Before You Go
It’s important to spend a little time thinking about what you want to do when you get to the Grand Canyon. If you make a plan before you arrive at the Canyon, you can avoid wasting valuable time. Plus, there are tons of things to do around the South Rim, such as hike, bike, or ride a mule.
If you’d rather avoid the stress of planning and organizing your Grand Canyon itinerary, consider taking a guided day trip. There are a number of guided tours available from Las Vegas, NV, including helicopter and boat tours, as well as horseback riding treks through the Canyon. Though the drive to the Canyon from Las Vegas is similar to the drive from Phoenix, there are more flights into Las Vegas and the city itself offers more to do and see than Phoenix.
Finally, be sure to bring your camera and review our list of photography guide to make the most of your trip.
The drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon is a simple one: take I-17 north to I-40, then head west on I-40 until you come to US-180. Once you’re on the US-180, head north to the Grand Canyon. The towns you’ll pass through are small, so you likely won’t encounter any traffic congestion. And as an added bonus you’ll be driving through the Kaibab National Forest, so the scenery will be pleasant for a significant portion of the drive.
Just before you reach the park entrance, you’ll pass through the Grand Canyon Village. The Village is the best place to stock up on any food or drink you think you might need for the day. Prices at the Grand Canyon Village are a little steeper than in Phoenix, but with a little planning you can keep costs low. Be sure to take a cooler with ice – the sun will warm your car and you’ll relish a cold drink throughout the day.
Once You Arrive
During the busy summer months, there are a lot of visitors making the drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. To maximize your enjoyment and minimize frustration, don’t focus too heavily on finding the perfect parking spot. Instead, consider taking the first parking spot you can find. From there, you can decide how far and for how long you want to walk along the South Rim to admire the views. You can also make use of the park’s free shuttle. The shuttle is the best way to cover a lot of ground without getting too tired. And it’s free, so all you have to do is hop on and hop off!
Combine Your Trip
Combining your Grand Canyon adventure with a trip to Las Vegas is the perfect way to make the most of your vacation. There are many guided Grand Canyon tours available from Las Vegas, and they offer great flexibility in terms of location, dates, times, and activities. You could see the Canyon up close from the comfort of an air-conditioned SUV, experience the exhilaration of rafting the Colorado River, or even treat yourself to a helicopter flight over the Las Vegas strip. A professional tour guide can help you learn more, see more, and relax more, so that you can make the most of your Canyon visit.