Grand Canyon Day Trips Going to the West Rim or South Rim from Las Vegas By Michelle Brodsky | http://www.grandcanyon123.com Deciding upon whether to visit the Skywalk or Grand Canyon National Park while staying in Las Vegas? That's a tough one. Especially because both destinations are equally superb. However, if you approach the planning process based on budget and logistics you can easily figure out which rim is for you. Check this out: Time The one-way drive time by bus from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West is 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours to the South Rim. Both trips take a full day. The South Rim bus, which leaves early, will have you back at the hotel at 9 p.m., while the West Rim bus returns by 6 p.m. How Far Is It? The driving distance from Las Vegas to the West Rim is 128 miles and 279 miles to the South Rim. Both are full-blown road trips. Luckily, today's tour buses are packed with amenities like personalized A/C unites, oversized seats, headrests, and ample legroom. There are also a number of stops where you can stretch your legs (including Hoover Dam). Activities Here's where the rims differ. The West Rim has more man-made attractions while the South has more natural ones. The infrastructure (dining, lodging, amenities) is more developed at South Rim. Here are specifics: South Rim View Points This part of the Park is packed with famous viewpoints, including Mather Point, Yaki Point, Yavapai Observation Station, Hermit's Rest and more. Dining Lots of eateries here. The Bright Angel Lodge restaurant serves up home-style cooking that's priced right. Maswick Lodge offers cafeteria style. There is a small snack bar
behind the Lodge Restaurant. High-end dining (and cocktails) can be had at El Tovar Hotel. Near Mather Campground is a supermarket with deli, fried foods, and pizza. Souvenir Shops There are mementos for everyone. Hopi House specializes in Native American crafts (can be expensive). The gift shop at Bright Angel Lodge, Verkamp's, and Lookout Studio are ideal for souvenirs. Artwork can be found on the "bottom" floor of Kolb Studio. Grand Canyon West The Glass Walkway Las Vegas' most popular outdoor attraction is the Glass Bridge. More than 1 million people have "walked the sky" since the bridge opened in 2007. It's a terrific structure: Made of special glass, it extends 70 feet over the Canyon, wherein you're suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. Hualapai Ranch Includes a realistic western town with live gunfights. Grand Canyon river rafting and horseback riding adventures are staged from here. Helicopters are available to take travelers to the bottom of the rim. Over-night accommodations are available for longer stays. View Points The most popular lookout is Eagle Point. Views are incredible. Be aware that at present there are no guardrails. The area includes an Indian village and outdoor amphitheater for tells you on local culture, flora, and fauna. Gift Shops/Food The West Rim continues to be evolving. Currently, there's the souvenir shop run by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. Inside, you can purchase snacks and souvenirs. Most bus tours will include lunch, which will most likely be a BBQ meal prepared for you by the Hualapai. The Weather The South Rim, elevation 7,000 feet, is 1,500 feet higher than the West Rim, so anticipate cooler temperatures. That said, both rims are home to extreme weather conditions. Here's a quick look at annual temperatures for both rims: West Rim/Skywalk Elevation is 4,700 feet.
Jan. - March Average high temperature: 70 degrees. Average low: 43 degrees. April - June: Avg. high temp: 96 degrees. Average low: 65 degrees. July - Sept.: Average high temperature: 105 degrees. Average low: 76 degrees. Oct. - Dec.: Avg high temp.: 76 degrees. Average low: 46 degrees. South Rim Elv.: 6,000 feet Jan. - March Avg. high temp.: 45 degrees. Avg. low temp.: 21 degrees. April - June: Avg. high temp.: 69 degrees. Avg. low: 39 degrees. July - Sept.: Average high temperature: 82 degrees. Average low: 52 degrees. Oct. - Dec.: Avg. high temp.: 52 degrees. Avg low: 27 degrees. What to Wear & What to Bring Warm layers in winter and wind-resistant, cool clothing in the summer. The South Rim gets snow during winter so make sure to wear pants, a medium-weight jacket, and sturdy shoes (I see too many people showing up in shorts from Vegas). Throughout the summer, always bring a water bottle and lots of sunscreen. How Much Does It Cost? Tours to the West Rim start under $100. South Rim trips at $80. Tour prices are allinclusive and come with all entrance fees, lunch, and guide. Book online to get the best price. Skywalk tickets are extra and cost $29.95 for adults, $22.95 for children ages 3-11, and $26.95 for seniors and military personnel. Wrap Up Which rim is for you? The South Rim or the West Rim? Tough call. Both places feature incredible beauty and attractions. Truth of the matter is it depends on your budget and how much time you have. If you evaluate a rim trip based on these two criteria, I assure you that you will find the Grand Canyon tour that best meets your needs. #30#