Grand Canyon South Rim

The South Rim is the most visited rim at the Grand Canyon. It's open year round and has hotel and lodging options both inside the Canyon as well as around in nearby towns. When looking for a place to stay at the Grand Canyon, first determine how many days you plan on being there and what kind of tours you would like to take.

For most South Rim visitors, one day is enough to take pictures, walk around the rim and even take a helicopter tour or bus tour. If this sounds like your plan, consider staying in a nearby town like Williams, Flagstaff or even Sedona. These places offer more hotel, dining and entertainment options than in or near the Grand Canyon, and will enhance you experience of the Great Southwest.

If you're planning on exploring the the Grand Canyon more in depth, staying in or near the park is a great idea. This will allow you to take longer hikes, experience the sunrises and sunsets at the Canyon and learn more about what makes the Grand Canyon a Natural Wonder of the World. Hotels in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon include El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Maswik Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Yavapai Lodge and Phantom Ranch. Just outside of the park is the town of Tusayan, which completely revolves around Grand Canyon South Rim visitors. You'll be able to find budget friendly motels and comfortable family hotels just 6 miles from the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon.

Williams is about 60 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and is a charming town located on the Historic Route 66. Williams is where the Grand Canyon Railway departs from and is only 35 miles from Flagstaff. Williams hotels are the closest to the Grand Canyon without actually staying at the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff is about 79 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and is a great place find a hotel you're looking to explore more of the Southwest. Flagstaff is a vibrant town chalk full of outdoor enthusiasts and local breweries. Depending on the time of year, visitors can go skiing and sledding in Flagstaff, go for scenic hike up Mt. Humphreys or any one of the innumerable hikes in this part of Arizona. Flagstaff hotels make a great basecamp for anyone wanting to spend a few days exploring.

Sedona is known for its beautiful red rocks and rare energy. Located about 110 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, visitors will encounter nothing short of a stunningly experience. Sedona offers luxury resort spas, cozy bed and breakfasts and cabins along the creek. If you're more of a luxury traveler, a Sedona hotel might be the way to go when visiting the Grand Canyon.

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The South Rim is most accessible and therefore the most popular destination at Grand Canyon, attracting 5 million visitors each year. The South Rim is where you'll find visitor's centers, historical buildings, and over two dozen viewpoints and trailheads. Because of its popularity, visitors should expect crowds particularly in the busiest seasons - spring, summer and fall.

A guided tour of some sort is an excellent way to experience the Grand Canyon and is highly recommended. Helicopter tours and air tours on a plane over the Grand Canyon is both a great way to see the Grand Canyon as well as get away from the crowds. Other ways of seeing the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is is to book a van, Jeep, bus or Railway tour to ride up to Grand Canyon Village and have several hours to do the aforementioned activities at the rim, then take a ride back to the tour's origin in the late afternoon.

Many of the South Rim visitors get to the park, look over the edge of the Grand Canyon, take a few pictures and call it a day. It's quite the trek to make just to look at a big hole in the ground! But that's just it! The Grand Canyon is a Natural Wonder of the World for so many reasons. Experience and learn more about the Grand Canyon from a tour that fits your travel and learning style. From self-guided audio walking tours in multiple languages to air, auto and rail tours, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon offers visitors the opportunity to engage with something truly majestic and unique.

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How do I get to the Grand Canyon South Rim...from Sedona? From Las Vegas? From Phoenix? If you've been scouring multiple resources for the trifecta of driving distances, drive times AND directions to the Grand Canyon South Rim from any one of several gateway cities throughout the Southwest, look no further. We've organized all the pertinent information into a handy table, and included simple driving directions you can print and take with you on your Grand Canyon vacation.

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Book your hotel or lodging at the Grand Canyon, or nearby in Williams, Flagstaff or Sedona. See All Grand Canyon Hotels & Lodging »


Most Grand Canyon visitors book a tour; go by helicopter, airplane, van or train. See All Grand Canyon Tours »


Wondering what to expect of the weather during your trip? See Grand Canyon Weather & Average Temperatures »


Are you trying to decide whether to visit the South Rim or the North Rim? Read our guide to each Rim. Find Out Which Rim is for You »

A Day At The Canyon from John Burcham Photography. John Burcham is a commercial, editorial photographer based out of Flagstaff, AZ. You can see more of his work at