Grand Canyon Packing List (Spring): March, April & May

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Here is a guide to help you know what to add to your Grand Canyon packing list. This post has information about clothing you need for the trip, other items to pack and what to bring with you if you want to camp out at the canyon. Firstly, remember that the while the South Rim is open all year, the North Rim (at time of writing) only opens late spring. So if you had your heart set on the North Rim, you may want to adjust your plans. 

If you are planning on visiting one of the most amazing places on earth – the Grand Canyon, you would be spoilt for choice. It’s the largest natural wonder in North America and its one of those attractions that is known all over the world. With its incredible views, vast scenery and impressive geography, the Grand Canyon is a must see.

You have two main choices for visiting the canyon – a day trip or a multiple day trip. This Grand Canyon packing list is aimed at a 2 day trip but could easily be used for a day trip or a 3 day stay. Just add or minus a day’s outfit as per your timeframe. It can be tricky to know what to pack for such a hike and honestly it depends on the hikes you’re doing.

Keep reading and I’ll show you what to pack for the Grand Canyon based on your plan.

 

When to Visit the Grand Canyon: Weather and Seasons

What to pack in Spring in the Grand Canyon (March, April, May): As temperatures start to warm up you’ll be looking at around 50-75F / 10-23C. You’ll still want to bring a jacket, preferably waterproof, to stay warm on colder days. Stay warm but don’t overheat yourself especially if doing a lot of walking. Layers would work really well here, so you can take something off as the day heats up. Go for insulation rather than heaviness as you don’t want to have to lug a heavy jacket around after you warm up.

What to pack in Summer in the Grand Canyon (June, July, August): Summer time in the Grand Canyon is not too bad temperature wise, with figures in the mid 70-80’s F/ 25-34 C, and up to 100F / 38C in the canyon. Shorts and a tank, tee or sports bra /active wear crop will serve you well in summer, but don’t forget your sunscreen. Pack a lightweight rain jacket though and check the weather reports before you hike as storms do happen during these months.

What to pack in Fall for the Grand Canyon (September, October, November): As temperatures drop to late 50’s to high 60’s F (14-22) in fall, its a more comfortable time to visit the Grand Canyon. While that’s comfortable during the day, it can drop down during night times so make sure you have an insulated jacket for evenings. If visiting closer to summer you’ll be comfortable in shorts, otherwise if visiting near winter you’ll want to look into pants and layering.

What to pack in Winter in the Grand Canyon (December, January, February): Weather can fluctuate in winter so you need to be prepared for different weather events. The best way your can do this is to check the weather reports before you leave to see if rain, snow or strong winds are predicted. Trails can get slippery during this time so you’ll need hiking boots with good grip. Also bring a waterproof jacket, layers and warm pants. Temperatures can be around 4-18 C / 39-64 F, and keep in mind that the North Rim shuts down in winter.

 

What to Wear in Grand Canyon in Spring

How to dress for Grand Canyon in Spring:

  • 2x Shorts/ pants: this really depends on the weather, so you’ll want to scout out the temperatures beforehand. You could opt for 1 pair of pants and 1 pairs of shorts, or if visiting closer to winter switch it to 2 pairs of pants (jeans or joggers will do fine for easy to moderate hikes). That way you’ve got one spare lot of bottoms incase anything goes wrong. Add an extra pair of jeans if you want to change your clothes for restaurants in the evening.
  • Leggings x 1-2: can be used to layer if its a colder day, or simply use for hiking. Leggings are great for tougher hikes as they’re less likely to get caught on anything and don’t restrict your movements.
  • 2-3 x tops: to be safe temperature wise have atleast one long sleeved and one short sleeved.
  • 1 x pajamas
  • 1 x light jacket, pullover or cardigan: for early mornings, evenings and windy conditions on the rim.
  • 1 x sneakers or hiking boots: this depends on the type of hiking you’ll be doing. For more strenuous hikes please ensure you get hiking boots that properly support your ankles. If you’re just taking in the views around the rim, sneakers will do you fine.
  • 3 x pairs of socks
  • 2 x Sports crop / sports bra: wear under your top so as thinks warm up while entering the canyon you can always wear this alone to help cool you down. This will particularly come in handy if visiting in May when temperatures start to rise.
  • 1 x hat: protect your pretty face when the sun comes out
  • 2-3 x pairs of underwear
  • 1 x lightweight scarf for when the wind pushes around too much dust

 

What to Pack for Grand Canyon in March, April & May: Other Items

Technology:

  • Your camera, charger and batteries. If you have one, you’re going to love your wide angle lens here.
  • Headphones
  • Phone and charger
  • Portable charger / power bank: incase your battery gives up half way through your hike

Toiletries: 

  • Sunscreen
  • Basic makeup if you wear it, but if doing lots of hiking you may or may not want to ditch it
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Toilet paper

Other Items:

  • Bank cards
  • Passport or ID
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle that will keep water cool
  • Small plastic bag so you can take your trash out of the canyon with you

Medicine

  • Dehydration / electrolyte sachets
  • Any medicine you need to take daily
  • Small first aid kit, especially if going on longer hikes

Luggage:

  • Day bag for hiking
  • Main bag: I’d recommend a small backpack for your gear, unless you’re staying a hotel where a suitcase would be fine as well.

Camping Gear: 

If camping you’ll want to pack the following:

  • You guessed it, you’re going to want a tent.
  • Head lamp
  • Blow up or padded mattress
  • blow up pillow
  • Sleeping bag as the nights can get cold
  • Quick drying towels
  • Optional:
    • camping chair
    • camping table
    • cooler / esky
    • plates and utensils, cups and napkins
    • camping stove and pan
    • tongs and a knife
    • lantern
    • camp lighter

 

Travel Insurance for Grand Canyon

If you want to get travel insurance for your trip to the Grand Canyon I’d recommend going with World Nomads. I always use them on my trips and found their costs reasonable, and the level of coverage decent. Americans, check if you’re already covered by your health insurance.

It’s easy to get a quote and find out more information about what’s covered on their website. You can also play around with the quote tool above

 

Safety and Health in Grand Canyon

 Unsurprising most of the risks around the Grand Canyon involve hiking. To stay safe make sure you stick to the trails and never get too close to the edge. Try not to hike alone if possible and make sure you keep watch on others in your group, especially children. Don’t climb over a railing to get a cool shot for Instagram. People have fallen here. Also be aware that people may be walking on trails below you, so think twice before kicking or throwing something over the ledge.

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