The Grand Canyon’s West Rim, located just outside Grand Canyon National Park, is home to the vast Hualapai Indian Reservation and includes 108 miles (173 kilometers) of picturesque canyon views. The closest section of the canyon to Las Vegas, the West Rim is famous for the lofty Grand Canyon Skywalk, Guano Point, and Eagle Point.
The West Rim is an ideal day trip destination from Las Vegas, Nevada. Hike through Havasu Canyon, brave the 8-mile (12-kilometer) trek to Supai Village (permits required), or step onto the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk—a glass bridge that allows visitors to see the Colorado River flowing 4,000 feet (1219 meters) beneath their feet. The West Rim is a popular destination for helicopter tours from Las Vegas, which give travelers a bird’s-eye view of the canyon and nearby attractions such as the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. For a special treat, opt for a sunset helicopter tour that includes a gourmet picnic dinner with Champagne, fine china, and flower arrangements. Bus tours from Vegas offer a different perspective and sometimes also include a visit to Joshua Tree National Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Plan to spend at least four hours exploring the West Rim.
- Transportation by private vehicle is not permitted within Grand Canyon West. Parking is available, and a hop-on, hop-off shuttle service transports visitors between viewpoints.
- Bring sun protection, plenty of water, and comfortable shoes.
- Wheelchair users may need assistance on the area’s rough terrain.
How to Get There
Grand Canyon West is two hours by road from Las Vegas and 90 minutes from Kingman, Arizona. The nearest airport is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
When to Get There
The Grand Canyon is a scenic place to visit year-round, with its colors ranging from blazing summer reds to snowy winter hues. Summer is the busiest season, when it’s best to arrive early and book tours in advance.
History of the West Rim
Although the Hualapai Indian Reservation was created in 1883, the Grand Canyon West Rim area wasn’t developed until 1988, when 2,100 members of the Native American tribe decided to open their ancestral lands to visitors. In addition to its stunning viewpoints, the area now offers white water rafting, scenic hiking trails, and rustic lodging to travelers.