The Grand Canyon is one of the most impressive national parks in the world. Often people are surprised at just how wide the Grand Canyon is and can wind up disappointed as on some days it is difficult, or impossible, to see across to the other side. So if you are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon there are some things you need to decide before you go.
How to get to the Grand Canyon from nearby major airports
As you can see from Google Maps, the Grand Canyon is not far from the area’s major airports and Sixt has a car rental location at both. You can arrange a great rental for drives to either rim of the Grand Canyon and freely make stops along the way. One popular detour is the Hoover Dam, which is on the way to the South Rim from Vegas.
How to get there: Phoenix to the Grand Canyon
|Driving Time||3 hours and 40 minutes|
Driving to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix Airport is a great way to explore Arizona. You can opt to take the scenic route via Sedona and traverse the desert plains of the Colorado Plateau. Another great place to explore is Flagstaff which was on the historic Route 66.
How to get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas Airport
|Driving Time||4 hours and 19 minutes|
Las Vegas Airport is conveniently the same distance from both the popular South Rim and the more isolated North Rim. When driving to the South Rim, take the historic Route 66 where you’ll pass small towns such as Williams along the way. The route to the North rim takes you through the desolate beauty of the Arizona Strip – one of the least populated regions in the US.
It also possible to make a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon West is just a 2-hour drive away and where the Skywalk glass bridge is located.
Tip: Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time and so there is a one-hour time difference when you travel from Nevada to Arizona.
Which side of the Grand Canyon would you like to see?
On average there is only a 10 miles distance across the canyon. A visit to both the South and North Rim, however, will take at least five hours as it entails a 220 mile/354 km drive around the canyon’s eastern end. It’s great to see both locations if you have the opportunity, although most people choose to visit only one. The South Rim is typically the most popular place to visit, with 90% of tourists making this their destination.
Open year round, the South Rim offers numerous activities and visitor services. If you are planning a family vacation the South Rim can be the best option as here you will be able to hop on and off a shuttle bus that takes you to different parts of the canyon. The shuttle can also provide a less crowded option as it only allows a certain number of tourists on at a time.
There is not much to do at the North Rim, however, it offers amazing views and the chance to have some peace and quiet while taking in the surroundings. It is best suited to advanced hikers or those looking to take a mule tour through the canyon. The North Rim is not open year-round and only accessible from mid-May to mid-October.
Why a car rental is necessary when you visit
If you are planning a visit to the Grand Canyon consider renting a car. Having your own transportation can make the trip a lot easier as there is no other way to get to the Grand Canyon unless with an organized tour. Getting to the Grand Canyon is easy from the area’s major international airports and there are many sights to see along the way.
Things you will only be able to see with a car rental
If you want to get away from the crowds the best way to do this is with a vehicle. You will be able to drive in places where other people are unable to reach and be able to see more than the average visitor to the Grand Canyon. You will be able to see a few of the most popular drives below.
Desert View Drive
The Desert View Drive is located on the South Rim that stretches 23 miles with several stops where you will be able to stop at designated areas and see the unbelievable scenery with views over the Colorado River. This is the only route open to cars all year-round. There you will also be able to find picnic tables and visitor centers to enjoy your visit.
Located on the North Rim, a 30 mile drive through the National Park where you will be able to see breathtaking nature, with wild animals, and a lot of peace. This road is a nice detour to get to the North Rim to see some nature on the way to the main attraction. It ends at Bright Angel Point with the option to hike further.
If you want to see everything in Arizona, spending some time in Sedona, will definitely be worth it if you are already visiting the Grand Canyon. Only a few hours drive south from the canyon you will get to this nature enriching town. This town has everything to offer from plenty of shops, several outdoor activities including rafting, biking, and amazing desert view drives. If you want to get the full Arizona experience visit Sedona on your trip!
Sixt Rental Car Information
You will be able to see the closest Sixt car rental locations here: https://www.sixt.com/car-rental/usa/grand-canyon
If you would like to find out more information about the Grand Canyon you will be able to find it here: http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
Passionate about travel, Katie likes to eat her way through as many different countries as possible.