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How To Visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas in 2024
Brie Greenhalgh Last Updated: October 26, 2023
Getting to the Grand Canyon isn’t as easy as taking an Uber down the street, but the time and effort are well worth it. Few places on earth match the majesty and immensity of this vast natural wonder. We’ve compiled the best ways for how to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.
Pro Tip: Bookmark this article in your internet browser if you find it helpful. This way you can circle back to it easily. Also, if you’re planning to visit Las Vegas, check out my article on Where to Stay in Las Vegas .
Grand Canyon National Park
Stretching for 277 miles along the eastern and northern Arizona borders, the Grand Canyon boasts a rugged, colorful terrain that averages 1 mile deep and up to 18 miles wide. The Colorado River runs through the bottom of the canyon which provides the life-supporting nourishment that sustains the desert plants and animals along its river banks.
Millions of geological years of erosion created the beautiful vistas that attract an average of 6 million visitors every year, according to the National Park Service. Make sure you’re one of them!
Hikers venture into the canyon to discover new perspectives from below the rim, see fascinating desert life, and explore Native American artifacts. Tourists enjoy the more accessible views from the top of the canyon where vistas surprise at every turn. A trip to the Grand Canyon is the can’t-miss adventure for anyone traveling to the Las Vegas region. So, keep reading to make sure you’re one of the lucky visitors to make memories at this remote location.
What Areas to Explore at the Grand Canyon
First, you’ll need to decide which areas you want to visit when you’re planning how to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose to visit the Grand Canyon West area, the North Rim, or the South Rim. Each area has their own unique attractions, and you won’t miss a gorgeous view anywhere. If you can, spend a sunrise or sunset on the rim to catch the vibrant desert colors.
- Grand Canyon West – the closest area to Las Vegas. You’ll find the Grand Canyon Skywalk here, which is the only place you can walk out over the expanse of the Grand Canyon. It’s not officially part of the Grand Canyon National Park since it’s on the Haulapai Reservation, but the views totally qualify it.
- Grand Canyon North Rim – the furthest area from Las Vegas. Fewer than 10% of visitors travel here, so you won’t get overwhelmed by tourists. The elevation is 8,000 feet here, so it’s often closed in the winter, but summer offers plenty of activities. Also, avid hikers enjoy hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim when it’s open
- Grand Canyon South Rim – the most developed area of the Grand Canyon. Open year-round, you can stay at campgrounds or lodges here. After you’ve arrived, enjoy a walk along the paved South Rim Trail at sunset for stunning views.
Getting to the Grand Canyon
You have four options to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas: car, bus, helicopter, or small plane. There’s an option that suits everyone’s needs from quick visits to long stays.
How to Drive to the Grand Canyon
If you’ve flown into Vegas, you can rent a car to head out to the Grand Canyon. This gives you the most options for exploring every aspect of the canyon. To get to any location at the Grand Canyon, you’ll head south out of Las Vegas on I-11, then connect onto U.S. Highway 93.
From there, you can choose to visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the west side of the Grand Canyon, which is the closest attraction. This trip takes about 2.25 hours by car, so it’s a great day trip option if you don’t have a lot of time. You can walk to Guano Point after walking 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon on the Skywalk, or book a river rafting trip.
Alternatively, you can drive to the South Rim, which is the most popular area. This is a longer 4.5-hour drive. From U.S.-93, you’ll switch to I-40 in Kingman, Arizona, before taking AZ-64 straight up to the park. You can stay overnight in campgrounds or lodges at Tusayan or Grand Canyon Village, then spend the next day exploring the visitor center, Mather Point, or one of the many hiking trails.
Bonus tip: This route takes you along the original Route 66 highway, so be sure to stop in Seligman, Arizona. It’s the town that inspired Radiator Springs in the movie Cars , and it’s home to the man who worked to preserve the old highway as a national treasure: Angel Delgadillo.
Lastly, you can also visit the North Rim if you prefer a more remote but stunning area. There are two ways to drive here. You can continue driving from the South Rim to the North Rim for 3.5 hours on U.S.-89. Alternatively, you can drive from Las Vegas directly to the North Rim for 4.75 hours by taking I-15 into Utah before dropping down into Arizona using UT-59, AZ-389, and US-89A to AZ-67.
This route takes you close to other major attractions like Zions National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Be advised that the North Rim is closed from October to May.
Take a Leisurely Trip to the Grand Canyon
For a scenic route to the Grand Canyon where you don’t have to drive, you can book a popular bus tour. This is a great way to make the trek out to the South Rim. You can sit back and enjoy the views while someone else worries about directions. Grand Canyon tours leave daily from the Strip. Some only go to the Skywalk or all the way to the South Rim.
Bus tours take longer (some take up to 15 hours if you’re heading for the South Rim), but they can be affordable and relaxing too. Another benefit of a Grand Canyon bus tour is that you’ll also see Hoover Dam on your way. Additionally, you’ll hear fascinating commentary about the area and sights you see, thanks to friendly the tour bus guide.
The Fastest Way to See the Grand Canyon
Without a doubt, booking a helicopter tour is the fastest and most dramatic way to check out the Grand Canyon. You can book a tour that takes you over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, before stopping at Grand Canyon West or the South Rim. Make sure to ask about which destinations each tour will stop at before booking as they’re not all the same. You can get to the Grand Canyon in 90 minutes this way and spend several hours exploring the views.
Helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon leave from the Strip or from Henderson, which is closer to the Nevada-Arizona border. Maverick Helicopters, 5-Star Las Vegas Helicopter Tours, and GC flight all operate out of Las Vegas city, but you’ll also find Papillion Grand Canyon Helicopters in Henderson. These tours typically start at $200 but average around $450.
And in true Vegas fashion, you could go all out and book a Grand Canyon helicopter wedding. You read that right. There are full wedding packages available to fly you and a select number of passengers to a one-of-a-kind wedding in the Grand Canyon. It’s an unforgettable opportunity. Most helicopter tour companies offer this option, so be sure to ask if you’re interested!
How to fly to the Grand Canyon
For a more private experience that’s faster than driving and more traditional than a helicopter, book a small airplane with a company like Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines. It’s also the fastest way to view the North Rim, but the South Rim and Skywalk can also be visited. There are small landing strips at each popular destination.
These airplane tours often include extra excursions upon arrival so you can experience even more of the Grand Canyon. That means your tour could take only a few hours or all day, depending on if you choose to stay close to Vegas or venture to the North Rim.
Private charter planes are less expensive than you might think, so you could see the sights for $200 to $600. Canyon Tours, Grand Canyon Airlines, and Maverick Tours also offer charter flights. Don’t hesitate to ask about all the destinations and activities they offer. It’s a fantastic all-in-one way to see even more of the Grand Canyon.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
Discover some of the most iconic and best places to stay in Las Vegas to make this trip the most memorable of all your trips to the Strip
About Brie Greenhalgh
Writer, editor, teacher, hiker, traveler, dreamer. With a book or pen in hand and a majestic sunset on the horizon, life is never short of fulfilling moments for Brie. She has a background in history and writing, and enjoys writing and editing for BobVila.com, The Tour Guy, and her own business.
April 12, 2022
Hi, it would have been nice to detail the costs of each option, at least say what kinds of costs to expect. The Skywalk is $75 per person, and includes a bus ride, the skywalk and another stop with 360 degree view of the canyon. There is also a restaurant there, and a cafe, as well as a souvenir shop and a small trail to discover typical Navajo and Hualapai home constructions. Also important to note are the long lines at the bus shuttle, and at the skywalk, and at the restaurant. Oh and cameras are forbidden on the skywalk. Photographers are there and you can pay $25 per photo or $50 for all photos they take. View are great but it’s important to note that it is a money making machine.
May 5, 2022
Thanks for the ideas to add helpful information! Hope you enjoyed the beautiful views there!
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If you’re in the mood to take a day trip from Las Vegas, make sure it’s a drive to the Grand Canyon. The closest entry point from Las Vegas is Grand Canyon West Rim, which is 128 miles or approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas. The drive takes you through parts of Arizona and past other noteworthy spots like the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Boulder City.
There are three main viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. Find details and our top things to do at each point below.
Grand Canyon West Rim
Distance from Las Vegas: 128 Miles Drive Time: 2.5 Hours Parking: Free parking and complimentary shuttles are offered at the Grand Canyon West Rim Welcome Center. No private cars are allowed. Fees: The minimum entry fee is $45. Traditional National Park passes will NOT grant you entry.
The Grand Canyon West Rim is owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, so private cars aren’t allowed into this part of the canyon. However, there are parking spaces and free shuttles at the Welcome Center that will take you to some of the most popular viewpoints, including Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch. Here you’ll get some of the Grand Canyon's best views, but our number one recommendation is the Skywalk Glass Bridge. This horseshoe-shaped glass floor extends over the edge of a 4,000-foot drop to the bottom of Grand Canyon West and can hold up to 71 million pounds.
If you want the all-inclusive tour experience, we recommend the Grand Canyon West Rim 5 in 1 tour . This guided tour includes bus transportation from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, covers all fees, and hits the top 5 visitor spots at the West Rim including the Skywalk. It’s a full day trip with meals included. That’s a tour package you can’t beat!
Grand Canyon South Rim
Distance from Las Vegas: 280 Miles Drive Time: 4.5 Hours Parking: There are four major parking lots conveniently located near the visitor center, bike rentals, shuttles, and a café. Fees: $35 per vehicle; $25 per motorcycle; $20 per individual permit. Active duty military members are free.
The South Rim is the most visited spot of the Grand Canyon, so get there early to beat the crowds. Between hiking, river running, biking and mule rides there’s plenty to do at Grand Canyon South Rim. The best view at the South Rim is Mather Point, so be sure to stop there. If you need to stretch your legs after the drive, we recommend walking the 1.2-mile Trail of Time. Along this path you’ll encounter informational signs about animal and plant life, geological history and other canyon facts.
The Grand Canyon South Rim is vast, and it’s easy to miss a few things that you totally need to see. If you want to make sure this trip is the best, we recommend staying for multiple days to really enjoy one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Grand Canyon North Rim
Distance from Las Vegas: 268 Miles Drive Time: 5 hours and 45 minutes Parking: Limited parking is available at the North Rim with additional parking at the Grand Canyon Lodge and the North Rim campground. Note, this rim is closed during winter. Fees: $35 per vehicle; $25 per motorcycle and $20 for an individual permit. Active duty military members are free.
The Grand Canyon North Rim, almost a 5-hour car ride from Las Vegas, is definitely a car ride for the dedicated. But if you can tolerate 268 miles in a car, the more remote North Rim will reward you with smaller crowds and some of the Grand Canyon's best views. Once there, we recommend the Grand Canyon North Rim Scenic Drive. This is a 25-mile drive that usually takes half the day if you’re stopping for photos or short walks. The North Rim also provides plenty of hiking trails. Bright Angel Point Trail is popular for its relative ease and beautiful scenery. But if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s nothing more memorable than a Mule ride at the North Rim.
As you can tell, a car ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is more than do-able. However, if a guided tour is more your speed, check out these Grand Canyon tours to find an all-inclusive package that’s right for you. We have helicopter tours, bus tours, plane tours and everything in between. No matter how you choose to visit, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see.
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Las Vegas To Grand Canyon
Las vegas to grand canyon tours, the las vegas to grand canyon drive.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon traveling is made simple when travelers take a Grand Canyon bus tour from Las Vegas. What a lot of Vegas vacationers fail to realize is just how close the Grand Canyon is located to Las Vegas. Leaving Las Vegas, the road trip is only two and a half to four and a half hour drive, depending on which location you visit at the canyon. With the Grand Canyon being so close to Vegas, it is quite convenient to take a one-day trip from Sin City to the famous canyon.
Entertainment Along The Way
We value not only your comfort, but your enjoyment of your Las Vegas to Grand Canyon journey from start to finish. That is why we aim to keep you entertained and informed during your travel to and from the canyon.
The standard Grand Canyon tour companies use a driver and tour guide in one. This person then has to check guests in, narrate the tour, pass out lunches, answer questions, and drive a 40,000 pound vehicle safely. At Grand Canyon Destinations, we value safety and customer service. That is why we have a separate driver and tour guide on every tour bus. Your dedicated tour guide will be there to guide you, share facts and stories, answer your questions, and help you with any needs throughout the tour.
Professional Guide Commentary
As soon as you board your ride to the canyon, you will be greeted by your tour guide. On all Grand Canyon tours, there is a water and breakfast snack to get your morning started. Then, on the way out of town, your guide will share entertaining facts, history, and stories about Las Vegas and the surrounding landscapes as you travel through it. All of our guides are professional, friendly, and of course, knowledgeable, so you know they will give a great tour.
Stop Off At The Grand Canyon Caverns On Route 66
Not too long after you leave Las Vegas, you will make your first stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns. This landmark is along the Las Vegas to Grand Canyon route and directly off of Route 66, so it makes sense to stop and enjoy it. You will get to travel over 50 miles along historic Route 66 on your way to the Grand Canyon. Once you reach the Grand Canyon Caverns, you will have an hour break to stretch, explore the grounds, and take an optional Grand Canyon Caverns tour. This halfway point stop is well worth it as the Grand Canyon Caverns are a one-of-a-kind attraction.
Spotting Wildlife On The Way From Las Vegas To Grand Canyon
Once everyone has boarded the bus, the journey will continue. The landscape along the drive will leave you impressed. As you travel upward in elevation, you will witness a change in scenery from red and orange desert to lush green pine forests. Along the way, there is a chance to spot wildlife as well. The best way to see something is to keep your eyes open. You may spot species such as coyote, desert bighorn sheep, cows, and horses on the drive out of Las Vegas. As you approach the Grand Canyon, your chance of seeing wildlife gets even greater due to the remote location of the canyon’s rims. Closer to the canyon you may see mountain lion, elk, and deer outside your window as well. The travel from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas is also a great time to spot wildlife as it will be later in the day.
Transportation From Las Vegas To Grand Canyon Destinations
You may be wondering what is the best way to get from Vegas to the Grand Canyon? The answer can be different for everyone. There are many easy, affordable, and exciting ways to travel from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Taking a Grand Canyon Tour Bus
When taking a day trip from Vegas to Grand Canyon, a common choice is to take a tour bus. There are many Las Vegas tours that utilize large tour buses to transport Grand Canyon tourists from Vegas to the canyon. The Grand Canyon Destinations difference is that we use the highest quality tour buses for our guests. They are equipped with head rests and foot rests, air conditioning, TVs for entertainment, and on-board restrooms. Additionally, they are inspected daily for safety and quality by our dedicated drivers and guides.
Tour buses are a great choice for those who are traveling from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon with a large group, as they can hold up to 54 passengers. That way, your entire group can stay together during your tour experience and enjoy each other’s company. Grand Canyon tour buses are available to both the Grand Canyon West Rim and South Rim.
Get The VIP Mercedes Sprinter Experience
Another, more exclusive, way to travel to the canyon is on our 14-passenger Mercedes Sprinter van. These vans are used for our VIP small group tours to both rims of the canyon. If you have a smaller group and want to take control of customizing your own Grand Canyon tour, this is the choice for you.
On our Mercedes Sprinter vans, you are able to stand up, sit down, relax, and enjoy the ride. All this within the privacy of your own space.
Travel Back In Time On The Grand Canyon Train
A third option when traveling to the Grand Canyon is to take a train ride . This method of Grand Canyon travel is the oldest and by far the most unique. You will get to experience the canyon as is was in 1901 when people were first beginning to take notice of the wonder. Grand Canyon Destinations is the only tour company from Las Vegas that offers the option to travel by train.
If you choose this option, you will be entertained and delighted by the charming and fun experience. You would begin your day traveling from Las Vegas on a tour bus, and be taken to the Grand Canyon Railway depot in Williams, Arizona. From there, you would take the train the rest of the way to the Grand Canyon South Rim. The experience of riding the Grand Canyon Train is memorable, fun, and exciting for all ages.
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How to Get From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon – All you Need to Know
If you’re thinking about going from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon , there’s a lot to consider – prices, transport, activities, weather, and the like. So, to make things as easy as possible for you to plan your next epic trip, we’ve broken it all down for you.
How to navigate this guide: Follow the links to jump to particular sections, or simply scroll from top to bottom and you’ll be an expert on everything there is to know about this coveted UNESCO-listed natural landmark.
Which rim of Grand Canyon is best?
- Entrance fee
Why visit the Grand Canyon North Rim?
What is the best time of year to visit the grand canyon, how much time do you need to spend at the grand canyon, can you drive your own car through the grand canyon, can you stay at the grand canyon overnight, how to get the best grand canyon deals.
Looking to book a tour to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas? Use our search engine and compare all the tours available.
- Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas
A shining example of Mother Nature’s brilliance, the Grand Canyon has been captivating adventurers and nature-loving travelers for over a century , dazzling with its cascading waterfalls (Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Navajo Falls are the pick of the lot), unique geology and overwhelmingly vast grandeur. The canyon is so large that it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. That’s exactly why, with so many things to do at the Grand Canyon , many travelers choose to focus on one specific area.
The West Rim (or Grand Canyon West, as it’s not technically part of the national park) is the closest to Las Vegas and easiest to reach, while the South Rim , despite being the most frequented , is also home to the longest list of sublime viewpoints, accommodation options, noteworthy restaurants, and adventure tours. The Grand Canyon North Rim is a popular destination for those looking to escape the crowds of the South Rim (the most-visited section of the park) and enjoy a more intimate experience with this natural wonder.
If you’re staying in Sin City, you have a multitude of options. Fly, bus, or drive; take a day trip or stay overnight; focus on relaxation and tranquility or high-octane adventure, or a little bit of all of the above.
First thing’s first, best is subjective. The right rim for you depends on what kind of traveler you are, how built-up you like your surroundings, and what kind of experience you’re hoping for.
That being said, here’s a quick rundown of each option to help you make the best decision for your trip:
Starting with the closest side to the bright lights of the Vegas Strip, the West Rim is most popular with tourists thanks to its easy access (about 130 miles from Sin City, which typically takes about two hours and 15 minutes by car).
However, all that popularity comes with a downside; it can feel pretty crowded at times (especially during peak season), and because it’s so developed there’s less of a sense of wilderness. But if you’re looking for convenience and accessibility, the West Rim is probably your best bet .
It’s also home to the dramatic and seriously picturesque Skywalk, a glass bridge that lets you walk some 70 feet over the edge of the canyon, seemingly levitating at 4,770 ft above sea level with nothing but pure air and wilderness between the horseshoe-shaped platform and the rocky ground 4,000 feet below. It’s quintessential Grand Canyon and makes for a killer souvenir photo, if you’re not afraid of heights, that is.
A little further from Vegas, the Grand Canyon’s spectacular South Rim is by far the most popular choice for anyone staying in Arizona (Flagstaff, Sedona, or Phoenix in particular) — and for good reason. But, of course, it still acts as a magnet for Sin City tourists thanks to its stunning landscapes and good mix of tourist facilities and raw nature. It boasts some of the most iconic views of the canyon, is home to the vast majority of hotels and restaurants in the area, and is generally more built-up than its northern counterpart. The South Rim is located over 270 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, about a four-and-a-half-hour drive – so on the one hand, it’ll take a couple more hours to drive to, but on the other, it’s usually full of more adventure-oriented tourists than the typical selfie-stick-wielding Vegas visitors that flock to the West Rim.
Heading to the more remote region of the Grand Canyon, the North Rim is much less crowded and developed, offering a more wilderness-oriented experience. It’s also about 1000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, meaning cooler temperatures (a godsend in the summer months) and a different ecosystem with different plant and animal life.
Of course, the flip side here is that because it’s less developed there are fewer hotels and restaurants available, and it’s a longer drive from Vegas (about five hours). So if you’re looking to get away from it all and surround yourself with nature, the North Rim is probably your best choice.
North, South, West… that leaves up with the East Rim! Often overlooked because of its isolation (it’s further away from all the main cities in the area and doesn’t have one particular central point, rather being a ‘side’ more than a ‘rim’), the area is actually home to some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the park.
From red cliffs and buttes to dense forests and bubbling springs, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before — and because it’s so far from Vegas (about four hours by car) it tends to be much quieter than the other rims. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience, this is definitely the place for you.
Just to name a few of the eastern area attractions (not that not all are technically located in the Grand Canyon); Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, the swirling sherbert rocks of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and Marble Canyon each dazzle visitors with their raw beauty. These spots, like most throughout the Grand Canyon as a whole, are recommended to be visited as part of a small-group guided tour.
No matter which rim you choose, with photo opportunities around every corner, you’re sure to have an incredible experience — and some amazing memories to take home with you.
How to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim?
The closest of all the Grand Canyon lookouts to Sin City itself is the West Rim. At just 130 miles (just over a two-hour drive) from the Vegas Strip, it’s by far the most convenient option for a day trip or even a half-day trip if you’re pushed for time.
At this beautiful slice of Mother Nature, you can walk the glass panels on the Skywalk , admire the stunning vistas from lookouts like Eagle Point and Guano Point, or take a helicopter ride down to the floor of the canyon for a bird’s eye view. And, for all you outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, there’s plenty of white water rafting and ziplining not too far away!
The main problem with going to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is that there’s no public transport that goes all the way there and back in one day. The best, and really, one of the only ways to visit is on a tour, which will pick you up from your hotel, take you to the canyon for a few hours of exploration, and then drop you back at your accommodation at the end of the day.
There is a slew of different kinds of tours available depending on your interests and budget ; some include stops along that way at iconic sights like the Hoover Dam or the infamous Route 66, while others focus solely on the magnificent canyon itself.
Why choose a tour? Throw in transport, entrance fees, lunch, and a friendly and knowledgable guide who’ll wax insights about the area, history, and native culture, and it actually becomes a great bang-for-your-buck choice. Most of these pre-organized tours will pick you up in the morning and drop you back in the evening on the same day, however, there are a handful of multi-day options if you’re looking to extend your itinerary.
Of course, there’s always the option to rent your own car and wander down at your own pace — in this instance, it’s best to leave early in the morning to beat the crowds of all the tour busses!
But if you’re all about those amazing memories and aren’t too fussed about the budget (and like to travel efficiently without hours on end on the open road), then there’s one way of getting from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim that reigns supreme: helicopter . These birds-eye rides take about 40 minutes and, arguably, are just as memorable as the destination itself, with the sky-high perspective showing the magnitude of both the size and the dryness of the American southwest.
Consider this: if you want the thrill of a helicopter ride but prefer not to splurge on a long-distance ride, a handful of companies offer scenic flights of the Canyon itself.
- helicopter tours from Las Vegas
One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to do any activities like hiking, rafting, or taking a helicopter tour once you’re at the Grand Canyon, you’ll need to book these in advance as they often get booked up quickly.
Grand Canyon West Rim entrance fee
The most expensive part of the journey will be getting to the West Rim in the first place. Once you’re there, how much you spend really depends on what kind of adventure you’re looking for.
The most basic option will set you back about $49 . This is the bare bones General Admission package that includes access to the tourist area, and tickets for the hop-on/hop-off shuttle service, a regular shuttle that zips you over to both the Eagle Point & Guano Point lookouts.
Keep in mind that the General Admission ticket only includes the natural attractions, not the manmade ones ; it won’t include the popular Skywalk itself, but will still allow you to soak in the beauty from the overlooks.
Each time you add something to your itinerary, you’ll need to part with a few extra bucks. For a walk on the heart-pounding Grand Canyon Skywalk, you’re looking at about $64 , plus the optional extra fee for a professional photo (for obvious reasons, you can’t take your phone onto the Skywalk, so this is a popular option.)
The so-called ‘ Grander Package ‘ will set you back around $83 and includes the Skywalk, shuttle bus, overlook access, and a meal voucher at the aptly-named Sky View Restaurant (choose from cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and more).
The next level up is the ‘ Grandest Package ‘ (as you can tell, they love their puns). In addition to everything that’s already been mentioned (shuttle, overlook access, meal, and Skywalk), you also get not one but two thrilling adventure activities: for $313, you’ll take the passenger seat in a helicopter ride over the sprawling Canyon before getting up close and personal with Mother Nature at ground level with a thrilling pontoon ride along the Colorado River!
Distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim
A route chock-full of incredible scenery and engulfing wilderness that really puts things in perspective, the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 120 miles from Las Vegas , which means that even if you’re driving at a leisurely pace you can make the journey in under three hours.
However, we recommend taking your time to enjoy the incredible scenery on offer; there are plenty of turnouts along the way where you can pull over and snap some photos or simply take in the view for a quiet moment of reflection (and make no mistake, there’s plenty of quiet around these parts, with nothing but the roar of the wind and the soft hum of the occasional car in the distance.
There’s no need to bring too much with you on this trip as most of what you’ll need will be available once you arrive at the Canyon. However, we recommend packing snacks and drinks for the drive (stopping only for gas), as well as sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes.
Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim
If you decide to book a bus tour, don’t fret about the directions. The bus will (in most cases) pick you up from your Las Vegas hotel (whether that be on the Strip or Downtown) and skirt you down to the natural UNESCO site in style, meaning you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Most tours will also include a stop or two along the way, such as Hoover Dam (an engineering marvel that is a 700-foot tall, man-made dam dating back to the 1930s), Boulder City, Lake Mead, Kingman (a dusty and old-world city in Arizona along Route 66), Chloride (a once-thriving silver city turned almost ghost town with just 350 modern-day residents) or Route 66 itself (a slight detour from the most direct route, but certainly worth it according to many a past traveler!). So, as you can tell, with plenty to see en route, you might want to bring your camera along for those impromptu photo ops!
As you can see in the map above , if you’ve gone for four wheels instead of the chopper, jump on the US-93 South to drive through Henderson, around Boulder City, past the Hoover Dam (a great spot to break up the trip), and then head down route 93 until you hit Pierce Ferry Rd. From there, turn left through Dolan Springs and drive down Diamond Bar Rd until you make it to Eagle Point Service Road. Overall, it’s an easy route with plenty of wonderful wilderness to admire along the way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Duration from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim
The drive from Las Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon will take you approximately two and a half hours , give or take depending on traffic conditions and how many stops you make along the way.
However, it’s recommended to take your time to enjoy the incredible scenery on offer; there are plenty of turnouts along the way where you can pull over and snap some photos. In short, as long as you leave early enough to beat the crowds, there’s no need to rush this journey! After all, it’s not every day that you get to see something as grand as the Grand Canyon.
Without any stops along the way, and assuming there’s no traffic getting out of Sin City, the drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon can be as quick as 2 hours and 10 minutes from both Fremont Street and the Bellagio (on the Strip) – adding 5-15 extra minutes depending on which Strip hotel you’re staying at.
If you’re making the journey from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon on one of the myriad organized tours, expect the drive to be a little closer to three hours due to the slightly slower speed of the bus – and some potential extra time for additional stops along the way (these might include Hoover Dam or Lake Mead).
Even though the journey is slightly longer, it’s far less of a hassle than driving solo , and you’ll be entertained along the way thanks to the local guide who’ll share all kinds of tidbits about the area as you go!
There is a bounty of benefits to joining one of these tours – from hotel pickup and lunch to the price of admission into the park – so it’s well worth investigating a few tour companies before you book anything.
For those with a little more cash to splash, flying by helicopter from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is undeniably the quickest way to get there (in style, mind you)! The journey will take you around 45 minutes in total, and you’ll be able to see some pretty incredible views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the sprawling Mojave Desert along the way.
Besides the chance to ride shotgun over one of the more dramatic landscapes north of the equator, the helicopter tours also typically include a glass of well-earned Champagne, an expert pilot who will share all kinds of facts on the area’s history, geography, million-year-old rock formations, and native culture, and – of course – dish up plenty of photo opportunities.
Just bear in mind that this is definitely not the cheapest way to make the journey, with prices starting at around $500 per person. Nevertheless, if you have the cash and you want to make a real impression, then this is certainly the route (literally) for you!
Hot tip: if you’re splurging on the chopper ride, compared to other tours, it’s rather inexpensive to add activities like offroading, whitewater rafting, or hiking to the itinerary.
Best stops from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim
They say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Well, in this case, it’s about both! Because as spectacular as the 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide and mile-deep Canyon truly is, no matter which direction you’re coming from, you’ll pass by a stack of otherworldly landmarks (both natural and manmade) en route.
So, which ones are worthy of a stop? Here are some of the best:
Tucked away just 5 miles from the bright lights of the Strip, Springs Preserve is a 180-acre natural oasis in the Mojave Desert. Think botanical gardens, hiking trails, a museum, an art gallery, and a concert venue all rolled into one.
For a short and sweet primer on the history, geology, and wildlife of the area, a quick stop at this living outdoor museum is a must.
The Hoover Dam
Just 30 minutes and 30 miles from downtown Las Vegas, Hoover Dam is one of those places that’s so impressive it’s hard to believe it’s real. And, at more than 700 feet high – the equivalent of a 60-story building – and weighing in at a whopping 6.6 million tonnes, it’s not just big – it’s huge!
Straddling the Arizona-Nevada, this engineering marvel took five years to complete (between 1931 and 1936) and was, at the time, the tallest dam in the world. Nowadays, more than 7 million people visit it each year to tour the power plant, get a glimpse of the Colorado River (which snakes through the dam via Black Canyon), or simply soak up the incredible views from one of the many lookout points.
Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
Just downriver from Hoover Dam is another engineering masterpiece: The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Also known as The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, this spectacular structure soars an impressive 885 feet above the Colorado River – making it not only one of the highest bridges in America but also one of the longest arch bridges in existence! At the very least, it holds the title of the longest concrete arch in North America and is therefore definitely worth a quick stop to admire.
As the nation’s largest reservoir (created, of course, as a byproduct of the Hoover Dam), Lake Mead – with 600,000 hectares of rugged mountains, deep canyons, and endless wilderness – is an impressive sight in itself. But it’s also home to some pretty incredible landscapes, including the Black Canyon – a foreboding and hot (due to a hot spring nearby) gorge that was carved out over millions of years by the Colorado River.
Popular activities on Lake Mead include swimming, boating, watersports (like kayaking), fishing, and hiking – all of which are easily accessible from Las Vegas. In fact, there are even a few tour companies that offer day trips from the city before plowing onwards to the Grand Canyon!
A mere 15 minutes from the Hoover Dam is Boulder City; the last town you’ll pass through before reaching the state border and the foreboding structure that is the Dam itself. This cute little place has a fascinating history (it was purpose-built to support the construction workers of Hoover Dam back in the day), as well as plenty of charming eateries and boutique stores if you need to stretch your legs. Take a stroll through Hemenway Park, learn a thing or two at the fascinating Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, and then climb aboard an old locomotive or two at the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
For all you nature lovers, it’s hard to pass up Boulder City’s Nature Discovery Trail and Rock Garden as one of the prime stops en route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.
The Valley of Fire
If your plan for driving from Sin City to the Grand Canyon is loose and you don’t mind a little detour, there’s ample reason to consider a little side-trip to the Valley of Fire State Park.
This stunning piece of landscape is located an hour northeast of Sin City and is home to more than 46,000 acres of fiery red rocks and sandstone formations (hence the name). It’s also believed to be one of the oldest parks in Nevada, with some parts dating back an impressive 150 million years (not to mention the petroglyphs that were carved into the rock about 2,500 years ago). Trust us, for a taste of Mother Nature’s beauty without the big Grand Canyon crowds, plus myriad hiking, camping, picnicking, and wildlife watching opportunities, this stunning Valley is certainly worth pulling over for!
While this eerie and fascinating ghost town will add about an hour to your journey, it’s more than worth the detour.
Situated just off of Route 66, just a few miles east of Highway 95, south of Vegas and north of Kingman, this old mining town was once home to a thriving population of over 2,000 people during its heyday. These days, while not officially a ghost town (with 350 current residents), it can certainly feel like one, with its abandoned buildings, eerie cemeteries, and overall feeling of being stuck in a bygone era.
Still, despite its relative emptiness, it remains the oldest continually inhabited mining town in the state, regularly impressing history buffs with its well-preserved old mining equipment. The historical society is full of fun facts about yesteryear, while the 1.5-mile drive up to the murals delivers plenty of wonderful photo opportunities. If you happen to be visiting on Saturdays, make sure to pop into the Jim Fritz Museum, an old miner’s house now preserved as an educational walkthrough.
Worth noting: Dramatic Gunfight reenactments by the High Desert Drifters are run on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month at High Noon. And, if you’re a fan of Route 66, be sure to check out the iconic Hackberry General Store which is located just down the road.
If you’re driving down the most direct route from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (which is via US 93), you’ll likely find yourself passing through Dolan Springs.
This small town, located about halfway between the two destinations, is home to a population of just over three thousand people. However, despite its size and typical stopping point for gas and snacks and not much more, there’s actually plenty to see and do here – especially if you enjoy hiking or spending time outdoors.
A top-notch spot for stretching the legs, the Mount Tipton Wilderness Area is both nearby and beautiful, with plenty of walking paths to explore and the occasional wild mustang trotting by. Drive a couple of minutes off the main strip and you’ll stumble across an otherworldly slice of Mars on Earth: Red Lake, Mohave County. This desolate and eerie landscape was the backdrop for the 1996 Mars Attacks film (which should tell you all about the visuals on offer) and provides a surreal photo op. For a quirky souvenir, pop into Sharon’s Knick Knacks, and for a dose of local art, take a few minutes to browse the wacky and wonderful metalwork at TRM Artistic Metal Creations or the rotating, colorful depictions at the Dolan Springs Art Gallery.
So, whether you’re looking to stretch your legs or simply want to take in some real wild west charm, be sure to add Dolan Springs to your list of stops on the way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon!
No matter where you stop, make sure to enjoy the journey…
Whether you’re driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon for business or pleasure, there’s no doubt that this journey will be one to remember! With so much incredible scenery and fascinating history to take in along the way, it’s hard not to fall in love with everything that this part of America has to offer. So, whether you’re planning on spending a few hours or a few days at the Grand Canyon, be sure to allow a couple of extra hours (either on the way there or the way back) to stop and smell the roses – in other words, leave time to check out the landmarks along the way!
How to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim?
Before we talk about how to get there, let’s dive into why we should visit the Grand Canyon South Rim in the first place! Despite being a little further from Las Vegas (which, naturally, makes it closer for anyone staying in Sedona or Flagstaff), it’s arguably the more impressive destination of the entire cohort, offering stunning outlooks (Mather Point and justifiably named Ooh Aah Point, to name just a couple of the must-sees), challenging hiking trails (the South Kaibab Trail is found on many an adventurer’s bucket list), helicopter flights, river rapids rides, mule rides, and other memorable activities for visitors of all ages and thrill appetites to enjoy.
Throw in park ranger programs that dive into the history, science, and culture of the region, as we all the Desert View Drive – the only scenic road on the South Rim that is open to private vehicles all year – and the Yavapai Geology Museum (next to the Yavapai viewpoint), and it’s easy to see why southwest travelers often opt to drive a little extra to experience the full month of this heralded world wonder.
So, if you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or simply want to see the very best that this natural landmark has to offer before brewing the charming Grand Canyon Village for dinner, drinks, and souvenirs, head on down to Grand Canyon South Rim!
In terms of getting to the Grand Canyon Village and, in turn, all of the fascinating natural wonders that lie a stone’s throw beyond it, the best way to travel from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim is definitely by car. Although it’s a little further than the West Rim (home of the Skywalk), the journey is still doable in a day and there are plenty of stops along the way where you can break up the driving.
The most direct route takes around four and a half hours and follows US 93 all the way until it meets up with I-40. From there, simply continue on I-40 East until you reach the town of Williams. From there, it’s a simple left turn onto Route 64 North, and after about 60 miles and an hour behind the wheel, after passing through the Kaibab National Forest, you’ll have rocked up at your destination! However, as we mentioned before, there are plenty of wonderful places to stop along the way, so we recommend taking your time and enjoying the journey.
Why not opt for a little Route 66 history?
Taking only about 20 minutes more, the historic and infamous Route 66 splits off from the I-40 in between the towns of Kingman of Seligman. Running close enough to parallel to the I-40 over this 87-mile stretch, the iconic road makes its way through quaint towns like Peach Springs, Valentine, Hackberry, Truxton, and Antares along the way, providing a long list of cafes, restaurants, and unique general stores. Speaking of which, the Hackberry General Store, found at the foot of Peacock Mountain, is like a trip back in time – packed wall to wall with historic signs and artifacts, it encompasses all of the unique allure of Route 66 in one quick pitstop.
Given the choice between the two – Route 66 or the I-40 – the historic route reigns supreme. After all, this is the stretch of asphalt that made America fall in love with the open road!
Grand Canyon South Rim entrance fee
The most conventional way to visit and enter the glorious Grand Canyon is by car. Thankfully, the authorities have made it easy for us. Rather than buying individual access permits, you simply need to obtain a Vehicle Permit for $35 . Whether you have two people in your convertible or twelve in your van, that price stays solid.
If you’re roaring down the open road on two wheels, a Motorcycle Permit will set you back $30 , while the unusual entrances (on foot, bicycle, park shuttle bus, or kayak) will require a $20 Individual Permit .
Either way, admission passed to the Grand Canyon National Park is for seven days and includes access to both the North Rim and South Rim of the UNESCO Heritage Site. And, a blessing for families, adventure-seeking youngsters 15 years old and under are always admitted free of charge.
So, as you can see, despite being a little further out from Las Vegas, the South Rim (and the North Rim) are actually more affordable than the privately-run West Rim .
Hot tip: on 5 select days most years, access to the National Park is free and doesn’t require a paid permit! Those days, which, mind you, will be busier, so best to arrive as early as possible, include:
- January 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- April 16: First day of National Park Week
- August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- September 24: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Planning on visiting a number of national parks during the year? For the best bang for your buck, it’s worth considering an all-encompassing park called America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass .
With one of these passes in hand ( the cost is $80 ), you’ll have entrance fees waived to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies (including all lands managed by the National Park Service or Fish and Wildlife Service).
Keep in mind that the aforementioned National Park permits won’t include the West Rim of the Grand Canyon because technically it is not part of the National Park, rather independently owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribal Nation.
Distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim
The South Rim – the gateway to the majority of the Grand Canyon’s most coveted hikes – is about 4.5 hours away by car, covering some 290 miles through dusty desert roads . To put things in perspective, that’s nearly twice as long and more than twice as far as the Vegas to West Rim route.
And while some people would scoff at the idea of a couple of extra hours behind the wheel, for those wearing their optimistic and curious traveler hats, more driving time simply equals more incredible places to stop along the way, more unique towns to discover en route, more photo opportunities or deserted desert highways, more natural landmarks to cruise past, and more time to belt out your favorite road trip songs, karaoke-style!
Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim
Whilst the drive is long, it’s actually very easy as there are only a few key junctions and routes.
The first part of the journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim takes you out of the Entertainment Capital of the World, past the town of Henderson and Boulder City, and through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. For this segment, you have two choices, about the same time behind the wheel . Choice one , Route 93, goes through Boulder City, while choice two , the I-11 freeway, goes around it. Sure, you might shave off a minute or two by keeping to the main freeway, but you’ll miss out on the quirky shops and notable museums found in Boulder City – it’s recommended to go one way there, and the other way back.
Whether you jump on the scenic route (Route 96) or the efficient route (the I-11) they eventually merge into one which will take you all the way to Hoover Dam on the state border – one of America’s most impressive engineering feats that has been a postcard-worthy icon for the better part of a century. From there, continue on Route 93 south until you reach the town of Kingman, Arizona – a charming desert town and former railway hub that is one of the largest built-up zones in the immediate area and plays host to the Route 66 Museum, Locomotive Park, and the Kingman Railroad Museum.
From Kingman, you’ve got another two choices – there’s no right or wrong route, it simply depends on your priority.
If you want to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim as quickly as possible, then you’ll simply keep cruising along the I-40 East – otherwise known as the Purple Heart Trail – until you reach the town of Williams. Along the way, you’ll be blessed with a great view of Hualapai Peak (on the right-hand side, just outside of Kingman) and cruise through the small towns of Seligman and Ash Fork (a good spot to stop for fuel or a quick bite).
On the other hand, if you’re not pressed for time, why not take it slow, soaking in the spectacular history of America’s most famous road? Yep, Route 66. Taking only about 20 minutes more than the freeway option, the 87-mile stretch of infamous roadway twists and turns its way through rugged scenery and makes its way through a half-dozen little towns along the way where quirky boutiques, one-of-a-kind museums, and the friendliest of locals await.
Okay – so you’ve either just cruised down Route 66 (did you find your kicks?) or shaved a few minutes off the journey by going along the Freeway. Either way, after the roads intertwine in Seligman, you’ll have made it to Williams not long after .
Once you’ve hit Williams, take a simple left turn onto Route 64 North. You’ll pass through Grand Canyon Junction, and the expansive beauty of the Kaibab National Forest along the 60-mile stretch before, well, that’s it! You’ll have arrived!
That’s a lot to take in, so here’s the summary of how to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim:
In short, take the same route you would to reach the West Rim, but rather than hanging a left when you get to Dolan Springs, continue straight towards Kingman. At Kingman, go left until you reach Williams, then left again until you’re staring into the abyss of the UNESCO-listed world wonder!
As you can see, no matter which forks you take, there’s a heck of a lot to look forward to on this drive, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time, top up your gas tank, and enjoy the ride! And despite incredible views of one of America’s most iconic landmarks waiting as your post road trip reward, the journey is arguably just as memorable – it is, in reality, what you make of it.
Don’t want to drive?
If you’re not keen on driving or simply want to avoid the hassle of organizing the road trip and figuring out directions, there are plenty of tour companies that run trips from Las Vegas to the South Rim (and sometimes even the North Rim).
Most tours depart early in the morning, making their way through the Hoover Dam and Boulder City at the very least. And if you want to add a little excitement to your tour, look for one that includes a helicopter or airplane ride over the Canyon. These exciting air tours deliver a whole new perspective of this natural wonder.
Duration from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim
The beautiful drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a longer one, but it’s worth it – if, for nothing else, the opportunity to cruise down the most historic and famous road in the country: Route 66.
Typically, the drive takes close to four and a half hours, give or take depending on traffic conditions and how many pitstops you make along the way for gas, snacks, and sightseeing.
While the 290-mile drive can be done in less than 4 hours and 30 minutes (maybe even closer to 4 if you’re a lead foot on the gas), to zoom through this part of the world would be a sin. With a handful of towns en route full of shops and restaurants you won’t find anywhere else, the common angle is that it’s better to take your time, enjoy the scenery, and make a few stops along the way. After all, this is one of America’s most iconic road trips!
If you’ve making the journey by car, you can expect it to take about 4 hours and 30 minutes without stops . But of course, locals advise taking your time to enjoy the experience – so queue up a good playlist and a podcast or two and make the most of the open road!
As we touched on earlier, the route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim by car has a few different options – but they all get you to the same final destination: the marvelous Grand Canyon.
If you were looking to take the scenic (read: more scenic, since the entire drive is stunning no matter which way you go) route, which includes a short detour through Boulder City (next to the hoover dam) and a tangent onto Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman instead of the built-up interstate freeway, you’ll be adding about 30 minutes all up to your journey.
For the chance to see a sliver of America’s most iconic road, it’s not much of a price to pay at all.
While renting (or bringing) your own car is typically the most cost-effective and quickest way to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon’s southern side, it’s not necessarily the easiest.
Similar to the plethora of bus tours that venture over to the West Rim and the Grand Canyon Skywalk, there are a few companies that make the journey to the South Rim too.
If you’re not interested in driving or want to avoid the hassle of organizing a road trip, these bus tours pick up from most hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and head straight for one of America’s most incredible natural wonders.
Full of fascinating facts from the friendly guide en route, as well as air conditioning and occasional onboard entertainment (depending on which tour you book), most tours include a stop at the Hoover Dam, while others might also pop into Chloride (an old mining town steeped in history), or make a little detour to the ponderosa pine forests of Flagstaff.
Sure, the tours have a busload (pun intended) of benefits, but busses typically make a few more stops along the way for snacks and restrooms, not to mention drive a little slower. So, expect pre-organized tours to take closer to 5 hours to get from Sin City to the South rim .
Take to the skies! One of the most popular ways to see the Grand Canyon is from above, and there are plenty of helicopter and airplane tours that depart toward both the South and West Rims. There’s no doubt about it – one of the best ways to see any natural wonder is from above, and the Grand Canyon is certainly no exception.
The majority of air tour companies will offer a pickup service from your Las Vegas hotel, getting you to their terminal in good time for your flight. And while some might consider this one of the more expensive ways to see the Canyon, many a traveler couldn’t speak any higher of it, preaching that it’s definitely worth the extra couple hundred bucks for the unique bird’s eye perspective – not to mention the bragging rights and killer photo ops!
Once you’re airborne, get ready for incredible views as you fly over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and the Colorado River before reaching the Grand Canyon itself. While the West Rim journey can be done by helicopter (40 minutes, as mentioned earlier), to visit the Grand Canyon South Rim (part of the National Park; whereas the West Rim is not), you’ll have to fly by plane – the journey will take around 1 hour and 10 minutes and is spectacular from takeoff to landing.
Once you’ve arrived at the South Rim – no matter how you got there – you can always sign up for a helicopter tour of the Canyon itself. With options for short scenic flights, flights that transport you into the depths of the canyon, and a host of tours that combine different thrilling activities, there are plenty of options to take to the skies, even if you arrived at the site by car in the first place.
A standout feature of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is the esteemed and historic Grand Canyon Railway . A tourist and transportation institution since 1901, the magical Grand Canyon Railway has been whipping visitors from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim on the 65-mile journey since its inception – long before the slew of tour busses had paved roads to drive along.
As you take your plush seat in the vintage cars, led by the restored locomotives, you’ll be serenaded with live music at the hands of costumed cowboy characters, be that with a fiddle, guitar, banjo, or squeezebox, all while the scenery out the window slowly transforms from dusty desert to wild prairies and luscious pine.
But you don’t have to wait for the All Aboard call for the old-school entertainment to begin: even before the train departs, guests are dazzled with a Wild West shootout performance!
If you’re looking to break up your journey in Williams before jumping on the train to the Canyon itself, consider a stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel , a 298-room property that was built to resemble the circa-1908 Fray Marcos Hotel.
Not only does the hotel offer visitors a convenient place to rest their heads before or after their train journey, but it also provides them with plenty of on-site activities and amenities to enjoy, such as a heated pool, spa, fitness center, and more, and is directly opposite the train depot, making for an easy stroll to the platform.
The train journey takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes each way (three-quarters of an hour faster than its inaugural trip in 1901), and there are plenty of sights along the way to admire as you continue onward to your final destination. Once you arrive at the South Rim, there are bucketloads more to see and do, from short walks along some of the many scenic trails to longer hikes down into the canyon itself, so make sure you give yourself enough time to explore this world-renowned natural landmark.
While it is technically feasible to do a round trip in one day , for those who want to take their time appreciating all that the Canyon has to offer without being rushed, it’s recommended to spend a night staying at the Grand Canyon Village .
For 10 months of the year, the conductor blows his whistle for departure at 9.30 am . That same day, the train returns from the Grand Canyon Village to Williams at 5.45 pm. (November and December are the exceptions when the train departures are shifted an hour earlier in both directions to allow for more daylight.)
As far as the wallet is concerned, you can experience train travel a-la 1923 in the classic Pullman rail cars – these are the cheapest tickets, starting at $67 for adults . For First Class, which comes with big windows, bar service, and complimentary snacks, you’re looking at $159, and for the ultimate experience – either the Observation Dome or Luxury Dome – tickets are upwards of $189.
So sit back, relax, and take in incredible views of Arizona’s high country as well as glimpses of wildlife like elk, deer, and pronghorn antelope.
Best stops from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim
If you take the most direct route, the epic journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim covers the same path as you’d take to get from the Las Vegas Strip to the West Rim. With that in mind, scroll up to our section on the best stops from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim to learn about the Hoover Dam, Boulder City, and plenty more.
If you’re after a quick oversight of each and can’t be bothered scrolling, here’s the elevator pitch for each of the stops on the first part of the route:
A feat of early 20th-century American engineering, the colossal Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada. At 221m high (over 726 feet), it was the tallest dam in the world when it was built in 1935 – and it also held the title of the largest hydroelectric plant in the world until about 1948.
Tours operate here that dive into not only the history of the area and the construction of the landmark but the workings of the power plant as well. Plus, at a length of 600 feet long, the spillways are certainly one of the most impressive features of the Hoover Dam.
A few minutes down the road from Hoover Dam is Boulder City, Nevada – the town that was purpose-built to house workers during the construction of Hoover Dam. It’s now a National Historic Landmark District (in fact, it’s Nevada’s largest listing on the National Register of Historic Places with no less than 514 buildings), and well worth a stop on your travels. Check out The Nevada Southern Railroad Museum for an insight into the city’s history as a railroad hub, or take a stroll along historic Buchanan Boulevard for a blend of charming cottages and lush greenery.
Besides being a magnificent spot to admire the Hoover Dam from afar, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (AKA the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge) is a formidable feat of engineering in its own right. Towering an impressive 885 feet above the Colorado River, the bridge has the claim to fame of being the longest concrete arch in North America.
If you’re craving a dose of nature (and a change of scenery from the bright lights of Sin City), the multitude of outdoor activities at Lake Mead will scratch any itch. Popular for fishing, boating, camping, kayaking, swimming, picnics and nature walks, the entire Lake Mead Recreation Area – 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys, and manmade lakes – is a year-round playground where fresh air and sharp blue waters make for a memorable stop and addition to any Vegas and Grand Canyon itinerary.
Despite requiring a little detour, the Valley of Fire delivers unforgettable landscapes in every direction – a state park of Nevada, located close to the city of Overton, it covers an area of 46,000 acres and was named for its stunning red sandstone formations which came to life thanks to shapeshifting sand dunes about 150 million years ago. The picturesque valley includes many hiking trails (both easy ones for families and more challenging treks for seasoned hikers), as well as opportunities for picnicking, camping, photography, and bird watching – and just around the corner in Overton lies the Lost City Museum-Archaeology, a great spot for any history buff.
Not quite a ghost town, but certainly like a trip back in time, the old mining village of Chloride is an easy stop between Sin City and the South Rim. Unlike the journey to the West Rim, no detour is required here.
Make sure to check out the museums and events run by the local historical society, and if traveling in your own car, note that the 1.5-mile drive up to the Purcell Murals (painted by the artist Roy Purcell) is a hidden gem not to be missed.
Typically a rest stop and point to fill up gas – and the turning-off point for the West Rim – Dolan Springs is rarely given second look. However, scratch below the surface and you’ll find a half-dozen noteworthy activities that can help break up the long drive. For a breath of fresh air, the Mount Tipton Wilderness Area is full of aesthetic natural landscapes and walking paths to stretch the legs; just off the main road is Red Lake, a Mars-like setting that has actually been used in Hollywood films to mimic the desolate plains of the red planet.
The next important town on your route from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim is Kingman, which is approximately 35 minutes further than Dolan Springs and about two hours from Las Vegas. It has a population of close to 30,000 people, making it by far the busiest settlement between Las Vegas and the South Rim (outside of Henderson, which you can basically lump in with Vegas since they’re next door to one another).
Thanks to the comparative business of the Arizona town, Kingman offers a variety of dining and shopping options as well as accommodation if you want to extend your trip to several days
Williams, Arizona is a small town with a rich history. Dating back to the early 1900s when it was mostly known as the stop of the Grand Canyon Railway, the small transport hub has developed over the years and is now home to a small yet impressive collection of activities for the whole family.
One of the most popular things to do in this quaint little town is visiting the Bearizona Wildlife Park, a family-friendly safari-style animal oasis that mimics the natural Arizona wilderness and houses everything from black bears to sheep, bison, wolves, deer, elk, and goats across its three-mile section of land. Choose from the drive-through or walkthrough option, and make sure to plan your visit to coincide with one of the several trainer-led animal shows throughout the day.
For more outdoorsy delights, Bucksinner Park is an awesome place to camp and stargaze, whip together a little picnic, or cast a fishing line. Back on the main drag, make sure to pop into Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum — an old-timey and tiny gas station that has been delightfully transformed into a private museum where a collection of impressive vintage vehicles are put on display, with plenty to be learned about the area and its history.
For those interested in both American history and a surge of adreniline, a stop at the Route 66 Zipline Adventure Park is a must. This unique attraction lets visitors zip line over part of the world-famous Mother Road while providing killer views of the nation’s largest ponderosa pine forest, soaring through the air at 30 miles per hour both backward and then forward. And, unlike typical ziplines, this one is seated and lets you fly side by side with your nearest and dearest.
After working up an appetite, there are plenty of great places to eat in Williams. If you’re looking to while away an evening before making the journey to the South Rim the following morning, dinner at the Red Raven Restaurant is a crowd favorite, washed down beautifully with a tasting flight at the Grand Canyon Brewing Company.
End your day with a stay at one of Williams’ many hotels (such as the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, which sits just across the road from the train depot), or pitch a tent under the stars at one of the handful of RV parks and campsites.
Grand Canyon Junction
The last major town before getting to the Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon Junction can be ticked off the list quickly.
In terms of famous attractions, Flintstones Bedrock City is by far the most popular. Delivering a slice of vintage pop culture, the outdoor theme park houses building and references of the beloved cartoon, with dino slides, authentic replica huts, and more. It is just $5 and with a gift shop to boot, it’s worth it for the nostalgia alone.
Around the corner is Raptor Ranch, where you can witness exciting raptor flight demonstrations that highlight their cunning hunting abilities as well as take part in falconry classes!
Overall, Grand Canyon Junction offers a host of camping grounds, RV parks, and hotels. For this reason, a handful of travelers opt to stay here for a night in order to tackle the big kahuna – the Grand Canyon – bright and early the next day before the tourist swarms land.
Grand Canyon Village
And just like that, you’ve arrived at the mouth of this UNESCO wonder! Before tackling the hiking trails or adventure activities, allocate some time to explore this adorable and historic settlement – while the Canyon receives all the spotlight, the Village still boasts a handful of things to see and do, especially for visitors interested in art, history, and architecture.
Take the Hopi House, for example. Designed by early 20th-century architect Mary Colter, this landmark has stood since 1904 as a bustling market for Native American crafts created by local Hopi artisans. Clearly having a large influence on the region, Mary Colter also designed the Bright Angel Lodge – the first accommodation on the Rim for Grand Canyon visitors. With a unique architectural style, you’ll find a host of locally inspired elements like rustic fireplaces, wooden details, and charming stonework, not to mention the authentic Southwestern hospitality.
For all you art lovers, add the Kolb Studio to the list. Sitting at the head of the Bright Angel Trail, the Kolb Studio was one of the earliest businesses in the area. Apart from being the home of brothers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb (hence the name), it was originally their photography too, from which they sold artifacts that detailed the earliest expeditions into the Grand Canyon, like photos of tourists trekking into the Canyon on mules.
When you’ve worked up an appetite and hear your stomach start to rumble, any of the El Tovar Dining Room, Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe, Canyon Village Market Place and Deli, Arizona Dining Room, or Yavapai Tavern ought to do the trick.
Being the furthest of the three main Grand Canyon rims from Las Vegas comes hand in hand with being the most underrated. Offering a bounty of adventure activities , sublime lookout points, challenging and rewarding treks, and plenty of flora and fauna to admire, the North Rim regularly surprises with its diversity of attractions. Found in the northwest corner of Arizona, the North Rim sits at an elevation of approximately 8,000 feet – about 1,000 feet higher than its southern neighbor. This equates to cooler temperatures year-round , which, in the summer months, in particular, is a godsend.
And, despite being located a mere 10 miles away from the South Rim as the crow flies, the environment – in terms of both the natural landscapes and the atmosphere – couldn’t be more stark a contrast.
This remote slice of the Canyon sees far fewer visitors compared to its southern counterpart . This translates to a much more intimate experience when you do visit – something that is hard to come by at one of America’s most popular national parks. So before we dive into how to get there, let’s dive into why this lesser-known corner should sit on your bucket list.
One of the main reasons to visit the Grand Canyon North Rim is its accessibility to a variety of outdoor activities . While hiking is obviously a given at any national park worth its salt, the North Rim offers so much more. For starters, this part of Arizona is home to pinyon-juniper woodlands, aspen forests, and mountain meadows – all of which make for prime real estate when it comes to wildlife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and even the occasional black bear!
The North Rim is also a great place to stargaze . Because of its elevation and distance from light pollution sources, this part of the park offers some of the best views of the Milky Way in the entire country. Head to Bright Angel Point or Cape Royal for two of the best spots to catch a glimpse of our galaxy on a clear night (not to mention a killer view by day too). While the former is the most accessible, arguably it’s the latter view that is the most aesthetic and impressive.
For all you experienced adventurers, consider seizing the opportunity to hike (or ride, via mule or horseback) the North Kaibab Trail . At 14 miles long from rim to river (28 miles out-and-back), it’s the longest and most challenging of the three main Grand Canyon trails and is not recommended to tackle in a single day, but with an overnight camp to split the journey up.
If you prefer the comfort of the open road, some of the best viewpoints in the North Rim area are all scattered along one winding, 13-mile stretch of pavement: the Cape Royal Scenic Road . The popular detour diverts from Hwy 67 just before Fuller Canyon and unlocks a bounty of lookouts and picnic areas along the way – from Point Imperial (a dramatic and photogenic spot to watch the sunset) to Vista Encantada (where wildflowers abloom beneath Ponderosa Pine), Roosevelt Point, and the Walhalla Overlook, to name but a few. Built in 1920, Grand Canyon Lodge boasts a stellar viewpoint of its own, overlooking both the North Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Creek.
When planning your adventure from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon North Rim, keep in mind that the road to the Grand Canyon North Rim is closed from Dec 1 through mid-May due to the likelihood of snow . In line with this, a chunk of the local services such as restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds are closed over the winter months too. You can still access the area via a backcountry permit secured in advance, but it becomes a little more complicated and is suggested only for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
How to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim?
For the most part, your options are driving or flying – either way, you’re in for one heck of an adventure without the busloads of tourists cramping your style.
The journey by car is a long one – just under five hours without stops – but it’s undeniably scenic. The route consisting of the I-15 freeway and a handful of state highways snakes between (or, at least, a stone’s throw from the edge of) a series of forests, parks, and wilderness monuments as it makes its way north from Vegas ( Zion National Park , Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area , Valley of Fire State Park , Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument , and the Kaibab Indian Reservation , to name the most proximate to the road). The North Rim entrance is located 40 miles south of Jacob Lake on Hwy 67, passing by the Kaibab Plateau en route.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to get behind the wheel for such a long journey, several tour companies can get you there via airplane or helicopter in under an hour. While this option will set you back a little more money-wise, it’s definitely the quickest and most convenient way to reach the North Rim from Las Vegas if you’re short on time. And let’s be honest – flying over the Grand Canyon is an experience in and of itself!
P.S. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen! The higher elevation means that the sun’s rays are even more intense at the North Rim. While counter-intuitive to packing sunscreen, you should also pack extra layers, as it can get a bit frosty at the high altitude! And as always, be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting any national park.
What is the Grand Canyon North Rim entrance fee?
Simplified answer: there is no specific fee to enter the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, you just need a general Grand Canyon access pass .
More complicated answer: While there is no fee specifically to enter the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, if you are planning on visiting any national parks in the United States (of which the Grand Canyon is one), you will need to purchase an access permit. Similar to the South Rim entrance permits, the fees are structured by vehicle rather than by individual. If you’re arriving in a car (or a van, with up to 15 people), then it’s pennies, at just $35 total . For the petrolheads on motorbikes, you’re looking at $30, while any Individual Permits (which cover entrance on foot, bike, shuttle bus, or kayak) are $20. Every permit is valid for 7 days for you to come and go as you please, and kids under 15 are free.
Hot tip: on 5 select days most years, access to the National Park is free and doesn’t require a paid permit! If you plan or venturing to several different USA national parks (to appreciate a wider perspective of the stunning raw beauty of this naturally diverse nation) you can buy an Annual Permit which includes access to over 2,000 recreation areas. To learn more about the free access days and the Annual Access Pass, click here – we discuss them earlier with respect to the South Rim, but the same information applies.
Distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim
Some spots on this big blue planet ooze something unique, boasting an appeal that only those who’ve visited can truly comprehend. The Grand Canyon, with its grandeur and beauty, is one of those places. And the North Rim is a place within the Grand Canyon that is unlike any other place in the world.
The North Rim is only open from mid-May to mid-October because it snows there in winter. That’s why it’s recommended to visit between June and August for optimal weather conditions, although September can also be lovely as the colors start to change. October brings cooler temperatures and fewer visitors as the season winds down.
To get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim by car, you’ll cover close to 270 miles – give or take depending on which area of Sin City you’re departing from. To put things in perspective, that’s a smidge over double the distance of the Las Vegas to West Rim route, and about 10 miles less than the drive to the Grand Canyon’s popular South Rim.
How to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim
While the South Rim and West Rim share a section of road, the North Rim rides solo, jutting out northeast from Las Vegas instead of southeast as you would for the other two.
Once you’ve said goodbye to the boisterous bars and neon-lit casinos of the strip – whether you’re in your own car or on a tour bus – the first part of your drive will take you north on I-15 (AKA the Las Vegas Freeway) out of Vegas. After about 40 minutes on the freeway, you’ll first pass through the tiny town of Crystal. Sandwiched between two arms of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, this little settlement is one of the gateways to the Valley of Fire State Park.
From there, if you’re not detouring to the Valley of Fire, simply continue from Crystal along the I-15 past a few small towns like Glendale and Mesquite, following along the Virgin River for the mostpart, until you hit the build-up southwest corner of Utah. Continue straight through on the I-15 via St George and Washington at the foot of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (this area is a great spot to stop for a bite). Thereafter, you’ll take exit 16 to merge onto the Utah-9 before swapping onto Utah-59 South for the next leg of the journey.
On Route 59, after making your way through Apple Valley and Colorado City, you’re back in Arizona by this point and the road becomes State Route 389. Keep cruising down that highway and you’ll pass through the Kaibab Indian Reservation and the small town of Fredonia. From Fredonia, you’ll jump on Route 89A until Jacob Lake (about 30 minutes), and then it’s smooth sailing down Route 67 – the Grand Canyon Highway – until you arrive at the North Rim!
As you can see, visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim from Las Vegas is doable in a day if you’re willing to put in some driving time. However, since you’ll want a full day (or more) to explore the fascinating elements of the Canyon, many a traveler chooses to bunk in for the night at Jacob Lake or the Kaibab Lodge.
Duration from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim
How long it takes to get from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim depends on your choice of transport and the number of stops you make along the way. The average drive time from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim is about five hours with one or two stops , but it could be more or less depending on traffic and weather conditions. To avoid making the drive in one day, consider spending a night in Jacob Lake or Fredonia. This will give you more time to explore the area and make the most of your trip.
Certainly the most flexible transport method, driving yourself – which will take about five hours – gives you the ability to make stops along the way, detour if you want to explore something new, and generally take your time getting to Grand Canyon North Rim. That being said, it’s also the most tiring option (if you’re the one driving), and keep in mind that you’ll have to factor in gas, rental car fees (if applicable), and lodging costs if you plan on spending the night en route.
If driving intimidates or bores you, and you prefer to be a little spoiled in true holiday mode, consider letting the experts do their thing and taking a tour bus from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim instead.
Joining a guided group is often more affordable than renting a car and driving yourself and takes away all of the hassle associated with planning out directions, making sure you don’t skip over and of the important landmarks en route, and often takes care of booking accommodation for the night too. Plus, with a local guide aboard, you’ll learn a stack about the environments through which you’re traveling!
Or… you could always ditch the wheels altogether. By far the most time-efficient and exciting way of getting from Sin City to the Canyon is by air! Unfortunately, there is no airport at the North Rim itself, so if you want to fly to the Grand Canyon you’ll have to book an airplane flight to the South Rim or a helicopter flight to the West Rim.
Once at the South Rim, myriad helicopter tours fly over the North Canyon (after all, it’s just 10 miles distance from north to south by air) and the Kaibab National Forest, so you can still experience the beauty of the North Rim from above – you’ll just need to be creative and adaptable in your plans and spend more time at the South Rim.
That said, there are regional airports closer to the North Rim in the form of both St. George Regional Airport and Cedar City Regional Airport, but they’ll require stopovers in either Phoenix or Salt Lake City, and you’ll still have to organize transport to the canyon thereafter.
Best stops from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim
A longer drive means more alluring roadside attractions to take in along the way. With both manmade activities in the form of museums, hotels, dinosaur discovery sites and family fun centers, and natural awe-inspiring landmarks covering rivers, parks, gorges, and national forests, you could easily spend two or more days catching all the en-route attractions before arriving at the Grand Canyon if you wanted to.
While there are dozens of places to check out, some of our favorites include:
The easternmost Nevadan city, Mesquite is the perfect spot to grab a bite for lunch – namely, at the nostalgic Peggy Sue’s 50’s Style Diner. It’s also the last chance to hit up major casinos, so if you want to roll the nice one more time before leaving Nevada, then the Eureka Casino Resort, Casablanca Casino (known for its waterfall pool) Golden West Restaurant and Casino, or Stateline Casino, to name a few, are ready for business.
Not too far off the main road, you’ll also find the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum, a time capsule into the world of the area’s pioneers, the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, and the Wolf Creek Golf Club for anyone looking to practice their drive.
The Virgin River Gorge
This is a spectacular gorge located east of Mesquite, Nevada. The Virgin River flows through deep canyons and over red cliffs, making for a jaw-dropping scenic drive. There are several pull-offs where you can stop and enjoy the view, at both the South Gorge and main Gorge – and don’t miss the Virgin River Canyon either, a perfect precursor to the world wonder you’ll see not too many hours later.
St George and Washington
Two towns side by side in Utah, you’ll drive past both of these built-up areas along the most direct route. If you want to stretch your legs and explore nature, check out the Red Hills Desert Garden, Pioneer Park, Snow Canyon, Sand Hollow State Park, or Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. For a more educational stopover, there’s the notable St. George Art Museum, St. George Utah Temple, and a slew of stately 19th-century buildings dotted around town (the Pioneer Courthouse and Brigham Young Winter Home, to name a couple).
And, for some more typical family fun, you’ve got the St. George Children’s Museum, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm, Fiesta Fun Family Fun Center, Smash Labs Rage Rooms & Axe Throwing (maybe save this one for the bigger kids) and Thunder Junction All Abilities Park.
Zion National Park
While this infamous National Park can’t be viewed in just an hour or two – there’s simply so much to discover that you’ll need at least a day – since it’s so close to the road you’ll already be traveling on, if you have another 2 days to spare, a stop at Zion is hard to argue with.
You’ll only be adding about an hour’s worth of total driving time, but with landmarks like the Temple of Sinawava, West Temple, Canyon Junction Bridge, the Watchman, and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, you’ll be filling up your camera roll in no time.
Hot tip: check out the fun things to do in Zion National Park .
Pipe Spring National Monument
A must for any galavanting history buffs, this historic site is located in the heart of the Kaibab Indian Reservation on the Arizona side of the border, just off Route 389. It features an old fort built by Mormon pioneers, as well as a working ranch with Longhorn cattle and American bison. You can visit an old fort (Winsor Castle), one of the many structures that helps provide a glimpse into the American Indian and pioneer life in the old West, or take part in a guided hike to learn the tumultuous history behind the area and the cultural significance of the scenery.
Kaibab Plateau HP
Home to an abundance of wildlife among an engulfing section of towering greenery, the Kaibab Plateau en route to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a lesser-known but no less stunning destination that’s definitely worth the teenie-tiny detour. With towering peaks, verdant forests, and awe-inspiring views, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. So if you’re looking to escape the crowds and experience some true natural beauty, pop into the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center before heading on up to the 9200-foot-high Plateau.
The Grand Canyon North Rim Visitor Center
This is a must-stop for anyone visiting the North Rim. The visitor center has exhibits on the geology, history, and ecology of the Grand Canyon, offers a host of ranger-led programs, and has friendly volunteers (not to mention a bookstore) on-site to help you make the most of your journey to the peaceful North Rim.
As you can see, there are plenty of interesting places to visit along the way to the Grand Canyon North Rim. So, if you want to make the most of your journey, don’t rush – just live in the moment.
Hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers rejoice – while summer is peak season and you’ll no doubt be blessed with a huge variety of hiking options and adventure activities, the best time to visit the Grand Canyon is during the springtime or the fall!
From March to May and September to November , temperatures are usually milder and more comfortable, making for perfect conditions to explore all that this natural wonder has to offer.
Sure, you can visit in summer, and millions of tourists do so every year, but for that exact reason, the crowds are typically larger, meaning that reservations at campsites, hotels, restaurants, and main attractions (like the Skywalk on the West Rim) will be a little more competitive. And, of course, the sun is blaring down during July and August like no tomorrow.
All of this logic applies more so to the West Rim and South Rim. If you’re heading to the North Rim, which sits about 1,000 feet higher in elevation compared to the south, temperatures are more bearable in the peak summer months – and the crowds are smaller too. Keep in mind, however, for exactly the same reason, the highway to the North Rim is closed for the winter due to the likelihood of snow.
Well, how much time you spend at this world wonder depends; it’s entirely up to where you want to go, what you want to see, and how many other National Parks in the area you want to squeeze into your trip.
The most basic of basic trips – the day trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim – will take an entire da y.
If you want to have the full experience – including sunrises and sunsets on the viewpoints, a mix of hiking, adventure activities, history and culture tours, and a few hours left over to wander off the beaten track, it’s recommended to allow between two and three days at the Grand Canyon South Rim, though you could stay for longer for a more relaxed visit.
Alternatively, if you plan on heading to the North Rim, to really make the most of the area – including the plethora of parks and landmarks nearby (Zion, for one), you could easily spend 5-7 days on the journey.
Hot tip: if you do want to tick off as many of the main attractions as possible, such as Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Zion National Park, Valley of Fire National Park, and Bryce Canyon, there are a few tour options that include all of the above (and then some), taking the hassle out of planning a multi-stop adventure.
Each of the three main areas has different rules in regards to driving, but the short answer is no, you can’t drive your own car through the Grand Canyon itself.
What you can do, however, is drive along the scenic roads . If you end up making your way over to the South Rim, you can drive your own cars along the East Rim Drive (otherwise known as the Desert View Drive). Along the way, there are about 8 viewpoints and about 6 picnic areas as you make your way east along the 23-mile (37-km) long road, so it’s a great way to spend an afternoon soaking in the scenery.
Also at the South Rim, you’ll find four different shuttle bus routes that operate at different times of the year, allowing you to see the area without worrying about driving or parking. Buses arrive every 15-30 minutes and cover the Village Route (blue), Kaibab Rim (Orange) Route, Hermit Road (Red Route), and Hikers’ Express Shuttle.
At the West Rim, you’ll have to park your car at the visitor center and hop on the shuttle. All of the West Rim admission tickets include shuttle access , which drops you at places like Eagle Point, The Skywalk, and Guano Point.
As far as the North Rim is concerned, there’s a shuttle that operates during the year bar winter that takes you to the North Kaibab Trailhead from the Grand Canyon Lodge and back.
Convinced you need more than a day to explore everything the Grand Canyon has to offer? You’re not alone.
Overnight stays are available at all three rims of the Canyon – South, West, and North. Accommodation options range from camping under the stars to luxury lodges, so there’s something for everyone (and every budget).
If you’re planning on heading to the South Rim (particularly during peak season), keep in mind that advanced bookings are essential as space fills up months in advance. The most popular time to stay overnight is between April and October when temperatures are more comfortable for hiking and spending time outdoors. Some of the best places to stay include Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins , El Tovar Hotel , and Kachina Lodge .
If you’re interested in staying at the Grand Canyon West Rim , you can choose between the Hualapai Ranch in the park itself, the Cabins at Grand Canyon West , the Grand Canyon Western Ranch , the Joshua Tree Ostrich Ranch and Guest House in Dolan Springs (about an hour drive away), or the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, about 90 minutes away.
As for the North Rim , accommodation options are a little more limited but no less stunning. If you’re planning on spending a night or two here, your best bet is to book one of the cabins at Grand Canyon Lodge . This historic lodge was built back in 1928 and sits right on the edge of the canyon rim – talk about a front-row seat! There’s also the North Rim Campground and the Kaibab Lodge , about 25 minutes north.
Hot tip: if you want to avoid the crowds and likely save a few bucks, consider staying in one of the nearby towns (like Williams for the South Rim or Jacob Lake for the North Rim) and driving to the main haunts at the break of dawn.
Wow, what a rundown. If you’ve made it this far, looks like you’ve got some tours to book! There you have it – everything you need to know about planning a trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon . With its easy accessibility, myriad organized tours, and variety of outdoor activities, stunning viewpoints, and diverse landscapes, it’s no wonder this part of the park is such a popular destination for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers alike.
You can compare all of the best Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas to find which one suits your budget. If you’re after some extra thrills and memories to last a lifetime, take your pick of the exciting Grand Canyon helicopter tours , and if you want to get up close and personal with the Canyon floor and the wildlife that calls it home, be sure to book one of the Grand Canyon rafting trips .
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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How to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
One of the world's natural wonders and a bucket list item for many travelers, the Grand Canyon is a popular day trip or multi-day adventure from Las Vegas . In fact, more than 6 million people annually visit Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona , which is just a few hours by car from the bright lights of the Vegas Strip.
Today, let's look at all the ways to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and the modes of transportation that may work best for you.
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Embark on a road trip
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) has a Rent-A-Car Center that houses 11 rental companies under one roof. Since the Las Vegas Strip (where the majority of visitors stay) is less than a 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride from the airport, it's easy to rent a vehicle conveniently and affordably just before taking off for the Grand Canyon.
Make sure you book your rental car with a credit card that provides a collision damage waiver (CDW) and other protections to cover the rental car (and yourself) if you're in an accident or if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.
Related: Getting to Las Vegas on points and miles
The drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon's iconic South Rim -- the most-visited section due to its superior canyon viewpoints and accessibility -- is approximately 275 miles from the Las Vegas Strip and takes around 4.5 hours.
If you're short on time and simply want a glimpse of the Grand Canyon, the West Rim is only a two-hour drive from Las Vegas and offers an adrenaline-filled zip line and Skywalk experience. But you won't be awarded the same staggering views as the South Rim from Grand Canyon National Park, the only section of the park open year-round.
To reach the South Rim from Las Vegas, take Highway 93 south to I-40. From there, get on I-40 east to Route 64. Then jump on Route 64 north and you'll arrive directly at the South Rim in approximately one hour.
A more scenic alternative, albeit a bit longer drive, is to take I-515 south from downtown Las Vegas to US-93 southbound. Exit US-93 to visit the Hoover Dam if time permits and then jump back on US-93 heading east while crossing over the Colorado River and getting on I-40 to continue to the South Rim.
The freedom afforded by having your own car means you can decide what highlights to hit, where to stop and how long to stay on your visit to the Grand Canyon.
Related: Credit cards that offer elite status for car rentals
Go by plane
Flying directly to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas on a commercial airline is complicated. The closest commercial airport is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) but as a commuter airport, you won't find direct service from LAS airport. Instead, you would have to fly from LAS into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and take an expensive connecting flight to Flagstaff. You'd then drive 90 minutes to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
A number of private charter companies offer one-hour flights directly to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. Airplane tours feature luxury "flightseeing" airplanes built for sightseeing, featuring high wings and panoramic windows for clear viewpoints. Many tours boast breathtaking views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert and the winding Colorado River before reaching the Grand Canyon.
Experiencing the Grand Canyon from this bird's-eye perspective on a privately chartered airplane is certainly more costly than driving. However, if time is of the essence, flying affords you more time at the South Rim plus astounding aerial views.
Related: The best credit cards for airfare purchases
Take a helicopter
Soar over the most beautiful landscapes at Grand Canyon National Park like a VIP in a helicopter. Companies such as Papillon Helicopters and Maverick Helicopters offer tours that depart from a helicopter air terminal near LAS Airport. Tours include round-trip transportation from all major Las Vegas hotels. (Popular helicopter aviation company Blade offers rides from Las Vegas to nearby cities, yet none to the Grand Canyon -- although you can always charter a private Blade ride.)
Related: Camping in the Grand Canyon with a family
Helicopter tours from Las Vegas range in length from short flights over the Grand Canyon to fascinating experiences that involve a full day including Champagne, food and a stop on the canyon floor.
Helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon have become increasingly popular, resulting in more helicopter operators and competitive pricing starting as low as $250 per person.
Ride the rails
For those with time to spare and a desire to ride the rails, the journey from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is a long, yet scenic one. Your day will start by departing from the Gray Line Tour Center in Las Vegas, located just minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip. From there you will ride Amtrak's Thruway bus service to Kingman, Arizona, where you will board Amtrak's Southwest Chief train and enjoy a two-hour ride to Williams, Arizona. From Williams, you'll climb aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway for an hour-long journey through a beautiful stretch of forests and arrive just steps from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Related : The best credit cards to use for train travel
The iconic Grand Canyon Railway is the highlight of traveling by train from Las Vegas to the South Rim. If you can embrace the 12+ hour round-trip by rail, you'll be presented with majestic scenery -- particularly on the last leg of the journey -- from the comfort of a vintage rail car.
Book a bus tour
If you prefer to let someone else do the driving and favor an on-the-ground mode of transportation, there are a vast number of bus tours -- some even narrated -- that include hotel transfers from Las Vegas and take guests directly to the South Rim.
These air-conditioned luxury motorcoaches include strategic quick stops at scenic points, including Grand Canyon National Geographic Center, Hoover Dam and Route 66. Many will also include lunch, refreshments and live commentary by an experienced guide for as low as $75 per person.
Once you arrive at the Grand Canyon you will have roughly three to four hours to explore the South Rim before making your way back to Las Vegas.
While many methods of transportation exist to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, the right one for you will depend on how much time you have to explore away from Sin City. Those with limited time may opt for an airplane or helicopter tour to take in memorable aerial views, while others might prefer the independence of driving themselves or using buses or trains.
Featured Image courtesy of Meinzahn/Getty Images.
What is the Distance from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon?
While in Las Vegas be sure to take an opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon! It is closer than you think and more magical than you can imagine.
So how far exactly is Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon?
If you are driving yourself or renting a car, the world-renowned National Park, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is just a short drive away from Sin City.
The closest part of the canyon is a two and a half hour drive each way from Las Vegas. Locations further afar within the 1,900 square mile National Park can add a few hours to your trip each way.
More expedited options exist to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon as well. Many flights to Grand Canyon and tours from Las Vegas can make this trip shorter, more scenic, and bundle other adventurous and exciting excursions.
Distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
The distance from Las Vegas, NV to the Grand Canyon depends entirely on which part of the canyon you would like to visit.
There are three different and unique rims - two (North Rim and the South Rim) that are part of Grand Canyon National Park and one (West Rim) that is not - that are available for touring, hiking, and other activities.
Here are distances to each rim from Las Vegas:
- The West Rim is the closest rim to Las Vegas. It is located about 130 miles from the heart of Las Vegas. On average, the drive takes approximately two and a half hours.
- Both the North Rim and South Rim are located over 270 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. On average, both drives take approximately four and a half hours. The National Park is so massive that if you want to drive from the North Rim to the South Rim, it is a 4.5 hour drive of 220 miles!
Why drive when you can be whisked away on a world-class tour of the Grand Canyon? There are daily nonstop private Las Vegas helicopter flights from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and a number of private aircraft flights as well.
Papillon offers daily helicopter tours, airplane tours, and Grand Canyon from Las Vegas tours . Departing Las Vegas by air really offers the most options for your Grand Canyon vacation getaway and gives you more time to explore the park's most interesting sites.
Discover just a few of the once-in-a-lifetime excursions offered on Papillon Grand Canyon tours:
- Soar over the world-renowned landscapes of the Grand Canyon on an exhilarating airplane or helicopter tour .
- Enjoy a champagne and light picnic on a private plateau 4,000 feet below the Grand Canyon's rim at sunset .
- Float between the enormous walls of the Grand Canyon on a pontoon boat cruise of the Colorado River.
- Get your adrenaline pumping as you navigate the rapids of the Colorado River on a whitewater rafting adventure to the Grand Canyon.
Discover more about Las Vegas trips to the Grand Canyon .
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim by Car
The most popular rim to travel to from Las Vegas is the Grand Canyon West Rim. This is where you will head to if you are going to take a trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon Skywalk .
It takes between two and two and a half hours to get to Grand Canyon West rim, which is privately owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe.
Don't expect the drive to be on smooth or fast freeway! It's an adventure with most of the drive on 2-lane roads, a few miles of bumpy dirt road with 25 MPH speed limits! The drive is remote and beautiful.
You can bypass this arduous drive by booking one of many tours Papillon runs daily to this magical destination.
Driving Directions to the Grand Canyon West Rim
Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to get to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by car.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim by Car
The drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim by car is approximately 280 miles and takes about four and half hours.
You'll travel over Route 66 and pass Hoover Dam, Kingman, Arizona, and historic Williams, Arizona. The route is full of sweeping Mojave desert landscapes and rises up into high mountain vistas of the Kaibab National Forest.
Driving Directions to the Grand Canyon South Rim
Follow these step-by-step instructions to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
How long does it take to get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?
The distance from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon depends entirely on which rim of the canyon you would like to reach.
- West Rim : Approximately 130 miles or two and a half hours driving
- South Rim : Approximately 280 miles or four and a half hours driving
- North Rim : Approximately 270 miles or four and a half hours driving
Is the Grand Canyon a day trip from Las Vegas?
Absolutely! Each of the Grand Canyon rims are within between 2.5 and 4.5 hours from Las Vegas.
Even better, Papillon offers daily helicopter, airplane, bus, and adventure tours of the Grand Canyon.
Which part of the Grand Canyon is closest to Las Vegas?
The West Rim is the closest section of the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas . It is located about 130 miles from the heart of Las Vegas. On average, the drive takes approximately two and a half hours.
How far is Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon Skywalk?
The 4,000-foot high Grand Canyon Skywalk is located only 2 ½ hours away from Las Vegas. This Grand Canyon glass bridge is located at Grand Canyon West.
What is the distance from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon National Park?
It is a 250 mile drive to get from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon National Park. On this drive, you’ll travel over historic Route 66, through Kingman, Arizona and Williams, Arizona, and before arriving at the South rim.
From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon: 4 Best Ways to Get There
Written by Freddy Sherman Updated Apr 26, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
If you're looking for an escape or day trip from Las Vegas, a visit to the Grand Canyon can be the perfect destination. The incredible canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is a four-hour drive or a 45-minute flight from Las Vegas.
The easiest way to do the trip is to take a tour. An organized tour makes it easy, as they handle everything from logistics to a scenic itinerary. Some tours will take you by motor coach (bus), and more expensive tours will take you by helicopter, which only takes about 15 minutes.
You can also make the drive yourself. Most of it is on large, divided highways. Once you arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park, there's a free shuttle bus system that goes throughout the park and surrounding areas.
Greyhound has a bus that goes from Vegas to Flagstaff, and several companies operate regular shuttles between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
Here are several options for you to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
On This Page:
- From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Car
- From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon on a Tour
- From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Helicopter
- From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Bus and Train
1. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Car
Highlights: A half-day trip that allows you to stop and explore highlights on the way
If you want to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, it's an easy trip almost completely done on interstate highways. Although the canyon is only 100 miles away as the crow flies, the drive is much less direct and is almost 300 miles. It will take you between four and five hours from Las Vegas .
You start from the Las Vegas Strip near the airport, heading on the I-215 east towards Henderson. You then make your way to the I-11 southbound, which will take you to the border of Arizona. The road is also US-93, and there are some scenic viewpoints of Lake Mead as you leave Henderson and begin to get into the Mojave Desert. You can also make a detour here and visit Hoover Dam and/or the lake.
From here, it's an easy drive through the Arizona desert to the I-40, where you'll take that east for a few hours until Williams, Arizona . That's where you'll get off the big interstate and start on historic Route 66. It's fun to stop in the little town of Seligman, Arizona, which celebrates its location on the famous American route. After a while, you take AZ-64, which is a 50-mile road leading directly to the Grand Canyon National Park. In the winter months, there can be snow in the area (and on the roads) between Flagstaff and the Canyon.
For fun, you may want to drive to Williams, Arizona and then take the Grand Canyon Railway train from here to the canyon. There's free parking at the train depot, and you can use the park shuttle system to move around within the park - you don't need a car.
You can rent a car to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon . Car rental companies like Avis , Budget , Hertz , and National all have locations in Las Vegas. If you are flying into Vegas, you can rent a car at the airport but keep in mind it is usually cheaper to rent from an off-airport location. The big rental car companies have multiple locations throughout the city and at several of the major resorts.
If you are planning to drive to the Grand Canyon, which is in the neighboring state of Arizona, you should rent a car from a large rental company like Sixt , Enterprise , or Thrifty . Small, local car rental agencies may have restrictions that do not allow you to drive the vehicle out of state.
2. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon on a Tour
Highlights: Affordable, jam-packed sightseeing tour with dedicated guide
If you want an easy, inexpensive way to make the trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, try an organized tour. The Grand Canyon National Park Bus Tour is an all-day experience that takes you via motor coach (with a restroom onboard) from the Las Vegas Strip area right to the Grand Canyon.
Most bus tours stop at Hoover Dam, just outside Las Vegas, and on Route 66 in the cool town of Seligman, Arizona. The tours take you to the canyon's South Rim for a stop at the Mather Point overlook and the iconic Bright Angel Lodge .
The experience starts with a 6am departure from Las Vegas and gets you back there around 10pm. The tours include a guide who provides commentary and answers questions during the trip. The tour also includes round-trip transportation from most major Las Vegas hotels.
3. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Helicopter
Highlights: Lux sightseeing opportunity with expansive in-flight views and on-ground exploring
The fastest (and most expensive) way to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is by helicopter. The Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Tour from Las Vegas with Optional Skywalk starts with free hotel pickup from your Las Vegas hotel.
After leaving Las Vegas, you pass over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River and get a truly unique aerial perspective of these sites. You'll also see the natural beauty of the Mojave Desert on the way before arriving at the awe-inspiring location.
Once at the Grand Canyon, you land at the West Rim, where you can admire breathtaking views from the overlooks. From here, you visit Eagle Point. Purchase an upgrade, and you can enjoy views over the canyon from the Skywalk here, a glass walkway suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon floor.
You will then visit Guano Point, where you can view the canyon from atop an old mine. You'll have time to hike to an elevated vantage point with more spectacular views of the canyon. Then it's back into the helicopter for the quick return trip to Las Vegas and drop-off at your hotel. The entire experience will take about seven hours.
4. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Bus and Train
Highlights: Leisurely paced bus travel with opportunity to ride a historic train
It's possible to get to the Grand Canyon from Vegas by bus, or by a combination of buses and a train. Start in Las Vegas at the Greyhound bus terminal and take the bus to Flagstaff, Arizona, which takes about five hours (there are only two stops made).
You can then take a shuttle bus from Flagstaff for the 90-minute drive directly to the canyon. The shuttles take you from several locations in Flagstaff to Maswik Lodge or the Tusayan IMAX Theater, both inside the park. Once inside the national park, there is a free shuttle that takes you around to various locations.
Alternatively, you can add on a historic train ride to make things interesting. From Flagstaff, you need to get to Williams, Arizona. The best option is another bus service . You could also take a taxi or Uber or Lyft – it's only about 30 miles (48 kilometers).
Once in Williams, you take the iconic Grand Canyon Railway , which takes about two hours and brings you right to the South Rim. The train has different types of rail cars and six different classes of services and ticket prices. You have options, from very basic cars with bench seats to riding in your own private parlor car, the turn-of-the-century version of private jet travel. The trains depart Williams at 8:30 or 9:30am (8:30 am in November and December), and depart from the canyon to return to Williams at 2:30 or 3:30pm (2:30 pm in November and December).
You can even stay overnight at the historic Grand Canyon Railway Hotel , which opened in 1908. Located next to the Williams train depot, the newly refurbished hotel has some fun amenities, like an indoor pool and hot tub.
More on Arizona
How to Travel From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Car, Plane, and Helicopter
TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre
The Grand Canyon is about 130 miles from the heart of Las Vegas (275 to the popular South Rim) and is a doable day trip no matter how you decide to get there—though we’d recommend searching out one of the Grand Canyon’s lodging options for those driving. There are plenty of transportation choices for reaching it—from driving yourself, to taking a bus, a small plane, or even helicopter right from the Strip.
Traveling to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona , a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, has become an American rite of passage. Teddy Roosevelt called it a “great wonder of nature,” declaring the Grand Canyon a national park in 1908 and exhorting people to “keep it for your children and your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”
And there’s no better base camp for the ultimate trip than Las Vegas. In fact, more than 6 million people journey there each year to see its awe-inspiring canyons, the 277 miles of the Colorado River that cut through it, and to see its 500 species of animals (including the rare California Condor).
There are two public areas of the national park: the North and South Rims. Most visitors favor the South Rim, since it’s the most accessible section of the park, with lots of places to pull over and ogle the vertiginous heights (7,000 feet above sea level). Of course, you can get to both rims: The Grand Canyon North Rim is actually 1,000 feet higher than the southern section, but not as easy to access, and the drive is 220 miles. If you decide to travel between the rims by foot, you can take the Kaibab Trails and traverse the canyon in 21 miles.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon?
Depending on how many stops you intend to take, whether or not you decide to stay overnight in one of the hotels or historic inns at the Grand Canyon, and of course how many people you bring, driving is the cheapest way to get to the Grand Canyon. Bank on spending (conservatively) what you would for a 560-mile car journey, not including the stops you might want to make along the way. This will get you from the center of the Strip to the South Rim.
How Long Does it Take to Drive?
To reach the South Rim from the Strip, you’ll take Highway 93 south from Las Vegas to I-40 east to Highway 64, skirting the Hualapai Reservation. This drive takes about four and a half hours, and although you can get there and back in a day, consider making it an overnight journey. Take your time on the way and you can visit the new bypass bridge at Hoover Dam (which actually looks down on the dam). You can park and take a tour of the dam, too. You’ll take in fabulous views of the Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona desert landscapes.
When you arrive at the South Rim, visit the South Rim Village’s Historic District, built during the first half of the 20th Century during the construction of the Santa Fe Railroad. From here, you can take the Bright Angel Trail to the bottom of the canyon and back—a strenuous hike that’s among the canyon’s safest and most traveled, but not necessarily for everyone. Not a hiker? Spend your time in the South Rim Visitor Center, where you’ll find exhibits and programs, and "Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder," a 20-minute movie that will take you on rim to river journey (without the physical exertion).
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon?
There’s nothing quite like leaving the neon of the Strip and being transported right into the Grand Canyon in only 90 minutes. Traveling by helicopter is by far the most dramatic (and the fastest) way to arrive. Both Papillon Helicopters and Maverick Helicopters run tours of the Grand Canyon right from the Strip (or from Henderson), and depending on the tour you choose, you’ll zip over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Mojave Desert, and either land from the West Rim, descending 3,500 feet into the base of the Grand Canyon, or at the South Rim. Those who dare will want to book a West Rim flight, which lands at the Hualapai Tribe’s Grand Canyon Skywalk, the glass-bottom observation deck suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon and the Colorado River.
During the flights, you’ll wear headphones, and most companies either narrate your flight live or play a pre-recorded tour so you won’t miss a thing. Make sure to choose one of the flights that takes a little night tour over the Las Vegas Strip before landing.
How Long Is the Flight?
If you choose to fly commercial to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, your options are limited. Flagstaff Pulliam airport is the closest commercial airport and doesn’t service Las Vegas nonstop. Rather, you’ll fly from Vegas to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, taking a connecting flight to Flagstaff, and then drive 90 minutes to the South Rim. A better idea is to take one of the private charter flights directly to the Grand Canyon on “flightseeing” airplanes, which will take you over the most beautiful sights of the Mojave and Hoover Dam on your way to the Grand Canyon.
Both Papillon and Maverick offer these trips. Once you arrive at the Grand Canyon South Rim, you’ll take a motorcoach transfer to stops like Bright Angel Lodge and Mather Point—major lookout points along the canyon rim. You can even add a helicopter or Hummer tour. The entire flight is about two hours, and count on about nine hours for a day’s trip.
Is There a Bus That Goes From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon?
There are both West Rim and South Rim bus tours of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. The South Rim tour generally includes stops at the visitors’ center and the Mather Point and Bright Angel Lodge lookout points and the fabulous views from Yavapai Point, as well as a trip to Hoover Dam’s bypass bridge. Most of these trips include a hotel pickup, hikes, stops in Williams or Seligman on Arizona’s Route 66, and drop-off at your hotel. A South Rim day is a bit longer than a West Rim day and can top 15 hours in length.
A number of tours travel to Grand Canyon West, which is not Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a shorter day, and definitely spectacular—just make sure you know what you’re getting. The Grand Canyon West tours stop at the Grand Canyon Skywalk, and there are hop on, hop off stops at Guano Point, Hualapai Ranch, and a return to Las Vegas. These tours are usually a few hours shorter than the South Rim trips.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to the Grand Canyon?
For those who love to dodge high season, the Grand Canyon is open 365 days a year, though you’ll want to be aware that its weather can be a bit extreme. March through May and September through November are usually great times to visit to avoid the 100-degree-plus temps (and crowds) of a South Rim summer. And keep in mind that it does snow in the park—142 inches on average on the North Rim—but usually melts to rain on the way to the canyon floor.
What Is There to Do in the Grand Canyon?
There are many ways to experience the Grand Canyon. The easiest, of course, is to sit back and simply enjoy the endless red and purple vistas from the visitors’ center; the South Rim bookstores, gift shops, and museums; and take a few easy walks. One good choice is the Trail of Time, an easy, 2.8-mile walk between the Yavapai Museum of Geology and Verkamps Visitor Center. It’s designed to be a geologic timeline, and each meter you walk represents 1 million years of geologic history. You’ll see all the layers of rock labeled, and explanations of how the canyon and its rocks were formed.
Those who want a bit of light adventure might choose to walk part of the mostly level Rim Trail, which starts from any point in the village or along the historic Hermit Road—a scenic route along the west end of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, which follows the rim for 7 miles. You can day hike around the canyon, both on the South and North rims. The National Park warns visitors not to attempt hikes from the rim to the river and back in one day, though, especially during the summer months.
Once you’re at the South Rim, you can rent bikes and take guided bicycle tours (Bright Angel Bicycles is close to the visitor center). Or for a bit of a more traditional ride, book a mule trip, like the Canyon Vistas Ride, which is a three-hour trip that travels along the canyon rim. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can take an overnight mule trip and stay in the bottom of the canyon at the historic Phantom Ranch.
Spring and summer visitors might want to arrange a multi-day visit that includes a raft trip on the Colorado River. You can arrange smooth water trips from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry or take a three- to 21-day whitewater trip through the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute, a non-profit institute begun in 1932 by naturalist Edwin McKee, takes small groups on hikes ad funds interpretive talks, research, and scientific papers. The official not-for-profit partner of the National Park, it continues to fund trail maintenance and historic programs, as well as protection for wildlife and their natural habitat. Look them up before you arrive: you can book educational tours with them that include backpacking, camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting, and explore topics include geology, archaeology, and more.
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Home > Road Trip Itineraries > West Coast > Southwest > How to Visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by Car: Distance, Road Trip Itineraries and Tours Available
How to Visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by Car: Distance, Road Trip Itineraries and Tours Available
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Beyond its stunning luxury hotels and all the cool things to do on the Las Vegas Strip that have made it a famous kitsch oasis in the hot Nevada desert, the great advantage of Las Vegas is all about its strategic location for visiting the parks of the Southwest , not only those in Nevada (Valley of Fire , Red Rock Canyon ), but also in California ( Death Valley ), Arizona (Grand Canyon – Antelope – Monument Valley ) and Utah ( Zion and Bryce among others). In our in-depth exploration of how to visit the parks from Las Vegas , we have given tips for organized and independent tours in many of these places, but today I would like to focus particularly on one of them, perhaps the best known (though it’s quite challenging…): the Grand Canyon .
It’s not as simple as it may seem. Due to the vast expanse of the famous park in Arizona, I must give you specific directions to each section of the canyon. You may not know this, but the park is divided into three “districts” , which can be identified in the three sides of the canyon that can be visited. The most famous is the South Rim , but there are also the underrated North Rim and the West Rim (located on Hualapai reservation, made famous by the extraordinary and somewhat obstructive Skywalk ). The last one is the closest to Las Vegas , while the other two (North and South Rim) are further away, not only from the city but also from each other, which makes it impossible to visit them both in a single day, as you can read in our article on how to choose between North Rim and South Rim .
Distance between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon
Las vegas to grand canyon south rim, las vegas to grand canyon west rim, las vegas to grand canyon north rim, tours from las vegas to the grand canyon.
Here are the travel times between Las Vegas and the three sides of the Grand Canyon. Below, a map that will help you better understand the distances.
- The distance between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon South Rim is 280 miles , which can be covered by car in approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes on US-93 S, I-40 E and AZ-64 N.
- The distance between Las Vegas and the West Rim is 130 miles , which can be covered by car in just over 2 hours along US-93 S, Pierce Ferry Rd and Diamond Bar Rd.
- The distance between Las Vegas and the North Rim is 265 miles , which can be covered by car in about 4 hours and 30 minutes along I-15 N, AZ-389 E and US-89A S and AZ-67.
For example? Going towards the West Rim and South Rim, by taking some short detours, you can reach some fantastic attractions along Route 66 and the Hoover Dam, while on the way to the North Rim we find the Valley of Fire and, a short distance away, the parks of southern Utah. Here are a number of recommended routes to cover the distance between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and make the most of what the area has to offer.
Before you start reading, please note that some of these itineraries may require an overnight stay , but the location may vary depending on your next stop.
Best Road Trip Itineraries from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
In addition to a description of the various routes, take note of the travel time (without stops) and the town I recommend to choose for the overnight stay.
Leave Las Vegas early in the morning and head to Oatman. This will be the first stretch along Route 66 and, if you’ve never driven it before, it will be an unforgettable experience. After making it through a stretch of the “terrible” Bloody Route 66, a narrow, winding road that cuts through the rugged, desert Black Mountains, you’ll literally travel back in time. You’ll drive your car being mindful of the mules that graze on the dusty Main Street of a well-preserved old Far West town.
Yes, you’ve arrived in Oatman, a secret and mysterious ghost town that, just like Route 66, has stood the test of time and just won’t disappear! It won’t take more than two hours to visit the town even if you take your time to enjoy the atmosphere of the place, but I recommend eating a double buffalo burger for lunch at the Oatman Hotel Restaurant. If at around 1:30 pm, as you finish your lunch and may be wiping barbecue sauce from your mouth, you hear someone screaming in the street, get out and look out from the wooden porch. You can watch the duel between the Ghost Rider Gunfighters, cowboy-actors doing western charity shows.
- Read all our tips in our article Things to do in Oatman
As you descend from the mountains, you’ll come across the Cool Springs Station ‘s vintage fuel pumps, where you can also take a photo of the nearby Route 66 sign . Continue to Kingman , where you’ll find a museum dedicated to Route 66 in the Powerhouse Visitor Center, where you’ll have the chance to learn more about the glorious history of the Mother Road, from its origins to its decline.
You’ll find another “living mausoleum” of Route 66 in Seligman , a tiny town just over an hour from Kingman. The few places that are still open in Seligman are full of nostalgia, but there’s another reason to visit them. The inspiration for some characters from the Pixar cartoon Cars came from here. If you pay attention, you can also see them with your own eyes!
The last stop on this route approaching the Grand Canyon South Rim is Williams , one of the last bastions of Route 66 to fall victim to I-40 E, the highway that led to the gradual downfall of the Mother Road. For some advice on how to visit the town read our in-depth guide , while below you’ll find specific tips on staying overnight in places with unique charm. There’s something for everyone!
Accommodations in Williams
To get to the entrance to the South Rim from Williams, you will drive an hour along AZ-64 N , unless you decide that instead of going straight to the Grand Canyon, you want to stop in… Bedrock !
As mentioned earlier, the Grand Canyon West Rim is the closest rim of the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas , so much so that, with good and detailed planning, you may even consider a day trip back to Las Vegas for an overnight stay.
Depending on the time available, you may decide to spend a couple of hours in the morning at Hoover Dam , an impressive dam located in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River built in the 1930s. The Hoover Dam is a shining example of how human ingenuity and the power of nature can create a masterpiece. The Hoover Dam is practically on the way to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, so you won’t have to take a long detour to get there. To visit the dam on your own (as you will), you’ll need to plan well, which is why I refer you to our in-depth article on the Hoover Dam , which has information on schedules, tickets and tips on how to maximize your time.
It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive from Hoover Dam to the West Rim , so ideally you should leave from the dam in time to get to the West Rim at lunchtime to make the most of the afternoon. To find out what awaits you on the western side of the Grand Canyon, I suggest you read our in-depth article , where you’ll also find coordinates and directions on how to get there (it might be a little more difficult than expected) and tips on where to stay overnight in case you’re not planning to return to Las Vegas.
Tips on where to stay in Las Vegas
Let’s be clear, Las Vegas isn’t exactly near the Grand Canyon North Rim. Therefore, just as in the case of the South Rim, it will be worth it to stop somewhere along the way to spend the night . Northeast of Las Vegas there are plenty of national parks, but I suggest you take the following route:
- Drive to the red desert of the Valley of Fire , a charming small state park that has the advantage of being able to be visited also on a scenic drive. Of course, taking the time to go on some short trails would be the best, but in your case, this will be a short visit. Be careful, though! If you have the national parks annual pass and think you can use it to get in for free, you won’t be able to do so, because being a state park is not included. Since you’ll only be passing through it, consider whether you’re really interested in visiting it. I… recommend it anyway!
- The other natural wonder closer to the North Rim could be the Zion National Park (yes, Bryce Canyon is too far away, and you don’t have enough time to reach it. If you want to visit Bryce Canyon, you’ll have to arrange the trip from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon independently). Zion is a bit of a complicated park to visit quickly, as you can read in the article in the link. If you’re going to give it the time it deserves, you might also decide to skip the Valley of Fire and get to the park as soon as possible (it takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Las Vegas). However, even if you arrive at lunchtime, you can enjoy the views of the park by taking the scenic drive with the shuttle or your car (depending on the time of year ) and also take a short walk, maybe to Lower Emerald Pools . Check the article top things to see in Zion National Park to get more information.
- The ideal place for an overnight stay is Kanab , to shorten the drive the next day to get to the North Rim . However, you can also choose other locations closer to the Zion, in case you are tired. Below are some tips for accommodations.
Where to stay near Zion National Park
If you don’t have time to plan a road trip to the Grand Canyon, you can always rely on a guided tour . Many of them leave from Las Vegas and it’s often difficult to choose among the dozens of available offers. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, including helicopter and airplane flights, bus tours and jeep tours. Below you’ll find a list of articles that can help you choose the one that’s right for you.
- Best Organized Tours at the Grand Canyon : here you’ll find our comprehensive selection of organized activities . Tours are of various types and differ in itinerary, price and duration. You’ll also find a number of specific tours from Las Vegas to the slopes of the Grand Canyon.
- How to choose a bus tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon : South Rim or West Rim?
- Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour : some specific tips on how to choose a helicopter tour departing from Las Vegas .
- Grand Canyon Plane Tour : tips and information on flying to the Grand Canyon. Please note that you can only fly to the South Rim from Las Vegas by plane!
- The Grand Celebration Tour , our favorite helicopter flight to the West Rim.
Warning: Operating hours can change and closures for extraordinary events can occur, so we strongly suggest to check the venues official websites.
I am an enthusiastic traveler. I have also published some poetry. Besides traveling, my interests include literature, prog music and good food,.
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