The fabulous Grand Canyon, located in the scenic American Southwest, is known for delivering a terrific experience to travelers of all ages. But canyon visitors who take a South Rim bus tour out of Las Vegas have an especially good time. These motor coach trips are affordable and comfortable, and they’re packed with so much value that you’ll want to bring your family or entire traveling party.
Modern motor coaches are luxurious and comfortable, with recliner-style seating and individual climate controls for each passenger – a great amenity in the summer, when the desert heat soars over one-hundred degrees. The tinted, oversized windows each have a blind that can be rolled down to any length.
South Rim bus tours usually head out of Las Vegas around seven a.m. Boulder City (where gaming is banned) is the first town along the way. After passing through a valley with Lake Mead in its center, you’ll ride through Black Canyon and over the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Almost every bus trip will stop on the bridge’s Arizona side to give you a chance to photograph the dam.
Your first break is Kingman, Arizona, but you’ll have plenty of others. Renowned Route 66 is near, but you won’t see it unless you stray off the beaten path. From Kingman you’ll ride to Williams, Arizona – the home of the Grand Canyon Railroad. The final sixty miles of your ride passes through the high desert of the Kaibab Plateau.
Covering more than a million acres, Grand Canyon National Park has staggering proportions. The canyon itself is almost 300 miles long, a mile deep and about ten miles wide. The mighty Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon and still snakes its way along the canyon floor.
The hub of the canyon’s South Rim is Grand Canyon Village, a historic place full of beautiful old turn-of-the-last-century stone buildings. Most of these buildings, including Bright Angel Lodge and El Tovar Hotel, are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Grand Canyon Village is colorful and historic, but the views are what make the South Rim such a popular tourist destination. Hopi Point, Mather Point, Yavapai Point and Yaki Point are the South Rim’s top lookout points, but Mather Point is the most famous as well as the busiest lookout. This particular feature lets you step onto a rocky outcropping to look into the great abyss. You should also go to Hopi Point, but make sure you spend a few minutes on the “Walk of Time” (the Rim Top Trail).
You’ll have a great time during your South Rim motor coach trip if you’re a souvenir hunter. Grand Canyon Village has some terrific gift shops, but some of the best are Kolb Studio, Verkamp’s and the shop inside Bright Angel Lodge. If you’re looking for authentic Native American handicrafts, you won’t do better than the Hopi House.
South Rim motor coach trips include almost everything you’ll need – complementary hotel pickup and drop-off at all hotels on the Vegas Strip, continental breakfast with coffee, a box lunch and a professional tour guide. Because South Rim bus tours last all day, I recommend bringing some snacks and wearing comfortable clothes.
You’ll find the best prices for these motor coach trips online. Don’t bother with websites like Hotwire or Priceline; instead, go straight to the tour operator’s website. Recently, I’ve been able to book South Rim bus tours at up to a twenty percent discount. Buying your tickets on the website is the only requirement to qualify for the discount.