7 Things to Consider Before You Book a Grand Canyon Bus Tour

There are lots of ways to visit the Grand Canyon. Helicopter, airplane, and rental car come to mind. The most economical, however, is motor coach. However, before you book a bus tour, here are seven things you should consider:

Pick a rim to visit. There are two: The West Rim, which is 120 miles (2.5 hours) from Las Vegas, and the South Rim, which is 277 miles away (5.5 hours).

Grand Canyon bus tours are full-day excursions. West Rim trips top out at 9.5 hours. The South Rim requires 15.5 hours. Both trips leave around 7 a.m.

The West Rim has the best attractions. It’s home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that suspends you 4,000 feet above the Colorado River, and the Indian Village, a fascinating re-creation of a small Hualapai community.

The South Rim has the best views. The majority of pictures used for postcards and calendars were taken here. Mather Point, Bright Angel, and Yaki Point are just a few of the most famous lookouts.

Bundle in a helicopter trip. The West Rim is the only place where you can fly below the rim and land on the bottom. The South Rim hosts the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the National Park. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Don’t miss them.

Dress appropriately. Grand Canyon weather is one of extremes. During summer, bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear loose-fitting clothes. Winters are cold. Dress in layers. Snow’s a possibility at this time. The Park is open 365 days a year.

Book online. Tour operators offer their best deals on their website. Using travel agents, third-party brokers, and #800 numbers will cost you more.

West Rim and South Rim tours start at $95 and $80, respectively. If you upgrade your West Rim tour to include the Skywalk, expect to pay around $135 per person. Adding a helicopter descent and pontoon boat ride down the Colorado River is just $200 per person. The South Rim offers a helicopter upgrade that costs $190 per person. These upgrades, in my opinion, deserve serious consideration. Here’s why:

A. Nowhere in the Grand Canyon except in the West Rim can you land on the bottom. This is an extra special opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

B. The legendary Grand Canyon Skywalk is a “must-do.” More than 200,000 people a year walk the “glass plank.” Here’s your chance to defy gravity.

C. The South Rim helicopter tour lets you see in 30 minutes what would take several days on the ground. It’s the only way to experience the Canyon to the max.

Bus tours leave every day including holidays at 7 a.m. Packages include hotel pick up and drop off, a light lunch, and a photo stop at Hoover Dam. Trips are conducted aboard luxury motor coaches that are decked out with plush seats, climate-controlled cabins, and on-board restrooms. There are ample rest stops for smokers and folks who want to stretch their legs. These are full-day trips.

Las Vegas is a great place to take a canyon bus tour. Before you choose your trip provider, decide which rim you want to visit. The West Rim is 2.5 hours from Vegas while the South Rim is 5.5 hours. Next, determine if you want attractions like the Skywalk or lookouts like Mather Point. Then hop aboard your luxury bus, settle into your seat, and let the good times roll.

By Suzana