South Rim Tours
Peer out the window from one of these Grand Canyon helicopter tours and you'll experience a visual feast without rival. More than half a million visitors take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour each year. Most of these helicopter rides take off from either the Grand Canyon Airport in the village of Tusayan just outside the South Rim, from Las Vegas, Nevada or Sedona, Arizona.
Helicopter tours at the Grand Canyon have become increasingly popular and affordable; they're priced as low as $250 per person. Helicopter tours are an easy and rewarding way to see and experience the Grand Canyon if you're limited on time; many include hotel pick-ups and require only 2 - 6 hours for complete door-to-door service. Not only do visitors get to fly over and through the canyon walls, select helicopter trips soar over points of interest such as Hoover Dam or the Valley of Fire, and several touch down at the bottom of the West Rim for a picnic lunch. Extend your experience and combine a helicopter tour with a bus tour to Hoover Dam, a walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, or a boat trip up the Colorado River.
Grand Canyon helicopter tour companies upgrade and maintain their fleet often for first-class comfort, passenger protection and environmental protection, and tour narration can be offered in up to seven different languages, making a helicopter tour a great choice for groups and travelers of any age, ability, or nationality on a moderate budget.See All Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours »
Grand Canyon air tours by airplane offer visitors the fastest way to travel to the Grand Canyon South Rim or West Rim, plus you enjoy a dramatic and memorable bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon National Park. More than 200,000 visitors choose Grand Canyon air tours each year because they are quick like the popular helicopter tours, but because the airplanes seat more travelers, they are often priced more affordably; air tours typically start around $119 per person as opposed to $249 for a helicopter tour. When you consider the efficiency of an air tour, combined with its affordability, many visitors find it's worthwhile to spend a little more to book a flight to the Grand Canyon than take an 18-hour ground tour.
Most Grand Canyon airplane tours take off from Las Vegas, Nevada or nearby cities like Henderson and land at Grand Canyon West, where many visitors opt to add on Skywalk tickets, a helicopter flight, horseback riding or boat ride to their air tour package. There are air tours to the South Rim from Las Vegas and Scottsdale as well. Many air tour companies offer free hotel pickup, so you can see the Grand Canyon in 2 - 6 hours from door-to-door.See All Grand Canyon Air Tours »
Ask any of the 22,000 Colorado River runners who brave Grand Canyon river rafting trips each year to describe the experience and you’re likely to hear that it is “the trip of a lifetime.” If your bucket list includes rafting the Colorado River, you'll be happy to know that there is a range of options almost as long as the 277-mile section of river that cuts through the Grand Canyon. Many Grand Canyon river rafting trips depart by van from Flagstaff or Las Vegas and commonly put-in at points such as Lees Ferry, Phantom Ranch or Peach Springs. Some trips require a roughly 10-mile hike down into the Canyon at the beginning, and some require a 10-mile hike out at the end. Dories, rafts, and motorized rigs are the watercraft of choice through this world-class river rafting wonderland, and trips can be powered by oar, motor or paddle. Trips are moderately expensive, often require some advance planning, and last anywhere from one day to three weeks.
In one day and on a moderate budget (under $400 per person), you can whitewater raft from Peach Springs toward Grand Canyon West, or take a smooth-water float from Lees Ferry, about 50 miles north of the North Rim. If your budget, travel planning and vacation schedule allow, you can embark on a 4 - 9 day excursion on the Upper or Lower half of the Grand Canyon in a motorized or oar-powered raft or dory for as little as $1,110 per person. For the extreme level of adventure and budget, you can spend two-to-nearly-three weeks rafting the entire length of the Grand Canyon, from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead, to the tune of about $5,550 per person.
Once you've narrowed down your choices by trip length, style and budget, be sure to ask your river outfitter or us here at theCanyon.com for help with your travel planning pre-and-post river trip. Your transportation will likely be covered by the outfitter, and you can find accommodations (and a hot shower, trust us!) before and after your river trip here.See All South Rim Tours »
The proverbial "walk in the park" is a great way to explore the Grand Canyon. Millions of visitors stroll along the South Rim Trail each year, taking a self-led tour from viewpoint to viewpoint; no guide required. But hiking the Grand Canyon's more difficult trails, mule trips, day hiking, and overnight backpacking provide the sturdy traveler challenging access to the amazing inner Canyon from the South, North and West Rims (from Havasupai Hilltop; not to be confused with Grand Canyon West.)
Hiking the Grand Canyon with a guide offers adventurers several benefits beyond simple access to the Colorado River, well-known trails and classic views. Professional guides and hiking outfitters coordinate and provide for you transportation, required backcountry permits, utmost safety, first-rate gear, extraordinary meals, and years of experience and knowledge to share.
You can take a guided day hike of some of the most famous trails from the South Rim, or go further into the Grand Canyon than you might attempt on your own on an overnight trip. Guided backpacking trips typically last 3 - 5 days and offer a range of difficulty, views, destinations, periods of solitude and amenities. Expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $300 per day per person, a considerable value when you keep in mind all that comes with an all-inclusive guided hike or backpacking adventure.See All Guided Hikes »
Ground tours are some of the easiest, most affordable, accessible, and laid-back tours to the Grand Canyon. Perfect for groups of various ages, abilities and budget, ground tours allow Grand Canyon visitors to ride to their destination in air-conditioned comfort, while taking in the scenery and receiving expert narration from their guide. Upon arrival at either the South Rim or Grand Canyon West, ground tour participants are allowed ample time to wander to various viewpoints, take photos, explore visitors centers, stroll along the trails and listed to ranger or Hualapai-led talks.
Ground tours from Las Vegas are commonly destined for Grand Canyon West, home of the glass Grand Canyon Skywalk attraction, and are highly recommended for visitors who like having their transportation, tickets and upgrade options available in an all-inclusive booking experience. We recommend you inquire about adding a stop at Hoover Dam to your ground tour from Las Vegas; this man-made engineering marvel, located at the stateline between Arizona and Nevada, is not to be missed.
Starting your trip from Phoenix, Sedona or Flagstaff? Ground tours to the South Rim are readily available from all three of these Grand Canyon gateways. With hotel pickup frequently included at no extra cost, it's easy to take a ground tour to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, and enjoy spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert, Mogollon Rim and Red Rock Country along the way. No matter what your departure point, all Grand Canyon ground tours pack a full 14 - 18-hour day with views, adventures and memories.See All Ground Tours »
For nearly a century, since Grand Canyon National Park was established in 1919 and the Santa Fe Railway stretched from Williams to the South Rim, the train has been an integral part of the Grand Canyon's history. In the middle of the 20th century, when Route 66 came roaring into town and newly popular automobiles barreled into town on the wheels of progress, rail service to the Grand Canyon ceased. But in 1989, Max and Thelma Biegert revived and restored the rail line, establishing one of the South Rim's most popular attractions - the Grand Canyon Railway.
Today, Grand Canyon visitors have a range of options among Grand Canyon Railway train tour packages. From train-only tickets to railway and lodging packages, visitors are invited to select from a variety of seating classes, overnight accommodations and other options to custom design the train tour package that's right for them.
Riders board the train in Williams in the morning, ride up to Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim and have several hours to spend walking the Rim Trail, taking the shuttles to various viewpoints, visiting the visitor's center, listening to ranger-led talks, taking photos, dining overlooking the rim, and more. Visitors take the train back to Williams in the late afternoon. Be sure to watch out for train robbers (!) - a band of marauders just might board the train, providing riders with a little bit of theater and lighthearted fun.
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SOUTH RIM VS. NORTH RIM
Are you trying to decide whether to visit the South Rim or the North Rim? Read our guide to each Rim. Find Out Which Rim is for You »
SOUTH RIM HOTELS & THINGS TO DO
Find places to stay and things to do at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. See All South Rim Hotels & Things to Do »
TOURS FROM SEDONA
A destination in its own right, Sedona is a red rock wonderland just 2 hours from the South Rim. See All Tours from Sedona »
TOURS FROM WILLIAMS
Go back in time in Williams; explore haunted buildings, bask in Route 66 nostalgia, or ride the rails. See All Tours from Williams »