Do Not Go To The Wrong Grand Canyon
If you are coming to Las Vegas and are planning at trip to the Grand Canyon while you are here, make sure that you end up booking a tour of the correct Grand Canyon. Most people are probably confused by that statement, thinking that there are more than one Grand Canyon. While it is certainly not true that there are multiple canyons known as “The Grand Canyon,” there are multiple viewing points of the same Grand Canyon. You need to be careful when booking your tour that you are going to the one that offers the views that you are looking for. For many years this was not an issue, but over the course of the last 10 years it has become problematic, as a marketing campaign has begun to steer people to an area they might not have expected. We are talking about the differences between the Grand Canyon South Rim and the Grand Canyon West Rim.
Traditional Grand Canyon tours go to the south rim, the area that has been designated as a national park by the US government. It enjoys a protected status and offers many things to do including hiking, rafting, helicopter rides and so forth. This area has been developed for tourist comfort and kept in it’s natural state through protection measures, assuring that everyone who visits has an enjoyable experience. Tours of the Grand Canyon national park will provide you with the views of the canyon that you have seen in books and magazines over the years. The Grand Canyon west rim is an area of the Grand Canyon that is under the control of the Navajo Indian Tribe. This area is not protected against development, and as an attempt to increase tourist traffic to their area the tribe decided to build a glass footbridge suspended from the canyon walls. While this does provide a unique view, it is essentially the only form of entertainment in this region. The area is less green with plants than the national park areas, and there is less wildlife to observe. There is not much for hiking or other exploration opportunities.
The west rim area was developed to appeal to Las Vegas tourists who are only able to spend a few hours away. For people who want to see the Grand Canyon but only have a few hours, this is an appropriate tour. It is more of the same type of tour that would be offered to many sightseeing areas, with less of an “adventure” feel. We personally prefer the tours of the south rim simply because it is a more scenic area with far more to explore. While it takes longer to get there, it is obviously worth it. The area is also not marred by the man-made bridge that so many people find to be a visual eyesore on a naturally beautiful space.
When you land in the airport you will probably see many advertisements for Grand Canyon tours. Make sure you choose a tour of the south rim. Ask when you book.