What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, they say. But there’s no reason to stay in Las Vegas when so many incredible natural wonders are within a day’s drive.
First head to Springs Preserve for a whirlwind primer on area history, geology and critters. A hidden gem, this 180-acre nature preserve features indoor interactive exhibits on living sustainably in the desert, the humble beginnings of Sin City and the habits of its ancient and modern inhabitants.
From there, explore the crazy rock formations of Valley of Fire State Park, the inner workings of Hoover Dam and the water scene on Lake Mead.
Then, head south to the Hualapai Reservation in Arizona to raft through the western end of the Grand Canyon. Dry off and take Historic Route 66 toward the Grand Canyon's South Rim.
Check out highlights below of this fantastic trip that takes you far beyond Sin City’s gleaming lights.
Tip: Every year Nevada goes to Daylight Savings time, but Arizona does not. Remember this one-hour difference as you travel between the two states.
Before You Go
Download the Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West Phone App
Feel like you’re touring with a local in your car. The Gypsy Guide app uses your phone or tablet’s location to play commentary about attractions as you drive.
Rent an RV with Outdoorsy
Do this road trip in an RV to stay close to nature. Or check out Destination Delivery: Have an RV delivered directly to a campground or parking site to camp in style without having to get behind the wheel. www.outdoorsy.com/rv-rental/arizona/grand-canyon-national-park
Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas
A few miles away from downtown Las Vegas is a 180-acre utopia that features museums, art galleries, animal exhibits, live show, and botanical gardens.
3 Nevada Road Trip Stops Leaving Las Vegas
While Las Vegas offers plenty of entertainment, get in touch with your wilder side at these three unique spots near the city on your way to the Grand Canyon: Valley of Fire State Park, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead.
Grand Canyon West
Stand on a Glass Bridge Over the Canyon
Visitors on the Skywalk peer over the railing or down through their stance to see the Canyon and all of its 4,000 feet of vertical abyss.
Top 2 Grand Canyon West Viewpoints
Outside of the Grand Canyon National Park on the Hualapai Indian Reservation lies Eagle Point, and Guano Point near the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
Grand Canyon West Rafting Trip Ends with Helicopter Ride
Join the Hualapai tribe members for an unforgettable day rafting through the western end of the Grand Canyon and taking a helicopter to its rim.
The Hualapai Bird Singer
Hualapai elders will tell you that you don’t just find bird songs. They find you. Then one night, Luka Montana had a dream of singing.
The Royal Road's Lore in Kingman, Ariz.
At the "king" of Route 66, see heartbreaking photos and life-sized depictions of the Dust Bowl refugees at the museum, then eat and sleep in iconic Mother-Road spots.
Bears, Brew and Trains in Williams, Ariz.
Williams is a southern gateway to the Grand Canyon and a historic stop on Route 66. A wildlife park, scenic train ride, a thrilling zipline adventure, and a peaceful mountain retreat are waiting for you.
Bearizona Drive-thru Wildlife Park
See bears, wolves, buffalo and more in this drive through park among the pine forests of north Arizona. 60 miles from Grand Canyon's south rim in Williams.
Grand Canyon Brewing Co.
Savor a Sunset Amber Ale at the new Grand Canyon Brewing Co. location. There’s a tasting room and restaurant with burgers, brats and pizza. Take a tour of the brewery.
Tusayan, the Closest Town to the South Rim
Four best-kept secrets to experiencing the Grand Canyon and finding a parking space, a pool and nightlife.
National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX
Soar past towering cliffs and raft through huge rapids when you watch the IMAX movie Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.
End: Grand Canyon South Rim
48 Hours at the South Rim
Get ready for adventure. Here are some of our favorite things to do while at the South Rim from biking in solitude to exploring some of the rim’s most historic treasures.
Quick Facts: South Rim vs. Grand Canyon West
What’s the difference? A lot. To start, they are on opposite ends of the canyon and 4 hours apart. Get the facts at a glance about these two vacation destinations.
Leave Your Car When You Stay at Yavapai Lodge
Sleep in a forest of ponderosa pine trees near Grand Canyon's South
Rim. The Yavapai Lodge's restaurant, tavern and nearby market and shuttle stop make navigating the rim easy.