For savvy hikers and backpackers, October is a clear contender for the best time of the year to explore the depths of the Grand Canyon. Temperatures are generally out of the triple-digit range, stable weather patterns prevail, and park visitation is on the wane.
As a longtime park resident and avid hiker, I’ve always marveled at how few people bolt for the backcountry during the “off-season” months (November through February). The rewards for those willing to endure patches of snow and ice on the upper reaches of the trails, the added weight of warmer clothing, and the shorter days, are many.
Any such list would include carefree days of mild inner canyon temperatures with a double helping of solitude. Toss in the fact that camping permits and Phantom Ranch reservations are easier to snag and it’s hard to argue against building in some serious canyon time amidst your other holiday and post-holiday plans.