Best time to travel to Grand Canyon

California Condor

Grand Canyon is one of the best sites in the world to spot the largest bird of North America

California Condor in Grand Canyon 2020 - Best Time
Photo by

© Michael de la Paz

With an impressive wingspan of 9 feet across, it's the largest of all bird species found in North America. It's a stunning sight to behold when this already huge bird grows wider and wider while unfolding its long wings. You're lucky if you happen to spot one of those morning condors on the edge of the rim with their wings spread to the sun. However, it's generally a treat to see a condor soaring in the wild, as the bird is one of the world's rarest species.

California Condor in Grand Canyon - Best Season 2020

They've been on the Endangered Species List since 1967. Their numbers were constantly declining until they reached a breaking point in 1983, with only 22 birds left in the Grand Canyon. That year was the beginning of a captive breeding program. The condor population is now growing, but the birds still need protection. So don't be surprised if you see a number-marking on a condor—the park's officials mark them to trace the recovery.

Moreover, everyone can contribute to the California Condor support through buying a plush toy of a condor for only 12$. The raised money is spent on various initiatives to increase the condor population in the Grand Canyon area.

Best time for California Condor in Grand Canyon 2020

Grand Canyon is one of the best places in the world to watch these birds which once dominated the skies of the South-West. The best season to see them is in the spring to early fall, namely April through September when they nest in the cliffs of the inner canyon. In March and October, it is also possible. May through July promise the best viewing chances. You may watch the canyon's condors and learn more about them at Ranger Programs held daily throughout the summer.

California Condors at Plateau Point 2020
California Condors at Plateau Point

The South Rim is the most popular spot for California Condor viewing, namely such locations as Yavapai Point, Yaki Point, and Lookout Studio. Other good viewing spots not far from the Grand Canyon are Vermilion Cliffs and Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon.

Besides Northern Arizona, a few hundreds of wild condors also inhabit the states of California and Utah.