The natural wonder of the Grand Canyon lures millions of tourists from around the world every year to Arizona. Las Vegas is about 250 miles away, making this the perfect weekend getaway for locals who need to stand in awe of nature for a day or two. Pack up the car, stash a bit of cash and hit the road for a visit to one of the most stunning marvels the area has to offer.
The Grand Canyon National Park is accessible to Las Vegas from several routes through Utah And Arizona. The North Rim, which is closed from mid-October to mid-May, is accessed via I-15 north through Utah. The South Rim is open year round via US-93 south through Boulder City to Laughlin and then on to I-40. An even closer option is the Grand Canyon Skywalk — about 120 miles — in the Hualapai territory. Take US-93 South from Las Vegas via Boulder City to the Grand Canyon West Airport.
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Price: $25 per car/$12 per person
The Grand Canyon offers hiking, biking, museums and more. Passes are good for seven days from when they’re issued. Those planning to use the campgrounds will need a permit and a reservation, costs vary by campsite. The Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim offers a visitors center for learning about the features of the park and booking guided tours. Horseback riding and whitewater rafting are just a couple of the adventures offered at this awe-striking wonder. Pets are only allowed in certain areas in the park and must be kept on a leash at all times. The park does not sell individual water bottles, so be sure to bring or buy a reusable option for the refilling stations throughout the park. Free shuttle buses help guests get around the park and reduce air pollution. If price is no obstacle, indulge in a Grand Canyon Helicopter tour. Flights from Las Vegas take you to the floor of the canyon and back in three hours.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
5001 Buck n Doe Rd.
Grand Canyon West, Arizona
Price: $29.95 to $70.95
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is glass bridge suspended 400 feet over the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River. Enjoy breath-taking, unmarred views of one of the world’s most stunning wonders. Take nothing on the bridge except your love of nature, and expect to wear booties to protect the glass. Little ones must be able to walk to join you on the bridge. Don’t take the fancy cars down the long, unpaved road up to this beautiful site, it can get a bit rough. Expect to pay an additional $8 impact fee and $4 fuel surcharge with each package. Lodging is available at the nearby Hualapai Lodge at Peach Springs or the Hualapai Ranch Cabins.
Colorado River Discovery
130 6th Avenue
Page, AZ 86040
Price: from $81 for adults/$71 for kids
Colorado River Discovery offers half and full-day white water rafting trips originating from Page, Ariz., roughly two hours from the South Ri). Slip in a workout with a full-day row trip for a little exhaustion with your excitement. Half day trips depart twice a day at 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Rafting closes from December to February, due to inclement weather.
Maverick Helicopter Tours
6075 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Price: from $489 per person
Maverick will fly you over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead to land 3,500 feet down in the canyon. You’ll enjoy champagne and a light snack before flying back over downtown Las Vegas and the Strip. Las Vegas locals get 10 percent off any tour. Just enter the code LOCAL when booking online.
Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
Price: From $116 a night
The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only lodging inside of the park at the North Rim. Choose from cabins or motel rooms with varying amenities beginning at $116 per night. The lodge also offers a coffee shop, deli, main dining room and a dinner show called The Grand Canyon Cookout Experience from June 1st to Sept. 30. Campgrounds are available about a mile from the lodge.
El Tovar Hotel – South Rim
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Price: from $178 a night
The El Tovar is the famous Grand Canyon Hotel seen in television and movies. Located on the canyon rim, it features a fine dining restaurant, a lounge and room service. Renovated in 2005, it is smoke free and offers free parking. This hotel fills up quickly, so book in advance or check out the other hotels nearby at www.grandcanyonlodges.com.
Red Feather Lodge
300 State Route 64
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
Price: from $143 a night
The Red Feather Lodge is located just outside the park entrance in Tusayan. Featuring amenities including a heated pool and pet-friendly rooms, it’s the perfect family friendly option in the Grand Canyon area. Tusayan is also home to chain restaurants and hotels, many located within walking distance of the Red Feather Lodge. You’ll find free coffee, tea and WiFi all day in the lobby.
Grand Canyon Dinner Theatre
Bldg 395 Highway 64
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Price: from $49 adult/$29 kids younger than 12
The Grand Canyon Dinner Theatre serves up dinner and a show twice nightly. There are two seatings, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily. Enjoy a steakhouse meal served family style while watching Miss Kitty’s Grand Adventure “I’m No Mail Order Bride.” It also offers a separate steakhouse open nightly from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
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Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.