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Drive From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

If you’re in the mood to take a day trip from Las Vegas, make sure it’s a drive to the Grand Canyon. The closest entry point from Las Vegas is Grand Canyon West Rim, which is 128 miles or approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas. The drive takes you through parts of Arizona and past other noteworthy spots like the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Boulder City.  

There are three main viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. Find details and our top things to do at each point below.   

Grand Canyon West Rim

Distance from Las Vegas: 128 Miles
Drive Time: 2.5 Hours
Parking: Free parking and complimentary shuttles are offered at the Grand Canyon West Rim Welcome Center. No private cars are allowed.
Fees: The minimum entry fee is $45. Traditional National Park passes will NOT grant you entry.

The Grand Canyon West Rim is owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, so private cars aren’t allowed into this part of the canyon. However, there are parking spaces and free shuttles at the Welcome Center that will take you to the most popular viewpoints, including Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch. Here you’ll get some of the best views of the West Rim, but our number one recommendation is the Skywalk Glass Bridge. This horseshoe-shaped glass floor extends over the edge of a 4,000-foot drop to the bottom of Grand Canyon West and can hold up to 71 million pounds.

If you want to avoid the hassle of paying for gas and visitor fees, we recommend the Grand Canyon West Rim 5 in 1 tour. This guided tour includes bus transportation from Las Vegas, covers all fees, and hits the top 5 visitor spots at the West Rim including the Skywalk. It’s a full day trip with meals included for $259 per person. That’s a tour price you can’t beat!

Grand Canyon South Rim

Distance from Las Vegas: 280 Miles
Drive Time: 4.5 Hours
Parking: There are four major parking lots conveniently located near the visitor center, bike rentals, shuttles, and a café.
Fees: $35 per vehicle; $25 per motorcycle; $20 per individual permit. Active duty military members are free.

The South Rim is the most visited spot of the Grand Canyon, so get there early to beat the crowds. Between hiking, river running, biking and mule rides there’s plenty to do at Grand Canyon South Rim. The best view at the South Rim is Mather Point, so be sure to stop there.  If you need to stretch your legs after the drive, we recommend walking the 1.2-mile Trail of Time. Along this path you’ll encounter informational signs about animal and plant life, geological history and other canyon facts.  

The Grand Canyon South Rim is vast, and it’s easy to miss a few things that you totally need to see. If you want to make sure this trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is the best, we recommend taking the Grand Canyon South Rim Adventure tour instead of driving. You’ll have an educational guide take you to the most picturesque places in the canyon and it’s only $225 per person. Buy this tour and see one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  

Grand Canyon North Rim

Distance from Las Vegas: 268 Miles
Drive Time:
5 hours and 45 minutes
Limited parking is available at the North Rim with additional parking at the Grand Canyon Lodge and the North Rim campground. Note, this rim is closed during winter.
Fees: $35 per vehicle; $25 per motorcycle and $20 for an individual permit. Active duty military members are free.

The Grand Canyon North Rim, almost a 5-hour car ride from Las Vegas, is definitely a car ride for the dedicated. But if you can tolerate 268 miles in a car, the more remote North Rim will reward you with smaller crowds and majestic views. Once there, we recommend the Grand Canyon North Rim Scenic Drive. This is a 25-mile drive that usually takes half the day if you’re stopping for photos or short walks. The North Rim also provides plenty of hiking trails. Bright Angel Point Trail is popular for its relative ease and beautiful scenery. But if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s nothing more memorable than a Mule ride at the North Rim.

As you can tell, a car ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is more than do-able. However, if a guided tour is more your speed, check out these Grand Canyon tours to find an all-inclusive package that’s right for you. We have helicopter tours, bus tours, plane tours and everything in between. No matter how you choose to visit, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see.