Grand Canyon Tour: The Best Guided Tours in the Park

November 16, 2020 /
Grand Canyon Tours

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

Taking a tour of the Grand Canyon, one of the most famous and remarkable natural wonders of the American Southwest, is a must-see experience. The slow and patient shaping and painting by the Colorado River, with the skill of an artist, has given rise to a spectacular and boundless landscape that has now become a dream of all lovers of American national parks and a symbol of the power and genius of nature.

In a previous article, we have already explained all the Grand Canyon hikes in detail, indicating the times, distances and challenges for each trail, making it easy for everyone to organize their own visit to the park. However, given the vastness of this canyon, some visitors are immediately discouraged, fearing that they may not be able to see everything, or that they must invest a lot of time to see only a small part – and maybe not even the most beautiful – of this natural theater.

If this applies to you, it may be useful to rely on Grand Canyon guided tours, so that you can be guided to the places you want to see (North Rim or South Rim, or western side of the Grand Canyon), in the ways and times that are best for you that include all the amenities. Here is a selection of the best Grand Canyon tours from the main nearby cities and the park itself.

Grand Canyon Tours from Tusayan (near the Park)

Helicopter tour

Tour Grand Canyon

North Rim Tour

Starting from Tusayan Grand Canyon Airport, you will have the opportunity to go on a 25-30 minute guided tour of the North Rim by helicopter. On the tour of the northern region of the Grand Canyon, visitors will fly over Kaibab National Forest and see the deepest part of the canyon and on the way back – flying over Dragon Corridor – to see the Tower of Ra and Vishnu Schist.

About the tour

Imperial Air Tour EcoStar

This Grand Canyon Tour with EcoStar helicopter will take you over the eastern and southern edges of the canyon. The special feature of this EcoStar helicopter is the stadium-like seating arrangement, all facing forward, with a view spanning almost 180 degrees, ideal for enjoying the best view of the landscape.

About the tour

Grand Canyon Jeep Tours and Hummer Tours

Tour Grand Canyon Jeep

Grand Canyon Jeep Tour from Tusayan (South Rim)

A 3-hour jeep tour departing from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center accompanied by an expert guide who will introduce you to the history, geology and wildlife of the park. You will also be taken to explore some remote places that are usually overlooked by more standard guided tours, with the opportunity to descend deep into the canyon to the Colorado River.

About the tour

Signature Hummer Tour (South Rim)

Departing from Tusayan, you will ride in a hummer with a guide along the edge of the Grand Canyon. During the tour, which will last a total of 2 hours, you will be able to take pictures of the beautiful views that will appear before your eyes and get off at some famous viewpoints such as Duck On A Rock Viewpoint, Yavapai Point and Moran Point.

About the tour

Hybrid Tours

Grand Canyon guided toursGrand Canyon Sunset Excursion by Jeep and Helicopter (South Rim)

The colors at sunset are the highlight of this tour of the Grand Canyon by jeep, preceded by a helicopter flight along the northern edge of the canyon. The tour lasts a total of 3 hours, and includes a guided jeep tour along the Kaibab National Forest, to some of the most incredible viewpoints in the valley.

About the tour

Bus Tours and Raft Ride on the Colorado River (Page)

The bus will pick you up at your hotel inside the Grand Canyon and take you to Page, Arizona, to some beautiful viewpoints like Glen Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. You will travel along the river on a comfortable motor raft and reach some areas where ancient petroglyphs are preserved.

About the tour

Grand Canyon Tours from Las Vegas

Helicopter Tours

grand canyon tour from las vegasGrand Celebration Helicopter Tours (West Rim) – Papillon

If your dream is to fly from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, you may choose this 4.5-hour tour offered by Papillon, an agency specializing in Grand Canyon Tours. I believe it’s the best tour on the market; in fact, we have dedicated an in-depth article to it to explain what it offers and how it works.

In summary, you’ll fly in a helicopter for 70 minutes, and you’ll see amazing aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the western side of the Grand Canyon. The plateau landing provides a truly unforgettable view of Colorado. Included in the price, there is a champagne picnic and passenger pick-up service from most Las Vegas hotels.

About the tour

Helicopter Tour with Grand Canyon Landing in the Grand Canyon (South Rim) – Maverick Helicopters

This is the offer that is comparable to the one above, made by Maverick Helicopters, Papillon’s main competitor. It shares a similar route as well as the total duration of the tour, the time spent aboard the helicopter and the stay at the bottom of the canyon.

About the tour

Grand Canyon bus tours from Las Vegas

Grand Canyon bus tours from Las VegasBelow you will find a quick overview of the tours, however, for those who want to learn more about the subject, we have published a guide entirely dedicated to the Grand Canyon bus tour from Las Vegas with some advice aimed to help you make a choice.

Bus Tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (South Rim)

This is a 14-hour guided bus tour, with convenient transportation to and from the hotel. The tour includes a stop to take pictures of the Hoover Dam, and a tour of the southern side of the Grand Canyon, with a stop at the National Geographic Visitor Center in Tusayan (meal vouchers included in the price). The bus trip is quite long but it can be a good idea for those who don’t have many days to visit the Grand Canyon. There are many options for this kind of tour, with slight differences between the various offers. Read the descriptions carefully to book the best one for you:

Bus Tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (West Rim)

This tour is similar to the one above, but with one significant advantage. The chosen destination is the West Rim, not the South Rim, which makes the round trip much shorter and less tiring. You can also add a visit to the Skywalk, the viewing platform suspended over the canyon, and even the helicopter tour, for a more complete experience.

About the tour

Grand Canyon + Optional Skywalk Hummer Tour (West Rim)

You will be picked up at your hotel in Las Vegas by a Hummer H2 that will take you straight to the Grand Canyon. You will pass through Joshua Tree Forest and Hoover Dam and once you have arrived at the West Rim, you will take a guided tour of the region’s historical and geological features. You can also take the Hummer to both Eagle Point and Guano Point, two Native American villages. The price includes lunch and transportation back to your hotel in Las Vegas. For an additional charge, one can add to the package the ticket for the Skywalk, the viewing platform suspended over the canyon. A Grand Canyon Tour that offers many opportunities to explore!

About the tour

Plane Tour with Excursion

Grand Canyon national park tourPlane Tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and a Native American village (West Rim)

This is a 7-hour guided tour of the Grand Canyon (West Rim) by land and air that gives you a beautiful bird’s eye view of both the canyon and Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. You can learn about the culture and legends of the Hualapai Tribe from the guide and enjoy lunch. The offer includes passenger pick-up service from most hotels in Las Vegas.

About the tour

Connoisseur” Air Tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (South Rim)

This tour is similar to the one described above, although it is for those who want to see the Grand Canyon South Rim from above. The tour is longer (9.30 hours) and will take you all day. At the end of the trip you can take a bus to Bright Angel Lodge and Mather Point and then enjoy a packed lunch. Also on offer here is a passenger pick-up service from most Las Vegas hotels.

About the tour

Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff, Williams, Phoenix

Tour Grand CanyonPlatinum Tour from Phoenix to Grand Canyon (South Rim) by Helicopter

Your trip will start directly from your hotel in Phoenix / Scottsdale. Your first stop will be Sedona, where you will see the red rocks of Oak Creek. Then, via Route 66, you will visit Flagstaff and Williams and arrive at the Grand Canyon Airport, where you will board a helicopter flying over the Grand Canyon. Included in the price are lunch, a guided tour to some viewpoints and drop-off to the hotel.

About the tour

Grand Canyon Train Adventure Package from Williams

Before the departure of your friendly, historic train from the 1908 Williams Depot station, you will witness a Wild West shootout with the Cataract Creek Gang in an open-air theater. The journey to the Grand Canyon is enlivened by period performances of robberies, music on board and stops at historic attractions such as the 1910 Grand Canyon Depot Station, and will take you for about two hours at some of the Grand Canyon’s beautiful viewpoints. The Grand Canyon entrance fee and lunch are included in the price. For more details on this tour, you can read our article on how to visit the Grand Canyon by train from Williams.

About the tour

Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff with a Visit to the Navajo Nation

This tour from Flagstaff will take you on a comfortable bus ride to the beauty of the eastern part of the Grand Canyon and the South Rim. On the return trip, you will also be accompanied by your guide to the areas inhabited by the Navajo, where you can purchase valuable Navajo handcrafts.

About the tour

Other Plane and Helicopter Tours

As you can see, the selection of tours for the Grand Canyon is very wide! To close, I would like to point out our articles about flying to the Grand Canyon (where you’ll find other options), a guide to choosing between the various helicopter tours available, and an article on how to choose between air and helicopter tours. I also want to remind you about this article, where I discussed my favorite helicopter tour.

Bernardo Pacini
Bernardo Pacini

I am an editor and copywriter and have published some poetry. Besides traveling, my interests include literature, experimental music and good food

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