Grand Canyon North Rim vs South Rim: Tours & Day Hikes
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the MOST visited national parks in the United States. The mesmerizing sun-rays on the canyons have been a fascination with mankind for a long time. It is key that you plan your trip to the Canyons ahead of time. But the entire National Park is HUGE and quite often people wonder, Grand Canyon North Rim vs South Rim, which one is better?
Or is the Skywalk worth it? Well, we will discover all those options in this post including day hikes, tours, and planning tips.
Adventure seekers have been visiting this national park since the late 19th century. And today with many tourist attractions including the Skywalk and heli tours, the Grand Canyon National Park has been a crowd puller for not only hikers and campers, but for the young and luxury travelers wanting a slice of soft adventure!
Before making a choice of visiting the Grand Canyon south rim vs north rim or the west and the east, it is important to remember that tourist attractions in each area are slightly different, weather variations also exist among the regions, what is amazing for fit hikers may not be apt for families traveling with kids.
Or if you are wanting a luxury trip out of Las Vegas or road tripping in Arizona– yes, accessibility from major cities should be considered. So, in short, we will be looking at the following things for each region –
- Weather all year round
- Accessibility from major cities
- Tourist Attractions
- Best Suited for
- Day Hike Options
- Best Tours options
Grand Canyon North Rim vs South Rim: Tours & Day Hikes
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Grand Canyon National Park is located in the state of Arizona in the USA. The Colorado River cuts through the canyons and has been making this region one of the most stunning to visit. It is also one of the popular tours from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Regardless of what side you choose to go with and whether it’s a tour or you are embarking on a day hike, here are some important items to pack and carry with you
Packing Tips for Grand Canyon
- Hiking shoes/boots – To enjoy the National Park’s walkways and hiking trails, it is recommended that you use hiking shoes. Buy hiking shoes from Backcountry.com here
- Hiking socks – Hiking socks are equally important to protect your feet. Choose one that has breathable and moisture licking fabric. Buy your hiking socks here.
- Hiking Poles – Certain areas of the trail pathway are uneven to hike, use hiking poles. Buy hiking poles here.
- Compass – For directions. Buy compass here
- First Aid Kit – Carry a standard first aid kit for minor bruises or cuts. Buy a first aid kit for your trip here
- Day-pack – We recommend carrying a day-pack to store your gear and clothes in a handy day-pack. Buy this hiking day-pack that is trusted by many
- Light waterproof jacket – Evenings could get a little chilly and if you are enjoying an evening hike back or a sunset tour, do carry a waterproof jacket. Here are our favorites
- Water bottle – There are many streams from where you can fill water for a day hike at the Grand Canyon National Park. We recommend using something with an in-built filter. Buy water bottle with filter here
- Sunscreen – Sunscreens are a must. Buy my favorite Vichy sunscreen with SPF
- Bug spray – Click here to buy bug sprays for your trip
- Camera – We love to carry our Sony alpha mirror-less camera. Buy your mirror-less camera here
Grand Canyon South Rim: Tours & Day Hikes
The Grand Canyon South Rim is the MOST visited part of the national park and there are a variety of reasons for that.
Weather at the Grand Canyon South Rim:
The south rim of the Grand Canyon National Park experiences 4 seasons in full swing. Summers are dry and can be hard on the body for some. Staying hydrated is key. Summer months are from June to August. Fall months which is from September to early November is a great time to visit as the sun is not so harsh, but the weather is amazing for hikes and full-day tours.
Winters are an amazing time at the Grand Canyons South rim, where the snow-covered scenes will just melt your heart. The majority of the roads are accessible for winter, however the moderate to high-intensity hiking trails won’t be accessible due to weather/slippery conditions. Expect showers in winter months.
In short, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open all year round.
Accessibility from major towns
South Rim Grand Canyon is easily accessible from major US cities including Las Vegas, Phoenix.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim – 4 hours 15 minutes
Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim – 3 hours 30 minutes
Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim – 2 hours 15 minutes
Hotels Grand Canyon South Rim
There are many options for hotels and accommodation in the South Rim. Search for hotels in Grand Canyon South Rim
Tourist Attractions Grand Canyon South Rim
Many popular scenic viewpoints are located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon – a whopping 22-24 viewpoints! That itself is a BIG reason why visitors prefer the south rim.
Many tour operators offer day tours to the Grand Canyon South Rim, many also explore the Route 66 and the Hoover Dam for a photo stop, before exploring the south rim of the Grand Canyon. There are also many mule rides and helicopter tours scheduled all year round from the South Rim.
Popular Day Tours to Grand Canyon South Rim
From Las Vegas
- Book a Grand Canyon Bus Tour with lunch – explore south rim Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Route 66 with pick up and drop off from Las Vegas hotels
- Book a small group tour of Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
- Book a thrilling helicopter tour of Grand Canyon South Rim
- READ: Top 5 Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Day tours and Best Airbnbs in Grand Canyon Area
From Phoenix or Scottsdale
Pro Tip: Most bus tours to the South Rim will be 14-15 hours on an average. If you are considering day tours of a shorter duration – the west rim of the Grand Canyon might be a better option for you. More information on the Grand Canyon West Rim below.
Most of the popular hiking trails including the Bright Angel’s Landing Trail, Hermit trail are located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Best Suited for
The south rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is best for all travelers – from soft adventure seekers to hikers wanting to go the extra mile. It is also good for families and groups to travel with kids.
For the South Rim, you will find TONS of bus tours and helicopter adventure tours. Hiking trails range from easy, short duration to high intensity – there is something for everybody.
Day hikes at the South Rim: Hiking Trails
Here are some of the best day hikes in the South Rim Grand Canyon. As always don’t forget to carry hiking essentials and gear. Be prepared.
Hiking the Bright Angel Trail
By Michelle from The Wandering Queen
Trail Length: 1.50 – 3 miles and 6.1 – 12.2 miles round trip
Duration: 2 hours to 8+ hours
Intensity: Moderate to Difficult
One of the most well-known hikes in the Grand Canyon is the Bright Angel Trail. This trail is a great way to immerse yourself in the Grand Canyon. There are two rest stops on the trail. One-stop is located at 1.5 miles into the trail where water is available, only seasonally, and it is a good turn-around point.
The next rest stop is located 3 miles into the trail (1.5 miles after the first stop). Like the previous stop, water is available seasonally, and it is another great turn around point.
The last point on the trail I would like to mention is Plateau Point, 6.1 miles inward. By far, this spot has the absolute best views of the whole trail. A bonus is that you don’t have to hike down to the river (which is highly not recommended as a day hike).
Since the distance is 12.2 miles round trip (1/3 on a steep incline), it is recommended only to do this day hike if you are an expert hiker and if you start early in the morning preferably before the sun rises. I also highly recommend bringing a flashlight or a headlamp, in case you have to spend your time hiking in the dark.
Always remember that hiking back up the canyon is a lot harder than walking down and keep track of your time. If you get to experience the Bright Angel Trail, you won’t regret it as it is a stunning view.
Hiking the Hermit Trail
By Louise from Wandering Welsh Girl
Trail Length: 4.4 – 7.4 miles round trip
Duration: 2 hours to 8+ hours
Intensity: Moderate to Difficult
Hermit’s trail is categorized as a threshold trail which means that the park does not maintain it. The trail is quite rough and rocky. It requires a little easy scrambling at times and some basic route navigating skills. Since it is not maintained there are no stock animals using the path and it tends to be the least populated of the South Rim trails.
How to get to the Hermit Trail? During the summer months (April to October) the access road is closed to private vehicles, so day hikers need to catch the free shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest.
The shuttle buses run regularly from all points along the rim and routes are clearly marked via a color-coded system. From the shuttle bus stop, it’s a short walk beyond the parking lot to Hermit’s Rest, the start of the trail.
There are two obvious turns around points for day hikes on the Hermit Trail, depending on fitness levels and how long you’d like to hike. The easiest of the options is the 4.4-mile return hike to Santa Maria Spring. This is a great little hike that takes you down through a pygmy forest before opening up to provide great views of the Hermit Basin.
The descent starts off steep but then gradually flattens out. The Santa Maria shelter offers a break from the sun and has a permanent water source (don’t forget to treat it). After a break, you can turn around and head back up the way you came.
If you would like to hike a little further, you can continue on past Santa Maria Spring for a further 3 miles to Breezy point. This would be the next turn around point (11-mile round trip). The trail will cross a few old rock slides which are where some basic navigating is required, however, there are rock cairns to lead the way.
If you are prepared to hike this extra distance you will be rewarded with some of the best panoramic views from inside the Grand Canyon.
The Hermit Trail is my favorite of the South Rim trails because it’s quiet and the scenery is quite varied. Also, due to its placement in the canyon, you are treated to big open vistas, which allow you to appreciate the Grand Canyon’s true vastness.
Hiking the South Kaibab Trail
By Susan Gleissner From This Big Wild World.
Trail Length: 3- 6 miles round trip
Duration: 1.50 hours to 3+ hours
Intensity: Easy to moderate
The South Kaibab Trail offers hikers the opportunity to go down into the belly of the Grand Canyon and appreciate its beauty from the inside out! This trail is the perfect day hike because you can go as far as you’re comfortable, customizing your hike for your needs.
Because the South Kaibab trail is an out-and-back, you can turn around at any time. But, there are a few noteworthy stops to consider when planning your distance. Just one and a half miles from the trailhead (3 miles round-trip), you can enjoy an incredible 360-degree view of the canyon at Cedar Ridge.
This makes a great place to relax and enjoy a snack. If you want to hike a bit further, continue on to Skeleton Point which is three miles from the trailhead (6 miles round trip).
The trail itself is steep and has some ledges with sharp drop-offs. Watch your step and stay close to the wall if you’re uncomfortable with heights. Because the trail is steep, expect the hike up to take about twice as long as the hike down.
During the warmer months (March through October) it can be quite hot with intense sun exposure on the trail. Bring adequate water and sun protection for this day hike. If possible, leave early in the morning to enjoy cooler temperatures.
Passenger vehicles are not allowed at the Kaibab trailhead. But, there is a free shuttle available from the nearby Visitor Center that runs until one hour after sunset. If you prefer to walk from the Visitor Center, it’s just two miles along the Rim Trail to the Kaibab Trailhead.
The Grand Canyon itself is breathtaking, but there’s something very special about hiking down into it. As I stood at the tip of Cedar Ridge, I felt actual tears in my eyes as I took in the scale of the canyon. Hiking the South Kaibab Trail is an unforgettable experience!
Ooh Aah Point – South Kaibab Trail
By Mary Beth from MB Sees
Trail Length: 1.8 miles round trip
Duration: 1.50 hours+
We recently took a trip to the Grand Canyon with our toddler, and decided to tackle part of the South Kaibab trail. The 7-mile trail goes all the from the canyon rim to the canyon floor, with an elevation change of 4,780 feet. Some of the more hard-core trekkers (a.k.a. not us!) can make a day hike out of the 14-mile round-trip, while some choose to camp at the bottom of the canyon at Bright Angel Campground before hiking back out the following day.
Many more, like us, choose to hike part of the trail. Since we were hauling our toddler in his hiking carrier, we opted to hike the trail to Ooh Aah Point and back. It’s 1.8 miles round trip, with an elevation change of 600 feet. It was strenuous, especially for my husband who did most of the carrying, but didn’t disappoint!
It took us about 3 hours since we made several stops to rest, feed our kiddo, and make sure he stayed comfy and shaded. Most folks could probably finish the hike in half the time. I’d advise against going too fast, though, because you might miss some great details.
The beauty of this trail — besides the views into the canyon, of course! — are equally great views looking back up. Hiking down into the canyon offers the opportunity to see the geology of the canyon walls up close, and all those changing rock layers are awesome to see as you look back towards the trailhead.
The South Kaibab trail is also great for escaping the crowds and having a more intimate Grand Canyon experience – you’ll encounter far fewer people there than on some of the easier trails in the park. It’s fairly steep and narrow with several switchbacks, so most visitors just hang out at the trailhead enjoying the view of the canyon below.
This is a great trail for folks who want a challenging hike. No matter how far you decide to go, you’ll definitely feel accomplished after hiking South Kaibab!
Best Day Tours at Grand Canyon South Rim
If you prefer taking a day tour to the Grand Canyon South Rim, you are in luck. There are many amazing tours available starting from Las Vegas and back in a day.
Keep in mind, most bus tours will be full-day tours with lunch. We have taken one of these tours, and although the tour is comfy and there is entertainment, it makes for a LONG day!
Because there is some walking involved and you will be moving from some viewpoint to another (or souvenir store or parking lot), carry comfortable walking shoes (preferably hiking shoes), sunscreen, a day-pack, water – so pretty much what one will carry when they are on a hiking trail. You can, however, ditch the compass and hiking pole.
JEEP, SUNSET & GUIDED TOUR AT THE SOUTH RIM
Grand Canyon South Rim exploration – This jeep tour is a good way to explore the Grand Canyon intimately, without a hike.
- 2-hour jeep tour of the Grand Canyon south rim
- Tour starts at the entrance of the South Rim
- Explore in style in a pink jeep into the deep canyons
Sunset Tour of the Hermit Trail – This is a 3 hour sunset tour of the Hermit Trail, from the Grand Canyon south rim entrance
- Watch the sun go down on the walls of the Grand Canyon on an unforgettable Jeep tour from Tusayan
- Hike along the Hermits Trail to see fossil beds
- Learn the history of El Tovar Hotel and Hopi House in the Grand Canyon Village
- This is a UNIQUE way to soak in all the beauty of the Grand Canyons!
BUS DAY TOUR GRAND CANYON SOUTH
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim with Lunch – This full-day bus tour is a good value package with a full-day tour of Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.
- Pick up and return service from most Las Vegas Hotels
- Photo stop at the Hoover Dam
- 3 hours self-exploration at Grand Canyon south rim – Photo and a light hike
- Light breakfast and lunch included
- Breathtaking views of the Canyon from the South Rim at Mather Point and Bright Angel Visitors Center
- Also, pass through the historic Route 66
Helicopter tour of Grand Canyon South Rim – This tour of Grand Canyon South Rim is on a helicopter! Isn’t that epic?
- 45 minutes over the Grand Canyon.
- Arrive at the terminal, depart from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
- Views include the Kaibab National Forest, the Marble Canyon, and Point Imperial.
- Fly south through the Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest part of the canyon.
- See the Painted Desert and the Desert View Watchtower, designed by the Hopi Indians
OTHER GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM TOURS
From Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim
- Sunset and dinner tour from Sedona in a van is ideal to capture the beauty of the Canyons on a short notice
- Guided tour with dinner
From Phoenix or Scottsdale to the Grand Canyon South Rim
- Full day tour (13 hours) starting from Phoenix, Arizona
- Pick up and drop off. Lunch or breakfast is not included
- Small-group tour in a van
- This tour takes you through Route 66, Sonoran Desert and Coconino National Forest
Verdict: Grand Canyon: Which side is better? South Rim
South Rim Grand Canyon is suitable for all travelers – hikers, soft adventurers, solo or family traveling with kids.
Many scenic viewpoints, variety of tour options, and easy to high-intensity hiking trails.
Easily accessible from all major cities in the US. Most recognizable views of the Grand Canyon can be seen from the South Rim.
Note: As South rim is popular, it is also very crowded during peak seasons. Something to keep in mind.
Grand Canyon North Rim: Tours & Day Hikes
The Grand Canyon North Rim stands as a sharp contrast to the South Rim. To begin with, the North Rim is situated at a higher altitude than the south rim (at 1000 meters). The weather and terrain vary from its southern counterpart. Here is more
Weather and terrain
The Grand Canyon North Rim has a very short tourist or visitor season, typically from mid-May to mid-October. The weather during this time is warm and roads and trails are easily accessible.
September is a good time to capture the fall colors at the Grand Canyon North rim – at the Kaibab trail.
After October, the North Rim experiences cold winter, and with that comes severe weather conditions, and hence most of the routes are closed.
Because it is located at a high altitude, some visitors might experience breathing issues.
Accessibility to Grand Canyon North Rim
As compared to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, driving travel time is longer for the north rim. In wintertime, driving is not possible. Due to the distance in travel time, there are not a lot of day tours (bus) available to the north rim.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon North Rim – 4 hours 40 minutes
Phoenix to Grand Canyon North Rim – 6 hours
Sedona to Grand Canyon North Rim – 4 hours 30 minutes
North Rim hotels and lodges
Visitor services are limited at the North Rim. If you plan on visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim then Phantom Ranch is a good option. Phantom Ranch is a lodge inside Grand Canyon North Rim. BOOK YOUR STAY HERE AT THE PHANTOM RANCH
Tourist Attractions – Grand Canyon North Rim
As compared to the south rim, viewpoints on the north side are far and few in between. The number is 3 scenic viewpoints as compared to south rim’s whopping 24!
Due to a lack of viewpoints and accessible terrain for all visitors, there are not a lot of day tours (bus) available to the north rim. Visitor information centers and services are also limited.
Helicopter tours to the North Rim are a great way to explore this side of the Grand Canyon, without the hassle. Book your tour here and view the amazing north rim
Most of the popular hiking trails including the Kaibab trail, Arizona trail are on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
Best Suited for
Unfortunately, the north rim of the Grand Canyon National is not for all. Adventure seekers with good fitness history would find the north rim a challenge and a memorable trip.
Photographers wanting to capture the beauty of the Canyons, minus the crowds at the south rim – yes the north rim is your answer. Just be mindful of the altitude and the seasonal park hours (operating months of the north rim). Also, there are only 3 viewpoints.
We wouldn’t recommend the north rim if you are a casual hiker, or just want to visit to take a look at the Canyons or traveling with a big group or are a family with kids – no, not for you. The south rim is a way better option for you with multiple viewpoints, rest spots, tours, and trails.
Grand Canyon North Rim Day Hikes
North Kaibab Trail – The North Kaibab Trail is one of the most difficult trails in the Grand Canyon National Park, just like the southern side. What makes the north side unique is that it is least visited. There are different hiking trails available in the North Rim. We will be focusing on the day hikes only, with some of the easy trails for all hikers.
- Roosevelt Point Trail (0.2 mi. / 0.3 km round-trip)
The Roosevelt Point Trail is a short woodland loop of approximately 20 minutes round-trip hiking time. The trail is about 0.2 mi. / 0.3 km round-trip and it can be included even as part of a Grand Canyon north Rim tour.
- Cape Royal Trail (0.6 mi. / 1.0 km round-trip)
0.6 mi. / 1.0 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. An easy walk on a flat, paved trail providing views of the canyon, Angels Window, and the Colorado River. Markers along the trail interpret the area’s natural history. The trail begins at the southeast side of the Cape Royal parking area.
- Cliff Springs Trail (1.0 mi. / 1.6 km round-trip) 1 hour approximate round-trip hiking time. Meanders down a forested ravine and ends where a chest-high boulder rests under a large overhang. The spring is on the cliffside of the boulder. Please do not drink the water as it may be contaminated. The trail begins directly across the road from a small pullout on a curve 0.3 miles / 0.5 km down the road from Cape Royal.
- Cape Final Trail (4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip) 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. A 2-mile walk from the dirt parking area to Cape Final. This trail offers a view of the canyon.
- Uncle Jim Trail 5.0 mi. / 8.0 km round-trip; 3 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. Winds through the forest to a point overlooking the canyon and the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks. Begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot. This trail is also used by mules.
- Roaring Springs – A hike to Roaring Springs and back is extremely strenuous and takes a full day (7-8 hours) – begin your hike before 7 a.m.
- Arizona Trail – The Arizona Trail is an ambitious project that traverses the length of Arizona from the Utah border to Mexico. A section of this trail enters the park near the North Entrance and roughly parallels the highway until it connects with the North Kaibab Trail, a distance of approximately 10 miles / 16 km.
Verdict Should you visit Grand Canyon North Rim?
North Rim is suitable for seasoned/advanced hikers, couples looking for a quiet getaway or photographers on a creative mission.
Only limited scenic viewpoints are available at the North rim. Short visitor season, not accessible in winters.
Tours are far and few in between. Hiking trails are intense.
Not easily accessible from all major cities in the US.
Not suitable for people with cardio issues or those traveling with children.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tours and Hikes
With all the comparison between the Grand Canyon north rim vs the south rim, sometimes you might get a totally different winner! Well, will see. The Grand Canyon west rim is slowly becoming one of the most popular areas at the Grand Canyon. The short answer: Sky Walk and Hasavu Falls.
Here are some of the other reasons (and factors) to consider
Weather and terrain at the Grand Canyon west rim
Weather at the Grand Canyon West rim is similar to the south rim. It experiences all 4 seasons and summers are hot and humid.
Grand Canyon West rim remains warm all year around. The temperature remains similar to that of Las Vegas and Phoenix. Summers could get very HOT (tip – drink tons of water). During winters, the weather is rather pleasant.
Sky Walk accessible all year round. It is open during winters. Winter months are from mid-October to mid-April – Skywalk hours are from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. During Summer months – May 1 to mid-October, Skywalk is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Accessibility to Grand Canyon West Rim
As compared to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, driving travel time is shorter for the west rim from Las Vegas. Due to the distance in travel time, there are tons of day tours (bus) available to the west.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim – 2 hours 30 minutes
Phoenix to Grand Canyon West Rim – 4 hours +
Sedona to Grand Canyon West Rim – 4 hours +
Best Suited for
The western rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is best for all travelers. Luxury and soft adventure seekers can check off Grand Canyon’s amazing views including the Skywalk, which is a crowd puller.
Seasoned hikers have tons to keep them busy with the amazing views of the Mooney Falls, Havasu Falls, and the Beaver falls. Keep in mind camping permit is required for these areas.
For the West Rim, you will find TONS of bus tours and helicopter adventure tours. It is a great option for those looking for a quick tour from Las Vegas and it is also good for families and groups traveling with kids.
Tourist attractions in Grand Canyon West
The west rim is not only accessible but is specially curated for tourists to enjoy the mighty Grand Canyons. The Grand Canyon Skywalk pulls in a million visitors annually. The Skywalk is a glass corridor that extends over the Canyons and offers scintillating views of the national park. It is like getting inside and into the Canyons, minus the sweat and hike!
There are many tour packages available that combine the skywalk access as well as exploration time in the west region.
For seasoned hikers, there are hiking trails that lead to the wonderful Havasu falls, Mooney falls, Beaver falls.
Day tours Grand Canyon West Rim
The Grand Canyon West Rim can be easily explored via tours and there are many of them. If you are thinking of doing a tour to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas – pick any of the tours from below on the west rim.
We did a tour a few years ago to the west rim and were able to explore the Hoover dam, Route 66 and the Grand Canyon National Park. The bus journey was long but informational and it included a hearty lunch. Our pick up was from the Las Vegas Strip hotel. We had plenty of time for a light hike/stroll and back.
Here are a few recommended tours from Las Vegas
BUS TOUR OF GRAND CANYON WEST RIM
This is a standard 9-hour tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon west rim.
- Take this day tour of the Grand Canyon west rim in a bus, with pick up from most Las Vegas hotels
- Includes time at the Eagle Point – where the Sky Walk is located (entrance fee additional $25+ USD)
- Exploration time from the Guano Point lookout
BUS TOUR OF HOOVER DAM AND GRAND CANYON WEST RIM
This in-depth tour of the Grand Canyon west rim also includes an exterior and interior exploration of the Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam is built over the Colorado River.
- Travel in luxury with a small group in an SUV or mini-van
- Breakfast, lunch and (TONS) of water included
- Pick up and drop off from the hotel
- Also, see the amazing 900 year old Joshua Tree Forest
- Romantic lunch at the Rim of the Canyon at the beautiful Guano Point
- Time at Eagle Point (Sky Walk over the edge of the canyon for $25)
- Also wander at the Hualapai Western Town Broadwalk
HELICOPTER AND COACH PICK UP TO GRAND CANYON WEST RIM
This ultimate 9-hour tour is ONE of the BEST ways to view the beauty of the Grand Canyon
- Pick up and drop off from Las Vegas Hotels includes
- Light breakfast and lunch included
- Helicopter ride over the canyons west rim
Hikes – Havasu Falls
Havasu Falls is a famous waterfall located in the Grand Canyon but is part of the Havasupai tribal lands. The colorful waterfall became famous due to social media and has since been one of the most sought after permits in the United States. Obtaining a Havasupai permit can only be done in February and getting to the trailhead is not as easy as you would think.
The trailhead is about a 3 hour and 40-minute drive from the Grand Canyon National Park area. You also need to hike to the campsite for about ten miles and camp overnight to experience the beautiful waterfall. It seems like a lot of trouble just to see the colorful waterfall but, it is absolutely worth it.
Verdict Grand Canyon West Rim – Is it worth visiting?
West Rim is suitable for all travelers – hikers, soft adventurers, solo or family traveling with kids.
Many scenic viewpoints, including the scintillating Sky Walk. There are a variety of tour options and easy to high-intensity hiking trails.
It makes for an easy day trip or tour from Las Vegas. Also easily accessible from all major cities in the US.
Grand Canyon East Rim
So we didn’t want to leave the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. There was so much talk about Grand Canyon and the 3 rims that we wanted to include in this section as well.
And this is on our bucket list when we travel to the US next – the Horseshoe bend. The horseshoe bend makes for such gorgeous pictures with the Little Colorado River that it is definitely a must-visit.
BUT! In reality, there is no designated region or area that is the EAST RIM of the Grand Canyon. But again, the Horseshoe bend also exists.
Grand Canyon East area refers to a number of sites and views of the Grand Canyon. Many of these sites are administered and accessible from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which also includes the famed Horseshoe bend.
When locals or even travelers refer to the Grand Canyon East Rim – it is the area along the Colorado River to the north and east of the South Rim. There are separate entry gates for each. Desert View Point is considered as one of the scenic drives to view the Colorado River and this falls on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (that’s point one for the South rim).
Tours – Grand Canyon East Rim/South Rim Transition
★ Best Value > 3 DAY TOUR OF ANTELOPE CANYON, GRAND CANYONS, ZION AND MONUMENT VALLEY > BOOK HERE
- Full 3-day tour from Sedona Arizona to explore the Antelope Canyon, Zion, and the Monument Valley
- Paid accommodation, with camping gear included
GRAND CANYON RAILWAY TOUR FROM SEDONA > BOOK HERE
- Historical exploration of the Grand Canyon Railway tour
- Explore the transitional area of the east and south rim
- Includes picnic lunch
ANTELOPE CANYON AND HORSESHOE BEND TOURS > BOOK HERE
- Full day Antelope Canyon and Horse Shoe Ben tours from Arizona
OUR VERDICT: GRAND CANYON NORTH RIM OR SOUTH RIM?
It depends! (Yea, I do put on my HR hat sometimes, but it’s true. Hear me out)
If you are wanting to take a day tour from Las Vegas – South Rim (or West Rim with the Sky Walk)
Accessibility as a day tour or if you are driving yourself – South Rim
All year round accessibility – South Rim (North Rim has limited accessibility)
Most popular shots of the Grand Canyon – South Rim
Want the Grand Canyons to yourself? – North Rim (conditions apply)
Looking for challenges and uninterrupted views? – North Rim
Want luxury and wish to travel and see the Canyons in style, then wear your Instagrammable hat and head to the Eagle Point on the West Rim!
Additional USA Travel Resources
- The USA in Winter – Find out the top winter destinations in the USA including Grand Canyon
- Romantic Cities in the USA – Perfect destinations to escape with your sweetheart in the USA
- East Coast – Getaways in the East Coast of the USA
- West Coast – Getaways in the West Coast of the USA
- Las Vegas Weekend Trip – Read our 3-day itinerary to Las Vegas and couples guide plus LV Hotels Guide
- San Francisco Guide – Read our 4 days San Francisco Itinerary
- SF Road Trip Ideas – Embark on these SF Road trips
- Beach Towns in California – Coastline cities in California
Pin: Grand Canyon South Rim vs North Rim
Thanks for all the rim comparisons! Even though the West Rim isn’t officially part of the National Park, it’s still beautiful! And I loved my time in Havasupai! I’m hoping to see the rest of it soon!
This is such a fantastic resource for planning a trip to the grand canyon! I’ve only been to the south rim and haven’t been hiking but would love to do an overnight trip there. I’ll be saving this to help with my planning!
Wow, this guide is so detailed and helpful! Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I look forward to visiting Grand Canyon one day. I can’t pick between North or South rim! I guess I’ll have to try to do both in two trips.
I am sooo impressed that you did that hike while carrying your toddler! Those views are fantastic (and I think Oooh aaah point is the prefect name!!)
Anyway, this post is fantastic. I would love to visit the Grand Canyon (hopefully in winter!) so I’ll come back and re-read before we actually go.
Appreciating the time and effort you put into your website and in-depth information you offer. It was such a most informative comparisons. Beautiful photos! It sounds like you had a great time and it makes me even more excited for my first trip to the Grand Canyon. Thank you for sharing!