Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Sammie
How to do Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by Car
Just over 2 hours and 130 miles away, Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by car is an easy day trip to bring some pazazz into your weekend.
Distance from Las Vegas to West Rim: Approximately 130 miles
Time: Approximately 2 hours (and 8 minutes)
My boyfriend came to visit me in Las Vegas while having a tour break from Cirque Du Soleil and I wanted to entertain him in the most Americana way possible. I researched Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by car and realized it was a completely doable day trip. Yippee! The Grand Canyon is known worldwide as a spectacle to see and a worthwhile bucket list item. So, I figured, it would suit my french fry of a boyfriend.
The night before presented us with some insanely intense wind in Vegas so my Frenchie politely suggested looking up the weather for our trip tomorrow. I thought “what a grand idea!” and quickly concluded that it would be a bit cloudy but shouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t realize until reaching the Grand Canyon that the weather I had looked up was the weather of Las Vegas. Not entirely helpful when you’re 130 miles away.
This picture was taken 12 minutes after the photo above.
It was a full-on snowstorm upon arriving to the Grand Canyon West Rim, couldn’t see a darn thing. I turned into Elsa. Not in a cute “let’s build a snowman” type of way but more as if a snowstorm swallowed her and coughed her up in a loogie sort of way. I was very cold.
Look up the weather in Peach Springs, AZ, before driving there.
West Rim Grand Canyon FAQs:
What are the hours?
8 AM to sundown. Last entry 6 PM mid March-October & 5 PM November-March
How much is a ticket?
$49-$53 (prices change depending on season and ticket bundles)
Can you buy tickets there?
Is there parking?
Is there a shuttle between the viewpoints?
Yes, included in the price of your general admission ticket
Is there a restaurant?
Yes, there is one restaurant at every viewpoint.
Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by Car: DIRECTIONS
You might as well stop at the Hoover Dam because it’s on the way!
From Vegas, you’re going to head 30-45 minutes east on Tropicana Avenue or Flamingo Drive to U.S. 515 South which will eventually turn into I-93 South (maaaggiiiic).
Continue on 93 South for 20 miles to Boulder City.
If you want to stop at the Hoover Dam: Turn onto State Route 172, a two-mile access road to the Dam.
Stay on 93 South to go over the Hoover Dam Bypass on the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Keep going for 40 miles. Turn left on Pierce Ferry Road by the Grand Canyon Skywalk Sign (more on this little hotspot later).
Continue through Dolan Springs and after 31 miles turn right at the Diamond Bar Road Sign. You’ll be on Diamond Bar Road for 21 miles until you reach the parking area with the Visitor Centre. This is where you can buy your tickets (no need to purchase in advance).
At First, West Rim Grand Canyon felt a bit like a scam.
Grand Canyon West Rim overall is a worthwhile trip—however, I could do without parts of it.
To be honest, we were not in the greatest holly-jolly mood upon arrival to the West Rim. I realized my mistake of not properly checking the weather early on. It was sad to introduce this whitewashed spectacle to my boyfriend who had never seen it before. How can you appreciate the majesticness of America without seeing the Grand Canyon?!?
However, pouting about the bad weather wasn’t going to change anything so we decided to head inside the visitor center to see what’s what.
To be completely honest, I was a touch disappointed with the management at West Rim. It felt like they were trying to fool us from the beginning.
Let me explain.
We hadn’t eaten. Always a mistake. We figured it would be best to try to wait out the storm in the comfort of a restaurant before deciding how to tackle the rest of the day. My boyfriend and I were discussing lunch plans and he casually asked a woman working if there was a restaurant nearby. She happily explained that there were three restaurants available to visitors and we could access them by means of the viewpoints. I accepted what she said immediately. But my boyfriend wanted to clarify that we indeed had to buy a ticket to the viewpoint in order to eat. She said yes without hesitation.
West Rim Grand Canyon Ticket Bundle Price: $85 each
The woman working at the counter then asked us if we would like to buy tickets with the meal tickets included to save time. It seemed like an obvious yes because we needed to eat anyways. Then she asked if we were planning to do the skywalk and I enthusiastically said yes! She said great, and the deal was sealed. I had NO IDEA the skywalk was not included and was an extra cost.
$170 later, we had our tickets. Excuse me? I didn’t realize marveling at an American icon would set us back over $100.
In hindsight, I definitely could’ve asked for our money back but I felt that maybe since they were still letting people on the skywalk, we might be able to see the Grand Canyon a bit.
To make matters worse, she then mentioned that if would like to go to the Native Indian Restaurant we could do this by taking our car down the road. Turns out you DO NOT need a ticket to the viewpoint in order to grab food at the West Rim. And you DO NOT need a meal ticket to eat at the Native Indian Restaurant, which had been my first choice for food from the get-go. Ugh.
My lunch at the Sky View Restaurant, still annoyed I didn’t get to try Gwe Ma’Jo Restaurant. There will have to be a next time!
So, if you’re following, not super duper pleased with how this day was starting. I will accept that maybe I wasn’t in the best headspace about accidentally overpaying for tickets. But all in all, I still wanted to see the view from the skywalk and was optimistic it would be decent.
Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by Car: SKYWALK REVIEW
Extra $26-$28 on top of the general admission ticket.
Not worth it. And we did it twice.
The first time was upon arrival to Eagle Point. It was a complete white out and we couldn’t see anything. But we stuck around long enough to see a break in the clouds and convinced the guy working the counter to let us back for round two. Luckily, our man at the front let us by and we were able to experience the skywalk how it ought to be experienced.
It was fine. But you can’t see very well down to the bottom and the glass is a bit too opaque to give you that “oh good golly I’m floating!” feeling. I kept noticing I would look above the glass to see into the canyon. The view is good of course but I still don’t think it was worth the money.
You can tell that this is a money suck for them. They were VERY strict about not allowing phones onto the skywalk. I was caught red-handed taking a picture and a man came over and escorted me off the bridge to delete my photos. He even made me go into my deleted folder and genuinely delete them!! He was so intense, I thought I was going to Grand Canyon Jail or something. I was shook to the bone. I really, REALLY hate confrontation.
The West Rim FBI or whatever he was made me delete all my photos so this is the only photo I have left with a sliver of the skywalk on it. What a view, am I right?
Eagle Point/the Skywalk made me giggle. It was a very well-run business.
They told me they don’t allow phones because people drop them but I’m convinced the real reason is so their professional photographers can take your photo and charge you for it. I think it was another $25 or $30 dollars if you wanted a photo, but don’t quote me on the price.
And they make it difficult to appreciate the canyon by roping off far from the edge so you can’t see too well into the bottom. I figured this was for safety until I went to the following viewpoint (Guano Point) and there were no ropes. Go as close to the edge as possible, they don’t need your money anymore so have at it.
Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by Car: ITINERARY
1st Stop: Hualapai Point
If you’re arriving around lunchtime, head to the Native Indian Restaurant at Hualapai Point before going to the visitor center. When you’re heading there by car, look for signs for the zipline and you’ll arrive right there.
*You do not need a general admission ticket to access the little “town” at Hualapei Point.
Imagine a tiny “town” of sorts. At Hualapai Point, you can grab lunch at the Indian Restaurant, Gwa Ma’Jo, where they offer native Indian recipes which I wish we could’ve tried! After that you can grab a drink at the saloon, shop handcrafted goods from tribial vendors, or try out the biking/hiking trails nearby. This is also where the zipline is located if you’re feeling cray cray. It was closed because of the ridiculous snowstorm we walked headfirst into, but I imagine it’s usually open.
Accommodation: You are able to stay at the cabins at Hualapai Point, making it easier to enjoy a weekend of outdoor goodness.
2nd Stop: Eagle Point/Skywalk
I put this on here because I imagine most people are traveling a way to reach the West Rim Grand Canyon and want to get the most bang for their buck. However, if you’re short on time or tired, I would only stop here to wander through their authentic Native American Village and listen to the song and dance being performed by a member of the Hualapai tribe.
Performances every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM.
Personally, I would skip the skywalk.
3rd Stop: Guano Point
My favorite view of the West Rim Grand Canyon
This felt like such a treat after the hassle of not being allowed to take pictures on the Skywalk and not having a good view from behind the roped-off edge at Eagle Point. Guano Point is enormous and the view is INCREDIBLE. We had insane luck. With a 12-minute break in the snowstorm, the clouds parted and we saw crystal clear views into the canyon. It was exactly what I wanted.
The view: This viewpoint gives you panoramic 360-degree views of the Grand Canyon West Rim. You will be able to see the Colorado River below and be able to hike a railingless trail. STAY SAFE! This does reward you with the best possible pictures in my opinion. And because there are no designated tourist areas, people are free to roam and not crowd.
Check out the old aerial tramway system, which they used to use to mine Guano (bat droppings rich in nitrogen) from the mine below. It’s quite a unique sight and gives your imagination a fun story of what this location was used for during the 1930s.
By far my favorite viewpoint of Grand Canyon West Rim.
Weather aside, I still think the day trip was a success.
Driving from Las Vegas to West Rim Grand Canyon by car is an easy day trip and fun weekend activity. It can be a tad confusing to navigate where to go and how to spend your hours at the rim but with a little planning you will undoubtedly have an amazing time.
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