Grand Canyon National Park is located in northern Arizona near the southern border of Utah and the southeastern tip of Nevada. There is no "address" for the Grand Canyon. However, you will see businesses with a Grand Canyon city address and a 86023 postal code. These businesses are generally located in Tusayan, AZ near the entrance to the South Rim. If you're using a GPS or search engine software like Google Maps or Mapquest, you may enter the following latitude and longitude coordinates to find the entrance to the South Rim of the National Park: 35.990372,-112.123353
Once you determine which city you'll be coming from, getting here is fairly simple. Because the Grand Canyon is located in a very remote part of northern Arizona, you're guaranteed to be required to put in some effort and time in getting here, but there are some approaches that are more practical than others. Of course, all rims are feasible no matter where your trip begins, as long as you have ample time and budget resources. Here are our recommendations for practicality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
If you're flying into Las Vegas, it's likely you'll want to visit Grand Canyon West, the portion of the West Rim that is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe, not the National Park Service. Located just 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, Grand Canyon West is home of the glass-bottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk, a cantilevered walkway that allows visitors to walk out 70 feet past the edge of the Grand Canyon and look straight down to the bottom of the chasm. This trip can be done as an 8-hour self-driven trip, a 10-hour door-to-door guided ground tour, or a half-day helicopter or airplane trip. Because of the expense of the entrance packages and popular tour options, Grand Canyon West is budget-heavy compared to the South or North Rim, but it's the quickest and most practical option for visitors coming from Las Vegas.
For visitors starting their Grand Canyon trip from Phoenix, it makes the most sense to visit the South Rim. This itinerary, including the starting point and destination, are the most popular of all Grand Canyon trips. Five million people visit the South Rim each year, compared to 1 million each to the West and North Rims. The South Rim, which is the hub of the National Park, is where you'll find several visitor centers, museums, hiking trailheads, viewpoints and park lodges.
The South Rim is a pleasant 4 hour drive due north from Phoenix. Most people drive themselves and spend the day walking along the Rim Trail, snapping photos from overlooks and checking out the visitor centers. A day trip itinerary from Phoenix, whether self-guided or on a professional ground tour, takes about 16 hours. While there are a few helicopter tours from Phoenix to the South Rim, it's more likely you'll find ground tours or a combination of a self-driven trip up to rim-adjacent towns like Williams or Tusayan, and then a railway or helicopter tour to the South Rim.
Due to its very remote location and availability limited to the summer/early fall, the North Rim is the least accessible of the three Grand Canyon areas to reach, but for those visitors willing to invest the time and effort, the reward is great. The solitude afforded by the smaller crowds on trails and in campgrounds, and the quiet due to the absence of helicopters, airplanes and commercial tours are as attractive as the dramatic views from the North Rim. The North Rim is easiest to reach from southern Utah cities like St. George and Kanab, or northern Arizona towns like Page and Jacob Lake. Be prepared to drive yourself, or take a guided rafting tour of the Upper Canyon that starts beyond the North Rim in Lees Ferry. Either way, plan on spending at least one night, either at Grand Canyon Lodge inside the park on the rim, in a nearby campground, or in a hotel within 150 miles, anywhere from Jacob Lake to St. George to Page.
Driving yourself is the best way to get to the South and North Rims. The expense of renting a car or fueling your own vehicle is comparable to the total cost of taxis and shuttles, and you'll have greater freedom when it comes to where, when and how you decide to get around. Arizona is a vast state, so even in the cities and towns, you'll find that points of interest are too spread out to reach on foot, there is little to no public transportation, and cabs must be scheduled as opposed to caught; a rental or private vehicle will become necessary at some point, so you might as well drive yourself everywhere.
If you have your mind set on taking a shuttle to the South or North Rim, you certainly can, but you'll pay for it. First, you'll need to book a shuttle from the Phoenix Airport to Flagstaff, which will cost about $41-$45 per person each way. If you're flying directly into Flagstaff, you'll need to take a taxi to your hotel ($7-$15) or book a hotel with a free airport shuttle. And THEN you'll need to book a shuttle to the Grand Canyon itself. There are several companies that provide Grand Canyon shuttles or taxi cabs from Flagstaff to the South Rim, with prices averaging $42 - $58 per person each way. Shuttles to the Grand Canyon depart almost exclusively from Flagstaff, offering pickup and return to Flagstaff hotels. Once inside the Park, take the free shuttle bus system from viewpoint to viewpoint and around Grand Canyon Village. If this sounds like your itinerary, plan on spending about $200 per person on shuttles alone.
Some North Rim visitors may want to take a shuttle or taxi to the North Rim and/or to popular Colorado River rafting put-in spots. There are very few companies that provide Grand Canyon shuttles or taxi cabs from Flagstaff or the South Rim to the North Rim, but those that do offer prices ranging from $158 - $200 per person each way, including the daily TransCanyon shuttle from the South Rim to the North Rim, and vice versa. Shuttles to the Grand Canyon North Rim depart almost exclusively from Flagstaff and the South Rim (although custom options are available for additional rates.) You can also arrange with these shuttle and taxi companies to do a rim-to-rim shuttle ride, which is particularly helpful after a river rafting trip or one-way backpacking trip.
The West Rim is a slightly different story. Driving yourself is a great way to get to the West Rim if you own or rent a high-clearance vehicle (if renting, be sure to check the rental car company's policies on driving off road, as required by the approach to Grand Canyon West.) The final 9-mile stretch of Diamond Bar Road is unpaved and irregular, and is made even trickier in inclement weather. There is no option of a shuttle to the West Rim from Las Vegas or any other major gateway city, so our best recommendation is to book a guided tour to Grand Canyon West. Booking a ground tour, or an airplane or helicopter flight to Grand Canyon West is smart for several reasons: 1) The driving/getting there is done for you, and it's easier and faster (in the case of air tours) 2) Tours are almost always customizable, upgrading or downgrading the various activities and tickets available at Grand Canyon West, making them fairly budget-friendly and 3) there are almost always value-added perks like VIP "skip the line" privileges.
Year-round, you can choose any of three routes to approach the South Rim: via Highway 64 from Williams to the south (main) entrance; via Highway 180 from downtown Flagstaff to the south (main) entrance; or via US-89 from east Flagstaff to the east entrance (known as Desert View). In the winter, your best bet for road conditions and prompt snow removal is Highway 64 from Williams.
Approach the North Rim by first arriving in Jacob Lake, Arizona at the junction of US-89A and Highway 67. Take Highway 67 south 44 miles (approximately 1 hour) to the North Rim.
Most visitors approach the West Rim from Las Vegas, a 123-mile drive via Highway 93 south over Hoover Dam. Go northeast on Pierce Ferry Road (County Highway 25)to Diamond Bar Road (County Highway 261). Go east on Diamond Bar Rd to Grand Canyon West. From Kingman, go north on Stockton Hill Road to Pierce Ferry Road to Diamond Bar Road. Diamond Bar Road ends at Grand Canyon West Airport, the entrance to the West Rim, where you'll buy your entrance package and optional upgrades. Take the mandatory park-and-ride shuttle into Grand Canyon West.
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7. Papillon Helicopters
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GRAND CANYON'S NEAREST AIRPORTS
Most visitors fly into Phoenix or Las Vegas and drive to the Grand Canyon. Learn how: See All Nearby Grand Canyon Airports »
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Drive yourself or take a shuttle? Learn the transportation options for each Grand Canyon rim. See All Grand Canyon Transportation »
GRAND CANYON HOTELS & LODGING
Book your hotel or lodging at the Grand Canyon, or nearby in Williams, Flagstaff or Sedona. See All Grand Canyon Hotels & Lodging »
WEATHER AND AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
Wondering what to expect of the weather during your trip? See Grand Canyon Weather & Average Temperatures »