If you are a keen campers or RV-ers like our family, you are looking forward to a summer of exploration. Exploring beaches, cities and mountains around the country is what makes camping and RV-ing such as wonderful experience. However camping is inherently weather-based.
Extremely hot or cold weather or strong storms, hurricanes (and blizzards if you are a four-season camper) can impact your trip much more than many other types vacations. Most hotels and vacations homes will come with waterproof roofs, air conditioning and heating; none of these can be relied upon when camping.
Making a plan for the weather
Our family is planning a road trip for late July to tour the western US. We are planning to visit the Rocky Mountains near Denver Colorado and then drive over to the national parks of the ‘Grand Circle’ including Arches, Bryce Canyon and finally the Grand Canyon.
Heat, cold and storms won’t stop us going – but it would be nice to know what we can expect so we can be prepared. Given the difference in altitudes and climates, we can’t easily know the weather as we’ve never been there before in July. So how can we discover what weather we are likely to encounter?
We can use historical weather data to help identify the kind of weather we’re likely to experience on our trip have so we can be prepared from clothing to deciding whether to bring our tents or rely on the RV. These historical weather trends are freely available on the Visual Crossing Average Weather Dashboard.
Typical weather in the Aspen, Colorado.
While we are still planning, we can try out different destinations to see which location might provide the most comfortable camping.
Here’s the typical weather for Aspen, Colorado:
As we can see, Aspen in late July looks to have great weather – comfortable temperatures and reasonably low humidity and never getting too hot. There’s a chance of rain. It rains on 3 out of 10 days (31%), typically in the later afternoon or early evening.
Alternative destination – Buena Vista, Colorado
How does the weather in Aspen compare the other nearby locations? Over Independence Pass and across the Continental Divide (the point where rivers in the US flow either east or west), lies Buena Vista. The weather here is a little cooler and drier but both destinations offer cool, summer weather. We must not forget to pack some cool weather clothes however as temperatures can drop into the 40s.
Moving west towards Moab, Utah
West of Colorado lies Utah, which is home to many wonderful national parks including Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion. These form a part of the Grand Circle travel where deserts, mountains and high plateaus can make the weather interesting and varied. It also can create quite unexpected weather changes as travelers journey from lower altitude desert locations to higher altitude alpine scenary.
Moab, Utah is close to Arches and Canyonlands national park in addition to multiple state parks and the Colorado River. It is the perfect base to visit. The weather here can be significantly warmer than the Rocky Mountain locations above:
In Moab in late July, we can expect hot, dry weather which typical high temperatures reaching 93F – and often reaching 100F or more. The sun should be shining and the chance of rain is low with just an 11% chance.
As we move further West into Utah, we plan to visit Bryce Canyon.
Bryce is another high altitude location with cool temperatures – typically in the high 70s. However we need to be prepared for both cool and hot weather here as the possible range of temperatures can range from mid 50s to above 90F. Afternoon rain is also possible but is typically only a small amount from showers and thunderstorms.
The Grand Canyon South Rim (Arizona)
Our final destination our summer road trip is the Grand Canyon.
Temperatures on the upper rim of the Grand Canyon are likely to be a little warmer than Bryce but there is less chance of rain. Perfect camping weather as the temperatures won’t get too hot or too cold.
Plan your own vacation weather for free
If you are planning a road trip or other vacation this summer, you can easily find out the weather you can expect using the free tools provided by Visual Crossing. The Average Weather Tool offers free look up of historical climate records to understand the typical and extreme weather data you can expect for any location in the world.
If you would like to investigate actual weather observation, the free Weather History Data Dashboard offers free access to actual weather observations so you can understand what exact weather was experienced by any location in the past 50 years.