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Thread: Grand Canyon

  1. Default Grand Canyon

    Hi, first time poster long time reader here from the uk. Hitting the West Coast and more specifically Las Vegas for 3 nights at the end of July this year. I was, as expected looking to go and see the grand canyon. My question is which is the best rim of the canyon. I believe the south is the busiest? I have a rental car so driving myself and partner isnt out of the avoid the $'s for the tours on offer online etc, so long as the roads are smooth-ish :p...alternatively does anyone recommend a particular booking company for the excursions.

    Thanks for the advice in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default options

    Neither is really best, they are simply different.

    The north rim is the quieter rim, seeing fewer travelers, and having far fewer services. It sits up about 1,000 feet higher than the south rim, so you get some different - although just as spectacular - views. The big downside is that you have to work a bit harder to get here - you're looking at a pretty good drive to the nearest motels, and you need to get to it by taking a series of 2 lane roads. Although, from Vegas the travel time is that that much different.

    The south rim does win the popularity contest. It is located just an hour or so from I-40, so it is easy to get to. There are lots of lodging choices inside the park, just outside the park, and then also back in Williams and Flagstaff. If you are looking for tours and excursions from within the park, the south rim would likely be your best bet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default More than a day trip.

    Most of the tours advertised from Vegas co to the West rim on Indian lands that is not part of the National park system and doesn't offer the same views so often seen through photography the world over.

    If you drive, [it's what I would recommend] it is more than a day trip and you would be looking at a one night stay at the very least.

  4. Default

    Hey guys thanks for all your input?

    Is it possible that a west rim is accessible, and also offers just as sensational views



  5. Default Between San Diego & San Francisco...

    Apart from the more obvious places for us Brits to visit heading back north from SD (i.e LA, Santa Monica/Barb, Venice Beach...) would you suggest any other places to visit? I have about a week from SD to get back to SF.

    Any advice on places in and around LA, after Santa Barbara on the way back to SF you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you so much in advance


    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-12-2011 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Merged Threads

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The West Rim simply does not offer "just as sensational views." It is a part of the Canyon that isn't as wide or large as the section within the national park.

    I'd also say that it isn't nearly as accessible either, as access is only available by a very rough, gravel road. The road generally is too rough for rental cars, and so you need to use a shuttle to get to the west rim.

    I also factor in price when considering accessibility, and the National Park wins hands down there as well. The National Park charges $25 for everyone in your car to visit for up to a week (and includes the ability to visit both the north and south rim.) Visitors to the West Rim pay a much high fee that is per person, and costs more than $75 each if you include a walk on the Skywalk.

  7. Default

    Thanks Michael for your very conscious about time as ill be taking a rental car and wondered which rim is nearest to LV (hours to drive roughly), a reason why im driving as i dont want to spend a whole day in the canyon, i would but time dictates this. Is the west rim the place where the skywalk is (im not looking to do that). Alternatively is it better suggested to take a helicopter although much more costly?

    Appreciate it Michael, i really do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a contradiction

    You really are asking for something that's close to impossible.

    As I mentioned, yes, the west rim is where the skywalk is. And as Dave mentioned, nearly all of the helicopter tours based out of Vegas go to the west rim.

    Grand Canyon National Park is about a 5 hour drive from Vegas (to either the north or south rim), so actually a single day isn't even enough to see it when you factor in the drive time. You really need to plan to spend an overnight near the Canyon. If you don't want to even spend one whole day at the Canyon, you will have to shortchange the visit, there's really no way around it.

    Of course, if you look within the context of your entire trip, with your segments in California, its probably going to be most efficient to go from Vegas to the South Rim and directly to California (or vice versa). Again, stressing the entire trip concept, there are thousands of threads discussing this area, so I'd encourage you to spend a little time looking around.

  9. Default

    Appreciate it Michael, sorry for the naivety in merging was never the intention

    Thanks again

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