Without a doubt, one of the greatest wonders of the world is the Grand Canyon in the United States. A natural formation of such great size and beauty has enchanted onlookers and travelers from all over the world.
The Grand Canyon, a must see in the United States
The Grand Canyon is one of the must-sees if you pass near Las Vegas. For more than 2000 million years, the Colorado River has shaped this gigantic rock serpent in the geography of the US, with its more than 400 km in length and a height of up to 1,500m deep in the gorge.
How to go to the grand canyon
To access the Grand Canyon, we can do it by car or by air, by plane or helicopter.
Go to the Grand Canyon by car
Until a few years ago, getting there by car from Las Vegas took quite a few hours. Since the Hoover Dam bridge was opened, getting there has taken just over 2 hours of road travel.
Of course it is worth it if our economic situation does not give us to allow us great tours. Renting a car for free in Las Vegas is a good option to go without hiring one of the tours that are offered to visit the Grand Canyon, once there there are options for horseback riding and helicopter rides.
Grand Canyon air tours
The other option to consider is to hire one of the excursions that depart daily that are carried out by helicopter or plane from Las Vegas.
This type of excursion can include a boat ride along the riverbed, food and various activities. Prices can range from 200 to more than $ 600.
By road, the change that can be seen between the different landscapes is surprising. The change in the 2-hour drive is amazing, especially when arriving at Dolan Springs, the closest town to the Grand Canyon. Their houses, the mailboxes on the road, and the endless giant cacti are an indelible stamp.
If you choose to go by air, in addition to saving time (about an hour), there is no doubt that flying over the Hoover Dam and entering the Grand Canyon aboard a small plane or helicopter, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Places to visit the Grand Canyon
Near Tusayán is the southern entrance. In times of many visitors, you can park in Tusayán and there take the bus “Tusayán Route” that runs from the end of May to the end of September, and makes 4 stops until you reach the “Visitor Center” which is where many excursions begin. .
On the South Rim route there are two roads to see the most important viewpoints in this part of the canyon, Hermit Road and Desert View Drive. You can do that, depending on the date of your visit, with your own car, or using the park’s public buses.
This part is calmer than the South Rim, it is open from mid-May to mid-October. To visit this area, there are a couple of paths from which you can enjoy various viewpoints. One of them is the Point Imperial (40 minutes round trip by car) and the other is Cape Royal, (90 minutes in total, also by car). That is, it will take us one day for this excursion, without doing many routes on foot, and you have to undo the road traveled with the car if to return to the visitor center.
It is important that you bear in mind that it is not recommended to use cars over 30 feet long for this type of road.
First of all, this part of the Canyon is not managed by the national park service, it is managed by the Hualapai Indian tribe, who have lived there since 1883. This area is one of the most visited by tourists from Las Vegas who want to go and come the same day.
This part of the canyon, although it has a couple of good viewpoints, has nothing to do with the vastness of the north or south. The entrance, as expected, is not included in the price of the entrance ticket to the national parks, but you have to pay a separate entrance, which starts at $ 82.
This area is where the famous “Skywalk” is located, the horseshoe-shaped viewpoint with a transparent floor.
The Grand Canyon, tips
You have to know that admission costs $ 30 per private vehicle or $ 25 per motorcycle or $ 15 per person if you enter the Grand Canyon Railway, on the park bus, to go rafting, on foot or by bicycle. This pass can be used for 7 days and is valid for both borders. It can be purchased at the park entrances. If you are going to visit several parks in the US, it is better to buy for $ 80 the annual pass “flat rate” valid for the vast majority of parks and for a duration of a whole year for a private vehicle and its occupants.
Things to keep in mind about the pass:
- As an important note to keep in mind, if you lose your pass, your money will not be returned! It does not have a serial number or anything similar, so be careful with misplacing it.
- If on your trip it is already clear that you want it, it is better to buy it in the first park you visit. If we buy it later, after having visited one, there is no discount on previous visits.
- It only includes the entrance to the park, neither camping nor other services that are not included in the individual entrance.
- There is no discount unless you are a US citizen.