Quick Facts: South Rim vs. Grand Canyon West

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Grand Canyon South Rim vs. Grand Canyon West

(Left) Desert View Watchtower at South Rim, (Right) Skywalk at Grand Canyon West

What’s the difference between the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon West? A lot. To start, they are in opposite corners of Arizona, with the South Rim closest to Williams and Flagstaff. Grand Canyon West is closer to Las Vegas, Nevada. Grand Canyon West is operated by the Hualapai tribe, so it has a completely different history and vibe than the South Rim, which is operated by the National Park Service. Learn more below. 

Map showing the three rims of the Grand Canyon

Managed by

National Park Service

Hualapai Tribe

Entrance Fee



Hours from Las Vegas

Nearly 5 hours (278 miles)

Just over 2 hours (122 miles)

Cultural Bonus

Park ranger talks

Hualapai exhibits, performances

Closest Lodging

Camping and lodging at rim

Hualapai Ranch near rim


Personal photography allowed

No cameras on the Skywalk

Unique Attraction

Inner canyon hiking trails

A glass bridge suspended over the Grand Canyon

One-day rafting trips

Start in Page, Ariz.

Start near Peach Springs, Ariz.

For more information: 4 Sides of the Grand Canyon: North, South, West plus Havasu Falls


Visitors at Bright Angel Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

4 Sides of the Grand Canyon: North, South, West plus Havasu Falls

What is the difference between the three rims? Two are in the national park and the third is owned by the Hualapai Nation. And Havasu Falls is in between.

Sunset at Hopi Point on the South Rim. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

Grand Canyon South Rim

Open 365 days a year, the South Rim offers plenty of activities, restaurants and, of course, gorgeous views. It is the most-visited part of the canyon.

Biking on Hermit Road. Photo by Elisabeth Kwak

Hermit Road on the Grand Canyon's South Rim

Explore this less-traveled route on the South Rim's western end by foot, bike, or shuttle. Hermit Road follows the rim for 8 miles with scenic overlooks.

Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon Village. Photo by NPS Michael Quinn

Guide to Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim

Learn about the lore behind the national park's most legendary places.

Cape Royal at the Grand Canyon's North Rim

Grand Canyon North Rim

Those visiting the remote North Rim (a 5-hour drive from South Rim) will be rewarded with a chance to see the canyon without the crowds.


South Rim: Desert View Drive in the Grand Canyon

Spectacular views on this scenic road will have you stopping often for photos.

Grand Canyon Shuttle Bus

South Rim Shuttle Buses in the Grand Canyon

Free shuttle buses operate in and around the South Rim village. No tickets are required, and bus stops are clearly marked throughout the park by signs.

Skywalk glass bridge at Grand Canyon West

Grand Canyon West

The region to the west of the national park is privately owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe. It's 242 miles from Grand Canyon National Park visitors center.

Location of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, U.S.

Where is the Grand Canyon?

The canyon was carved out by the Colorado River in northern Arizona from Lake Powell at the Arizona-Utah border to Lake Mead at the Arizona-Nevada border.