Day Trip from Vegas: Grand Canyon and Arizona

If you have a couple extra days in Las Vegas, consider taking a day (or overnight) trip to Arizona and one of the country’s most famous natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. With lots of wide open wilderness to explore, the Grand Canyon is a wonderful day’s escape from Las Vegas, especially if the crush of the crowds is starting to overwhelm and overstimulate.

Las Vegas, NV, USA
Due to the heat of Vegas and our limited time, we decided to take the Grand Canyon Celebration 4-hour tour with Papillon Tours. Other tours we looked at consisted of bus and helicopter with a combination of boat rides or rafting—but it would have taken 12 hours of our limited time so when we saw the Grand Canyon Celebration tour with a 45-minute helicopter flight to the canyon (west rim), canyon landing with champagne lunch, followed by 45-minute helicopter flight back to Vegas we jumped at the opportunity. We booked online and got a $100 discount. Mike our pilot was informative and humorous and had us laughing the whole way. He also had a music soundtrack playing over our headphones which was perfect for the flight. The lunch was only 30 minutes which felt rushed but we understand this is by the agreement with the local Indian community, rather than the tour company. We loved it, even though we felt a bit of motion sickness on the way back!
N Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
It may look a little like your childhood summer camp, but Phantom Ranch feels like the Ritz by the time you make it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, whether by foot—a steep 10-mile hike—mule, or boat down the Colorado River. Set near a creek in the shade of a cottonwood grove, the lodge is the only property located beneath the rim of the canyon, making it an extremely popular destination. Book early; the concession uses a lottery system for reservations beginning 14 months in advance. There are two lodging options: log cabins that sleep up to 10 people and are furnished with cold water sinks and toilets (there are common shower facilities), and four dormitories—two each for men and women—that sleep 10 in five bunk beds. Linens are provided and, thankfully, all of the buildings have air-conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. Also be sure to reserve meals ahead of time. Seating in the canteen is limited, and the steak and meat-stew dinners, served family style, are surprisingly tasty.
Chloride, AZ 86431, USA
Located between Boulder City, Nevada, and Kingman, Arizona, off of US 93, Chloride is the home to a massive rock mural painted by Roy Purcell. The mural is painted across several rocks that are located on the far side of the town. The entire collection of paintings stands 30 feet tall and is known as “The Journey.” It depicts several symbols that have spiritual meanings such as the yin and yang, the serpent and the sun and moon. Purcell originally painted the rocks in 1966 and 1967, and they have been restored since then, so the colors are bright and vibrant.
150 Las Vegas Boulevard North
This six-mile round trip hike is located south of Hoover Dam about five miles into Arizona. It passes through a rocky slot canyon and ends at a natural hot spring near the Colorado River. The conditions are rough, and in the summer, it can be brutally hot, so know your capabilities before setting off on this stroll. Those who venture out, however, will be rewarded with a soothing dip in a desert hot spring.
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