Become a Vegas Insider
– CHEAPEST: Grand Canyon West Rim Admission + Skywalk for $59 – Save 31%
– POPULAR: Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam Small-Group Day Tour for $188
– BALLER: Grand Canyon Helicopter and Eagle Point Rim Landing Tour for $412
– COOLEST: 4-in-1 Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour for $620
Vegas is a modern, man-made marvel, an adult playground in the middle of the desert, dripping in glam and lite up in lights. Talking a walk down the Vegas strip is a sight to behold, as it seduces you with sensory overload.
Yet, just a short drive away, many of the most amazing wonders of the world sit, a way to see nature as it was intended. Our favorite day trip from Vegas? The Grand Canyon. Until you see it, you can’t get an idea of the size, scope, and pure beauty of one of America’s Wonders of the World.
The Grand Canyon is truly grand & vast. There are multiple distinct areas that make up what refer to as The Grand Canyon. The closest and most popular day trip from Vegas is the West Rim, which is run by the Hualapai Tribe. While this is not The Grand Canyon National Park, it is a relatively quick drive from Vegas, offers spectacular views, and features the famous glass Skywalk that lets you walk over the heart of the canyon.
SALE: Grand Canyon West Admission + Skywalk only $59 – Save 31%
If you’re buying a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Vegas, the West Rim is an awesome option. The drive is less than 4-hours and features some of the coolest scenes I’ve ever seen. If haven’t experiences the amazing scenes, getting to the Grand Canyon is a treat all in of itself. Amazing mountains, stunning views around the Hoover Dam, and seeing the mountain views in the rearview mirror is truly a treat.
When we visited The Grand Canyon, we rented a BMW convertible, dropped the top in a beautiful October day, and drove ourselves (buy now). But there are a number of options, from bus tours, to group tours stopping at the Hoover Dam, to helicopter tours, and even a private plane.
Once you get to the Grand Canyon West Rim, you can explore on your own (taking a provided bus to the best views), take a helicopter tour, or even land down in the base of the canyon and take a boat ride down the Colorado River. Depending on the time. of the year, they also have ziplining.
One of the more stunning parts of the West Rim is the Skywalk, a glass viewing deck 720 feet above the canyon floor where you can walk out and look down (if you dare)! They offer a plethora of cool professional picture packages, but they don’t let you take your cell phone (because it’s a LOOOONG way down).
The West Rim offers incredible views from Eagle Point and Guano Point with an authentic experience of an old western town at Hualapai Ranch. As part of admission to Grand Canyon West, there are hop-on/hop-off buses that drop you off at each point where you can spend as much time as you want to explore and taking pictures. Buy tickets now.
SAVE BIG IN VEGAS
If you can’t tell from the glowing recommendation, Grand Canyon West was one of my favorite experiences in my life. Often times these attractions are overhyped and the scale is much smaller than expected. The Grand Canyon is not that. It’s even more spectacular than I expected and one of the few “must-sees” that I unequivocally recommend.
So what’s the best way to take in the Grand Canyon from Vegas? It all depends on your comfort level and adventure tolerance. Here are a few of the best options.
Rent a Car & Drive to the Grand Canyon West from Vegas
This is the option we decided to take on. We rented a convertible, woke up early, grabbed some breakfast, and headed out. It was the perfect weather for a drive. The first thing that shocked me was how beautiful the drive was and how quickly the flat desert that is all around the strip turns into amazing, scenic views.
As you approach the Hoover Dam, the scenery is amazing! We considered stopping at one of the pull-off viewpoints, but decided to keep going. That said, the Hoover Dam would be a great way to add a bit more to the trip if you wanted to fit more in.
The first 90 minutes of the drive is amazing and if you haven’t driven through the mountains, it’s an experience all in itself. From massive changes in elevation to different beautiful landscapes, it’s one of the coolest drives I’ve ever been on. That said, you are driving through the desert, so there are times where there’s nothing much to look at, but it felt like a quick 3.5-hour drive.
By driving, you have the opportunity to plan your own day and are not constrained by a tour guide or timing. We like making our own schedule, so this worked well for us. If we wanted to skip the town or stay longer at a specific spot, we could. If you like something more structured, a tour may be the way to go.
Overall, we spent about 3 hours in the park, including taking a ton of pictures and walking out over the Skywalk before heading back to Vegas. All-in-all, we left around 9:30 AM, arrived around 1 PM, headed back around 4 PM, and made it back to Vegas by 7:30 PM in time for a late dinner.
Overall, if you are comfortable driving and want to set your own schedule, this is a great, affordable way to see the Grand Canyon from Vegas. We highly recommend the Skywalk if you are not doing any other add-on like a helicopter ride or boat ride. You always have the ability to buy these add-ons ala cart when you arrive.
|Convertible + Gas
|$50 + $30
|Economy + Gas
|$25 + $25
|West Rim Admission
|Admission + Skywalk
Take a Tour from Vegas to Grand Canyon West
We considered taking a tour rather than driving, but because we were already renting a car to go to other areas (notably Red Rock), we chose the rental car option. That said, a tour would also be an amazing opportunity and allow you to sit back and enjoy the ride and/or add on additional stops.
There are a few different types of tours, with more private SUV transportation, small group buses, or large tour buses. Each have their own advantages and costs associated, so be sure to check out reviews to find the one that’s right for you.
If you’re doing this option, it’s also easy to find a tour that also hits the Hoover Dam. On our next trip, we will likely make this stop, as it looked really cool as we drove by.
BEST SELLER: Hoover Dam + Grand Canyon West Tour – $188
The prices for many of these tours are in line, if not cheaper than driving, but usually don’t offer the discounts (like 31% off admission + Skywalk) and may not include things like the Skywalk ticket, which you then buy at full price. That said, this is an awesome option if you have a larger group, don’t want to drive, or want a more structured schedule.
If you want more adventure, you can take a helicopter from Vegas to The Grand Canyon. This is perfect if you are an adrenaline junkie or you just want a birds-eye view. There are multiple options (landing in the canyon, for example, or just a flyover), with varying costs.
Many of these tours will pick you up from your hotel, so that’s an added bonus. They will also point out cool facts and give a guided tour on the drive, which is a huge perk over driving on your own.
Grand Canyon West Ala Cart Add-Ons
No matter how you get to the Grand Canyon West, there are optional add-ons that you can take advantage of onsite. These include helicopter rides, boat rides, rafting tours, and more. Just because you don’t buy these ahead of time, doesn’t mean you can experience them when you get to the Grand Canyon, but they are subject to availability, so if you know you want to take advantage, pre-buying is the way to go.
|Helicopter + Patoon Ride
|Historic Boat Float
|Smooth Boat Float
|White Water Rafting
|Two-Date Rafting Tour
The Other Rims of The Grand Canyon
From Vegas, the West Rim is definitely the closest and easiest day trip, but you can also check out the South Rim (aka the National Park), which is a 5-6 hour drive. There is also other areas that are even further from Vegas that would need to be an overnight trip or a helicopter/flight tour to make the travel time manageable.
If you want more information on these areas of the Grand Canyon, please check them out here.