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.
Private Tours Available | Shuttle Services Provided | Lunch Included | Multi-Attraction Tours | Additional Tour Options Available | Professionally Guided | Family-Friendly
Sedona Lodging | Outdoor Pool | Fireplace(s) | Free Hot Breakfast | Concierge | Pet-Friendly | Family-Friendly | Whirlpool Tub | Fitness Center
Sedona Lodging | Family-Friendly | Whirlpool Tub
Sedona Lodging | Outdoor Pool | Romantic
Family-Friendly | Outdoor Pool | Pet-Friendly | Whirlpool Tub | On-site Restaurant | ADA Accessible | Nearest to GNCP | Fitness Center
Nearest to GNCP | On-site Restaurant | Indoor Pool | EV Charging Station
Leaves from Lake Powell/Page | Leaves from Las Vegas | Leaves from Lake Powell/Page | Leaves from Tusayan | Multi-Attraction Tours | Optional Ground Tour
Family-Friendly | Pet-Friendly | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen
Professionally Guided | Meals Included | Multi-Day Tours
Family-Friendly | ADA Accessible
Leaves from Las Vegas | Leaves from Tusayan
Meals Included | Professionally Guided | Family-Friendly | Multi-Day Tours | Gear Rental Available or Provided
Family-Friendly | Reserve Now Pay Later | Additional Tour Options Available | Leaves from Las Vegas | Leaves from Tusayan | Leaves from Phoenix/Scottsdale | Optional Ground Tour
Family-Friendly | Professionally Guided | Shuttle Services Provided | Gear Rental Available or Provided | Meals Included | Multi-Day Tours
Sedona Lodging | Outdoor Pool | On-site Restaurant | ADA Accessible | Pet-Friendly | Whirlpool Tub | Fireplace(s) | Concierge
Leaves from Las Vegas | Family-Friendly
Family-Friendly | Pet-Friendly | Outdoor Pool | Whirlpool Tub | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | Fitness Center | Flagstaff Hotels
Family-Friendly | Pet-Friendly | Flagstaff Hotels
On-site Restaurant | Family-Friendly | Outdoor Pool | Whirlpool Tub | Flagstaff Hotels
Sedona Lodging | Family-Friendly | Pet-Friendly | Whirlpool Tub | Outdoor Pool | On-site Restaurant | Kitchenette or Full Kitchen | Golf Course | Fitness Center | Wedding Venue
Sedona Lodging | Romantic | Free Hot Breakfast | Whirlpool Tub | Fireplace(s) | Outdoor Pool