When planning a trip in the United States, the Grand Canyon is always a safe bet. It is one of the most beautiful canyons on the planet. The Colorado River cuts its path through the canyon and offers some amazing views. If you are planning a vacation for your friends or family, a Grand Canyon rafting tour is a great option. One key to making your rafting trip really special is to time is right. Each season has pros and cons.

Spring:  The spring season starts in April. As this is before the real crowds show up in the summer, you will have less competition for spots and have more of the river to yourself. This is one of the prettiest time to be on the Colorado River as the banks will be full of newly blooming wildflowers. The weather is very pleasant in the spring.

Summer: This is the most popular time to visit the Grand Canyon. The problem is that because the number of people in the park can grow to nearly half a million visitors, competition for permits and space can be fierce. If you know that this is when you want to take your Grand Canyon rafting trip, make sure you book everything as early as you can. That includes your permits, guides and other accommodation. One other consideration is the weather. The area can get extremely hot in the summer months.

Fall: This is a very colorful time to raft along the Colorado River. In October, much of the area will be alive will yellow blooms, which adds a new dimension to the color palate of the canyon. The fall also ushers in a season of slower water for the river and can be a nice time to plan your trip.

Winter: The rafting season officially ends in October but you can take self guided tours through the canyon in the winter. While it is cold and snow is possible, this is one of the most interesting times to experience the river and the canyon. This is by far the time when the canyon has the least number of visitors so you will have a lot of it to yourself if you go during this season.

Due to the popularity of rafting trips along the Colorado River, there are limits on how often you can go. The National Park Service will only give you one permit to raft the river per year. Getting a permit is a competitive process and the importance of planning ahead cannot be overstated.

Regardless of when you visit the Grand Canyon, it never fails to please the people who choose to vacation there. Each season offers a different, yet always, beautiful, view and perspective on this natural wonder.