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Grand Canyon Bus Tours for the July 4th Holiday

Grand Canyon Bus Tours for the July 4th Holiday

Will you be at the Grand Canyon for the July 4th holiday? If your plans include the National Park and you’re interested in a bus tour, I urge you to buy your tickets now – holiday bus tours typically sell out.

Tours leave every morning from Phoenix and Las Vegas, and they’re running on their regular schedules for the July 4th holiday. No matter which one you take, Grand Canyon bus tours are fun, full-day adventures.

Phoenix Departures

Travelers coming from Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and the surrounding area) will visit the South Rim. Phoenix folks who want to do the West Rim will need to rent a car because only Vegas bus tours head there.

Most South Rim bus tours make a stop at Sedona, known for its juniper pines and beautiful red-rock buttes. From Sedona you’ll carry on until you reach the National Park. Once you arrive, you’ll have up to three hours to explore the highlights. You’ll wrap up at Bright Angel Lodge (the home of the Park’s best food!), the focal point of Grand Canyon Village.

Vegas Departures

Vegas-based travelers are lucky; they can choose to visit either the South Rim or the West. Both rims have their advantages, but I usually suggest the South Rim for travelers looking for spectacular natural beauty; pick the West Rim if you want excitement and adventure.

Tours to both rims drive by majestic Hoover Dam and scenic Lake Mead before reaching their destination. The drive to the South Rim takes 5 ½ hours (it’s 270 miles from Vegas); the West Rim is much closer (120 miles) and the trip there takes about 2 ½ hours.

People bound for the West Rim can choose a basic tour or upgrade to a deluxe (“combo”) package. The basic tour heads straight for the rim. Once you arrive, you’ll hop off your bus and have up to three hours to explore the highlights.

The basic version is a great experience, but I suggest booking a deluxe package if you can swing it. My personal favorite (and the most popular package at this rim) is the one that includes a chopper landing on the bottom, a float trip down the Colorado, and VIP access to the fabulous Grand Canyon Skywalk. What a tour!

South Rim bus trips are also very popular with Vegas travelers. Most give you up to three hours inside the Park, which you can use to stroll through Grand Canyon Village and see the Rim’s other points of interest.

Book Your Seats Quickly

The July 4th holiday is one of the Park’s busiest times of the year. That’s why I suggest booking your Grand Canyon bus tour as soon as you can. At a minimum, book at least a week ahead of the tour date you want.

Even though Independence Day is a major holiday, deals are still available on Grand Canyon bus tours. You’ll find the best prices on the tour company’s website (don’t bother with online travel brokers like Priceline, Viator or Expedia – they’ll charge you more). You’ll need to complete your purchase on the tour company’s site in order to qualify for the super Internet discount.

Wrapping Up

The weather at the Park is always beautiful in early July, and the views are terrific. I’m expecting it to be busy, so book your tour well in advance. The buses are running on their regular schedules despite the holiday. People coming from Phoenix will do the South Rim, while Vegas-based travelers can choose between the South and West Rims. Finally, book your seats online – you’ll save a chunk of money!

Travel editor Luke P. is an expert on bus tours to the Grand Canyon and recommends going here for great deals: