The South Rim is the most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park, boasting easy access to the canyon, the bulk of available amenities and services, and the panoramic vistas for which the natural wonder is famous. One of the most famous attractions in the American Southwest, the area offers breathtaking views over the Colorado River and the chance to immerse yourself in Native American culture.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon averages 7,000 feet (2,134 meters) above sea level, with natural wonders including Navajo Point, Hermit Road, and the Abyss. Grand Canyon Village is home to a variety of historic buildings, while other popular stops include the Grand Canyon Railway Depot, the Bright Angel Lodge, Kolb Studio, and the Desert View Watchtower, which features work by Hopi artists and incorporates Native American art and design.
Choosing a group bus tour, helicopter tour, air tour, or a self-drive tour makes the South Rim conveniently accessible from Las Vegas. Tours also leave from Sedona and Phoenix, and some combine the trip with a visit to the West Rim, the North Rim, or the Hoover Dam. A Grand Canyon helicopter tour is undoubtedly the fastest and most dramatic way to visit the canyon from Vegas.
- The Canyon View Visitor Center, near the south entrance, stocks maps, books, and videos, while the Cameron Trading Post, outside the east entrance to the park, boasts a selection of souvenirs and supplies.
- Stop by the Hopi House Gift Store and Art Gallery to see art and crafts from the local tribes.
- If driving, 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 Arizona.
How to Get There
Located in the Arizona national park, the South Rim is a three-hour drive from Las Vegas or a short plane ride via Grand Canyon Airport. Driving from Flagstaff, take US 180 directly to the South Rim or US 89 to Arizona 64 and the east entrance to the park.
When to Get There
The South Rim gets quite crowded with visitors in the summertime. Consider visiting in the shoulder season, or booking a South Rim bus or jeep tour so you don't have to struggle with traffic and parking.
Hiking the Grand Canyon South Rim
The Grand Canyon South Rim is home to the Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail, and South Kaibab Trail—all of which offer the most dazzling views of the canyon. Keep your eyes open for the regal California condors, which have recently returned to the area.