It’s always an adventure to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, whether you’re coming by car, tour bus, train or even helicopter. The Grand Canyon is truly one of the natural wonders of the world. It was formed by the Colorado River and its tributaries cutting channels through layers of rock and also through the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau. The Canyon is 277 miles long, up to eighteen miles wide and is over a mile deep is some places.
Being one of the seven natural wonders of the world the Grand Canyon is a huge tourist attraction. Las Vegas is one of the nearest cities to the area and is often used as a base for visitors.
Planning a Trip
The trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon covers 200 to 300 miles depending on what area of the canyon you visit. It’s about 200 miles to the west side and 300 miles to the south rim. There are several methods of getting to the Canyon from Las Vegas.
• Drive – Many visitors wonder how far is the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. It’s actually 274 miles and much of the drive is off Interstate highways so be prepared for a four to six hour drive. If you plan to stay any length of time at the Canyon you may want to consider spending the night near the Rim. While the drive does take some time, you are sure to see some great scenery along the way.
The Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is a long drive and it’s also a very popular day trip from Vegas. Thousands of visitors a year make the trek. Based on the feedback we get from visitors, the drive is well worth it.
• Bus – There are several bus tours that run daily from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. The bus will face the same driving conditions that you would if you drove but you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Make sure to bring your camera as modern buses have huge windows that allow you to take in all the scenery. The bus trip is a one day turn around so you won’t have to change hotels.
• Planes – Small planes make daily trips from Las Vegas to the Canyon. You get to see the entire area from above as the planes pass low over the area. Some tours include landing and ground transportation to Grand Canyon National Park. The plane trip allows you to see the area from several perspectives.
• Helicopter – Helicopters are also used to view the Canyon from above. One unique thing about these tours are they can land at the bottom of the area giving you a view from the bottom up.
• Train – The Trans Canyon Shuttle is the only public transportation that goes to the North Rim. You can take shuttles from this area to view other areas of the Canyon. Or you can take shuttles from other areas to the North Rim.
What to Do Once You Are There
There are many activities you can participate in once you’re in the Park. They range from the very easy to very rigorous. A few are listed below:
• Grand Canyon Village – This area has some of the best viewing spots at the Canyon. It can get crowded though. There are Native American art and souvenirs here and a wealth of other activities to get involved in. This is the drop-off point for the tour buses.
• Bright Angel Trail – This trip involves riding a mule down in the Canyon. It’s a six-mile long journey and you will see great sites up close. Make sure to plan ahead for a mule trip as reservations fill up fast and the number of mules in the Canyon is very limited.
• Rim Trail – This is a walking tour of the South Rim of the Canyon. Shuttle buses run along its 12-mile path also. You will see some of the best view sites the area has to offer.
• Colorado River rafting – You have all seen pictures and videos of this. This will certainly allow you to experience the area from the different vantage point. The experience can be from pretty tame to very rough.
The Grand Canyon is a place filled with awe-inspiring wonder. There are a few ways to get there and much to do when you arrive. Make the trip and have fun!
Helicopter – A popular way to visit the Grand Canyon is by participating in Grand Canyon Tours from Las Vegas. The video below show a popular aerial flight.
Road Trip – If you’re up for the scenic drive from Las Vegas to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, here’s an amateur video that shows the entire trip.
Driving Directions – North Rim
Total driving time to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas (North Rim) is 4 hours and 34 minutes – approx. 268 miles.
- 1. Take I-15 N (131 miles).
- 2. Take exit 16 for State Hwy 9 toward Hurricane/Zion National Park; keep right at the fork and merge onto State Hwy 9 E/State St (10 miles).
- 3. Turn right onto S Main St and take 1st left onto UT-59 S/E 100 S
Continue to follow UT-59 S (22 miles).
- 4. Continue on AZ-389 E entering Arizona (32 miles).
- 5. Turn right onto U.S. 89A S (30 miles).
- 6. Turn right onto AZ-67 S (42.5 miles).
Driving Directions – South Rim
The total driving time to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas (South Rim) is almost the same as visiting the North Rim – 4 hrs and 20 minutes (274 miles).
- 1. Take US-93 S/Great Basin Hwy (77 miles).
- 2. Merge onto I-40 E/US-93 S toward US-93 S/Flagstaff/Phoenix (217 miles).
- 3. Take exit 165 for AZ-64 toward I-40 BUS/Williams/Grand Canyon (49 miles).
Continue to follow UT-59 S (22 miles).
- 4. Stay on AZ-64 N/US-180 N (5 miles).
- 5. Turn left on Center Rd (1.5 miles).