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Grand Canyon: Tours & Tickets

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5 geological facts about how the Grand Canyon was formed

Whether you see it from above by helicopter, below by boat, or choose to tour its hiking trails by foot, Arizona's Grand Canyon is one of North America's most breathtaking sights. Here's a step-by-step guide on how it came to be!

The rise of the Kaibab plateau

The rise of the Kaibab plateau

When the Kaibab plateau was forced upwards 35 million years ago, the ancestor of what is now the Colorado River was diverted away from its previous route towards the Pacific Ocean.

The formation of Lake Bidahochi

The formation of Lake Bidahochi

The river's new route saw it empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Volcanic activity caused this river to become obstructed as well, creating a vast lake.

Rivers reunited

Rivers reunited

Eventually a path was eroded through the Kaibab plateau, accelerated by the last ice ages, and the old Pacific-ward segment of river was reconnected to the rest of it.

The emergence of the Little Colorado River

The emergence of the Little Colorado River

With a steeper route heading west now open, the waters of the ancient Lake Bidahochi were drained, leaving just a deep crevice through which the Little Colorado River now runs.

It never stops!

It never stops!

Though the bulk of it formed during this epoch, continued erosion and rock falls have expanded the canyon further still. It may look very different in another 35 million years!

Our insider tips

When to visit?

April to early June is a great time to visit the Grand Canyon, arriving just in time to make the most of the rising temperatures before the intense heat and bursts of rain that come with summer. September and early November are also good times to go if you want to avoid the peak-season crowds before it gets too cold!

What to pack?

The weather can be unpredictable so pack rain gear even if it's gorgeous when you set out. In summer, the cool canyon breeze can also disguise the heat of the sun's rays, so be sure to wear sunscreen even if it doesn't feel necessary. Bring plenty of water, too, of course, and light snacks. Trust us, you'll be better off topping your energy up as you go rather than setting out after a heavy meal!

What to wear?

When it's hot, cover up in light, airy fabrics rather than revealing tops and shorts, as you'll be highly exposed to the sun. Sunhats and sunglasses are also a must in summer, and comfortable walking shoes are essential at any time of year. Make sure your feet don't slip around in them either, or the steep canyon trails may result in bloody toes!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The South Rim is open all year round, the North Rim is only open from May 15th to October 15th.
  • Is it expensive?
    An individual permit is $12 and is good for 7 days.
  • Will I need a guide?
    There are some great tours available! Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    By car you can take a scenic drive through the Kaibab National Forest, or sit back, relax and take the Arizona Shuttle.
  • Additional information
    There are several free admission days, so check the website before your visit! |
    Don't forget that if you are bringing a car, you'll have to pay for a vehicle permit, as well.

What people are saying about Grand Canyon

Overall rating
4.6 / 5
based on 3,646 reviews

worth doing...some good hiking, but lots of time in the van

This trip packs a lot into a 3 day itinerary. The national parks are spectacular and definitely worth seeing. However they are spaced pretty far apart so you end up spending at least 3-6 hours per day in the van. Our guide did a good job of keeping us entertained in the van and also planned rest stops every 2 hours to break up the travel. There are several opportunities to go hiking but most of the hiking is optional (except for the Grand canyon rim walk - an easy 1h walk). If you are looking for an intensive hiking experience you won't have enough time. Day 1 included about 3 hours to hike in Zion and 2 hours in Bryce, which is not enough to do the Angels Landing hike if that's your thing. Day 2 did not include any time for hiking and was more for sightseeing. On day 3 we had 3 hours to hike the grand canyon. About half the people chose camping, and the other half a hotel. Hotel accommodations were good.

This was worth the money! We had an excellent day :)

This tour was incredible! The driver was interactive with the group and very accommodating for the wheelchair in our group. The tour guide was helpful and informative. We were in Vegas for just 30 hours and this is what we chose to do. Everything was professional, scheduled, and fun! We were picked up an hour late (by a second party), so the day started off badly; however, the way our tour driver handled the setback was encouraging. We thought our lunch would be subpar (at best), but it was delicious!!! We stopped by a deli and picked up out lunch. The sandwich was large and fresh. They gave us all the water we needed/wanted. We returned in good time and are so glad we took this tour!

Grand Canyon West Bus Tour from Las Vegas Reviewed by

The Grand Canyon views were really Beautiful !!!

The trip was nice, the busdriver Jonathan and our tour guide Renee were Amazing !!! Only food was poorly arranged, a granola bar was our breakfast ..... and this .... taking into account that you will not be getting the chance to enjoy a decent breakfast since you need to be at your pickup point at approx. 6 AM. For the ones taking this tour, please make sure you prepare some sandwiches the night prior the trip and take your tea, coffee etc. with you !!!

Long enough time to hike in Grand Canyon West Rim

We enjoyed the tour to Grand Canyon as it was not that far from Las Vegas. We even stoped at Hoover Dam, which was also breath taking. Unfortunately we only stopped at the corner of the road for only 10 minutes, and we were not able to see the Dam and the bridge, just a part of the water tanks. But we crossed the bridge with the bus. But time in Grand Canyon was amazing, and super beautiful. Plus we get sandwiches on the way.

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon West Rim Tour Reviewed by

Great fun filled day! Shopping, Hoover Dam, Bridge, Canyon, helicopter

Great fun filled day! Tour guide amazing, people were great. My 71 year old mom and I were able to shop Indian jewelry, see Hoover Dam from ascending Tillman memorial Bridge, Joshua tree forest; fly in and out of Grand Canyon by helicopter, boat the Colorado River in bottom of canyon, and walk the sky walk. Adventures were broken up well to allow my mom to do it all in one day. A trip we won’t forget.

Things to do near Grand Canyon