Downtown Las Vegas is an apex of fun, entertainment, performance and luxury. The Grand Canyon, isolated and peaceful, is one of the planet’s most incredible creations. The truth is, it is indeed possible to combine the trips—if you plan ahead. You may not get as full of an impression if you have limited time, but at least you’ll be able to experience the ultimate playgrounds of both man and nature!
Fortunately, tour companies have caught on to the fact that, other than Phoenix, Vegas is as close to the Canyon’s South Rim as big cities get. It’s generally very easy to find a way to get there, and options are plentiful, so you can accommodate your specific desire for recreational activity or time restrictions.
The Grand Canyon is just under 300 miles (480 km) away from Vegas by road. Allow around five hours for the drive if you’re planning on stops (the scenery may call for it). Take Highway 93 south to Kingman, Interstate 40 east to Williams, then Highway 64 north the rest of the way. Renting a car is easy—just get one you’re comfortable with that won’t eat up too much gas. You can also take a bus; many companies operate same-day trips, which means you can return to your Vegas hotel that night.
You’ll pass the famous Hoover Dam, a tourist attraction on its own at 726 feet (221 meters) high, on the way. It provides power, water security, and recreational opportunities—as does Lake Mead, which is formed by the dam from the waters of the Colorado River.
An option that brings the least hassle is to book a helicopter tour, which will take you directly from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Not only does this significantly decrease the travel time (it’s under an hour each way), but the transportation itself is as exciting as the destination; the views of this part of the country from above are unrivaled by those from the ground. Some tours offer different excursions once there, such as rafting the Colorado, picnicking, or hiking.