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.

 

1. River Rafting Tours From Las Vegas

Every sightseeing and adventure tour of the Grand Canyon imaginable - from Las Vegas hotels to Grand
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4285 North Rancho Drive
Northbrooke Business Park, Las Vegas, NV 89130
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2. Browse, Compare & Reserve West Rim Helicopter, Drive & Rafting Tours

Got just one day to see the Grand Canyon West Rim? Book one of our West Rim Tours from Las Vegas an
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8525 Edna Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
7027495664
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3. Grand Canyon Railway

Visit the official website for Grand Canyon Railway. Book your reservation online for a train tour o
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233 North Grand Canyon Boulevard
Kaibab National Forest, Williams, AZ 86046
3038438724
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4. Papillon Helicopters

Tour Grand Canyon with the "World's Largest and Most Experienced Helicopter Sightseeing Company!" On
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1265 Airport Road
Boulder City, NV 89005
8005282418
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5. Red Feather Lodge

Ideally situated in the center of Tusayan, a small town one mile from the south entrance to the Gran
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Route 64
Tusayan, AZ 86023
9286382414
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6. Pink Jeep Tours A Guided Full Rim Experience

The most far-reaching tour of the Grand Canyon, upgrade and explore the entire South Rim in an open-
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450 AZ-64
Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
(800) 999-2137
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7. Grand Canyon By One Day Tours

At One Day Tours, you will enjoy a luxurious riding experience. Our state of the art Mercedes Sp

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4262 Blue Diamond Rd #102
Las Vegas, NV 89139
702-703-4426
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8. Grand Canyon Day Tour

Voted on Trip Advisor as the most popular Grand Canyon day tour. This is the best way to enjoy th

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1515 North Main Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(800) 514-0884
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9. Grand Canyon Expeditions

The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its hea
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Kanab
UT
8005442691
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10. Maverick Helicopter Tours

Maverick Helicopters provides helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon. Maverick brings VIP and first-
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6075 South Las Vegas Boulevard
McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, NV 89119
888-261-4414
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11. Helicopter & Airplane Tours Of Grand Canyon National Park

Viator offers air, helicopter & land tours to the Grand Canyon. Book a Grand Canyon helicopter tour
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2730 Airport Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
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12. Grand Canyon Tours From Las Vegas Viator

Every sightseeing and adventure tour of the Grand Canyon imaginable - from Las Vegas hotels to Grand
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2730 Airport Drive
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
8005665868
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13. Advantage Grand Canyon

As a central reservation service for all 16 Grand Canyon Rafting Outfitters, we can help you find yo
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7707 East Acoma Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(888) 244-2224
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14. Wildland Trekking

Join The Wildland Trekking Co. on an epic journey to the Grand Canyon! Services include 1 to 8 day
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4025 East Huntington Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
8007154453
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15. Great West Adventure Tours

The Sedona and Grand Canyon Specialists! Enjoy the scenic views of Sedona on our Sedona tours and le
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Sedona
AZ
8773672383
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16. The Ultimate Off Road Adventure

At Guidance Air in Sedona, we fly Robinson helicopters, specifically the R44 and R66, which have unr
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1200 Airport Rd
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 351-1000
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17. Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon

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1515 North Main Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(800) 514-0884
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18. Grand Canyon Airlines

Don't just view the Canyon from the rim when you can fly the Grand Canyon with a legend! Since 1927,
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Fire Road 771
Kaibab National Forest, Tusayan, AZ 86023
9286382463
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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 »

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 www.johnburcham.com