Nothing can prepare you for seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. The rocky abyss that the earth has just opened up is far more than magnificent. There are some key areas of the Grand Canyon that can be best appreciated. The North Rim is usually inaccessible in the winter, and the West Rim receives mostly day-trippers from Las Vegas, but the South Rim has the best tourist infrastructure and never really loses the feeling of a rural escape. This rim is most easily reached by bus tour from Phoenix, Arizona.
Without transportation, getting to the Grand Canyon is impossible. For many people, driving is part of the experience, but the distance between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix is about 230 miles, which can be a pretty exhausting hike. So if you prefer to be driven, then a bus tour is one of the most common and rewarding ways to reach the Grand Canyon and do as much sightseeing as possible along the rim of the canyon. The tour selected for this list leaves and returns to Phoenix or its adjoining city, Scottsdale, which is located east of Phoenix. Many factors, including itinerary, comfort, value for money and the overall quality of the tour experience were taken into consideration.
Grand Canyon Day Tour
From: $179 per person
Understandably, the 460 miles or so round trip takes up quite a bit of time, which is why you should expect these excellent full-day trips to run for at least 12 or 13 hours. That way, you can spend at least three hours or more exploring Grand Canyon National Park. One of the main perks of the trip itself is the passage of the famous Route 66, so this trip actually combines two of Arizona’s most iconic destinations in one day. Transportation is in a comfortable, air-conditioned van with room for up to 13 guests. You’ll have time to stroll a portion of the South Rim Trail from where you can experience the magnificent, evolving scenery. Meals are not included.
Sedona and Grand Canyon Small Group Tour
From $215 per person
One thing that many first-time visitors to this area may not appreciate is the natural wonders that abound in this part of the United States outside of the Grand Canyon. This tour is a little longer and halfway through the tour you will see the beautiful and barren boulders that surround the desert town of Sedona. Continue on the scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon. There is time in the Grand Canyon to visit two of the best viewpoints on the South Rim, with free time in the latter. The guides are friendly and especially know the best places to take pictures along the way.
Phoenix Grand Canyon National Park Full Day Tour
From $165 per person
There’s more than one scenic route to choose from when touring the Grand Canyon by bus from Phoenix. This tour is filled with the mixed flavors of the American Southwest, combining the natural beauty of the southern rim, the yellow pine filled Coconino National Forest, and a bit of culture at the Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation, where you can eat lunch and buy handcrafted jewelry. Here you can also catch a glimpse of the Little Colorado River Canyon, which is impressive, but just a taste of real food in the Grand Canyon. The tour lasts 13 hours and can accommodate up to 11 people.
Grand Canyon with Helicopter Tour
From $429 per person
Start your Grand Canyon tour from Phoenix to reach the next level where you have to take to the sky and get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon. This is a great way to better appreciate its grandeur and size by flying over its deepest and widest parts. The helicopter flight takes 45 minutes for the 13-hour journey, with the rest of the time dedicated to exploring attractions like Route 66 and the Grand Canyon itself. Three hours are devoted to land exploration along the beautiful 30-mile Canyon Rim Road. All transportation costs are included in the ticket price, but meals are not included.
Three-day Grand Canyon Hike
From $879 per person
Considering the length of the day-long bus trip from Phoenix, a longer, deeper exploration of the Grand Canyon is the perfect solution for those who want to actively explore and immerse themselves. From Scottsdale, right next to Phoenix, this trip heads straight to the South Rim, where your guide will take you down the South Kaibab Trail 4,800 feet (0.9 miles) to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There are many hikes that are available once in the canyon, where you will spend two nights at different camping sites while learning about the geology and natural history of the canyon. Meals are included, as well as backpacking gear. Bring your own hiking boots and appropriate clothing.