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Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

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Dallas
posts: 9
Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

I went to the South rim many years ago. Now, I am planning a driving trip starting from Vegas to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon and back to Vegas. Anyone had been to the North, West and South rim so he/she can give me an idea which rim is the best for site seeing? Anyone visited the Skywalk and can tell if it worths that more than USD80 to visit the West rim?

Irvine, California
posts: 33,022
1. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

The West Rim didn't even exist under that that name thirty years ago. It was the invention of marketing men to benefit themselves and the local (admittedly more deserving) native Americans. If you've never seen major canyons you'd be impressed but compared to South Rim it's nothing special. The general opinion on the Skywalk is that it's a rip off and to be avoided.

If you get the chance to go the North Rim I'd definitely go. I've not been but my boss went three years ago and it left her speechless (not easy). The scenery is as good as the South Rim but without any of the commercialisation. Apparently only 10% of GC visitors get here. The one hotel there has a restaurant with amazing panoramic view windows over the canyon.

Intercourse...
posts: 663
reviews: 7
2. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

I would definetly recommend the North Rim. It is far less crowded and touristy. It also tends to be cooler due to the higher elevation. If you are planning to drive there from Las Vegas the scenery is awesome. We are planning to return in September and plan to go to the Noth Rim. We haven't been to the Skywalk but the things I've seen make it sound expensive and disappointing.

Middletown, New York
posts: 534
3. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

Wow, that sounds like a fabulous road trip. I've been to Zion and the South Rim and would love to do a big loop like that myself.

Like the others, I haven't read many good reports from West Rim/Skywalk visitors. I'm sure it's a beautiful (if costly) day-trip from Vegas, but I don't know if I'd include it on my itinerary unless I wanted to lay claim to having visited all three rims.

Have you thought about pushing further east for a day to Monument Valley before swinging back to Vegas? I think I would budget out a day visiting MV and then skip the stopover at the West Rim.

London, United...
posts: 3,424
reviews: 21
4. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

I did this very same trip last year. In my opinion the North Rim is far superior, the crowds are much smaller and it has a more "unspoilt" feel than the South RIm. If you wish to stay at the North Rim you must book very far in advance. I stayed in Kanab which was much cheaper and not very far to drive. I found it not worth the effort of visiting both the North and South Rim.

Also consider visiting Monument valley, it is a little out of the way but well worth the extra drive

florida
posts: 1,136
reviews: 57
5. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

If your going to Zion and Bryce, you may as well hit the north rim. You could even continue the loop to the south rim and head back to Vegas on I-40 thru Kingman and over the Hoover Dam...see it all in one big circle (The west rim is also on the return route if your so inclined to stop). Haven't seen the west rim (may do the helicopter trip this year), but the remainder is well worth the visit again and again. You didn't state your dates though, and the north rim is not recommended during winter months

Jersey
posts: 31,592
6. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

The "West Rim" is a made up attraction by some folks to take advantage of being closer to Las Vegas. Yes, it's a canyon. Yes, it's on the west side of the Grand Canyon. No, it doesn't have the depth, width, or views of the North or South rims. The North Rim is seasonal for the most part, rustic, only one lodge, and closes during the winter for all services. You can drive in, weather permitting, but you're on your own between October and May. The South Rim is the built up area that 90% of people visit. Which isn't neccesarily a bad thing, it means there's plenty of options for food and places to sleep. And you can wander off for some solitude fairly easily, away from the day trippers and bus riders.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 34,072
reviews: 49
7. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

"Like the others, I haven't read many good reports from West Rim/Skywalk visitors. I'm sure it's a beautiful (if costly) day-trip from Vegas, but I don't know if I'd include it on my itinerary unless I wanted to lay claim to having visited all three rims. "

LOL - It won't be long before some land owner invents the "East Rim", and then you'll have to visit that one too if you want to stay current. :)

(There is no "West Rim" of the Grand Canyon. It's a rip off)

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 3,317
8. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

Hey Irishfan... before you start making comments about the West Rim, saying it's a rip-off, I suggest you spend less time reading forums, and more time traveling, and judge it once you've been there. To just say it's a rip-off obviously shows me that NO, you haven't been there. I've been to all 3 "rims". And traveled to the west and south by helicopter, plane, and bus. It's my business / what I do for a living. We all know that the south is the widest, and deepest.

Is the West Rim more expensive? Yes. Do we know why? yes, they are paying for the skywalk. Is it a rip-off? If you spend an hour there, and leave, of course, as your not getting your moneys worth. If you spend the day there (which trust me, is possible), It's more than worth it.

If you spend 20.00 on a buffet, have a piece of pie, and leave...you got ripped off. If you do the same buffet, and spend all 3 meals there, you got your moneys worth.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 34,072
reviews: 49
9. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

"Hey Irishfan... before you start making comments about the West Rim, saying it's a rip-off, I suggest you spend less time reading forums, and more time traveling, and judge it once you've been there. To just say it's a rip-off obviously shows me that NO, you haven't been there. "

LOL - I HAVE been there. Not since they built the rip-off skyway, but I have been there...

Interesting that instead of defending the ripoff you choose a personal attack.

Yes, I hardly travel at all. Not sure you're worthy of this information, but I'll share a bit of my plans with you for 2007, past and present, so I can win your approval to post about travel lol

3 European trips (Ireland, France, Germany)

3 Las Vegas Trips

2 New Orleans visits

1 Cancun

1 New York City

1 Montana (Glacier Park)

This is just my leisure travel, not counting the 60+ nights I'm on the road each year for work to another 7-8 destinations not listed above. So obviously I know not of what I speak. Have a good one!

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 34,072
reviews: 49
10. Re: Grand Canyon - West Rim vs South Rim vs North Rim

"It's my business / what I do for a living. "

Oh, just noticed this. That explains why you're pimping for the rip-off "West Rim".