It’s no secret: The Grand Canyon bus from Las Vegas to the South Rim is one of Vegas’ best day-trip values. If it’s not yet on your list of things to do in Sin City, here are 5 reasons why this bus trip should be:
#1 – The views are incredible – This is the Rim you see in National Geographic. It’s an all-star line-up: Yaki Point, Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station. Nothing matches up to the views you will get from these famous lookout points.
#2 – The bus drivers are incredible tour guides – These driving professionals know the route better than anyone else. They also know the National Park like it’s their own back yard. Their anecdotes and insights greatly enhance this tour.
#3 – The luxury bus is fun – These are state-of-the-art motor coaches with lounge-style seats, TV’s, and over-sized windows. The ride is smooth and comfortable. This trip is perfect for groups, families, and special occasions.
#4 – Great souvenir shopping – The Bright Angel gift shop is the king of gift shops. Hats, t-shirts, minerals, DVDs, day packs, magnets, food specialties. You name, it’s here.
#5 – It’s cheap – Tours start at $80 per person and include lunch, guide, and up to three hours at the Rim. You also get to see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, where you pull over for a photo stop. That’s one heck of a value!
This bus tour is an all-day trip that takes 15 hours to complete. Trips, which come with free shuttle service to and from your Vegas hotel, leave at 7 a.m. From Vegas, the rim is 277 miles east and requires a 5.5-hour drive, which goes by pretty quick on these modern buses. Figure on returning to The Strip at around 9 p.m. I don’t recommend making dining or entertainment reservations after this trip.
Dress for the season. Summer means shorts, running shoes, t-shirts and hats. Bring sunscreen and water, too. If you intend to sample one of the trails that go into the canyon, limit it to 15 minutes down. That’s more than enough time to see what it’s like to be inside the canyon without over-exerting yourself. Winter can be very cold at the South Rim. Dress in layers. Bring a hat and gloves and wear pants. I’ve seen too many travelers from Vegas arrive in shorts. Avoid that. The elevation of the rim is nearly twice that of Las Vegas’ which amounts to a completely different weather environment.
There are three main tour operators that run bus trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon: Papillon Tours, Grand Canyon Coaches, and Grayline. There’s also a number of smaller, niche bus tour companies out there and many are excellent. From reviews I’ve read on some of the top travel forums, Grand Canyon Coaches gets a lot of kudos for its commitment to comfort, value, and safety. The up-and-comer is Paradise Found, which has one of the best all-inclusive tours I’ve ever taken.
It is best to book your Grand Canyon bus tour online and in advance as this is a popular trip that sells out. If you want the best deal, buy direct online from the tour operator. These business compete hard for your travel dollar and constantly post great rates on their websites.
The Grand Canyon bus from Las Vegas is an excellent trip. From start to finish, it’s packed with things to do and see. Highlights include Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Mather Point, Yaki Point, Bright Angel and more. If you are looking for a day trip that let’s you say, “been there, done that,” this bus tour’s the one. See you up there!