Complete Grand Canyon Guide, The Grand Canyon

Choosing Which Rim to Visit

grand canyon trip planner

There is no “best rim” to visit when you want to explore the Grand Canyon! Every Grand Canyon destination packs a full day of beautiful viewpoints and sights to explore.

The rim that suits you best will depend on who you are travelling with and what you want from your Grand Canyon experience. We can help you decide.

You should visit the South Rim if:

  • This is your first visit to the Grand Canyon.
  • You want to see the larger, more iconic views of the Canyon.
  • You are a family with small children – the South Rim has more places to stay, amenities, and more to do.
  • You are driving yourself, renting a car, or road tripping.
  • You are visiting from Las Vegas and don’t mind an 18-hour day.
  • You want or need more visitor services.

Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Bus Tour with Hoover Dam Stop and Optional Skywalk

You should visit the West Rim if:

  • You want to take a shorter day trip than the South Rim.
  • You are coming from Las Vegas.
  • You prefer a guided bus tour.
  • You want to visit the Skywalk and experience views 4,000 feet deep straight down into the Canyon.
  • You are a family who wants to visit the Canyon without the crowds of the South Rim.

Grand Canyon North Rim - Imperial Point Helicopter Tour

You should visit the North Rim if:

  • You’ve already seen the South Rim.
  • You want a quiet getaway and don’t need or want a lot of amenities or activities.
  • You’re more interested in hiking, photography, relaxing, and enjoying nature.

You should visit the East Rim if:

  • You want a quiet, non-touristy, untraditional Grand Canyon experience.
  • You don’t have small children – several major viewpoints do not have safety guardrails.
  • You are not travelling to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.

The Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide

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

Take Our Tips With You!

Plan your Grand Canyon adventure with our free printable Complete Grand Canyon Visitor Guide, including:

  • Rim guides
  • Trip planning resources
  • Photography tips

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

printable grand canyon visitor guide

About Ria Borja

Ria is a Customer Experience Manager at Canyon Tours and an avid lover of the outdoors. When she isn't helping other travelers check destinations and dream vacations off their bucket lists, she's busy exploring the Southwest. Her favorite place to visit is (unsurprisingly!) the Grand Canyon.