Forget about the so called "West Rim" if you want to see the full majesty of the Grand Canyon. It's a very inferior alternative to what you'll find at Grand Canyon National Park.
South Rim is where you need to head. Do you want to fly or take a bus tour? Read the Top Questions section of the forum for some of the answers you're looking for. I'm not certain you can even take a day trip to North Rim from Vegas due to the distance involved.
North Rim is not really offered as a destination for tours, and Grand Canyon West, a.k.a "West Rim" is not as impressive as the true Grand Canyon National Park, which are the North and South Rim, where tours DO go to.
I'd book a South Rim tour in a flash, by any means you're OK with. I'm visiting South Rim again in 2 weeks on a tour with Pink Jeep Tours, my first time with them. Can't wait :)
Most Las Vegas Grand Canyon bus tours (such as this one http://bit.ly/xGCKAz ) will stop at Hoover Dam for about 20 minutes, just enough time to take a picture and that's about it. If you want to get more in-depth, you might set aside another day to take a different tour or perhaps rent a car and drive there. Speaking of which, that would also be the best way to experience the Grand Canyon (self-drive). I saw on another forum that you only have a day to work with. If that's the case, a self-drive to the South Rim can be done in one day, a long one for sure (it's 4.5 hours each way), but if you read the Top Questions on the right hand side of this forum, you'll see a number of trip reports that bear this out.
Bottom line is if at all humanly possible try to go to the South Rim. That is the National Park and generally regarded to be the "real McCoy," where the best views of the canyon can be seen. The North Rim is pretty too but too far away for a day visit. The West Rim has its advantages, too, namely it's closer, plus you have the option/opportunity to helicopter down to the canyon floor from there (not an option at the South Rim), and it's got the Skywalk, but it definitely doesn't compare in terms of views, services, and amenities.
The north rim facilities are only open from May 15 thru October 15.
The travel time from Vegas to either the north rim or south rim is similar. About 5 hours. I don't think any tours go to the north rim?
Head to the south rim,which has the views like you have seen in pictures and movies.
A really interesting tour would be the Pink Jeep tour to Toroweap.Its a very remote part of the GCNP, 60 miles down a dirt road.
<<I don't think any tours go to the north rim?>> Aside from Pink Jeeps' trip to Toroweap (which is beautiful) the only other commercial tour I've found that goes anywhere near the North Rim is Vision Airlines' Bar 10 Ranch Tour ->: http://bit.ly/xYf20h , which doesn't go to the National Park itself, but to a dude ranch just on the outskirts.
In fact I was with Dez40 and a bunch of other TA folks at Toroweap when some cowboys from Bar 10 brought this family out there for a wedding. I'll never forget those tall lanky boys carrying the grandma to the rim in her wheelchair - by hand people! Still for first time visitors, we always recommend the South Rim whenever possible. As Dez40 says, "it has the views like you've seen in the movies."
That was pretty bizarre, wasn't it?
Pretty sure it was the minister that rode up on the dirt bike!
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