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.

Spotlight Favorites

Grand Canyon Railway
Grand Canyon Railway
Visit the official website for Grand Canyon Railway. Book your reservation online for a train tour on one of five classes of service on our vintage train to the Grand Canyon. Or, select a vacation package that includes lodging at our own Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and in Grand Canyon Natio
Visit the official website for Grand Canyon Railway. Book your reservation online for a train tour on one of five classes of service on our vintage train to the Grand Canyon. Or, select a vacation package that includes lodging at our own Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and in Grand Canyon National Park.
Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend
Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend! Our Lower Antelope Canyon Tours take you into the heart of one of the most spectacular slot canyons in the world. Afterwards, we visit the famous Horseshoe Bend, where y

Spend a day visiting two of the most iconic landscapes in the American Southwest- Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend! Our Lower Antelope Canyon Tours take you into the heart of one of the most spectacular slot canyons in the world. Afterwards, we visit the famous Horseshoe Bend, where you can peer off the edge at the mighty Colorado River!

The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel
The newest Grand Canyon South Rim hotel! Step into our parlor and enter an era of Old West travel. Rustic timber, immense log beams, western ironwork, and a towering fireplace provide the ultimate Grand Canyon accommodations experience. Indulge yourself nightly in stylish comfort, southwes
The newest Grand Canyon South Rim hotel! Step into our parlor and enter an era of Old West travel. Rustic timber, immense log beams, western ironwork, and a towering fireplace provide the ultimate Grand Canyon accommodations experience. Indulge yourself nightly in stylish comfort, southwest cuisine, cowboy music, Native American ceremonies, and late-night saloon fun! Reserve your Grand Canyon hotel accommodations online NOW and Save!
8.4
3821 reviews
Best Western PREMIER Grand Canyon Squire Inn
Best Western PREMIER Grand Canyon Squire Inn
As the Grand Canyon South Rim's only resort hotel, it is hard to pass up the luxuries you will find when you stay with Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn. Our full service hotel offers two restaurants, a sports bar, lounge, barber and beauty shop, fitness center with sauna and Jacuzzi, b
As the Grand Canyon South Rim's only resort hotel, it is hard to pass up the luxuries you will find when you stay with Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn. Our full service hotel offers two restaurants, a sports bar, lounge, barber and beauty shop, fitness center with sauna and Jacuzzi, bowling center, and laundry.
8.4
4466 reviews
Grand Canyon Expeditions
Grand Canyon Expeditions
The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its heart, on a Colorado river rafting trip? This unique trip down the Grand Canyon ranges from running world-class rapids to hiking and swimming in the side canyons to investigating the remains le
The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its heart, on a Colorado river rafting trip? This unique trip down the Grand Canyon ranges from running world-class rapids to hiking and swimming in the side canyons to investigating the remains left by the first inhabitants of the Grand Canyon. Let our experienced guides show you the wonders of the Grand Canyon. This is not a tour of the Grand Canyon, it's an adventure!
Predator Zip Lines
Predator Zip Lines

Experience the wind ripping through your hair on a thrill ride over nature's wildest predators. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime on a world-class zip line over Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde Arizona! We are conveniently located less than 20 miles from Sedona, in the heart of

Experience the wind ripping through your hair on a thrill ride over nature's wildest predators. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime on a world-class zip line over Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde Arizona! We are conveniently located less than 20 miles from Sedona, in the heart of Northern Arizona's wine country, just minutes from tasting rooms and vineyards. From the top of the towers, you can see majestic red rocks, the San Francisco peaks, and the whole breathtaking Verde Valley including Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome. Come join us for a Zip Line adventure that you'll never forget! Ride the most exciting zip line ever devised, over Out of Africa and soar over Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Hyenas, Bears, Jaguars and other natural predators!

Oak Creek Terrace Resort
Oak Creek Terrace Resort
Escape to Oak Creek Canyon among the red rocks and tranquility of Oak Creek. We are the perfect couple's getaway with in-room fireplaces and jetted Jacuzzis. Made to order for honeymoons and anniversaries, this Sedona, Arizona resort also offers great family fun by the creek in double hamm
Escape to Oak Creek Canyon among the red rocks and tranquility of Oak Creek. We are the perfect couple's getaway with in-room fireplaces and jetted Jacuzzis. Made to order for honeymoons and anniversaries, this Sedona, Arizona resort also offers great family fun by the creek in double hammocks, swings, barbecues, and picnic areas. Cabins, bungalows, and family units available. Come stay with us!
8.7
243 reviews
Best Western PLUS Inn Of Sedona
Best Western PLUS Inn Of Sedona
Save on your accommodations by booking one of our money-saving vacation packages. Packages include one night's lodging with Free Deluxe Continental Breakfast daily. Enjoy unbeatable views of Sedona’s Red Rocks from our terraced promenade decks at the Best Western Inn of Sedona.
8.2
579 reviews
Four Seasons Guides
Four Seasons Guides
Since 1999, offering guided hiking & backpacking tours in Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Utah. Choose from day tours to multi-day adventures. All-inclusive tours led by career professional guides with decades of backcountry experience.
Best Grand Canyon Day Tour
Best Grand Canyon Day Tour
Voted on Trip Advisor as the most popular Grand Canyon day tour. This is the best way to enjoy the Grand Canyon without doing any strenuous hiking. Nearly five million people come to see the Canyon each year and many spend much of their time trying to figure out what to do. Our professiona
Voted on Trip Advisor as the most popular Grand Canyon day tour. This is the best way to enjoy the Grand Canyon without doing any strenuous hiking. Nearly five million people come to see the Canyon each year and many spend much of their time trying to figure out what to do. Our professional guides will make sure you get the most out of your trip. While touring in comfort you will learn about the geology and history of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The day tour includes short walks to some incredible "less-used" outlooks, a looking into some of the areas most impressive historic buildings, and time to browse resident art galleries and gift shops.
Canyon Villa B&B Inn Of Sedona
Canyon Villa B&B Inn Of Sedona
Enjoy bedside views of the Red Rocks of Sedona by Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Sedona bed and breakfast fare includes full gourmet breakfasts, an afternoon appetizer hour, and evening coffee, teas, and dessert. Bask by the solar pool on warm summer days, and stargaze clear evening skies
Enjoy bedside views of the Red Rocks of Sedona by Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Sedona bed and breakfast fare includes full gourmet breakfasts, an afternoon appetizer hour, and evening coffee, teas, and dessert. Bask by the solar pool on warm summer days, and stargaze clear evening skies by an outdoor fire as the weather gets cooler.
9.7
68 reviews
The Mountain Star
The Mountain Star
The best vacation home rental between the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff Located in the heart of the Coconino National Forest along the San Francisco Peaks scenic corridor between the mountain town of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Less than one hour's drive from the Grand C
The best vacation home rental between the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff Located in the heart of the Coconino National Forest along the San Francisco Peaks scenic corridor between the mountain town of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Less than one hour's drive from the Grand Canyon National Park south entrance through scenic countryside, this spectacular and convenient location sets The Mountain Star apart from properties located within the city of Flagstaff, the town of Williams and other rural locations. It can be rented for as little as 2 days, but is a perfect place for extended stays. Come experience why The Mountain Star has received well over two hundred (and growing) 5-star reviews.
9.9
6 reviews
Grand Canyon Airlines
Grand Canyon Airlines
Don't just view the Canyon from the rim when you can fly the Grand Canyon with a legend! Since 1927, Grand Canyon Airlines has been the premier fixed wing provider of scenic Grand Canyon tour flights. Specially patented, exclusive aircraft provide crystal clear viewing with narration in ei
Don't just view the Canyon from the rim when you can fly the Grand Canyon with a legend! Since 1927, Grand Canyon Airlines has been the premier fixed wing provider of scenic Grand Canyon tour flights. Specially patented, exclusive aircraft provide crystal clear viewing with narration in eight different languages. The classic Grand Discovery Tour is the ultimate Canyon view.
Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Our family-owned and operated inn feels different from other Sedona hotels because it is. When you're here, you'll experience the comfort and convenience that you’re used to in your own home. With our very own pet-friendly park, sparkling pool, and fitness center, many of our guests enjo
Our family-owned and operated inn feels different from other Sedona hotels because it is. When you're here, you'll experience the comfort and convenience that you’re used to in your own home. With our very own pet-friendly park, sparkling pool, and fitness center, many of our guests enjoy spending part of their Sedona vacation relaxing with us. With a country inn atmosphere, and bed and breakfast feel, each of the 42 traditional rooms and 47 spacious suites offer comfortable accommodations. All our rooms include complimentary WiFi and a hot breakfast bar to get your day started! Your four-legged family members will love our grassy outside play area with a barbeque and fire-pit. The concierge is on-site daily to share the best things to do in Sedona.
9.1
91 reviews
Wildland Trekking
Wildland Trekking
Join The Wildland Trekking Co. on an epic journey to the Grand Canyon! Services include 1 to 8 day hiking adventures, tasty backcountry cuisine, and quality gear served up by America's most experienced and knowledgeable Grand Canyon guides. 25+ years experience in adventure travel.
Maverick Helicopter Tours
Maverick Helicopter Tours
Maverick Helicopters provides helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon. Maverick brings VIP and first-class service to the Grand Canyon. Maverick's helicopters are climate-controlled, specifically built for sightseeing with unobstructed views. Maverick is the world's largest operator of E
Maverick Helicopters provides helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon. Maverick brings VIP and first-class service to the Grand Canyon. Maverick's helicopters are climate-controlled, specifically built for sightseeing with unobstructed views. Maverick is the world's largest operator of ECO-Star helicopters. They give you an adventure of a lifetime and not just another tour of the Grand Canyon. Maverick takes you further and deeper into the Grand Canyon than any other company.
Papillon Helicopters
Papillon Helicopters
Tour Grand Canyon with the "World's Largest and Most Experienced Helicopter Sightseeing Company!" Only Papillon is a recipient of the 5-star Diamond award and certified to fly both the South and West Rims of the Canyon. Choose from Air Tours departing Grand Canyon or Las Vegas and ground t
Tour Grand Canyon with the "World's Largest and Most Experienced Helicopter Sightseeing Company!" Only Papillon is a recipient of the 5-star Diamond award and certified to fly both the South and West Rims of the Canyon. Choose from Air Tours departing Grand Canyon or Las Vegas and ground tours departing from Scottsdale/Phoenix.
Maverick Airlines West Rim & Skywalk Tours
Maverick Airlines West Rim & Skywalk Tours
Fly to the Grand Canyon West Rim and enjoy our air and land tours through one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You will take pleasure in the awe-inspiring scenery the Southwest has to offer at one of marvels of the world with the optional Skywalk attraction. A glass walking surface that
Fly to the Grand Canyon West Rim and enjoy our air and land tours through one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You will take pleasure in the awe-inspiring scenery the Southwest has to offer at one of marvels of the world with the optional Skywalk attraction. A glass walking surface that suspends more than 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon and extends more than 70 feet from the edge you will feel like you are walking on air.
Pink Jeep Tours A Guided Full Rim Experience
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-air Jeep Wrangler. An expert guide will navigate and take you to the most exclusive look-outs and provide you with the best photo opportunities on this unforgettable adventure.
Arizona Mountain Inn & Cabins
Arizona Mountain Inn & Cabins
Our Tudor-style inn and 17 cabins are tucked away on 13 acres of secluded Ponderosa Pines. The grounds are bordered by the Coconino National Forest on three sides with breath-taking views of the San Francisco Peaks.
Red Rock Treks Sedona Hiking & Tours
Red Rock Treks Sedona Hiking & Tours

Journey with us to the most unforgettably beautiful landscapes in all of Arizona. Red Rock Treks offers private hiking, scenic, and vortex tours in Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Antelope Canyon. Immerse yourself in the Southwest’s most amazing areas. Visit a slot canyon with a seasone

Journey with us to the most unforgettably beautiful landscapes in all of Arizona. Red Rock Treks offers private hiking, scenic, and vortex tours in Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Antelope Canyon. Immerse yourself in the Southwest’s most amazing areas. Visit a slot canyon with a seasoned Navajo guide, hike into the vastness of the Grand Canyon, or treat yourself to remote vortex areas surrounded by stunning red rock views. Whether your schedule allows a short morning tour or an all-day trek, we have you covered. Our expert guides are knowledgeable, friendly, and guarantee a day to remember.

We offer treks for all ages, levels, and abilities and gear each tour to your own fitness and comfort levels. Please visit our website for more detailed information and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, give us a call and we will be happy to possibly create a custom tour just for you. We take pride in offering truly unique outdoor adventures with an unsurpassed level of service.

Amenities: Reservations required, Professionally guided. Food/Beverage/Entrance fees included, Custom options available, Pick up from your Sedona resort
Little America Hotel Flagstaff
Little America Hotel Flagstaff
Little America is truly one of the best Flagstaff hotels. From our 500-acre private forest to our friendly, knowledgeable concierge staff, Little America exemplifies the adventurous spirit and hospitality of Grand Canyon area Flagstaff hotels.
9.3
1993 reviews
Red Rock Balloons
Red Rock Balloons
Come fly the Red Rocks! Take an "Aerial Nature Walk" which is a truly magical feeling of soaring gently with the wind. Sedona's natural wonders and wildlife sightings will delight you. After your sunrise flight, relax at a traditional champagne picnic with a continental breakfast. Free vid
Come fly the Red Rocks! Take an "Aerial Nature Walk" which is a truly magical feeling of soaring gently with the wind. Sedona's natural wonders and wildlife sightings will delight you. After your sunrise flight, relax at a traditional champagne picnic with a continental breakfast. Free video. Perfect flying record.
Adobe Grand Villas
Adobe Grand Villas
Luxurious AAA 4 Diamond Sedona, Arizona bed and breakfast with 850 + sq ft villas, red rock views, two fireplaces, jetted tub, walk in shower, three-course breakfast, private entrances, high speed internet, garden patios or balcony, pool, and an in-ground jetted spa. Relax and unwind with
Luxurious AAA 4 Diamond Sedona, Arizona bed and breakfast with 850 + sq ft villas, red rock views, two fireplaces, jetted tub, walk in shower, three-course breakfast, private entrances, high speed internet, garden patios or balcony, pool, and an in-ground jetted spa. Relax and unwind with a private couples spa and personal chef for private dinners.
9.7
75 reviews
GreenTree Inn Flagstaff
GreenTree Inn Flagstaff
EDITOR'S CHOICE | Located just minutes away from Northern Arizona University, and only three miles from Downtown Flagstaff, recently renovated GreenTree Inn offers guests a comfortable stay in a convenient location. There are 90 rooms available, each equipped with a microw
EDITOR'S CHOICE | Located just minutes away from Northern Arizona University, and only three miles from Downtown Flagstaff, recently renovated GreenTree Inn offers guests a comfortable stay in a convenient location. There are 90 rooms available, each equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, high-speed Wi-Fi, telephone with local phone calls included, and air conditioning. In addition, you can expect a hot breakfast buffet, computer and printer access, large vehicle parking, designated pet-friendly rooms and more.
8.5
760 reviews
Hilton Sedona At Bell Rock
Hilton Sedona At Bell Rock
A magical location, stunning landscape with sweeping vistas: Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock is your ideal home for adventure in red rock country. With a recent multi-million dollar renovation our refreshed resort features 221 modern guest rooms and suites, all with fireplace, patio or balcony
A magical location, stunning landscape with sweeping vistas: Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock is your ideal home for adventure in red rock country. With a recent multi-million dollar renovation our refreshed resort features 221 modern guest rooms and suites, all with fireplace, patio or balcony, and mini kitchenette. Enjoy the full service spa, athletic club with fitness classes, two swimming pools and 18-hole championship golf course.
8.2
273 reviews
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