Best 15 Tips For Visiting The Grand Canyon West Rim
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic places in the United States.
The awe-inspiring views and natural beauty of the canyon are world-famous. At over 277 million years old, the Grand Canyon was formed by erosion through the Colorado River that carved out massive canyons spanning thousands of miles.
Even though I was short on time, on my trip to Las Vegas Vegas I had the opportunity to spend a day exploring part of this incredible gem and had a great time.
In this post, you will find all the best tips you should know before visiting the Grand Canyon West Rim.
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The Grand Canyon Rims
The Grand Canyon has three different rims: The North Rim, the South Rim, and the West Rim.
The North Rim is the less visited of the three but is regarded as just as scenic as the South Rim.
The North Rim is covered in trees, which provide a natural shade and make for more comfortable walking. The South Rim heats up drastically during the summer months, so hiking there can be tough without sunscreen!
Unlike its less traveled sibling, The South Rim of the Grand Canyon has a developed area that includes lodges, restaurants, and other amenities for tourists visiting this area.
Lastly, the West Rim is the closest to Vegad and the second most visited of the three. It is a great option for those who are staying in Vegas and want to see the canyon without driving for more than three hours.
15 tips for visiting the Grand Canyon West Rim
When planning a trip to the Grand Canyon West Rim, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are our best tips for making the most of your visit:
The city of Las Vegas is roughly 2 hours away from the West Rim.
If you are not into driving all day to reach your destination, there are several ways to travel between Vegas and The Grand Canyon without driving, such as taking a bus tour.
Many tour operators in Vegas will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the West Rim. The Grand Canyon West Rim Bus Tour & Hoover Dam Photo Stop with Optional Skywalk tour, for example, is a fantastic option.
Make sure to plan ahead
The Grand Canyon West Rim is a popular destination, and spots can fill up quickly. Make sure to reserve your tickets, lodging and tours in advance to avoid lines and unnecessary stress.
Fly over the Grand Canyon with a helicopter ride
A helicopter tour is the best way to see the magnitude and beauty of the Grand Canyon fully.
The views are spectacular, and seeing this natural wonder from above, right to its core, is simply breathtaking. Also, the helicopter ride is a great option to save time.
There are many cool stops on the way
There are many fun stops to make on the way from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Hoover dam, Lake Mead, and the Joshua Tree Forest are all stunning places that make for memorable pit stops on your way.
Another good idea is stopping in the small town of Kingsman, where you can get a taste of the Historic Route 66 and some incredible Route 66 themed vintage shops.
Grand Canyon West is located on the Hualapai Reservation
Before you go, it is important to know that Grand Canyon West is located in the Hualapai Reservation, which encompasses about one million acres along 108 miles of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
It is possible to visit Hualapai Ranch to get the feel of their culture – out of curiosity, Hualapai means “people of the tall pines.” During your visit to the canyon, it is possible to visit Hualapai Ranch to get the feel of their culture.
Since the drive to the canyon takes a while (especially if you make many stops along the way), it is a good idea to leave Las Vegas early in the morning to make sure you have enough time to explore everything.
Besides, if you plan to view the sunset, you will wish to leave early enough to be at one of the park’s lookouts before the sun starts to set.
The weather at the Grand Canyon West Rim can be unpredictable, so make sure to pack layers that can easily be adjusted depending on the temperature.
Think about taking a jacket and wearing boots or comfortable shoes.
Bring water and sunscreen
It gets very hot at the West Rim, and there is not as much shade to protect you from the sun. Because of that, bringing sunscreen and at least a big water bottle is essential.
There are three main stops in Grand Canyon West Rim
The shuttles from the visitor center stop in three places: Guano Point, Eagle Point, and Hualapai Ranch.
Guano Point provides views of the Colorado River as it winds through Marble Canyon. If you want to explore a bit more, this part of the trip gives you access to the Guano Point Trail and Grandview Trail.
Eagle Point is where you will get to take in some of the best views of The Grand Canyon West Rim.
Hualapai Ranch offers visitors a chance to see the Indian Village, Hualapai Ranch, and share an amazing view of the cliffside known as “The Point.”
Make sure to check shuttle schedules before leaving each stop
The shuttles can fill up quickly, especially when you make a return trip from Eagle Point back to the Visitor Center (which is where all shuttles depart from).
For lunch with a view, eat at the Skyview Restaurant
The Skyview Restaurant has one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. The menu, however, is not very impressive – we had an overpriced chicken sandwich and some wine – but the views were worth it.
Consider staying overnight in the canyon so you can have more time to explore
Did you know that staying at the Grand Canyon West Rim overnight is possible? Yep!
There are three options for accommodation in the canyon: The Huapalai Lodge on Route 66, the RV parking, and finally, the cabins at Grand Canyon West.
Guano Point is the best place for pictures
Although the Grand Canyon is incredibly gorgeous for each and every angle, Guano Point was undoubtedly my favorite place for pictures.
Stay away from the edge
Although it might sound like silly advice, remember always to stay away from the edge of the canyon. Many people have fallen (and even died!) during the years.
You can go ziplining at the Grand Canyon West
Looking for an epic way to experience the Grand Canyon?
Then ziplining over the UNESCO World Heritage Site might be the way to do it. The Zip Line at Grand Canyon West features over 3,000 feet of actual zip line, across which you can race at speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour—all of which, of course, is, take place over 1,000 feet above an actual canyon.
The skywalk might not be worth it
The Grand Canyon West Skywalk is, in my opinion, not worth it since it is possible to get views just as beautiful from the restaurant, and it is not allowed to take pictures from the skywalk (pictures from a photographer will cost you $50 up!).
Wrap-up: Best tips to explore Grand Canyon West
That’s a wrap! I hope these Grand Canyon West Rim tips were useful and help you to have an even more amazing time at the Grand Canyon.
This place is truly one of a kind and a must if you are into incredible natural landscapes.
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