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Best day trips to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
With its steep vermilion cliffs and otherworldly sandstone formations, rising like druids from the desert
The Grand Canyon is the United States’ glittering natural treasure. Traveling to Vegas and longing for a look at this wonder of the world? You’re in luck! Read on for 6 ways to access the dramatic river valley from Sin City—by airplane, helicopter, and luxury limo—to name a few.
Before heading to Grand Canyon National Park, get outfitted with the right gear—including hiking shoes and a daypack—at Desert Rock Sports near downtown Las Vegas. Owned by backpackers, climbers, and easy-going outdoor enthusiasts, the friendly staff is happy to equip you with the essentials. Next, it’s time to embark on the expedition of your choosing.
If you’re a thrill-seeker. . .
Of all the things to do in Las Vegas, a Grand Canyon skydiving experience might be the most exhilarating. Join Skydive the Grand Canyon near the South Rim and soar above the rainbow crevasses of the canyon in an airplane. When it’s your turn to dive, equip your safety gear and join your professional instructor on a pulse-quickening sail through the sky, reaching speeds of up to 124 miles per hour (220 km/h) before touching down on solid ground.
Following the dive, get up-close with the canyon during a stroll along the Bright Angel Trail—one of the national park’s most popular destinations. Gaze at the skies with a sense of wonder while beholding exquisite vistas of the canyon and the charging Colorado River.
If you want to visit the South Rim
Seeking that iconic Grand Canyon experience, with views of cinnamon-colored sandstone as far the eye can see? Then a day trip to the South Rim with SWEETours is a must. Travel historic Route 66—stopping for a lunch at a mouthwatering deli—and enter the park by midday. Take a mellow 2.5-mile (4-km) trek to Yavapai Point for jaw-dropping vistas of the place where the canyon’s soaring cliffs meet the pale Arizona sky.
If you’re curious about the West Rim Skywalk
Technically outside Grand Canyon National Park, the West Rim Skywalk offers the thrilling chance to venture out onto a 70-foot (21-m) walkway—a breathtaking adventure you won’t find anywhere else. To indulge in this awe-inspiring opportunity, join Adventure Photo Tours on their Grand Canyon 5-in-1 West Rim Tour, which makes stops at the Skywalk at Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch near the West Rim.
If you want to experience the canyon by horseback and helicopter
With so many things to do in Las Vegas, it can be tough to peel yourself away from the action. Grand Canyon Western Ranch’s tour of the national park by horseback and helicopter is worth it. Following an idyllic ride in Grand Canyon National Park, climb inside a luxury chopper and drink in sights of the area’s dramatic outcroppings as the shadows grow long in the late afternoon. After descending from your perch in the sky, enjoy dinner at the Wild West Dining Hall in the company of cowboys and girls.
Can’t get enough of Arizona’s tumbling tumbleweeds? Back in Las Vegas, check out Pinto Ranch Las Vegas, an outpost with everything you need for your next Wild West adventure, including cowboy boots, Stetson hats, trophy belt buckles, and turquoise jewelry.
If you want a luxury experience—without taking to the skies
Love feeling like royalty, but don’t feel the need to take flight? A deluxe tour to the South Rim in a limo with Gray Line – Las Vegas is just the thing. A well-appointed Mercedes Sprinter whisks you to the South Rim, with stops to soak up the sights at the Hoover Dam along the way. In Tusayan, your guide treats you to an IMAX experience with jaw-dropping footage of the gorge. Finally, you collect your own postcard-perfect photos with stops along the South Rim at Mather Point, Bright Angel Lodge, and Yavapai Point.
If you want to see the Grand Canyon at sunset
Consider an early evening helicopter flight departing downtown Las Vegas. Climb aboard a streamlined copter with Maverick Aviation and whir past Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, and Fortification Hill to see the Grand Canyon’s banded cliffs during the golden hour, when the sun drenches the landscape in its buttery glow. On the way back, swoop above the Las Vegas Strip for the full VIP experience.
What’s your ideal Grand Canyon day trip?
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