The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful natural sites in the United States.
And this road trip combines all that natural beauty with a fun drive that leaves from Las Vegas!
If you’re planning a trip to the South Rim, we highly recommend taking your time to enjoy the scenery on the way there.
Keep reading to discover 15 places to stop driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim.
1. Las Vegas
Welcome to Las Vegas!
If you’re flying into Las Vegas, then you should definitely spend at least a few days exploring this electric city.
There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and live shows in the city that you have to experience before you leave.
Of course, there are also plenty of casinos and gambling is really a rite of passage on any trip to Vegas.
Top attractions include the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, the famous Las Vegas Strip, and the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
You’ll also want to be sure to snap a pic beneath the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on your way in!
2. Boulder City
Once you’ve had enough of Las Vegas, it’s time to hit the road and start making your way to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
The first stop on your road trip is none other than Boulder City, Nevada.
Boulder City is roughly 30 minutes by car from Las Vegas and has a population of just over 15,000 people.
Note: Despite its proximity to Sin City, gambling is prohibited in Boulder City. It is actually one of just two cities in all of Nevada that restricts gambling.
Luckily, there are plenty of other fun activities on this stop.
Top attractions include the Boulder City Golf Course, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Broadbent Park, Cascata Golf Club, and the Historic Railroad Trail.
- Location: Southeast of Las Vegas
- Distance: 26.3 mi (42.3 km) from Las Vegas
- Duration: 31 minutes drive
3. Hemenway Park
Before you leave Boulder City, be sure to spend some time in Hemenway Park.
This small urban park has basketball and tennis courts, a playground, and plenty of park benches and shelters with views of the nearby Lake Mead.
Plus, Hemenway Park is home to the area’s famous big horn sheep,
You’re likely to spot them during spring and summer months.
Watch as the playful sheep frolic and relax in the park.
There is also a sheltered picnic area for you and your travel companions to stop and enjoy lunch while en route to the Grand Canyon.
- Address: 401 Ville Dr, Boulder City, NV 89005, United States
4. Lake Mead
Lake Mead is a must-see on your Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim trip.
This stunning man made lake will make you feel like you’ve entered another world.
The lake lies on the Colorado River, southeast of Las Vegas.
It is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of water capacity.
There are plenty of outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy while visiting Lake Mead.
Swimming is permitted, although there are no lifeguards on duty or designated swim areas, so you are swimming at your own risk.
There are also hiking trails that go around the lake, as well as boat cruises that will take you out on the water.
Power boating is another popular pastime here.
- Address: Lake Mead Visitor Center, 10 Lakeshore Rd, Boulder City, NV 89005, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-4:30pm
5. Hoover Dam
While a dam might not seem like a worthy pitstop on a road trip, we assure you that the Hoover Dam is definitely worth exploring.
This historic dam was built in the 1930s during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt and was (and remains today) a feat of engineering.
The concrete arch-gravity dam is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River.
The purpose of the dam is to control the flooding of the surrounding land and to provide a reliable source of water and electrical power to the area.
It is free to drive across the dam, however, if you decide to stop, there is a fee for parking.
Tours of the dam are also available at a cost.
- Address: Hoover Dam Access Rd, Nevada 89005, United States
- Distance: 7.7 mi (12.4 km) from Boulder City
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Have you ever visited a ghost town?
Now is your chance!
Chloride, Arizona is the state’s very own ghost town, a former silver mining town that is now the oldest uninhabited town in the state.
The town is located in Mohave County and is set on the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains.
Chloride first rose to prominence in the 1840s when prospectors discovered gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise there.
The town was founded roughly 20 years after that and mining began shortly thereafter.
At its peak, Chloride was home to roughly 5,000 people.
However, by the early to mid 1900s, the town’s population had mostly left.
Today, visitors can walk through the preserved streets of the eerie town and experience a slice of life in 19th century Arizona.
- Distance: 59.9 mi (96.4 km) from Hoover Dam via US-93
- Duration: 1 hour from Hoover Dam
No road trip in this region would be complete without a stop in Kingman, Arizona.
Kingman has been nicknamed the Heart of Route 66 owing to the fact that the longest running part of the famous highway runs through this town.
The town is found at the intersection of Interstate 40 and US 93, which makes it easily accessible for a quick stop.
Kingman is home to numerous restaurants and museums, which makes it a great spot to stretch your legs.
The Kingman Railroad Museum, Mohave Museum of Arts & Science, and the Historic Route 66 Museum can all be found in Kingman.
The scenic Lake Mohave is also nearby.
- Distance: 23 mi (37 km) from Chloride via US-93
- Duration: 26 minutes from Chloride
8. Go on Route 66
Is there any road more famous in the US than Route 66?
We certainly don’t think so!
Route 66 is nearly 4,000 kilometres in length and is one of the most well known highways in the world.
When you see a 66 highway sign, be sure to pose for a photo (you’ll see many along the way).
You’ll see some of the more picturesque areas on this road trip.
Between Kingman and Seligman, you’ll be driving by beautiful desert landscapes.
In fact, some parts of Route 66 in Arizona, Missouri, and New Mexico have even been deemed a National Scenic Byway.
Ultimately, you will love the experience of driving, even on a small portion, of this historic US highway.
9. Keepers of the Wild
As you make your way towards the Grand Canyon, you will come across the town of Valentine, Arizona.
Take the time to stop here as Valentine is home to the Keepers of the Wild Nature Park.
This exotic animal rescue sanctuary is a non profit organization that provides a permanent home to wild animals in need of help.
Such animals include lions, tigers, bears, leopards, primates, and wolves.
The park currently houses 140 animals, including exotic and indigenous to the surrounding areas.
Most of the animals were rescued from situations of abuse or neglect and are now cared for by the facility.
All of this makes the Keepers of the Wild Nature Park a humane way of seeing animals up close.
- Address:13441 AZ-66, Valentine, AZ 86437, United States
- Distance: 33.8 mi (54.4 km) from Kingman via Route 66
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Step back in time in Seligman, Arizona.
This fun pit stop is roughly 50 miles from the Keepers of the Wild Nature Park and is a great way to break up the drive to the Grand Canyon.
Seligman is a tiny town that was established in the 19th century.
It is considered to be the birthplace of Route 66 and its commercial Historic District is the town’s biggest draw.
Buildings within the historic area all date back to the early or mid 20th century.
They include the Return to the 50s Museum, The Thunderbird Indian Store, Canyon Shadows Motel, The Black Cat Bar, and The Cottage Hotel.
Guests can also eat at the infamous Roadkill Cafe or stay overnight in the iconic Route 66 Motel.
- Distance: 53.5 mi (86.1 km) from Keepers of the Wild
- Duration: 52 minutes
You’re getting close to your final destination!
Williams, Arizona is known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon.
It is also a town that lies on the Historic Route 66 and thus has many Americana-style shops and eateries on its main street that date back to the beginning of the 20th century.
Top attractions in Williams include the Route 66 Zipline and Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum.
Bearizona Wildlife Park is also nearby, and it features all kinds of animals, from bears and mountain goats to bison and birds.
If you’re visiting in the winter and are into skiing, snowtubing, or snowboarding, Elk Ridge Ski Area is not too far away either.
- Distance: 41.8 mi (67.3 km) from Seligman via I-40
- Duration: 47 minutes
12. Planes of Fame
Are you an airplane enthusiast?
Then visiting Williams, Arizona’s Planes of Fame Air Museum is an absolute must.
This niche museum is located in Valle Airport and is known for preserving a fleet of functional historic aircrafts for over 60 years.
Visitors to the museum are free to walk around the hangar and marvel at these mint condition aircrafts.
Whether you’re a history buff or just love planes, there’s no doubt this is an experience you will never forget.
- Address: 755 S Mustang Blvd, Williams, AZ 86046
- Distance: 32.2 mi (51.8 km) via AZ-64
- Duration: 32 minutes
13. Kaibab National Forest
Arizona is known as one of the most beautiful states in the country.
Case in point: Kaibab National Forest.
This scenic forest is a great place to go for a hike, swim, or even camp overnight.
The forest comprises a whopping 1.6 million acres of land and borders the south and north rims of the Grand Canyon.
It is divided into the North Kaibab Ranger District and the South Kaibab District.
Popular activities in the forest include hiking, camping, or snow sports in the winter.
Furthermore, Kaibab National Forest is home to plenty of wildlife, so while you’re walking in the park, keep your eyes peeled for black bears, elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope.
- Distance: 17.5 mi (28.1 km) from Planes of Fame via AZ-64
- Duration: 24 minutes
Tusayan is the last stop on your Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip before you reach your final destination.
The Arizona town is only a short distance from the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park and is actually located within the Kaibab National Forest.
Owing to its close proximity to the Grand Canyon, it has become a popular tourist destination in itself.
Attractions in Tusayan are mostly centred on the canyon and include the National Geographic Visitors Center, the Grand Canyon IMAX Theater, and Mary Coulter’s Lookout Studio.
- Distance: 13 mi (20.9 km) from Kaibab National Forest via AZ-64
- Duration: 21 minutes Kaibab National Forest via AZ-64
15. Grand Canyon South Rim
You’ve made it to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
After the lengthy drive from Las Vegas, we bet you’ll be relieved to arrive.
But rest assured, the drive will have been worth it when you first lay eyes on the spectacular beauty of the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon South Rim boasts one of the best views of the canyon and is easily accessible by car.
Once you reach the rim, you’ll have options to go on hikes of all lengths and levels, as well as venture to lookout points to take beautiful photos.
However long you choose to spend in this natural paradise, we guarantee it will have been worth the journey.
- Address: Visitor Center, S Entrance Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
- Distance: 6.8 mi (10.9 km) from Tusayan
- Duration: 13 minutes from Tusayan, 4 hours 27 minutes from Las Vegas.
As you can see, there is a lot to see on a drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim.
From the Hoover Dam to Chloride, there are plenty of diverse towns and attractions to stop at along the way.
Once you’ve arrived in Grand Canyon South Rim, it’s best to organise an overnight stay.
You may have missed some of the stops mentioned, so get ready the next day for another adventurous road trip back to Las Vegas.