Grand Canyon Travel Guide from Phoenix

Traveling from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon

Phoenix is the closest major international airport to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.  For most people traveling the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Phoenix is their first stop. One of the fastest growing cites in the Southwest, the Valley of the Sun has pretty much every amenity one could want or need.  Once filled with beautiful orchards and cotton farms, Phoenix is now a metropolitan area with venues for sports, music and other activities to experience on the way to the canyon.  Phoenix also offers some great outdoor activities including golfing, hiking and horseback riding.

Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, and this is reflected in its climate and weather.  Giant Saguaro Cactuses offer a beautiful backdrop, and popular destinations like Camelback Mountain offer a good way to stretch your legs. Early Spring and late Fall have wonderful weather, and winters are very mild.  The sun is almost always shining in the Phoenix Valley and this includes the summer when temperatures can exceed 116 degrees in the shade, followed by monsoon season in July and August, when impressive thunderstorms turn dry creek beds into raging rivers. Since Phoenix is the same elevation as the bottom of the Grand Canyon, hikers and mule riders will experience the same climate in Phoenix as the will along the Colorado River on the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Read the guide below to learn more about travel from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, or check out our Phoenix map to see all the nearby destinations and attractions.

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Travel Information, Tours and Lodging

Driving Distance from Phoenix, AZ to Grand Canyon

  • Phoenix, AZ to Grand Canyon South Rim is 229 miles, a 3 hour 30-minute drive.
  • Phoenix, AZ to Grand Canyon West Rim is 265 miles, a 4 hour 25-minute drive.
  • Phoenix, AZ to Grand Canyon North Rim is 351 miles, a 5 hour 40-minute drive.
  • Phoenix, AZ to Grand Canyon East Rim is 268 miles, a 4-hour drive.

Phoenix Tours and Attractions

If you're coming to Phoenix to visit the Grand Canyon there are several Grand Canyon Tours and Vacation Packages that start in the Phoenix Valley and take you to Grand Canyon National Park. Sedona is another popular destination fairly close to Phoenix at about 2 hours and several tour guides include a stop in Sedona on your Phoenix based Grand Canyon Tour. You can check out our recommended Phoenix Tours below.

Phoenix Hotels and Lodging

Because it’s such a large city, Phoenix Arizona has every hotel option you can image for lodging before your Grand Canyon Adventure.  The Phoenix area is known for 5-star desert golf resorts, but there are also hotels and lodging right at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with affordable rates and options for all types of Grand Canyon travelers. You can see some popular Phoenix hotels below, or check out our Grand Canyon hotel page for options in and around the park.

Area Car Rental Options

Travelers heading to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix will want a car for transportation, unless they are doing one day tours or other packages from the Phoenix area. There are some public transportation options, but a rental car is much easier and more cost effective. There are car rental companies located at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, so picking up a rental to drive to the Grand Canyon is quick and easy.

Best Restaurants and Dining Options

If you love Mexican and Southwest food, Phoenix is a great place to be. Phoenix also has restaurants for every taste and budget for the traveler heading to the Grand Canyon due to its size and diverse population. For travelers heading to the Grand Canyon, there are also some classic spots to stop on the way in towns like Cave Springs, Sedona and Flagstaff, AZ as well as options for restaurants at Grand Canyon.

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Recommended Phoenix and Grand Canyon Tours

Grand Canyon Scenic Flight from Phoenix

Grand Canyon Scenic Flight from Phoenix

Duration: 6-7 hours
Rating: 5 out of 5
from $616 on Viator

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Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Duration: 3.5 hours
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
from $169 on Get Your Guide

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Small-Group or Private Grand Canyon Day Trip

Small-Group or Private Grand Canyon Day Trip

Duration: 13 hours
Rating: 5 out of 5
from $179 on Viator

Book Now

Sonoran Desert Hiking Tour

Half-Day Sonoran Desert Hiking Tour

Duration: 4 hours
Rating: 5 out of 5
from $75 on Viator

Book Now

Find Popular Phoenix Hotels

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