Flagstaff to Grand Canyon | Grand Canyon Tours

Getting from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is simple! Flagstaff is located just 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon which makes it an excellent location to begin your trip to this natural wonder of the world! There are several ways to visit the Grand Canyon; by train, helicopter, river raft, shuttle, bicycle, mule and by foot. Whichever you choose, your journey from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon National Park will be an experience that you will remember for a lifetime. The south rim is home to Grand Canyon Village, an area full of historic buildings, restaurants, souvenir shops and the starting point of many Grand Canyon tours. This is the easiest portion of the Grand Canyon to visit while staying in Flagstaff. Due to the immense amount of tours and activities offered at several locations in the Grand Canyon, we will focus on south rim services.

The Grand Canyon Railway has been taking tourists to the Grand Canyon since 1901. The train station is located in Williams, just 30 miles west of Flagstaff. The train departs daily at 9:30 am and takes its passengers 65 miles to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The trip is a leisurely and scenic ride that takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Upon arrival at the south rim, the view of the canyon is just steps from the train depot. The Grand Canyon village is also walking distance and contains many sights and activities to explore. The train departs at 3:30 each afternoon and arrives back in Williams at 5:45 pm. The Grand Canyon railway offers 6 different classes of service; from the most basic seating on the Pullman carriage to the luxurious observation dome, the needs of each passenger is fulfilled with a variety of ticket prices. First class and coach are wheelchair accessible and meet ADA requirements. Children prices include anyone 15 yrs and younger.

  • Pullman Car: Adult $65 Children $29
  • Coach: Adult $79 Children $49
  • First Class: Adult $152 Children $118
  • Observation Dome: Adults: $181 Children $149
  • Luxury Dome: $219; children 15 and younger not allowed
  • Luxury Parlor: $219; children 15 and younger not allowed

To get to Williams from Flagstaff, it is a quick drive down I-40 W or daily shuttle service is available through Arizona Shuttles $24 per person each way. Shuttles to Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Railway offers an inner canyon tour. This tour takes it’s guests in a 4x4 air conditioned van 4,000 ft down to the bank of the Colorado river at the base of the canyon where a packaged lunch can be enjoyed. This is a way to really see every angle of the Grand Canyon and will surely be the trip of a lifetime.

Adults: $269 , Children (15 and younger) $209

There are several shuttles that will pick you up from your hotel or from the downtown Flagstaff Amtrak station and take you to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Many shuttles stop in Williams as well as Tusayan along the way. A $6 entry fee is charged to pay for entrance into Grand Canyon National Park. These are strictly for transportation with no guided tour.

There is no view that can compare to seeing the Grand Canyon from above ground level. Aerial tours of the Grand Canyon are offered by several different companies and leave from many different locations. Flagstaff is closest to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, therefore, aerial tours that leave from Tusayan airport will be the easiest to access.

Helicopter & Plane Tours

Most Grand Canyon helicopter tours take off from the Grand Canyon airport in Tusayan near the south rim. These tours take approximately 40-45 minutes and fly over several points of interest including the Zuni Corridor, Kaibab Forest and confluence of the Colorado River. Prices range based on the day of the week, time of year, tour company, and type of helicopter. Guests can expect to pay $120 to $150 for a tour.

If you’d like to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon, helicopter tours leave from the Grand Canyon airport in Tusayan and fly over the Kaibab plateau to the widest portion of the Grand Canyon, the north rim. These tours take 25-30 minutes and include views of the Dragon Corridor and the Tower of Ra. Prices range based on the day of the week, time of year, tour company, and type of helicopter. Guests can expect to pay $200 to $240 for the tour.

Look for Eco Star helicopter for a speciality180 degree windows and forward facing seating; the view is un-matchable. These tours are 40-45 minutes in length, flying over the eastern portion of the Grand Canyon with price range based on the week, time of year, tour company, and type of helicopter. These Grand Canyon helicopter tours cost around $300 - $320.

See our full list of helicopter tours on our Grand Canyon website:


For those who crave the ultimate adventure in combination with scenic views of the Grand Canyon, skydiving is now available at the south rim. Paragon Skydive is located at the Tusayan airport which is 11 miles south of the canyon. Shuttle service from surrounding areas is available upon request. They offer a variety of different tandem skydiving packages with video and picture options. Prices range from $299 to $479 based upon which package you choose. Paragon is a member of the United States Parachute Association and they are open year-round. To make a reservation, visit their website https://www.paragon-skydive.com or call +1 928 224 9661.

If you prefer to see the Grand Canyon from your own two feet, there are a plethora of trails to explore. Keep in mind that the canyon is an arid environment and water is not available for the majority of most hikes. Do not plan on hiking without plenty of water, especially during summer months when temperatures regularly exceed 100 F.

    South Rim Day Hikes:
  • Rim Trail: Easy and partially paved. Meanders from village to Hermits Rest.
  • Bright Angel Trail: 12 miles roundtrip, some steep sections.
  • South Kaibab: 6 miles round trip, some steep sections.
  • Hermit Trail: 5-7 miles round trip. Difficult with rugged terrain. Experienced hikers only.
  • Grandview Trail: 6.4 miles round trip. Difficult with rugged terrain. Experienced hikers only.

South Rim Guided Hikes:
From the visitor center in Grand Canyon village, there are several ranger-led walks that take place along the rim year round. The subject of these tours range from geology and history to animals and stars. Dates and time vary based on the season.

In order to do any backcountry hiking, rim to rim hiking, overnight backpacking or travel below the Tonto platform into the inner canyon, a special use permit is required. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm

For commercially guided hikes with shuttle rides, lunch and cutomization, please see our recommended Grand Canon hiking guides below or visit our Grand Canyon website's hiking page.

One of the most popular ways to see the Grand Canyon is by boat. Several tour companies provide rafting trips down the colorado. There are many different options when choosing a river trip. You can spend as few as three days to as many as 18 days on the water. Rafting trips involve several hours per day traveling down the river. Each night s spent at different campsite and day hiking down various side canyons is usually an option. Children as young as 7 years old are allowed on some sections of the river; however, an age limit of 12 years is most common. These trips are great for active, senior-aged adventurers as well! All meals and camping equipment are included in your guided tour price. There is a long list of professional guide services who offer rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. You can find some of our preferred river guides below or see afull list of Grand Canyon river rafting trips on our Grand Canyon travel website.

If you prefer four legs over two, year round mule trips into the Grand Canyon are offered. Mules are a hybrid between a horse and a donkey. They are known for their stability and strength as well as their gentle demeanor making them the perfect travel companion for a ride in the canyon.

The canyon vista trail ride is a three hour trip with 6 keys stopping points along the way. The price is $135.08 per person and trips depart from Grand Canyon Village between 8am and 9am.

Overnight Mule trips are also available. These trips take visitors from Bright Angel Lodge, 10.5 miles into the canyon to Phantom ranch. The trip takes about 6 hours with rest stops and lunch along the way. Guests stay in rustic cabins at Phantom ranch where they are served dinner upon arrival and breakfast the following morning. The ride out of the canyon is a shorter 7.8 miles which concludes with a short bus ride back to the lodge in the village. One night or two night rides are available and cost $552 and $788 respectively.

This is one of the most family friendly ways to see many scenic viewpoints along the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Guided tours and bike rentals are provided by Bright Angel Bicycles located right next to the visitor center at the south entrance. You can opt to rent a bike and simply explore several bike friendly pathways on your own or you can book a tour with a guide. These bikes are for paved roads, not downhill trails.

Guided Bike Tours:
Hermit Road Tour: 6 mile round trip. 3.5 hours. $47- $62, ages 2 and up! Mostly flat and paved. Yaki Road Tour: 7 mile round trip, 3 hours, $42- $52, ages 2 and up! Mostly flat and paved. *Tours include helmet, bicycle rental, and 2 way shuttle transportation from the shop if needed.

Bike Rental Rates for 26” bike size and helmet:

  • 1 Hr: $12
  • 5 Hrs: $30
  • 24 Hrs: $45
  • 2 or more days: $35 per day
  • Children 20-24” bike and helmet:

  • 1 hour: $9
  • 5 hours:$20
  • 24 hours: $30
  • 2 or more days: $25 per day
  • For questions and reservations call: (928) 679-0992 or visit their website Bike Grand Canyon


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