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KenilworthOnTour Feb 15th, 2005 05:03 AM

Grand Canyon from Vegas: which rim?
Please help! We were going to book the west rim tour where we get flown from vegas to the west rim, taken to the bottom in a helicopter and then float along the colorado in a boat for a while. Then I read lots saying the West Rim is the poor man's Grand Canyon! For a day trip, there are no options for going to the bottom at either the North or South rim but I have read that the North rim has the best views ... currently suffering from informational overload and need some assistance please! Are there any tours that you would recommend? We do only have one day for this.

utahtea Feb 15th, 2005 09:32 AM

I disagree that the N. Rim has the better views. I have not been to the West Rim yet but I've been to the N. Rim twice & S. Rim many more times.

The south rim has sweeping views of a vast area where at the N. Rim you get a sense of how deep the canyon is but not how vast. What I hear most about why people like the N. Rim is that it has less crowds than the S. Rim

Now this can be a mute point if you plan this trip before Mid-May because the N. Rim will still be closed for the winter until then.


HowardR Feb 15th, 2005 10:05 AM

As usual, Utahtea is right on the mark with her advice. Since you say you only have one day to visit the Grand Canyon, you may not have much of a choice, since you are coming from Las Vegas. Obviously, a helicopter tour seems the best way to go, since driving back and forth on the same day (either by car or tour bus) would leave little time to see the Grand Canyon.

PaulRabe Feb 15th, 2005 11:43 AM

The best views are from the South Rim. The North Rim, as UtahTea notes, is closed till May, so any idea of going there may already be ruled out.

If you can afford the helicopter and boat ride tour, you might be able to fly betwen Tusayan and Vegas, and thus have several hours to spend at the South Rim. A Google{R} search for

tours airplane Tusayan "las vegas" -kingman

resulted in 1400 hits, including a combo package that may well meet your needs.

utahtea Feb 15th, 2005 01:15 PM

I clicked on your name and found your other post. You are planning this trip in April so the N. Rim will still be closed.

If you can get to the S. Rim, I highly recommend going.


placeu2 Feb 15th, 2005 01:23 PM

My immediate thought is to say skip it on this trip. One day with no overnight at the GC seems like a shame.

I have only been there once, loved the N. Rim (but have no comparrison). I can't wait to go back. I was there 1 1/2 days and spent the night. I wish it had been more.

JBC411 Feb 15th, 2005 06:33 PM

I think that some people who choose "West Rim" tours from Vegas because the travel time is so much less, and there is greater opportunity to get down to the river, don't realize they will be hundreds of miles from the specific area and views they've heard about and seen for many years. They think that it's just a third direction in which to view the same general area--as the North and South Rims actually are two such directions to view the famous area.

That's not to say the West Rim area is not part of what can be legitimately called the Canyon, or that it's not interesting and scenic and worthwhile. I have heard that it is. But I do think the Vegas tour companies can tend to deceive people, or at tleast profit from their ignorance, when they advertise trips there, and people should understand what they're getting and not gettiing.

There are hundreds of miles of canyon which people like to hike, boat, study and enjoy, although most of it is probably not where most people would choose to be dropped for a brief first visit to the Canyon if they knew more about it. The West Rim is, from what I've heard, another of the many beautiful attractions in the region around the relatively small area most people think of when they think of the Canyon, and have seen pictured. But it is not part of it.

It is nowhere within sight of that area, generally considered the most spectacular at the Canyon, where the South and North Rim tourist hotels are close enough to be visible from each other across the Canyon, even though it takes hundreds of miles to drive around the Canyon to get from one to the other by car.

I have only been to the South Rim, but I did feel I'd had the classic Canyon short-timers experience there, and the views were as awesome as I'd ever imagined and more. I did have an overnight and more than 24 hours there, but I would rather have had only fifteen minutes there than to pass it up. The more time the better, but I didn't think it was one of those things not worth doing if you didn't have a certain amount of time.

It is so on a scale beyond anything else that the big difference is between having experienced it, even briefly, or not at all. Coming face to face with the realization that your eye and mind are being asked to process more variety of distance, depth, and color than they ever have before--or than they can.

I would, though, say you must get on the ground at the rim. Don't do an air only tour. Airplane or helicopter views, like photos, just don't quite bring the impact home.

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