Las Vegas Grand Canyon Airplane

Most Grand Canyon airplane tours include a ground tour inside the South Rim. Once you've seen the National Park's highlights, you'll arrive at Grand Canyon Village, an historic area full of amenities for visitors.

Exploring Grand Canyon Village's Historic Shops And Trails

grand canyon village kolb studioAir tours from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park include a 2+-hour ground tour. During that time, you'll most likely see several of the canyon's best viewpoints as well as the new Grand Canyon Information Center. It's impossible to confirm exactly how you'll see these sights and in what order. One thing's for sure, however: you'll visit Grand Canyon Village.

The Bright Angel Lodge, a frontier-style structure that was built in the early 1900's and, like nearly 200-plus structures in the area, is on the National Register of Historic Places, anchors the Village. Inside, you'll find the information desk, a massive fireplace, a museum, a gift shop, a coffee shop/bar and restaurant. Definitely lean on the good folks at the information desk if you need assistance.

Go straight through the lobby and you'll meet the South Rim. Along it runs the Rim Trail, a meandering flat path that runs east/west. Head east and you'll find Bucky O'Neil Cabin, the oldest structure in the park, Lookout Studio, Kolb Studio and the Bright Angel trailhead. I urge you to take a short walk (15 minutes) below the rim. The views are remarkable. During summer, please remember to wear a hat and bring plenty of water.

Where the Rim Trail and Bright Angel Trail juncture, you'll come across the mule corral. Mule trips, which are wildly popular and require advance reservations (almost up to a year for the one that runs to Phantom Ranch at the bottom), start here in the morning and wind their way down for about 4 hours before meeting up with the Colorado River at the bottom. The mule barn, which is complex of corrals and a covered shelter, is across the way.

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Head east down Rim Trail and you'll come to El Tovar, one of Grand Canyon Village's original buildings and best hotel. I recommend going inside. The lobby is phenomenal - stuffed animals line the wall as a fire sparkles in a dramatic fireplace. Drinks are available in the cocktail bar. There's not enough to stick around for dinner but do take a peak into the Tovar's stately dining room.

Next up is the Grand Canyon Depot. Feel free to go inside and poke around. The train, which runs from Williams, Arizona, is the reason the Village exists. Train tours must be booked in advance, are round-trip only and must start from Williams. It's like being in a time machine watching the big steam engine roll in around lunchtime.

Great shopping is to be had. Hopi House, which is between Bright Angel Lodge and El Tovar, is loaded to the gills with authentic Native American handicrafts. You can't miss the place: the building was designed after a real Hopi pueblo building. The bottom of Kolb Studio houses an art museum. Local artists show here and the work (and the prices) is good. Lookout Studio has a great gift shop but in all honesty the souvenir shop inside Bright Angel Lodge is the king of affordably priced gifts.

Happy Travels,

P.S. Not certain who to fly with? Check out this canyon airplane tour review site where excursions are graded according to quality, price and safety.