The Grand Canyon National Park is an amazing untouched wilderness that spans across 1.2 million acres. Part of this 270-mile gash in the Earth’s surface is located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, while another portion is located in Kaibab National Forest. As one of the Seven Natural World Wonders, those visiting Las Vegas will need to ensure it is on their list of things to do. I recommend booking a bus tour if a day trip like this sounds appealing, but you might want to read the following tips first.
Each Grand Canyon bus tour will cover a full day. A majority of these tours are going to be all inclusive, which gives you a simple continental breakfast (pastry, coffee and juice) alone with a lunch. Dinner isn’t included, but you’ll be able to duck into a restaurant, snack bar or convenience store for that. If you’re choosy about your food, bring something that will satisfy your taste buds. Bring some of your favorite snacks; too.
Another thing to consider is the age of the buses by the tour company. You’ll be on the bus for a long time, and you’ll want to make sure it’s safe and comfortable for you.
When these companies look to reduce their operating costs, this is one of the first places that funding is often taken from. Look for buses that have tinted windows, comfortable seats, individual air conditioning units, and pull-down window blinds. You’ll also want clean restrooms, plenty of legroom and big windows for sightseeing.
One stop to look for as you choose from the Grand Canyon bus discounts available, are bus tours that stop by Hoover Dam. Your goal is to find a selection that doesn’t skip over the Hoover Dam and just heads over to the Grand Canyon instead. For these tours, the best ones will have you crossing over the dam into Arizona and then coming back from the Arizona side for breathtaking photos. The bus is going to stop here in the morning as you will be heading back to the Vegas Strip later on in the day.
Most Grand Canyon bus tours give you more than 3 hours at the canyon itself. It will be important that you check the time spent at the canyon and you do avoid the few tours that only give you less than two hours. You’ll be happier with your tour if you book one that gives you the longest possible time at the canyon. While at the canyon, you will want to see the Skywalk, Indian Cultural Center, Hualapai Ranch and Eagle Point. Grand Canyon Village, Yaki Point and Mather Point are must-sees at the South Rim.
For your trip, try to book at least three days ahead of schedule and if possible, before you even show up on vacation. There are a few reasons for doing this. First and foremost, these tours are very popular and tickets sell out fast. A second reason is that while you are on vacation, you don’t want to have to book another trip. When you buy them at the hotel or at the tour booth, you will end up spending more money on them.
It is important that you also focus on fees. Some of the more common ones I see are ones related to fuel and park fees, as well as the most ridiculous one wherein the bus tour company requires travelers to pay for their meals. You should also remember the old saying: “All that glitters is not gold.” If you see any unbelievably cheap Grand Canyon bus deals, they’re probably too good to be true. Avoid them because they’re probably loaded with extra fees. You will find that there some companies also have cancellation policies that can be tricky and you may need to call at least 24 hours in advance to get your money back.