to spring break.
  2. Q: What’s the weather like in the Grand Canyon in March? A: March weather is variable, with daytime temperatures averaging around 55°F. Mornings and evenings can be chilly, and there’s a possibility of snowstorms.
  3. Q: Are there any special events at the Grand Canyon in March? A: While there are no major events specific to March, it’s an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and sightseeing with fewer tourists.
  4. Q: What should I pack for a trip to the Grand Canyon in March? A: Pack layers including a winter jacket, gloves, and a hat. Waterproof and grippy shoes are recommended due to potential snow and icy trails.
  5. Q: Are all trails and facilities open in the Grand Canyon in March? A: Most South Rim facilities and trails are open, but the North Rim remains closed due to snow. Always check current conditions before planning hikes.

Conclusion – worth visiting the Grand Canyon in March?

The crisp cold weather, the blankets of snow across the canyons, the low

tourism, the foreign animals roaming about and the beautiful sunsets all make for winter to be a great time to visit the Grand Canyon.

Many parts of the Grand Canyon offer spots of tranquillity and serenity, however, when visiting in the winter these can be found more frequently and often in many of the most popular spots of the canyon.

Continue Reading More on my website about the Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon in December

Grand Canyon in January

Grand Canyon in February

Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Trails

Best Grand Canyon Viewpoint on the North Rim

15 Best Grand Canyon Viewpoints you won’t want to miss


Nicole LaBarge

Nicole is a travel expert who has been traveling to the American Southwest since 1992. There is so much to see and do in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California. I spend part of the year in Phoenix and travel around the area visiting all the best places and going on the best hikes. Check out my detailed destination guides, the best hiking in each state guides, and the travel gear you need for your next trip.

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