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    How to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas: distance, itineraries and tours available

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    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Beyond its jaw-dropping luxury hotels and all the crazy attractions that made it one famous kitschy oasis in the very hot Nevada desert, the immense fortune of Las Vegas it's all tied to hers strategic position for visiting the South West parks, not only those in Nevada (Valley of Fire, Red Rock), but also in California (Death Valley), Arizona (Grand Canyon – Antelope – Monument Valley) and Utah (Zion and Bryce among others). In our study on how to visit the parks from Las Vegas we have given advice for organized and autonomous tours in many of these places, but today I would like to focus particularly on one of them, perhaps the best known (even if it is a good race ...): the Grand Canyon.



    The matter is not as simple as it may seem: the immense extension of the famous Arizona park obliges me to give specific indications for each section of the canyon. Yes because, if you didn't know, the park is divided into three "districts", identifiable 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 West Rim (in Hualapai Indian territory, made famous by the extraordinary and somewhat invasive Skywalk). The latter is the closest to Las Vegas, while the other two (North and South Rim) are located further away, not only from the city but also from each other, which makes it impossible to visit both in one day, as you can read in our article on how to choose between North Rim and South Rim.

    Index

    • Distance between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon
    • Recommended itineraries
      • Recommended itinerary for the South Rim
      • Recommended itinerary for the West Rim
      • Recommended itinerary for the North Rim
    • Tour available from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

    Distance between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

    Here are the travel times between Las Vegas and the three sides of the Grand Canyon. Below is a map that will help you understand distances better.



    • The distance between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon South Rim it is 280 miles, accessible by car in approximately 4.20 hours along US-93 S, I-40 E and AZ-64 N.
    • The distance between Las Vegas and the West Rim it is instead 130 miles, accessible 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, accessible by car in about 4.30 along via I-15 N, AZ-389 E and US-89A S and AZ-67 roads.

    These distances, net of setbacks, are related toshortest route between Las Vegas and the various areas of the Grand Canyon: that is to say that you will have to take into account these travel times if you do not plan to make intermediate stops. However, such a decision may seem a bit risky when it comes to on the road in the USA: in these parts in fact natural beauty abounds, incredible works of human ingenuity, historical attractions and special places of interest that, if you decide not to stop, will cry out for revenge.

    A few examples? Going towards the West Rim and the South Rim, with small detours, you can reach some fantastic attractions of Route 66 and the Hoover Dam, while on the road to the North Rim we find the Valley of Fire and, a short distance away, the parks of southern Utah. So here is a series of recommended itineraries to cover the distance between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon while fully enjoying what the area has to offer.


    Before you start reading, please note that some of these itineraries may require a intermediate overnight stay, which may vary according to your next stop.


    Recommended itineraries

    In addition to a description of the various routes, also take note of the travel times (without stops) and the town that I recommend to choose for an overnight stay.

    Recommended itinerary for the South Rim

    Travel times: 6 hours in two days Overnight: Williams

    Depart Las Vegas early in the morning, destination Oatman. This will be your first approach to Route 66 and, if you've never traveled it before, it will be an unforgettable experience. After having devoured a stretch of the "terrible" Bloody Route 66, a narrow and winding road that cuts through the rugged and desert Black Mountains, you will find yourself literally thrown into another era: in fact, you will drive your car making space between 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 impenetrable ghost town that, just like Route 66, resists the passing of time and just doesn't want to disappear! It will take no more than two hours to visit the town with the necessary calm and enter the atmosphere of the place, but I recommend that you eat a double buffalo burger for lunch at the Oatman Hotel restaurant. If around 13.30 pm, while you are cleaning your mouth from the barbecue sauce, you hear someone screaming in the street, get out immediately and look out on the wooden porch; you can watch the duel between Ghost Rider Gunfighters, cowboy-actors who do charity western shows.


    Seligman

    Coming down from the mountains, you will encounter the vintage petrol pumps of the Cool Springs Station, where you can also take the opportunity to take a photo of the Route 66 sign nearby, on the hot asphalt. Continue to Kingman, where it awaits you a museum dedicated to Route 66, hosted by the Powerhouse Visitors' Center: thanks to its rich collection of wonders, you will have the opportunity to get to know the glorious history of the Mother Road up close, from its origins to its decadence.


    You will find another "living mausoleum" on Route 66 a Seligman, a tiny town just over an hour from Kingman. The few places left active in Seligman are full of nostalgia, but there is a further reason to visit them: in fact, some characters from the cartoon were born here Cars. Paying attention, you can also see them in the flesh, or rather: in the muffler and engine!

    Route 66 in Arizona Of these and other interesting stops (such as the Grand Canyon Caverns of Peach Springs) on this stretch of road we have already discussed in depth in our article on Route 66 in Arizona. Check it out to find out more!

    The last stop on this approach to 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 has slowly destroyed the dream of the Mother Road. For some advice for visiting the town, read our in-depth analysis, while below you will find specific advice on staying overnight in characteristic structures: there is something for all tastes!

    Tips for accommodation in Williams

    From Williams to the South Rim entrance there is barely an hour's drive along the AZ-64 N, unless you decide to stop in… Bedrock!

    Recommended itinerary for the West Rim

    Travel times: 2.15 hours approximately

    As anticipated, the Grand Canyon West Rim is the side of the Grand Canyon closest to Las Vegas, so much so that, with a good and thoughtful preparation, you can even think of organizing aday trip with return to base for overnight stay.

    Based on the time available, you can decide to dedicate 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 XNUMXs and a shining example of how human ingenuity and the might of nature can create a grandiose spectacle. Hoover Dam is practically on the road from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, so you won't have to take long detours. To visit the dam on your own (as you will) you need to organize yourself carefully, which is why I refer you to our in-depth article on Hoover Dam, which collects information on timetables and prices and advice on how to maximize time.

    Hoover Dam

    From the Hoover Dam to the West Rim it takes about 1.45 hours, so the ideal would be to leave from the dam in order to arrive on site at lunchtime, to make the most of the afternoon. To find out what awaits you on the western side of the Grand Canyon, I refer you to our in-depth article, where you will also find the coordinates and directions on how to get there (it could be a bit more difficult than expected) and advice on staying overnight if you don't. plan to return to Las Vegas.

    Advice on where to sleep in Las Vegas

    Recommended itinerary for the North Rim

    Travel times: 6.40 hours in two days (5.40 without the Valley of Fire) Overnight: Kanab or surroundings
    Zion National Park

    Let's say that Las Vegas is not really on the doorstep of the Grand Canyon North Rim and therefore, exactly as in the case of the South Rim, it will be convenient invest a night for an intermediate stop. Northeast of Las Vegas there is plenty of choice when it comes to national parks, but I recommend you take the following itinerary:

    • drive to the red desert of the Valley of Fire, fascinating state park of modest size that has the advantage of being able to be visited also "on the road". Of course, having the opportunity to do some short trails would be the best, but in your case it must be interpreted mostly as a passing stage. Be careful though! If you have made the parks card and you are confident of amortizing the entrance price with it, you will not be able to do so, because being a state park it is not included. Given that you will only have to cross it, consider if you are really interested in passing it. I ... recommend it anyway!
    • the other natural wonder that brings you closer to the North Rim might be it Zion National Park (yes, his little brother Bryce is a bit too far away, and you don't have enough time to get there: if you want to visit it, you'll want to arrange the trip between Las Vegas and Bryce Canyon independently). Zion is a somewhat complicated park to visit quickly, as you can read in the article I have just linked to you. If you plan on giving it the attention it deserves, you might as well decide to skip the Valley of Fire and get to the park as soon as possible (it takes about 2.40 hours from Las Vegas). However, even arriving at lunchtime, you will be able to enjoy the views of the park by taking the scenic drive with the shuttle or with your car (depending on the time of year) and even take a short path on foot, perhaps Lower Emerald Pools.
    • for the pernottamento the ideal would be to arrive in Kanab, to reduce the load of kilometers to be done 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 of the day: find some tips below.

     Where to sleep near Zion National Park

    Tour available from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

    If you don't have the time to organize a road trip to the Grand Canyon you can always rely on a organized tour: There are many leaving from Las Vegas and it is often difficult to navigate the jungle of offers available. Between helicopter and plane flights, excursions by bus, jeep and so on, there is really plenty of choice. Below you will find a series of articles that can help you choose the one that's right for you.

    • Best organized tours to the Grand Canyon: Here you will find our selection of organized activities, as complete as possible. The tours are of various types and differ in itinerary, price and duration. You will also find a number of Las Vegas tour specifici towards 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 by helicopter: some specific advice on how to choose a helicopter tour departing from Las Vegas.
    • Grand Canyon by Sightseeing Airplane: Tips and Information on flights by plane headed to the Grand Canyon. Please note that you can only fly to the South Rim from Las Vegas by plane!
    • Information on the Grand Celebration Tour,  our favorite helicopter flight, headed to the West Rim.

     

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