Are you planning a trip to the Grand Canyon over the Independence Day 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.
If you will be in the Valley of the Sun region of Arizona that includes Phoenix, then your bus tour will take you to the South Rim. If you would rather go to the West Rim from Phoenix, you have to rent a car because the only way to get there by bus is to begin your trip in Vegas.
The bus tour to the South Rim takes you through Sedona where you see amazing red rock buttes and juniper pines. From Sedona you'll carry on until you reach the National Park. At the Grand Canyon, you will be allotted around three hours to explore the area. You'll wrap up at Bright Angel Lodge (the home of the Park's best food!), the focal point of Grand Canyon Village.
Vegas-based travelers are lucky; they can choose to visit either the South Rim or the West. Both rims are great fun, choose the West Rim if you want some thrills and excitement and the South Rim if you want to enjoy scenic vistas.
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 hours (it's 270 miles from Vegas), the West Rim is much closer (120 miles) and the trip there takes about 2 hours.
When you go to the West Rim, you can choose a basic bus tour or one that has other adventures added on. The basic tour heads straight for the rim. Once there, you are given three hours to do whatever you want on foot.
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!
Of course, you will have great fun if you decide to go to the South Rim instead. 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 the Fourth is a holiday, you can still get discounts on your tour seats. Just get your tickets online from the tour operator's website, remember to avoid other online sites like Expedia, Viator, or Priceline because they charge more. You must complete your purchase on the tour operator's website in order to get the low Internet rate.
Wrapping Things Up
Early July is an ideal time to visit the Grand Canyon because the weather is ideal and the views are spectacular. The Park will be very busy go get your seats booked as soon as possible. The tour buses operate on a normal schedule on the holiday. If you begin your tour in Las Vegas, you can go to the South Rim or the West Rim, but if you begin in Phoenix, you can only go to the South Rim. Finally, book your seats online & you'll save a chunk of money!