Image © Gary Nored.
Average Temperatures and Precipitation
The table below is based on average temperatures and precipitation at Park Headquarters in Panther Junction. At the higher mountain elevations temperatures average 5–10 degrees cooler during the day and 0-5 degrees cooler at night. The mountains also receive more precipitation. The lower desert and river corridor average 5–10 degrees warmer during the day and is 0-5 degrees warmer at night (except winter when its 0-7 degrees cooler) and receives less precipitation.
Conditions Through the Year
Sunshine is abundant most of the year. Spring is typically warm and pleasant and is the parks busiest season. Try to avoid mid-March (Spring Break) unless you have reservations for accommodations.
Summers are hot; temperatures vary greatly between the desert floor, which is often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Chisos Mountains, which are ten to twenty degrees cooler. June-August are the hottest months. Visitors should be familiar with heat safety. The rainy season runs from May through September, with locally heavy thunderstorms and some flash flooding. The rainy season can be a delightful time to visit since afternoon and evening rains often cool the desert.
Fall quickly melds into winter which is pleasantly mild and usually sunny, although periods of cloudy weather and freezing cold do occur. Snow is rare and generally light. Winter visitors must prepare for a variety of conditions. The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks) are typically busy, so reservations for accommodations are highly recommended.
Elevation is Everything
Air temperature changes by five degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation you gain or lose; temperatures in the high Chisos Mountains can be 20+ degrees cooler than temperatures along the Rio Grande. Be prepared for this kind of variation during your trip.
Dress for the Weather
No matter the time of year, a wide-brimmed hat, comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes or boots are necessary for anyone planning to explore outdoors. Sunscreen is a must and hikers should always carry plenty of water; one gallon per person per day is recommended. Summer visitors should be aware of heat safety, such as wearing clothing that protects from the sun and avoiding activity during midday. Winter visitors should be prepared for any weather; temperatures vary from below freezing to above 80 degrees Fahrenheit .