The climate is mild and has four distinct seasons with an average temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual rainfall for the Little River Canyon area is approximately 54 inches. January is the wettest month (6.7 inches) with more than twice as much rain as October -- driest month. Snowfall averages about 3 inches per year.
Fall brings color to the canyon from around late October to December. We have a lot of visitors that come just to see the beautiful colors of the trees along the scenic drive. The water level starts getting higher but usually too low for kayaking or canoeing.
By late December the color is gone but eventually replaced with frost and icicles hanging off the water falls and on the canyon walls. The winters are mild. The temperature frequently falls below freezing during the night and occasionally remains below freezing for 1 to 3 days or more. Snow is not common. Usually the snow melts quickly but at times the ground is covered for more than a week. Kayakers love this time because the water level is up and they can run the river in their kayaks.
Spring turns everything green. The trees have color again and the birds are chirping. The water level is still up and kayakers are on the river. Wildflowers bloom from late February to November.
Our visitation is at its heaviest during this season. The summers are usually long and have moderately hot days and fairly cool nights. The water level is too low for kayaks and canoes but just right for everyone else.
The highest elevation in the Preserve is near DeSoto State Park at 1780 feet. Canyon Mouth Picnic Area has the lowest elevation at 590 feet.