West Rim vs. South Rim
When planning a Grand Canyon vacation, many visitors have become intrigued by recent news of the Grand Canyon Skywalk at Grand Canyon West (West Rim), but most do not wish to miss out on the quintessential Grand Canyon experience. So which should you visit - the South Rim or the West Rim? The answer depends on several factors and ultimately comes down to whatever makes the most sense for your vacation. Here are some basics to help you figure out what you expect to get out of you Grand Canyon visit, and choose the Rim that's right for you.
The majority of visitors come to the South Rim each year. Compare 5 million annual South Rim visitors to 1 million yearly North Rim visitors and 200,000 annual visitors at the West Rim. There is a good reason people flock to the South Rim; it's part of Grand Canyon National Park; it's stunningly beautiful; it's more developed by way of visitors centers and services; there's more lodging nearby; you can hike, backpack and camp; it's easier to access; it's more centrally located for Arizona visitors; and it offers more activity and tour variety.
The West Rim is emerging as a destination, and it's on tribal reservation land, so it offers fewer options for lodging, services, visitor centers and variety when it comes to activities and tours. Because it's not a part of Grand Canyon National Park but actually owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe on tribal land, Grand Canyon West is more a tour destination and pay-for-admission attraction than the National Park. Its proximity to Las Vegas, unique Skywalk attraction, beautiful rugged views and plethora of Las Vegas tour packages make the West Rim a fantastic choice for more and more of the Grand Canyon-bound each year.
Both the South Rim and the West Rim are open year-round. Weather extremes and moderates occur at both rims at different times of year; the West Rim sees the more extreme summer heat, and the South Rim experiences far colder winter temperatures.
The South Rim is better suited to visitors on a modest to moderate budget, while the West Rim requires at least a moderate budget for entry and to take advantage of the tours and activities available for both transportation and on-site fun.
To put it simply, popularity, availability of services, weather and budget are some of the major considerations when deciding whether the South Rim or the West Rim is right for you. But if you have more detailed questions, or want a more personalized guide to where, when, and how to see the Grand Canyon, take our Grand Canyon Quiz.
Explore the Grand Canyon with this guided, full-day sightseeing adventure around the South Rim. Beginning in Las Vegas, travel to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and the National Geographic Visitor Center. See a number of different panoramic views from various lookout locations while learning about the history and geology of the canyon from the expert tour guide. Upgrade to include an IMAX movie and/or a scenic 2-hour Jeep tour or a breathtaking helicopter flight. Lunch and a Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
Book and save 44% compared to our local operator's price!Grand Canyon West Rim Luxury Helicopter Tour
Need a break from bustling Las Vegas? Hop on board a helicopter for a luxury sightseeing tour to the Grand Canyon. Listen to informative commentary from your pilot as you get an aerial perspective on the majestic grandeur of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. On the way, you'll also see landmarks such as Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Black Canyon and the Las Vegas strip. Your tour includes a 30-minute stop at the Grand Canyon West airport, with time for some quick shopping at a Native American gift boutique.
Book and save between 23% and 29% compared to the local operator's price!Deluxe Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Tour
Experience the beauty of one of America’s natural wonders with a scenic helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. This low-level flight takes travelers past the famous Hoover Dam, extinct volcanoes, and stunning Lake Mead., as well as a pass over the glittering Las Vegas Strip. This half-day tour includes a champagne picnic at 3,200 feet (960 meters) below the canyon rim and allows plenty of time for afternoon exploring after your flight concludes.
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- 1200 Airport Rd
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We have a trip finder that is unique and works much like Expedia, but for Grand Canyon Rafting Trips. With filters to narrow down options based on your preferences whether it is traveling within a certain date range, by raft type, by canyon route or trip duration, our Trip Finder can help you easily explore the different options!
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GRAND CANYON WEST RIM HOTELS
Stay in Las Vegas, Laughlin, Kingman or Lake Havasu when visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk. See All Grand Canyon West Rim Hotels »
WEST RIM SKYWALK TOURS
Venture out to Grand Canyon West by helicopter, airplane or bus; take a walk on the glass Grand Canyon Skywalk. See All West Rim Tours »
HOTELS IN OR NEAR THE GRAND CANYON
Book Grand Canyon hotels in or near the park. Reservations are often made a year in advance. See All Hotels Near Grand Canyon »
SOUTH RIM TOURS
Fuel your adventure on these Grand Canyon South Rim tours by helicopter, airplane, van or train. See All South Rim Tours »