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favorite seasons of the year, however, and if you would like suggestions, we would be happy to speak with you
about the timing of your canoe trip.
Summer is obviously the most convenient season for many families and people on vacation. It is a lively time; the
weather is hot and dry in June and July - perfect for jumping in the water or relaxing in the shade of cool trees
on a sandy beach during the heat of the day.
In late July and August, the monsoon rains come and spectacular afternoon thunderstorms reverberate off the
Spring and fall are cooler seasons although usually more crowded. We cannot decide whether spring or fall is
our favorite season - both are lovely. In the spring, things are just waking up, the days are longer, and the
wildflowers are blooming. The weather is warming but still cool; the river is usually high and fast. It may be windy
or blustery during this season - this is an energetic, invigorating time of year. In the fall, the light is gorgeous: clear,
liquid gold - and the days are shorter.
Fall is a time for taking it slowly, sitting around a campfire at night, and hiking throughout the day in the warm
sun. The cottonwood trees along the river turn golden and flocks of migratory birds come to the canyons.
The desert is a lesson in extremes. Seasonal differences necessitate flexibility. You will have different concerns
depending on the time of year you are traveling. Remember that water levels fluctuate from year to year and
seasonally. During high water, your travel time can be much faster but you must also be aware of powerful
water currents and strong eddies. Campsite choices are reduced when sandbars and beaches are under flood.
When the river is low, these sandy beaches make good campsites, while some sections of riverbank become
difficult to access because of erosion.
You should also pay close attention to river mileage and your travel speeds when the water is low and slower.
Make sure you can cover the mileage necessary to complete your trip in the time you have allotted.
Temperatures range from 100+ degrees in the summer to sub-zero some winters. Day and night temperature
differences can also be extreme. Thunderstorms can build quickly, bringing with them lightening and flashfloods.
The one predictable element you can rely on is the wind. You will almost always encounter some! High, gale-
like winds usually accompany storm fronts. Afternoon, up-canyon winds are an almost daily occurrence. To
minimize the time spent paddling in the wind most people choose to get an early start on the river and try to
make camp by mid-afternoon. DO NOT CANOE IN HIGH WIND CONDITIONS. GO ASHORE FOR