Tips to Visiting the Grand Canyon From Las Vegas

The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and a bucket list item for most Americans and people around the world. More than 5 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park each year which Is located in Arizona, just a few hours from Las Vegas.

If you need a break from gambling and the bright city lights, the Grand Canyon is a great option for a day trip or multi-day adventure from the Las Vegas Strip. The Grand Canyon isn’t just about hiking under the bright Arizona sun either. Many tour companies throughout Vegas and The Grand Canyon offer different experiences such as a railroad tour of the Grand Canyon or a visit to Grand Canyon Village.

More about Visiting the Grand Canyon From Las Vegas

Cultural experiences are also offered at the Grand Canyon where Native Americans such as the Havasupai Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Navajo, and Hopi reservations. There are plenty of options for individuals, couples, and families with children to visit The Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.

the grand canyon

Driving to the Grand Canyon From Las Vegas

The drive to the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas Skywalk at the West Rim is 2 hours and 20 minutes and 125 miles. Visitors with their own vehicles can easily hop on Highway 95 towards Boulder City where it turns into Highway 93. This route is scenic and takes drivers over the Colorado River Bridge into Arizona.

Driving to The Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is a particular nice drive because visitors can stop a few miles before the river bridge and access a parking lot that leads to a walkway onto the bridge for pedestrians. From the pedestrian walkway, visitors can experience gorgeous views of Hoover Dam that cannot be seen when driving over the bridge due to the high concrete barriers.

The Drive to the most popular part of the Grand Canyon, the South Rim, is around 5 hours or 270 miles. Don’t worry though, it is a fairly easy drive on a fully paved highway the whole way.

There are plenty of gas stations and restroom facilities along the highways with many signs along the way guiding visitors to the Grand Canyon and visitor attractions along the way. Using Google Maps is also a reliable way to get to the Grand Canyon using locations such as The Skywalk or your tour company’s address or starting point address as your reference.

More Vegas to Grand Canyon Driving Resources and Tips:

Grand Canyon Tour Options

For visitors that don’t want to drive themselves, there are many tour options available from the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown to the Grand Canyon.

Same Day Grand Canyon Tours

Because the Grand Canyon is just over 2 hours from Las Vegas, there are many options for same day tours to the Grand Canyon. These trips are perfect for Las Vegas visitors that want to see the Grand Canyon but can only dedicate one day of their vacation to the experience. Many same day tours also include stops at haunted hotels, Hoover Dam, Skywalk, and Native American reserves.

Multi Day Tours

The Grand Canyon can easily be a multi-day experience, especially for people who love the outdoors and adventures. Most multi-day tours offer lake tours, boating, cultural experience on Native American reservations, tours of other National Parks such as Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, hiking adventures, Hoover Dam, and more. Shuttles for these adventures usually pick tour guests up from their hotels on the strip or downtown, or designated meeting places. Themed tours such as Western Ranch overnights are also available.

Bus Tours

One of the best ways to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is through a bus tour. Many tour companies will offer buses with air conditioners and restrooms which make touring the canyon comfortable and convenient. Bus tours will usually have designated meeting points for tour guests. When you purchase your tickets for these events, you will be able to choose a pickup point closest to your hotel. Some bus companies will even pick you up directly from your hotel at a designated time. Most bus tours will also provide lunch and visits to Grand Canyon Village.

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas Helicopter Tours by Papillon

Helicopter Tours

One of the most exciting ways to visit The Grand Canyon is through a helicopter tour. Some helicopter tours offer limousine pick up from your hotel where visitors will be taken to a helicopter pick up point. Fly over the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon before landing for a picnic lunch or a visit to a Native American Reservation. Helicopter tours can be as long as 30 minutes to several hours depending on your tour. Large helicopters can accommodate groups of 6. Sunset tours are also especially wonderful for gorgeous views of the Grand Canyon from air.

Outdoors/Adventure Tours

Visiting the three rims of the Grand Canyon is fun, but serious adventure and adrenaline seekers can find many tours of the Grand Canyon that include hiking and backpacking, rafting, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Some adventure touring companies will offer on strip pick up, however, most have an adventure center where visitors will check in, get the proper equipment needed, and sign liability paperwork before beginning their adventures.

Jeep tours of the Grand Canyon

Jeep tours of the Grand Canyon with Pink Jeep Tours.

Jeep/SUV Tours

These tours are more intimate and perfect for people who don’t mind a more rugged experience. Pink Jeep tours can accommodate 10 people and make stops at the Colorado River, Joshua Tree Forest, and Mohave desert. These tours offer half and full day options.

Hot Air Balloon Tours

Another great way to visit the Grand Canyon by air is through a hot air balloon tour. These tours allow visitors to take quiet, leisurely tours, floating over The Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Tour Company offers hot air balloon rides that fly relatively close to the ground at only 400 feet above the canyon. Participants in hot air balloon tours of the Grand Canyon are usually asked to meet at the balloon launch site which are usually in the desert. Apex Balloons also offers hot air balloon tours from November to March. Apex launch site is in Phoenix, Arizona so visitors wishing to use this company would need to travel from Las Vegas to Phoenix first.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Where to Visit at The Grand Canyon

West Rim and Skywalk

Grand Canyon West, or West Rim, is where you’ll find the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that sits 4000 feet above the canyon floor. The West Rim is relatively remote and there are no hotels. The sanctity of being off the grid and in the spiritual homeland of the Hualapai Indians, make this a tour dedicated to the most committed Grand Canyon enthusiasts. The West Rim is 123 miles from Las Vegas.

South Rim/Grand Canyon

The south rim is undoubtedly the most popular, attracting over 5 million visitors annually due to its accessibility. In contrast to the two other rims, it provides convenient amenities. There is amble place to hike around.

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon South Rim

North Rim

Only open seasonally from May 15 – October 15, the North Rim is close to Utah and attracts far less Las Vegas tourists. It’s 200 miles away from the South Rim and can feel a bit desolate out there. If you’re looking to truly take a break from civilization and fully find your way off the grid, this rim could be your ideal destination; however, tours are hard to come by.

Recommended Grand Canyon Tour Companies from Las Vegas

Grand Canyon Tour Company

The Grand Canyon Tour Company boasts itself the original Canyon tour company in Las Vegas. They offer tours to the South and West Rim by airplane, train, bus and helicopter. For those seeking to take the extravagance of Vegas into the canyon, Grand Canyon Tour Company also offers VIP luxury Mercedes tours. For those wanting to feel engulfed in the gorge, whitewater rafting tours are also available.

Unlike some other tour companies, they provide VIP North Rim tours, including a stop at Bright Angle overlook. The trip can be quite rigorous and at 8100 feet, make sure you’re fit to make the trip. Also included is a trip to Kanab, Utah. For those who enjoy souvenir shopping, this is a great place to pick up Indian and western wear. Here, visitors can also check out Frontier Town, a museum that contains old western movie sets of yesteryear. To book a South, West or North Rim tour visit

Papillon Tours

Offering various packages, one of Papillon’s most popular is the Grand Celebration. Tourists board a comfortable EC 130 helicopter with wraparound windows. Aerial views of Hoover Dam and West Rim are just a couple of the things sightseers can expect. The helicopter lands 4000 feet below the rim on the canyon floor for a champagne picnic. After taking a break from the sky, there is plenty of time to hike and explore.

Golden Eagle tour is yet another package. Although it is simply an aerial tour, it has been designed to make passengers feel like a free bird as music is synchronized to match each turn the helicopter makes and the glorious scenery.

Another option is the Grand Voyager Tour. With Papillon, you get to take an airplane and a helicopter during the same tour. Tourists climb aboard an airplane from Las Vegas that transports them to the West Rim. They then take a helicopter that takes them to a pontoon boat on the Colorado River.

Maverick helicopter tours of Grandy Canyon

Maverick Tours

Maverick is not just a familiar name from Top Gun. It is one of the leading helicopter tour companies in the world. Offering similar tour packages to Papillon, one of the unique tours you can choose to take is the Grand Canyon Landing With The Desert Sunset.

In addition to witnessing the majestic sights of the Grand Canyon, with this tour passengers get to fly over the Bowl of Fire and Las Vegas strip.

Grand Canyon Tour Coupons

Most of the discounts for the Grand Canyon tours are mentioned above but you can check our vegas coupons page.

You best bet is probably is Viator overall for tour discounts.

Author - Brian at Vegas Unzipped

Brian Eller - Vegas Local

I am a Las Vegas local looking to bring you inside tips and information that can't be found anywhere else. I'll dive into hidden gems and some of the best places to eat and visit in Las Vegas from a local's perspective.

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