“The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world.” - Theodore Roosevelt
The meandering Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon millions of years ago, creating the awe-inspiring beauty that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 1979. The mile-deep Canyon is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide with varied rock formations, making it one of the world’s most spectacular natural formations. The landscape of the Grand Canyon is rich and diverse, and is an amalgamation of pine and fir forests, deserts, mesas and plateaus, and sandstone canyons. In this guide we will focus on the South Rim and help you find the best Grand Canyon South Rim tours from Las Vegas.
What Makes The Grand Canyon's South Rim Special
Millions of tourists visit the Grand Canyon each year. Of this, it comes as no surprise that the lion's share of the crowd visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. With scores of vantage and lookout points, the Grand Canyon presents itself in all its glory at the South Rim. The views from this rim are what makes up the quintessential Grand Canyon that we know of. South Rim is by far the most popular section of the Grand Canyon and often considered the “true Grand Canyon", featuring vast and expansive views of the canyon, typical of the photos you come across in magazines and on TV. South Rim is easily accessible from Las Vegas and is popular among tourists not only for its views, but a plethora of visitor services available at the South Rim Visitor Center.
The South Rim is open 24 hours a day all year, but it is best to visit during the daylight hours if you want to enjoy the view of the Grand Canyon from South Rim’s many vantage points. If you are here for the sunrise, head to the Mather Point or the Yaki Point for the best view. These points, and the Hopi Point, have a great view of the sunset. Some of the points on this side look out to the Grand Canyon with a view of its base. Some of the other points at South Rim are Navajo Point, Mohave Point, Lipan Point, and Desert View.
Popular Grand Canyon South Rim Tours from Las Vegas
Grand Canyon South Rim Bus Tour from Las Vegas
• Experience the beauty of the South Rim of Grand Canyon in this comfortable and exciting bus tour.
• The day long sojourn will begin and end at your hotel as the package includes hotel transfers.
• The tour also includes a nutritional lunch.
• You will learn all about the Grand Canyon and how it was created with the help of the ongoing narration in the bus.
• The bus stops at five points- Mather Point, Colorado River, Phantom Ranch, Hoover Dam, and Route 66. Each of these locations offer magnificent views of the sprawling landscape.
• You can hike for 2.5 miles from Mather Point to the Grand Canyon Village to get a panoramic view of the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and the Phantom Ranch. You can also experience the local culture here.
• Take in the view of the Hoover Dam from Williams or Seligman on Route 66.
• Don’t forget to get your camera out to capture the red and orange beauty of the Grand Canyon.
• Narrated Bus Tour
• 2.5 mile Grand Canyon Walking Tour
• Meal Included
• Hotel Transfers Included
Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim Coach Tour with Heli Ride at the Canyon
• The day-long tour will start and end your hotel as the package includes hotel transfers.
• Once you board the luxurious air-conditioned coach, your journey towards the Grand Canyon will begin with an entertaining and informing commentary from the guide/driver.
• The commentary in the bus will inform you about the region’s history and you can imagine it all as you pass through the Mojave Desert and drive along the mighty Colorado River.
• You can witness and capture on camera the massive Hoover Dam as the bus will halt there for about 20 minutes.
• Once you reach the South Rim, it will be time for you to enjoy the 25-minute long helicopter ride.
• The soaring helicopter will fly over the Kaibab Plateau, Canyon’s Rim, and the Dragon Corridor which is the deepest and the widest part of the Grand Canyon.
• After the helicopter ride, you can roam around the South Rim and explore its beauty before enjoying a delicious lunch.
• There is also a souvenir shop where you can buy some great memorabilia.
• Once you have had your fill of the Grand Canyon, the five-hour journey back to Las Vegas will end at your hotel.
• Restrooms are available onboard the coach.
• Guided commentary from driver or guide
• Lunch at the attraction
• 25 minute tour on a helicopter
• Pickup from hotel
• Drop off at hotel
What to See - Grand Canyon South Rim
Hoover Dam and O’Callaghan-Tillman Bridge
This incredible feat of engineering holds back the Colorado River forming Lake Mead, and is around 30 miles from Las Vegas. It sees nearly 1 million visitors every year. Earlier known as the Boulder Dam, the concrete-arch gravity dam was renamed in 1947 as the Hoover Dam after President Herbert Hoover. The dam is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River and lies on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam powers up public and private utilities in states of Nevada, Arizona, and California. The bridge lies in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, and forms part of the US Route 93, connecting Arizona and Nevada. This bridge is the second highest in the United States and is the highest concrete arch bridge in the world.
Mather Point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited vantage points here. It opens out to the majestic Grand Canyon and offers a focussed view of the multi-hued rocks and sky. There are parking facilities near the point, and its outcroppings have two railed viewpoints that are near the Rim Trail connecting Mather and Yavapai points.
Grand View Point
The Grand view point is the southern most point of the South Rim and sits at an elevation of 7400 feet. The official point is located between Desert View and the Grand Canyon Village, but you will get the best view by going a short distance on the Grand view Trail. Being the farthest point from the Colorado River, you get a bird’s eye view of its meandering path.
The Dragon Corridor is the deepest and widest point of the Grand Canyon. If you are taking the helicopter or airplane tours, you can go close to this part of the mighty canyon and explore its many layers. On the way to the Dragon Corridor, you will also witness the Tower of Ra which is 6076 feet high mountain peak and is the oldest rock formation in the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center & Museum
The visitor centre of the Grand Canyon National park is a treasure trove of information and resources to make your visit even better. From books to bike rentals, you will get everything here. The Yavapai Geology Museum lies between the Visitor Centre and Grand Canyon Village. The Geological Museum boasts of large windows that open out to the Grand Canyon, and have on display all the information about the formation and history of the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon South Rim – All You Need To Know
1. Hotel Pickup/Transfers
All of the Grand Canyon South Rim tours include hotel transfers, and no matter which one you choose, you are sure to have a seamless experience.
2. Drive to the Airport
If you have booked a tour with helicopter or aircraft, you can drive to the airport or choose to reach there in the pick- up coach which is part of the tour package.
3. Drive Past Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is among the most visited sites in the world, with over a million tourists coming here every year. You can witness the magnificence of this structure by opting for any of the Grand Canyon South Rim tours.
4. Flying/Touring Experience at the Grand Canyon
A trip to the Grand Canyon is an experience of a lifetime, and whichever of these tours you choose, you will have an amazing experience. Just walk through the South Rim or learn all about the Grand Canyon and its history in a guided bus tour or take a helicopter or aircraft tour over the massive world heritage site.
5. Drive/Fly Back
The drive from the canyon to Las Vegas is about 3 hours. If you’re on an airplane or helicopter tour, the entire experience could take you anywhere between 6-8 hours.
Check out our guide on selecting the best Grand Canyon helicopter tours from Las Vegas here.
Hours of Operation
Grand Canyon South is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including all holidays
Distance from Vegas
276.1 miles via US-93 S and I-40 E. Time taken by road: 5 hours, time taken by flight: 45 minutes
The weather is similar to that of Las Vegas.
Grand Canyon West Rim does have a visitor center, along with souvenir shops, restaurants and other facilities.
Tips for Visiting Grand Canyon South Rim
• Make use of the shuttle service to go from one point to another within the Grand Canyon National Park- it’s a time and energy saver.
• The commentary on board the bus coaches are a great source of information and will give you great insights into the history of the Grand Canyon- make use of it.
• Keep yourself hydrated and apply sunscreen before starting out with the tour.
• Click Click Click! You would want to keep your camera ready to capture all the beauty and amazing moments.
• Keep at least a day to explore the Grand Canyon and the nearby attractions.