Planning a family vacation to Grand Canyon National Park? To get the most out of a trip to the planet's most famous chasm, you may need to do a bit of research. This guide provides savvy tips on how best to get there, where to sleep and eat, and what to do once you gaze out at the geologic masterpiece and wonder, "What next?"
Nearest Airports to the Grand Canyon
You have three options to fly and drive to the Grand Canyon:
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport
Distance from Grand Canyon: About 80 miles southeast
Drive Time: 75 minutes
Directions: Drive from the canyon along U.S. Highway 180 and State Route 64.
Travel Tip: This tiny airport is closest to the Grand Canyon. Its only commercial carrier, American Eagle, offers flights from Phoenix.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Distance from Grand Canyon: Roughly 230 miles
Drive Time: 3 Hours 15 minutes
Directions: Take U.S. Interstate Highways 17 and 40 and State Route 64.
Travel Tip: As an alternative, opt for this longer, more scenic route from the airport: From U.S. I--17, detour on State Routes 179 and 89A to admire the striking, red buttes and mesas of Sedona, Arizona. Not including stops, this route adds about 45 minutes to your driving time.
Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport
Distance from Grand Canyon: About 270 miles
Drive Time: 4 hours
Directions: Travel southeast via U.S. Highway 93, Interstate Highway 40 and State Route 64.
Travel Tips: If time permits while driving I-40 through Arizona, consider a side trip to explore Grand Canyon Caverns via State Route 66. (Budget about two and a half hours for drive time and 45 minutes for a cavern tour.) Kids will be wowed by the 21-story elevator descent below the desert to the largest dry caverns in the United States, which are illuminated to show off the unique rock and crystal formations.