Doing a Grand Canyon Bus Excursion this Veteran's Day

Travel & LeisureOutdoors

  • Author Susan Bissonnette
  • Published November 10, 2013
  • Word count 580

Veteran's Day is coming up. It's one of the last 3-day weekends in the U.S., making it ideal to take a Grand Canyon bus tour from Las Vegas, NV.

Bus tours of the canyon operate on the same schedule over the holiday weekend. The tours depart pretty early in the morning and drop you off later in the evening. Please note that I said "later in the evening."

Driving Time

Bus tours go to the West Rim or the South Rim (you can't do both). The South Rim is farther away and takes 5 hours to get there by bus, while it only takes 2 hours to get to the West Rim.

Buses return from the South Rim around 9 p.m., and from the West Rim around 8 p.m. The key thing here is that bus tours require a complete day to do.

Which rim should you go to? The jury's out because based on my experience half the people I book tours for go to the West and the other half go to the South. It is a matter of personal preference.

West vs South

The West Rim is closest to Las Vegas at about 120 miles to the east. You'll find the glass Skywalk there and you don't want to miss the chance to walk out past the rim and peer down to the canyon floor. It's also got a number of great lookout points like Guano and Eagle.

What's more, there are several fun adventures you can take part in at the West Rim. Understand that it's the only place in the National Park where you can take a helicopter to the bottom. If you want to go all in, add a boat trip to the package. You should think about adding the chopper and boat rides to your bus tour.

The South Rim is 277 miles from Las Vegas. Indeed, it's a long drive but it's well worth it. The South Rim, which many call the "official" Grand Canyon is known for it's scenic beauty. Once you get to the South Rim, the bus spends about three hours touring the park so you see many sights.

Hoover Dam Stop

Whichever rim you go to, your bus stops at the Hoover Dam for a quick photo stop. The stop is a quick one. You don't get to actually tour the Hoover Dam too. There is not enough time to do both tours in the same day. The Hoover Dam tour is fun too and you can book it at a later time.

Bus tours are an excellent value. They pretty much come with everything. They come with a tour guide, lunch, taxes, park fees, and shuttle service to your hotel. So you don't have to worry about extra charges. No surprises.

I said earlier that Veteran's Day is one of the last big three-day holidays. This means that there will be strong demand for tours and I advise you to book your coach trip early. One thing's for sure: don't book a bus tour the day before you want to go. If you wait until the day as your tour, you probably won't be able to get a seat.

Let's Wrap This Up

Don't miss the opportunity to take a fantastic weekend trip to the Grand Canyon that includes a motor coach tour. These road trips are truly a great value and are great for families and groups. Decide which rim you want to see and book your seats now.

Travel editor Susan B. is a specialist on Grand Canyon National Park bus tours. She recommends visiting this site to get the most affordable rates on the top trips from Vegas:

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