- Overnight trip to Grand Canyon's South Rim from Las Vegas, a Viator Exclusive
- Discover the South Rim's many stunning vista points at your own pace
- Enjoy a deluxe dinner at the upscale El Tovar Dining Room with lovely canyon views
- Stay overnight in a park lodge at the rim of the Grand Canyon
- Witness the widest and deepest part of the canyon during your morning mule ride and optional helicopter flight
- Hotel pickup and drop-off from Las Vegas included
- Small-group tour limited to 13 people for a more intimate experience
- Don't miss this wonderful Grand Canyon experience — it can't be booked anywhere else!
What You Can Expect
Day 1: Las Vegas – Grand Canyon South Rim (L, D)
Following morning pickup from your Las Vegas hotel, travel by minivan east toward the Grand Canyon, stopping briefly in the town of Williams, Arizona, situated along historic Route 66. Learn about the history and geology of the Grand Canyon from your guide, and enjoy a morning snack and boxed lunch during your journey. After your approximate 280-mile (450-km) drive, arrive at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in the afternoon.
Once at the South Rim, receive instructions and activity suggestions from your guide before setting off on your own. Use free shuttles to explore the many stunning viewpoints along the South Rim including Mather, Pima, Grandview and Desert View. Take your time admiring the intricate, multicolored rock formations of the canyon, which ranges up to 18 miles (29 km) in width and 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) in depth.
Have dinner in the wood-paneled El Tovar Dining Room with its murals of American Indian culture and lovely canyon views. The most upscale restaurant at the canyon, it has hosted guests including President Teddy Roosevelt, President Bill Clinton and Sir Paul McCartney. After dinner, retire to your room at a national park lodge in the forest and sleep close to the rim of the magnificent Grand Canyon.
Overnight: Accommodation at either the Maswick or Yavapai Lodge (Subject to availability)
Day 2: Grand Canyon South Rim – Las Vegas
After breakfast (own expense), join your group for a 3-hour mule ride along the canyon rim. Following a short safety briefing, ride your mule along a side trail with amazing views of the widest and deepest part of the Grand Canyon, as well as the Colorado River.
For more incredible vistas, ask your guide to book a 45-minute helicopter ride over the canyon after your mule ride. Have lunch (own expense) before boarding your minivan in mid-afternoon for the trip back to Las Vegas. Your exclusive overnight trip to the Grand Canyon ends with evening drop-off at your hotel.
This is not really a tour in the traditional sense. Transport to/from Las Vegas, accommodation, dinner booking and the mule ride are organised for you. The rest is up to you! Once you arrive, you can use the free South Rim shuttle bus to see the parts of the canyon which interest you. You'll have about four hours of free time on Day 1 (before it gets dark), and about two hours in between the mule ride and departure on Day 2.
The driver will leave you there on Day 1, and another driver will pick you up on Day 2. The driver who drove us to the Grand Canyon was very accommodating. He stayed back to give us some tips and suggestions on what to see during our stay. He also explained the history of the towns that we passed through, and did his best to make the long drive from Las Vegas enjoyable.
The mule ride was a great experience. You have the freedom to turn it into the sort of trip that you want. I appreciated the overnight stay as I was able to see the sunrise over the canyon, and do some stargazing away from the big cities. Overall, this is a very good introduction to the Grand Canyon!
One minor issue was the dinner arrangement - we were given a pre-paid Visa debit card which we use to pay for our dinner at El Tovar. However, before we could use it, we had to call a US phone number to activate the card. As international travellers, we did not have a local SIM card, so this was inconvenient. I think the process for arranging our dinner could have been improved.
I enjoyed the experience but overnight was not nearly long enough to see what was available. Another day would have been good.