If you’re in Las Vegas and want to take a trip to Grand Canyon National Park, there are few important information you ought know. The visit of Grand Canyon is one of top attractions among Las Vegas visitors but do you know where exactly to go to have the best view of this monument?
There are several options how to get to from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park – by plane, train (to Flagstaff city), bus or car. If you want to travel by plane, search for flights to GCN airport, but there is no direct connection between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon, unless you fly charter or private. However, the most convenient way is to rent a car and drive you there. This drive was probably even more exciting than the Grand Canyon itself – imagine that, you, car, desert and hot sun for 5 hours. We were also considering to buy an agency trip and go there by bus, but at the end, we were glad we didn’t – we wouldn’t have enjoyed this trip that much.
DIRECTIONS TO THE NORTH RIM:
Going to Grand Canyon North Rim takes around 5 hours of constant driving and you will see a lot of beautiful sceneries. On the way you will visit three states – Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Be sure to have enough gasoline, plenty of water and food. The journey is tiering because of the unbearable heat and quiet monotone road – basically, you will go straight for 5 hours looking at sand, stones and abandoned houses along the road.
1.FIND THE RIGHT ROUTE – At first you have to get out of the town. Take the route 15 NORTH towards to the Salt Lake City called „Las Vegas Freeway“. This road is for free, you don’t have to pay for it – therefore it may be little crowded and rush all the time, since it connects Los Angeles with Salt Lake City through Las Vegas. Highways in the USA are probably the best I have ever seen, after those in Germany – clean, fast and brand new.
2. GET ENOUGH GAS – Once you are out of the town, I suggest you to stop at the closest gas station to refuel the car. There will be gas station called Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza after around 1-2 hours of drive in your direction, so you better stop by and fill your tank. This is the last gas station for the next 3 hours. We had quick breakfast there, have bought a lot of water (best decision ever!) and headed straight to the desert, to Grand Canyon. There is also gift shop at the gas station where you can find maps, magnets and lot of stuff that will remind you, that you were here. We had a little problem with our car (we didn’t know what kind of gasoline do we need) so we have asked one local older guy and he has gladly helped us. He looked like those typical American guys from western movies – wearing jeans and hat :D I was so excited.
Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza – gas station in the middle of the desert
3. TAKE THE RIGHT TURN – After few hours you will be in St George town in Utah, where you have to turn right to the road nr.9 towards to Hurricane town. Once you are in Hurricane, turn right right next to the Hurricane community center – this is where we have turned wrong and got lost for a while. This is quite confusing so be attentive and take the right turn to road nr.59.
the town named Hurricane – the place Google will probably not find
beautiful nature sceneries along the road
4. PAY THE ENTRANCE FEE – Then you go straight for ever, literally. There is only one turn after few hours of drive in Fredonia town in Arizona and you gotta turn right to the road nr. 89A. Another long straight road will lead you to the turn to the Grand Canyon National Park area, where you have to pay entrance fee 20 USD (credit cards only), this entrance fee allows you to stay here up to 1 week, in case you want to rent a cab or stay overnight. You will definitely will not miss the turn- there are couple of nice boards informing you that you are approaching National Park Area.
The whole journey takes around 5-6 hours, according to how fast you drive – be careful and do not exceed the speed, even if the road looks empty, there are police men always ready to stop you. I remember the situation as we were driving on the empty road and suddenly, in the middle of nowhere the police car has outran us and drove away. We were so surprised – where did it come from so suddenly?
5 hours drive to Grand Canyon looks like this
typical American roads – never ending and empty
Once you are here, there are free parking lots next to the restaurant and souvenir shop. There are few cottages you can rent and stay as long as you want to. We saw a lot of seniors living there, so this is more popular for older people who look for a piece of quiet in the nature. There are free water, toilet and shop where you can buy refreshments if you do not want to eat in the restaurant. More about Grand Canyon itself in the article next week.
TRAVEL COSTS PER 2 PERSONS (from Las Vegas to G.Canyon North Rim)
car rental, insurance and fees – 100 $
gasoline for 492 miles / 792 km – 70 $
National Park entrance fee – 20 $
food and drinks – 60 $
TOTAL: 250 USD / 125 USD per one person
According to these calculations we have realized, that it is not that expensive – the agency bus trips cost around 100 – 110 USD per person, so we did it almost in the same prize. Grand Canyon trip is must – to – see attraction while you are round, weather you decide to go by car, plane, bus or train, you shouldn’t miss it. We have done it by car and it was probably the best part of my USA trip and I would have done it anytime again, but only on car ;)
Milan Bardun – because it is better to travel, than to arrive