Grand Canyon Day Trips

While you can easily stay in Grand Canyon for a couple of days (at one of the numerous campgrounds, lodges, and hotels), visiting this natural wonder on a day trip is still extremely popular – a single day of sightseeing and hiking often proving enough to figure out what Grand Canyon is all about. The closest city is Flagstaff, a common starting point slightly under 75 miles from the national park entrance. The trip takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes by car. From Sedona, a nearby desert town, it takes almost two hours (109 miles). Both serve as gateways to a number of nature reserves apart from Grand Canyon, such as the San Francisco Mountain and Humphreys Peak, as well as Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monuments, notable for cliff dwellings and Native American pueblo sites, respectively. If you are staying at one of the hotels or campgrounds in Grand Canyon, visiting these places is certainly worthwhile. When it comes to day trips from Flagstaff/Sedona to Grand Canyon, there are several organized tours from the local hotels, even though a much more significant portion of Grand Canyon’s visitors comes to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, with Phoenix being the runner-up. Those cities are also much further away, which is why organized tours from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon are not only more popular, but also more worth it. 

Day trips to Grand Canyon, Arizona

LAS VEGAS TO GRAND CANYON

If you want to travel from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon by car on your own, you will have to traverse a distance of 275 miles, which can take anywhere between 3 hours and 40 minutes and nearly 5 hours. As an alternative, consider these two organized day trips from Vegas to Grand Canyon, both the best in their category and both designed to make the whole experience of visiting Grand Canyon as easy, informative, and exciting as possible.

Small-Group Grand Canyon West Rim Day Tour from Las Vegas

Visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world on a guided small-group day trip from Las Vegas with additional stops and surprises along the way. 

BOOK A TOUR HERE

Small Group Tour Las Vegas
Small Group Tour Las Vegas

Tour duration and basics

The tour, which takes 10 hours, includes hotel pick up and drop-off in case you make a reservation 24 hours in advance. Of the 10 hours, you will have 4 hours to spend at the Grand Canyon. The rest is transportation time, including pickup and drop-off at your Las Vegas hotel. The tour starts at 7 AM. 

Why you should go on this grand canyon day trip

One of the biggest advantages is the small group size of no more than nine people, which makes the tour much more laid back and flexible, as nine people can easily agree on almost anything and each of the travelers can receive much more personal attention from the guide. The trip to Grand Canyon is filled with gorgeous vistas as you travel through the Mojave Desert and Black Mountains, allowing you to snap some amazing photos of Joshua trees and the desert. On the way, you can enjoy a light morning snack, with a hearty barbecue lunch waiting for you at the Hualapai Ranch later in the day. With four hours to explore the Grand Canyon West Rim, you will have enough time to take in the sights and appreciate the majesty of the place, especially when you visit the Eagle Point and Guano Point, two overlooks that can be reached after a short hike for some of the most mesmerizing views of the Grand Canyon. This day trip also includes a complimentary stop at Hoover Dam, an important National Historic Landmark since 1985 and National Civil Engineering Landmark since 1984. As an extra option, you can upgrade the tour if you’d like to go for a walk on the glass-bottomed Skywalk or if you’d like to take an exciting helicopter flight to the canyon floor. 

Starting from (and what’s included)

This day trip, starting from $259.00 USD, includes the professional guide, snacks, water, lunch, all entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off. If you want to choose one of the upgrades, it will cost you extra. 

The bottom line

The aim of this tour is to create a genuine, personal experience for everyone. The time you get to spend at the Grand Canyon is quite a bit longer compared to other tours, so you never feel rushed and you can focus on doing your own thing. The guides are professional, personable, and fun, and try their hardest to make this a phenomenal, memorable trip. 

Las Vegas Tour: Grand Canyon Helicopter Flight and Colorado River Float

Traveling by helicopter is not only faster, but also more exciting compared to other forms of transport, guaranteeing an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trip down Colorado River is a big plus that adds an extra twist and makes this day trip to Grand Canyon truly special.

BOOK A TOUR HERE

Las Vegas Helicopter Grand Canyon Tour
Las Vegas Helicopter Grand Canyon Tour

Tour duration and basics

The whole tour takes 11 hours. While the trip starts at 7 AM, hotel pickups (which are included) start before that, which means you’ll have to be prepared for an early start. 

Why you should go on this grand canyon day trip

More than a simple day trip to Grand Canyon, this tour is a veritable sightseeing adventure, with gorgeous views of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam as you make your way towards the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Other amazing landmarks you’ll get a chance to see include Fortification Hill, the winding Colorado River and, of course, the breathtaking Grand Canyon. The smooth raft trip down the Colorado River is just as exciting, with the option of going for a dip in the river’s cool waters on a secluded beach. After meandering down the river through the Black Canyon, you’ll be able to enjoy a hearty picnic box lunch before moving on. 

Starting from (and what’s included)

The price of this Grand Canyon day trip includes the 70-minute round-trip flight, the raft trip on the Colorado River, all transportation, water, lunch, and the Grand Canyon National Park Admission Fees, with all taxes and fees. You can book the trip for as little as $473.99 USD.

The bottom line

If you are visiting Las Vegas, especially for a week or more, this day trip from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is a must-see, and will undoubtedly be the highlight of your vacation. Equally amazing for children and adults, the trip combines stunning birds eye views of the unparalleled scenery with a relaxing trip down the river. The guide and the pilot are extremely knowledgeable and ready to point out important landmarks and upcoming photo opportunities. 

WILLIAMS TO GRAND CANYON

Less than an hour from Grand Canyon National Park by car (54.5 miles), Williams is another gateway to the national park, famous for being a stop along the Historic Route 66. Even today, you can come across charming Americana-style shops and museums with highway memorabilia. The Grand Canyon Railway is an attraction in and of itself, with a period ticket office, old trains, and day trips to the Grand Canyon.

BOOK A TOUR HERE

Williams Grand Canyon Train
Williams Grand Canyon Train

Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package

On this day trip, you can see all of the sights that make Grand Canyon one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, only with a unique twist. The trip there is an exciting adventure with a story of its own – aboard a historic train with live entertainment provided by musicians, gunslingers, cowboys, maidens in distress, and more. 

Tour duration and basics

The whole trip takes approximately 8 hours. You will need to board the train at the Williams Depot at 9:30 AM. However, make sure to be there at least half an hour prior to departure, since the Wild West Show starts prior to departure time. 

Why you should go on this grand canyon day trip

On a scenic journey across the Arizona countryside, you will get a chance to witness the stories and legends that have become part of the Wild West folklore. Before boarding the train, an outdoor theater will feature the famous Cataract Creek Gang shootout, followed by a train robbery mid-way to the Grand Canyon. In between, roaming musicians and white-gloved staff members will keep you entertained and regaled with exciting stories and little nuggets of information on the region’s past. Other highlights of this trip include the Grand Canyon Depot, one of only three log depots that are still standing in the United States, the gorgeous El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, and Hopi House, not to mention the endless natural wonders you are free to admire on a fully narrated shuttle bus tour. 

Starting from (and what’s included)

The basic fee of $95.99 USD includes round-trip transportation by train and the National Park service fees with tax. Additional options are available, such as the 1.5-hour rim tour and hot buffet lunch. 

The bottom line

An all-day event with little walking, plenty of entertainment, and a chance to see the Grand Canyon from three different locations. The 4 hours spent at the canyon are more then enough to see a large number of wonderful sites, and the time spent on the journey there and back again is not wasted as it often happens – quite the contrary, it is an instrumental part in making the day trip truly remarkable. 

PHOENIX TO GRAND CANYON

The beautiful “Valley of the Sun” is another popular starting point for day trips to Grand Canyon. If you want to go from Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park on your own, it will take around three and a half hours to travel the (approximately) 220 miles. While it may not be that big of a deal, especially compared to Vegas, which is even further away from Grand Canyon, here is one of the better alternatives that you can consider.

Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip

At 13 hours, this is the longest Grand Canyon day trip in this article. The tour’s length attests to the fact that no corners were cut – and it shows. This is the only day trip where you can visit two rims of the Grand Canyon in a single day. 

Small Group Tour Phoenix
Small Group Tour Phoenix

Tour duration and basics

The day trip lasts 13 hours in total. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included, from select hotels not only in Phoenix, but also in Scottsdale. Naturally, it’s an early start (6:30 AM), with pickups commencing prior to this time, in line with details agreed upon in advance. 

Why you should go on this grand canyon day trip

A large portion of this exciting journey follows the Historic Route 66 through the rugged, striking Arizona landscape. You will be accompanied by an expert guide in a luxury, air-conditioned van, with numerous chances to admire the majestic Sonoran Desert, plus a short photo stop in Williams, one of the most beautiful towns of the American Southwest. As the native saguaro cacti begin to fade into tall conifers, you will be greeted by the San Francisco Peaks and the massive Ponderosa Pine Forest. The real highlight, however, is the Grand Canyon National Park itself. The payoff: more than three hours to explore the breathtaking sights around the widest and deepest part of Grand Canyon and the incredible viewpoints along the East Rim Drive, littered with invaluable cultural exhibits. 

Road from Phoenix
Road from Phoenix

Starting from (and what’s included)

13 hours, a maximum of 13 passengers, and one luxury air-conditioned minivan. Starting from $179.00 USD, with hotel pickup and drop-off included, as well as bottled water, fuel surcharge, and National Park entry fees. You get a chance to visit both the Grand Canyon East Rim and the South Rim. 

The bottom line

Whether this is your first time visiting Grand Canyon or you are a seasoned veteran, this is a great day trip where you can be as active as it suits your desires and abilities, and you can enjoy amazing sweeping views of the Grand Canyon, with in-depth information provided by the knowledgeable, friendly guides. 

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If you have any other propositions for this Day Trips from Glasgow, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Logistical Tips and Tricks

Organize your trip in five easy steps!

BOOK A FLIGHT!

Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!

BOOK A ROOM!

To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.

GET A CAR!

If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.

INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!

Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.

FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!

Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2019.

Anca One Day Itinerary

Anca B.

Travel writer at

Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).

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