Discover the West Rim: The Side of the Grand Canyon Closest to Las Vegas

December 14, 2020 /
Grand Canyon West Rim what to do

Warning: Due to COVID 19 some information in this article (e.g. operating hours) may not be up-to-date.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon, which has the fortune of being located near the city of Las Vegas and the unique attraction of the Skywalk, attracts more and more tourists each year.

However, the influx of visitors is still low compared to the most popular access point of the Grand Canyon (the South Rim), which means that choosing the West Rim should allow a relatively quieter visit. The same can be said for the North Rim, another area not frequented by large crowds of tourists (for a guide to help you choose between the North and South Rim, read our article on how to visit the Grand Canyon in 1 day).

For these simple reasons, you should definitely consider the West Rim if your intention is to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. Here’s what you need to know:

Grand Canyon West Rim Directions and Address


As mentioned, the West Rim is the most easily accessible area of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. In fact, it is about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada, which makes a day trip to the Grand Canyon particularly convenient, either on your own with your rental car or through one of the many tours available (more information can be found in this article).

The address is 5001 Buck N Doe Road, Grand Canyon West, Arizona. Unfortunately, some GPS devices are not able to properly recognize this location, so in some cases, it may be recommended to manually enter latitude and longitude, which, are provided both on the official website and here: 35°59’14.0″N 113°49’14.8″W.

Grand Canyon West Rim: Cost and Hours of Operation

Grand Canyon West Rim places to visitThe entire Grand Canyon West area is operated by the Hualapai Tribe and is completely independent from the Grand Canyon South and North Rim, which are operated by the National Park Service. Therefore, you will not be able to access the West Rim with your America the Beautiful Pass, and it will be pointless to pay admission at one of the other two entrances in order to visit this area of the Grand Canyon.

You will also not be allowed to drive around the West Rim in your own car, which you will be required to leave in a parking lot at the entrance and then use a shuttle service that passes about every 15 minutes.

Hours of Operation

You can access the West Rim from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm every day of the year including holidays. Please note: From November to March, entrance tickets can be purchased until 4:30 pm.

Where to Buy Tickets?

To access the West Rim you will have several options:

  • General admission: $39 (doesn’t include access to the Skywalk).
  • Skywalk ticket: $20
  • Meal: $19

If you want to pay online you can go to the tickets section of the official website.

Buy tickets online

Grand Canyon West Rim: Places to Visit

Obviously, the viewpoints and (especially) the Skywalk are the main reasons why people choose to visit this side of the Grand Canyon, there is more to see in the West Rim, as you’ll see the Hualapai Ranch is a pleasant surprise as it’s a perfect place to stay on the edge of the Grand Canyon, as well as hosting historical reenactments organized by Native Americans.

Viewpoints

There are two main viewpoints, Eagle Point, the most famous one where the Skywalk was built, and Guano Point, where you can admire the best view of the West Rim.

Skywalk & Eagle Point

Grand Canyon West Rim skywalkThe Skywalk located at Eagle Point is definitely the main attraction and the reason why most people decide to go to the Grand Canyon West Rim.

grand canyon west rim overlook

The thrill of being able to walk on the transparent platform that juts out along the edge of the canyon is a unique experience that is worth the price of the ticket. If you want more information about this particular attraction you can read our article we wrote specifically about the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Guano Point

Grand Canyon West Rim from las vegasThough the name may not sound promising, from this point you can see the best views of the West Rim. If you go on the very short Highpoint Hike, you will have a 360° view of the entire area below the Colorado River (be careful though, because not all areas have railings).

Another special feature is the site of the remains of the mining transport system that was used to transport the material to the surface from the mine below. You can also eat while observing the splendid panorama that surrounds you at Guano Deli.

Hualapai Ranch

Grand Canyon West Rim tourIf you want to stay inside the West Rim, this will be the only option you will have available. The Hualapai Ranch is very much like the premium cabins at The View Hotel in Monument Valley. All cabins are separated from each other and have a personal porch where you can admire the Grand Canyon.

The Hualapai Ranch is also the best place to eat if you’re at the West Rim and, and it hosts historical re-enactments. It’s also the starting point for fun tourism activities, such as a ride in a stagecoach of the Old West, or a horseback riding tour.

If you are interested in this option, you can check the availability of rooms by clicking on the link below.

Check availability at Hualapai Ranch

West Rim Grand Canyon Tour

Grand Canyon West Rim costThere are many tours you can choose from to see the best views of the Grand Canyon West Rim, and you can also choose a tour according to your departure destination.

Tours Departing from Las Vegas

If you’re in Las Vegas and want to take a day trip to the West Rim without using your car, you’re will certainly be able to do so. If you are interested in tours that also include access to the Skywalk, you can click on the link below and read our tips.

Tours from Las Vegas with access to the Skywalk

If you’re not ready to go on the Skywalk, which some might call an “extreme” experience, there are tours available from Las Vegas that either do not include access to the Skywalk or make it optional.

  • Golden Eagle Air Tour: Helicopter tour over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Guano Point and Eagle Point.
  • Grand Celebration Tour: The route is the same as the previous tour, but you’ll fly by plane and you’ll also have the chance to land at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and have a packed lunch toasting with a glass of champagne at this exclusive location.Grand Canyon West Rim hours
  • Highlights Air Tour: In this airplane tour, you can admire the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the West Rim from above.
  • Grand Voyage: This is one of the most complete and varied tours you will find. You will depart from Las Vegas and head to the West Rim on a tourist plane and, once you arrive, you will have the opportunity to take a helicopter tour of the area after which you will be taken on a cruise along the Colorado River. This will allow you to see the Grand Canyon from all possible angles.
  • Platinum West Rim Helicopter and Boat Tour: This is just like the previous tour, but the only difference is that the transfer from Las Vegas to the West Rim will be made on a private bus instead of a plane.

If you prefer a tour that only offers bus transportation and you are also undecided whether or not to visit the Skywalk, you can take a look at this day tour of the West Rim with optional Skywalk.

Tour departing from the West Rim

There are three tours that you can take once you arrive at the West Rim and all of them include only the Legacy Pass, i.e. entry to the West Rim without the Skywalk:

Where to stay near the Grand Canyon West Rim

If you plan to sleep inside the West Rim, the only option is the one we have already mentioned about the characteristic Hualapai Ranch. If you find that there is no availability at Hualapai Ranch, or you think that it is more convenient to sleep outside the West Rim because of your itinerary, I recommend you read our advice on where to stay at the Grand Canyon. If you plan to visit the park on an organized tour or a scenic drive, check out our tips on how to find a hotel in Las Vegas.

All accommodation near the West Rim

Filippo Nardelli
Filippo Nardelli

I have a degree in History of North America and have always been fascinated by the United States.

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