Grand Canyon South Rim
Of the two major rims of the Grand Canyon, many visitors choose the South Rim, which boasts easy access, the bulk of services, and the panoramic vistas for which the park is famous. Every summer, visitors throng the park's most popular rim, mainly to ogle its easily accessible dramatic, sweeping canyon views.
But the Grand Canyon South Rim is more then those spectacular canyon views. The first stop for many is Grand Canyon Village, which is filled with many historic buildings. Other historic highlights in the South Rim is Desert View Watchtower, which has one of the few views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River; Grand Canyon Railway Depot, built in 1909; and Bright Angel Lodge, a rustic lodge built of logs and stones.
For hikers, the Grand Canyon South Rim is where you'll find Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail, and South Kaibab Trail - all of which offer the most dazzling views of the Grand Canyon. You might even spot one of the regal California condors, which have recently returned to the area. At night, head back to the Grand Canyon Village to enjoy Native American dancing.
Natural highlights of the South Rim include Navajo Point, Hermit Road, and the Abyss. Navajo Point has spectacular views of the Colorado River, canyons, and the San Francisco peaks. Hermit Road is also a popular destination, as it is 8 miles (12 km) of impressive vistas with easy hikes and accessible viewpoints. And of course, there’s the Abyss, made up of walls of red sandstone and featuring a 3,000 foot (914 m) straight-down view into the canyon.
To better understand the region’s history and culture, visit the Desert View Watchtower. It was built in 1932 and incorporates Native American art and design and featuring the images of Fred Geary and work by Hopi artists. The Kolb Studio is an incredible photography studio located inside of the rim, and the Hopi House Gift Store and Art Gallery features art and crafts from the local tribes.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon averages 7,000 feet (2,134 m) above sea level. It's located inside Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, a three-hour drive from Las Vegas or a short plane ride via Grand Canyon Airport. Numerous Viator tours (by bus, air and helicopter) as well as self-drive tours make the South Rim easily accessible from Las Vegas (click the Tours & Tickets tab for suggestions).
From Flagstaff, take U.S. 180 directly to the South Rim or U.S. 89 to Arizona 64 and the east entrance to the park. Be sure you have plenty of gas in your car before setting out for the canyon; there are few service stations in this remote part of the state.
Your first stop in the Grand Canyon South Rim should be the Canyon View Visitor Center, near the south entrance. The visitor center stocks maps, books, and videos. The Cameron Trading Post, outside the east entrance to the park, is another spot to stop for gifts and supplies.
Tours & Tickets
Sit back and relax as your coach driver takes you on a narrated journey from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. You can upgrade your tour to ... Read more
Las Vegas, Nevada
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)
Your multi-perspective adventure from Las Vegas begins with a deluxe flight to the Grand Canyon South Rim on an executive-style airplane. At the Grand Canyon ... Read more
Las Vegas, Nevada
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)