So you’re ready to book a trip to the Grand Canyon and you’re not sure which rim experience would be right for you? Here we are going to compare some of the differences between the most popular destinations, South Rim and West Rim.
The Grand Canyon South Rim
The South Rim is the largest out of all the sections of the Grand Canyon and is home to the National Park. It is considered the jewel of the American Southwest and is often referred to as the “True Grand Canyon” due to its iconic views.
What Makes The South Rim Popular?
As the most highly developed Grand Canyon destination, the South Rim is also the most popular. Tourist friendly with every modern convenience, the South Rim provides a diverse array of experiences. Attractions at the South Rim include Mather Point, Grand Canyon Village, and of course the Grand Canyon National Park. The park is home to historic buildings, museums, gift shops and more. The South Rim also has plenty of accommodations such as the El Tovar Hotel, Yavapai Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Maswik Lodge, and Kachina Lodge.
Millions of visitors come to the South Rim each year to enjoy the magnificent views, camping, rafting the Colorado River, and the many hiking trails including Bright Angel, South Kaibab, and Grandview. Taking a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon is also a popular option at the South Rim.
Visitors can experience the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim by taking one of Maverick Helicopters' most immersive tours. The Canyon Dream is a unique combination of air and land tours that includes the best highlights the Grand Canyon South Rim has to offer. A flight aboard our state-of-the-art ECO-Star helicopter provides a breathtaking experience over the Grand Canyon where you’ll see the beauty of Kaibab National Forest and the mighty Colorado River.
The journey continues with transportation into the Grand Canyon National Park to capture memories of a lifetime with awe-inspiring vistas, panoramic overlooks, and trails that can only be accessed from inside the park. All the key lookouts and landmarks in the South Rim are covered on this helicopter tour, giving you the best Grand Canyon National Park experience possible.
The Grand Canyon West Rim
Home to the Hualapai Native American tribe, the desert landscape of the West Rim offers a very hands-on experience with many attractions and beautiful viewpoints.
What Makes The West Rim Popular?
The West Rim sees the second largest group of visitors to the Grand Canyon. It is located on the Hualapai Reservation and is separate from the Grand Canyon National Park. Over 1 million people travel to the West Rim annually due to its close proximity to Las Vegas and its landmark attractions. One of the most popular attractions at the West Rim is the Skywalk. Here you can see spectacular views of the canyon through the glass bridge almost 4,000 feet down to the bottom of the canyon.
Other attractions at the West Rim include Havasu Canyon, Eagle Point, Guano Point, and Hualapai Ranch. At the ranch visitors can enjoy a full experience that includes free shows, a gift shop, lodging, and recreational activities such as horseback riding or zip lines.
There are many ways to experience the Grand Canyon West Rim but taking a helicopter tour is one of the most popular. This is because the West Rim is the only part of the canyon where you can land at the bottom. Maverick Helicopters’ most popular Grand Canyon landing tour, the Wind Dancer, provides an exhilarating air tour over Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam with many other breathtaking views before landing 3,500 feet into the canyon. The return trip brings you back through the Grand Canyon and concludes with an exciting flight over Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip.
Each rim offers exceptional views, fun activities, and the opportunity to create lasting memories. Choosing which one to visit will often depend on your individual interest. For more help on deciding between the West and South Rims visit our side-by-side comparison page and learn which rim is the best for your Grand Canyon sightseeing trip.