Nestled in the heart of Arizona, the Grand Canyon beckons travelers from all parts of the globe with its immense beauty, rugged cliffs, and sweeping vistas that seem to stretch on for eternity. As you plan your adventure to this iconic destination, some key questions arise: “What airport is closest to the Grand Canyon? Which airport should I choose for my Grand Canyon escapade?”
Fear not, intrepid explorers, for we are here to guide you through the maze of airport options, ensuring you find the perfect gateway to this geological wonderland. Prepare to embark on a journey where nature’s grandeur meets convenient air travel as we unveil all you need to know about the Grand Canyon and the airports closest to it.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a majestic masterpiece, a testament to nature’s awe-inspiring artistry. This is a colossal wonder forged over countless eons. It stands as an unparalleled showcase of geological significance and unrivaled natural beauty. The Grand Canyon spans a staggering 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. Its kaleidoscope of vibrant rock formations reveals the Earth’s intricate tapestry of history.
Things to do in the Grand Canyon
Delve into this breathtaking expanse and embark on an adventure like no other. Traverse the diverse hiking trails, from leisurely ambles to heart-pounding treks, immersing yourself in the canyon’s splendor. Experience the thrill of rafting the untamed currents of the mighty Colorado River, unraveling secrets hidden within its ancient walls.
As the day fades, you can set up camp beneath the star-studded sky, embrace tranquility, and witness nature’s nocturnal symphony. The Grand Canyon is a destination of endless wonders. It’s the perfect place to you to explore, capture moments, and create memories that will forever echo in your soul.
Here are some of the must-do things on your visit to the Grand Canyon:
- Hike the South Kaibab Trail: This trail offers stunning canyon views and is a great way to exercise.
- Visit the Grand Canyon National Park Museum: This museum has exhibits on the canyon’s geology, history, and wildlife.
- Take a mule ride into the canyon: This is a unique way to experience the canyon and is a great way to see wildlife.
- Visit the Mather Point: This is one of the most popular viewpoints in the park and offers stunning views of the canyon.
- Take a helicopter tour of the canyon: This is a great way to see the canyon from a different perspective and is a great way to see the entire canyon in one day.
- Visit the Yavapai Observation Station: This is a great place to learn about the canyon’s geology. Bonus – it has stunning canyon views.
- Take a boat ride on the Colorado River: This is a great way to see the canyon from a different perspective and is a great way to see wildlife.
- Visit the Desert View Watchtower: This is a unique building designed by Mary Colter with stunning canyon views.
- Go whitewater rafting on the Colorado River: This is an exciting way to see the canyon and a great way to exercise.
- Visit the Grand Canyon Village: The park’s main town has various shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Why air travel is the best way to get to the Grand Canyon
Air travel is the quickest way to get to pretty much anywhere! So speed is one of the reasons we’d recommend taking a flight to an airport close to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon’s location in the remote heart of Arizona is one of its attractions, but that can make it a little difficult to get there. With its speed, accessibility, and flexibility, catching a flight saves time, grants easy access, and allows you to make your travel plans way ahead of time and reschedule them according to your convenience.
Airports close to the Grand Canyon
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG)
Flagstaff Pulliam is the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park, with has commercial flights operating. The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is only a 90-minute scenic drive from Flagstaff Airport. American Airlines operates daily flights to Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth from this airport.
Hot tip: if you’re flying in from Phoenix, ask for a window seat on the plane’s west side (the left side if you’re headed to Flagstaff, and the right side if you’re coming from Flagstaff). This seat will feel like an aerial tour of Sedona as the plane flies relatively low for the whole 25-minute journey.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is the most popular choice for Grand Canyon visitors. This is because it’s the closest major international airport to the South Rim. This is the most frequented section of the National Park and is only over 3.5 hours of driving time (231 miles) from PHX Airport.
More than 40 million passengers pass through Sky Harbor each year. This makes it the eighth busiest airport in the United States. There are over 1,300 flights in and out of the airport daily, making it the best option for traveling to Arizona for a Grand Canyon vacation.
Grand Canyon Airport (GCN)
No other airport is closer to the Grand Canyon, as it’s only 7 miles from the South Rim and 2 miles from the park entry point. However, it’s not used by commercial airlines. Therefore you must work with a travel agency if you want to fly in and out of this airport.
From the Grand Canyon Airport, both Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines and West Wind Air Service provide scenic flights in fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopter trips depart from major cities like Las Vegas. You can choose from Maverick Helicopters, Papillon, and Grand Canyon Helicopters.
Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
Las Vegas Harry Reid International (formerly McCarran International Airport) is the second-best airport for getting close to the Grand Canyon. If you want to fly into a city close to the Grand Canyon West (West Rim), Las Vegas is your best bet. Commercial flights can land in Las Vegas from about anywhere in the world.
With about 111,000 passengers and 1,500 flights daily, Harry Reid Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the United States (according to Airports Council International, as of the end of 2011). A drive from LAS to Grand Canyon will take at least 4 hours.
Sedona Airport (KSEZ)
This airport is close to the Grand Canyon. But please be aware that Sedona is not served by any major commercial airlines. To get to Sedona, you can use a private or chartered plane. The Sedona Airport has been dubbed “America’s Most Scenic Airport” and “The Premier Southwest Resort Destination Airport.” Sedona Airport, which first opened its doors in 1955, sits 500 feet above the city.
Salt Lake City International Airport
About 4 miles west of Salt Lake City’s central business district is Salt Lake City International Airport, a civil and military airport. Delta Air Lines uses this airport as a key hub, and other major airlines like Air Canada, American, Frontier, Southwest, and United also offer service here.
The Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim is around 550 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport. From the airport, expect a nine-hour trip. About 350 miles separate you from the Grand Canyon’s northern edge. The drive from the airport will take at least six hours.
Which airport should I choose for my Grand Canyon trip?
We believe Las Vegas is the best option available. It’s closer to both of the Pacific’s rims, offers great deals on domestic travel, and provides more opportunities for foreign travel. If you’re looking for a hotel between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, this one has the best price-to-convenience ratio. Also, you can spend a day or two exploring the delights of Las Vegas too! That’s a win-win in our book
Where to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon Village on the canyon’s southern rim is the ideal place to stay in Grand Canyon National Park. The best treks and the most stunning vistas (at sunrise and sunset) are all within easy reach when you stay in this area. Some of the best hotels you can consider staying in are:
- Bright Angel Lodge
- El Tovar Hotel
- Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Canyon
- Phantom Ranch
- Red Feather Lodge
- Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon
- Under Canvas Grand Canyon
How far is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport from Grand Canyon National Park?
From Flagstaff’s Pulliam Airport to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a distance of 69 miles. The driving distance is about 90.5 miles.
How far is Phoenix Airport from Grand Canyon?
Phoenix Airport is around 230 miles from Grand Canyon, a 4-hour drive.
How far is Grand Canyon from Las Vegas Airport?
Las Vegas Airport is around 280 miles from Grand Canyon. You can expect a drive of around 4 hours and 40 minutes.
What is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
Spring and fall are considered the best time to visit the Grand Canyon. But you can visit pretty much any time of the year except December, January, and February. This is because temperatures tend to get pretty low during these months.
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