Traveling from Hollywood to one of the natural wonders of the world
Each year, around 5.5 million people make the trek to the Grand Canyon, one of America's most well-known national parks. Of those visitors, many travel from Los Angeles to the mile-deep crevice, particularly to the South Rim. If you're looking to escape the big city life for an awe-inspiring natural respite, you can use one of several routes. Here's how to travel from LA to the Grand Canyon.
LA to Grand Canyon by car
The most popular way to reach the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles is by car. If you are visiting Los Angeles and don't have a car, consider renting one. The quickest route to the park is to take I-15N to the Grand Canyon's South Rim entrance, near Flagstaff, Arizona. If you'd prefer to tack on an extra 30 minutes to drive by Joshua Tree National Park, you can also arrive at the South Rim by taking I-10E and I-40E. To get to the North Rim, also an extra 30 minutes from the quickest route, take I-10E and I-15E through Las Vegas and southern Utah to arrive in northern Arizona.
Getting to the Grand Canyon by train
Another way to get to the Grand Canyon is to take a train from Los Angeles to Flagstaff. These trains can be booked through Amtrak's website. From Flagstaff, you need to book a seat on either a tour bus or shuttle to the Grand Canyon. Greyhound Bus Lines and Arizona Shuttle provide service from Flagstaff to the South Rim. The Trans-Canyon Shuttle offers rim-to-rim service, but it requires reservations.
Flying to the Grand Canyon
Similar to the train, taking a plane to the Grand Canyon requires a combination of transportation modes to arrive at the final destination. Fly from one of Los Angeles' airports, such as LAX or Burbank, to Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Grand Canyon Airport (limited service). Once you land, you can either choose to book a rental vehicle or take a shuttle service. From Flagstaff and Phoenix, take a shuttle service to the South Rim. If you arrive in Las Vegas, book a shuttle from Grand Canyon Shuttles as well.
Taking a bus to the Grand Canyon
If you opt to take a bus from Los Angeles to Flagstaff, you'll most likely take Greyhound, as it is the primary bus option. Once you arrive in Flagstaff, you'll also need to board a shuttle to the park.
When is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon?
While the Grand Canyon remains open year-round, when you go greatly determines what you will see and experience. According to the U.S. National Park Service, the park is most popular during the spring, summer and fall months. To avoid the crowds, visit in early spring or late fall. If you are visiting during the winter, you'll only be able to visit the South Rim. From late October to the middle of May, heavy snow closes the road to the Park's North Rim.
Making the most of your experience
While getting to the Grand Canyon is an experience that you can augment with various stops like Joshua Tree National Park, Las Vegas and Bottle Tree Ranch, the best way to make the most of your trip is to experience the Grand Canyon firsthand. Beyond the observation deck, the park boasts opportunities for adventure. Take a hike, ride a mule or go whitewater rafting to get some exercise and gain a better understanding of the inner canyon. While food is available in the park, depending on the entrance you take, it might be scarce. Pick up some food items from a larger city on your way into the park to be safe. Also, regardless of the season you visit the park, but especially during the summer months, be sure to pack water, so you and your traveling companions can stay hydrated.