When you see images of the Grand Canyon on television or in movies, chances are you’re seeing the South Rim. With so much attention focused on the South Rim’s attractions and viewpoints, it can be easy to forget that there are other regions of the Grand Canyon that are equally scenic – and sometimes even more picturesque – than the South Rim.
If you’re seeking a more rustic Grand Canyon adventure or don’t have as much time to visit the Grand Canyon, consider visiting the West Rim. Don’t worry about “missing out” on the Grand Canyon’s stunning vistas – there are many advantages to visiting the West Rim, including its equally breathtaking selection of viewpoints.
Here are a few more reasons why you should visit the West Rim:
1. There are fewer visitors.
The West Rim receives about one million visitors a year, compared to the five million adventurers who visit the South Rim every year. That means you won’t have to fight crowds or wait for people to clear out to take your shots of the Grand Canyon.
2. It’s way closer to Las Vegas.
The West Rim is just a short 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, compared to the five hour drive to the South Rim. This makes the West Rim especially ideal for day trips or for those who have less time to visit the Grand Canyon.
Keep in mind that the roads to the West Rim are not as developed as the roads to the South Rim, and that there are no private vehicles allowed inside the Grand Canyon West region. For this reason, we recommend you hop on a Grand Canyon West Rim tour. There are tons of tours to the West Rim from Las Vegas – check them out.
3. You can fly there in no time.
The West Rim is only 30 minutes away from Las Vegas by airplane, or 45 minutes by helicopter. As you make your way to the Grand Canyon, your flight will pass over the Hoover Dam, as well as stunning desert and mountain landscapes. Don’t forget your camera!
4. The landscape is more rugged.
The West Rim is less developed, so you can enjoy dramatic, unencumbered views of the Grand Canyon from anywhere along the Rim. There aren’t even fences along the Canyon Rim to get in the way of your photos – just don’t get too close to the edge!
5. You can walk right off the Rim!
For some added excitement, take a walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This glass cantilevered bridge extends straight out from the edge of Eagle Point gives you view 4,000 feet straight down to the Canyon floor. It can hold up to 71 million pounds, withstand winds up to 100 miles per hour, and weather a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.
Learn more about the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
6. It’s warmer.
The West Rim sits at a slightly lower elevation than the South Rim, so it’s warmer throughout the year. Summertime temperatures average above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the fall and winter months average a balmy 64-89 with lows between 38-58 degrees.
If you visit the West Rim in the summer, be sure to bring sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat. Protection from the sun is limited.
7. It’s rich in history and culture.
The Grand Canyon West region is not part of the National Park Service. It’s owned and operated by the Hualapai Indians, who have turned the West Rim region into a cultural hub that showcases the rich history of the area.
8. There’s a lot to see and do.
The West Rim is home to a number of breathtaking viewpoints and exciting attractions, like Eagle Point, Guano Point, and the Hualapai Ranch:
- Keep your eyes peeled at Eagle Point for the eponymous eagle-shaped rock formation, visible just beyond the Rim.
- Visit the Hualapai Ranch and learn how to rope and quick draw while you take in some cowboy entertainment.
- At Guano Point, you’ll see the remnants of a tram line that stretched almost 9,000 feet into a guano mine. This viewpoint is easily reachable via a short and easy hike.
Visit the Wild West Rim
The West Rim may not be as well known as the South Rim, but there are a number of reasons why the West Rim is the perfect destination for your next Grand Canyon adventure. In addition to being a short drive or flight from Las Vegas, there are many exciting things for your whole family to see and do at the West Rim, including the Skywalk, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch.
Visit the West Rim on one of our bus, airplane, or helicopter tours.