Are you looking for a fun way to spend Memorial Day weekend? Visit the Grand Canyon and enjoy the scenery on an exciting bus tour of the region. These tours are so popular they sell out quickly. If you think it sounds like an excellent way to spend your holiday weekend, get your tickets early, before they are gone.
Bus tours on Memorial Day follow their usual schedules and depart from Las Vegas or Phoenix. If you start from Vegas, you have the most options since you can book tours from there to the West Rim or the South Rim. When you depart from Phoenix, you can only go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Below is a quick look at the bus tour options available during the holiday weekend.
West Rim Tours From Las Vegas
You can expect the bus ride from Las Vegas to the West Rim to last around 2.5 hours. When you get there, you have about three hours to explore the sights on the top of the rim. The West Rim is great because it is the only part of the canyon where helicopters fly below the rim, so you can descend to the bottom and catch a raft tour of the Colorado River. Your whole family will be thrilled with the experience, so you should upgrade your tour to include it if you can.
Another option you can add to your tour is a pass to the Skywalk. It is also called the Glass Bridge because it is transparent and you can walk on it 70 feet beyond the edge of the canyon. You can look straight down to the canyon floor nearly 4000 ft underneath you!
Vegas Bus Tours To The South Rim
The South Rim is also an excellent destination and that tour is very affordable at around $80. Be sure to understand your itinerary before buying your tickets so you don’t miss out on fun stops such as a photo op at the Hoover Dam.
The ride to the South Rim is much longer. The bus ride takes nearly 5 hours. The long ride is totally worth it. Many people consider the South Rim to be the official Grand Canyon and you will recognize many of the landmarks from pictures you have seen of the National Park.
Which Rim Is Best?
The length of the trip may be a deciding factor. The trip to the West Rim takes about 12 hours in all and the trip to the South Rim takes around 15 hours. Plus, you have to think about what kind of experience you will enjoy the most. If you want excitement and adventure, you should go to the West Rim. If you just want to relax and marvel at nature’s beauty, then the South Rim is the best option.
South Rim Bus Tours From Phoenix
You can catch a South Rim bus tour from several starting points around Phoenix such as in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa. It takes about four hours to make the bus ride from the Phoenix metro area to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The view along the way is nothing short of spectacular. As you travel across the state, the scenery changes from desert to forest. A lot of the bus tours from Arizona stop in Sedona, which is an area noted for its beautiful red sandstone buttes. You are also treated to a view of the San Francisco Peaks, which are beautiful mountains and the tallest peaks in the state.
Touring By Private Van
Many people are choosing to tour the Grand Canyon by private van rather than bus. The vans are customized for sightseeing and ultimate comfort. They only carry 12 passengers at a time and they sell out fast. These tours are much more personalized and give you the opportunity to interact with your tour guide. Your tour goes smoothly since there aren’t so many people getting on and off the bus every time it stops.
Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 27. Many people will have a three day weekend for the occasion and it is also the weekend that kicks off the peak summer travel season. Because of that, be sure to book your seats as early as possible. The sooner you get your tickets, the better, but try to get them at least one week before your departure. When you buy tickets for your Grand Canyon adventure, be sure to do so online. When you buy your tickets on the tour operator’s website, you qualify for the discounted Internet rate as long as you complete the transaction online.