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From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon: 4 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Freddy Sherman
Apr 15, 2020

If you're looking for an escape or day trip from Las Vegas, a visit to the Grand Canyon can be the perfect destination. The incredible canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is a four-hour drive or a 45-minute flight from Las Vegas.

The easiest way to do the trip is to take a tour. An organized tour makes it easy, as they handle everything from logistics to a scenic itinerary. Here are several options for you to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

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1. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Car

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

If you want to drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, it's an easy trip almost completely done on interstate highways. Although the canyon is only 100 miles away as the crow flies, the drive is much less direct and is almost 300 miles. It will take you between four and five hours from Las Vegas.

You start from the Las Vegas Strip near the airport, heading on the I-215 east towards Henderson. You then make your way to the I-11 southbound, which will take you to the border of Arizona. The road is also US-93, and there are some scenic viewpoints of Lake Mead as you leave Henderson and begin to get into the Mojave Desert. You can also make a detour here and visit Hoover Dam and/or the lake.

From here, it's an easy drive through the Arizona desert to the I-40, where you'll take that east for a few hours until Williams, Arizona. That's where you'll get off the big interstate and start on historic Route 66. It's fun to stop in the little town of Seligman, Arizona, which celebrates its location on the famous American route. After a while, you take AZ-64, which is a 50-mile road leading directly to the Grand Canyon National Park. In the winter months, there can be snow in the area (and on the roads) between Flagstaff and the Canyon.

For fun, you may want to drive to Williams, Arizona and then take the Grand Canyon Railway train from here to the canyon. There's free parking at the train depot, and you can use the park shuttle system to move around within the park - you don't need a car.

2. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon on a Tour

Sunset at Mather Point, Grand Canyon

If you want an easy, inexpensive way to make the trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, try an organized tour. The Grand Canyon National Park Bus Tour is an all-day experience that takes you via motor coach (with a restroom onboard) from the Las Vegas Strip area right to the Grand Canyon.

Most bus tours stop at Hoover Dam, just outside Las Vegas, and on Route 66 in the cool town of Seligman, Arizona. The tours take you to the canyon's South Rim for a stop at the Mather Point overlook and the iconic Bright Angel Lodge.

The experience starts with a 6am departure from Las Vegas and gets you back there around 10pm. The tours include a guide who provides commentary and answers questions during the trip. The tour also includes round-trip transportation from most major Las Vegas hotels.

3. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Helicopter

Helicopter parked at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

The fastest (and most expensive) way to get from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is by helicopter. The Grand Canyon 4-in1 Helicopter Tour starts with a limo ride from your hotel to the heliport, located just off the Strip. Then it's a scenic, 45-minute flight to the canyon.

After leaving Las Vegas, you pass over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and get a truly unique, aerial perspective on both sites. You'll also see the natural beauty of the Mojave Desert on the way before arriving at the awe-inspiring location.

Once at the Grand Canyon, you fly inside, giving you the chance to really see the layered geology. The helicopter lands on the canyon floor, and you get out and explore the area. The tour package includes a boat ride down the Colorado River inside the canyon. You then get back into the helicopter and fly to the West Rim area. Here, you visit an Indian village and learn about Native American culture, followed by lunch overlooking the canyon.

There's an option to visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk, or you can spend more time exploring the canyon. Then it's back into the helicopter for the quick return trip to Las Vegas, where you'll tour the Strip before landing. After landing, you'll be taken back to your hotel in a limousine.

4. From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon by Bus and Train

Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon

It's possible to get to the Grand Canyon from Vegas via public transportation by taking two buses, or buses and a train. Start in Las Vegas at the Greyhound bus terminal and take the bus to Flagstaff, Arizona, which takes about five hours (there are only two stops made). This bus departs Las Vegas at 6:55am and gets you to Flagstaff about 1:30pm.

You can then take a shuttle bus from Flagstaff directly to the canyon. The shuttles take you from several locations in Flagstaff to Maswik Lodge or the Tusayan IMAX Theater, both inside the park.

Alternatively, you can add on train ride to make things interesting. From Flagstaff, you need to get to Williams, Arizona. The best option is another bus service. You could also take Uber or Lyft - it's only about 30 miles (48 kilometers).

Once in Williams, you take the iconic Grand Canyon Railway, which takes about two hours and brings you right to the South Rim. The train has different types of rail cars and six different classes of services and ticket prices. You have options from very basic cars with bench seats to riding in your own private parlor car. The trains depart Williams at 8:30 or 9:30am, depending on the month, and depart from the canyon to return to Williams at 2:30 or 3:30pm.

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