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Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park

Whether you fly, drive yourself, or take a guided tour, there are many ways to get to the Grand Canyon! How you travel to the Grand Canyon will depend on your travel needs and what kind of Grand Canyon adventure you want to have. Some travellers prefer to sit back and relax on a guided tour, while others prefer the flexibility of driving themselves.

Grand Canyon Location

Grand Canyon Departure Points & Driving Times

Most visitors begin their Canyon experience by flying into Phoenix, AZ, or Las Vegas, NV. Each city is within a convenient half a day’s drive to the Canyon, though the Canyon is also easily reachable from Flagstaff, AZ and Los Angeles, CA.

Driving From Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas provides easy access to the North, South, and West rims. Drive times are relatively short, and there are a plethora of bus tours to choose from.

North Rim

Distance: 265 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4.5 hours

Grand Canyon East

Distance: 275 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4 hours 15 minutes-6 hours 45 minutes

South Rim

Distance: 275 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4-5.5 hours

West Rim

Distance: 125 miles
Drive Time: 2.5 hours

Driving From Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ, offers easy access to each rim of the Grand Canyon.

North Rim

Distance: 350 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 6 hours

Grand Canyon East

Distance: 275 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4 hours 15 minutes

South Rim

Distance: 230 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 3.5-5 hours

West Rim

Distance: 260 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4.5-5.5 hours

Driving From Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ is another excellent departure point for any Grand Canyon experience. It’s closer to the Canyon but its airport does not support national flights, so the city itself is harder to access than major city centers such as Las Vegas and Phoenix.

North Rim

Distance: 210 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 4 hours

Grand Canyon East

Distance: 130 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes

South Rim

Distance: 80 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 1.5 hours

West Rim

Distance: 215 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 3.5 hours

Driving From Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is a great departure point for a real Grand Canyon road trip. Drives from Los Angeles are longer than drives from Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, but you can still reach the Canyon after a single day of driving.

North Rim

Distance: 530 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 8.5-10.5 hours

Grand Canyon East

Distance: 540 miles
Drive Time: Approx. 8-9 hours

South Rim

Distance: 490 miles
Drive Time: 7.5-8 hours

West Rim

Distance: 375 miles
Drive Time: 6-7 hours

Driving Yourself vs. Taking a Guided Tour

Can’t decide whether to drive yourself or take a guided tour? Both options offer a number of advantages and disadvantages. Read our blog post to help make your decision:

Should I Drive to the Grand Canyon or Take a Guided Tour?

If driving yourself or taking a guided bus tour isn’t your style, try taking in the scenic Canyon views the old-fashioned way. Hop aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, AZ, and enjoy a relaxing 2.5-hour trip each direction.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Grand Canyon

Find answers to all your questions about the Grand Canyon in our newly updated Ultimate Guide!

Download the complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide for guides to each Rim, packing lists, travel tips and more.