Given that the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it's not surprising that people visiting Los Angeles from other countries want to try to fit it in – even if it's 420 miles away. There are a number of ways to get from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon. To facilitate this bucket list side trip, transportation companies have scheduled trips out of LA to allow you to accomplish the trip in as little as one day.
Flights, trains and buses from Los Angeles all take you to Flagstaff, Arizona, the closest city where you can book a shuttle, land tour, air tour or hiking tour of the Grand Canyon, or rent a car to explore on your own. Flagstaff is the access point for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is the most commonly visited and more developed area. Driving or taking a specialty tour is pretty much the only way to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Considering the time it takes to get across Los Angeles to an airport, the need to check in an hour before your flight, the fact that all flights require a transfer, and you still have to travel the hour from Flagstaff to the Canyon, it may actually be faster to drive than to fly, but you have to stay awake for the 8 hour drive. Bus and train options can take up to 15 hours, but travel overnight so you can sleep.
There are places to stay in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, including lodges overlooking the Canyon and campgrounds nearby.
01 of 07
Flyng from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon
American Airlines is the only airline that flies into Flagstaff Pullman Airport, which is the closest commercial airport to the Grand Canyon. All flights go through Phoenix, with travel times ranging from about three hours to seven or eight hours or even longer depending on layover time. Early morning flights in the 6:00 hour are offered from all LA area airports to Phoenix and from there to Flagstaff, where you can catch a shuttle or take a tour to the Grand Canyon. You can catch a flight back to Los Angeles the same evening, or if you want to explore more, you can rent a car in Flagstaff to drive to the Grand Canyon and spend the night either in Flagstaff or in any of a number of hotels nearer the Canyon.
Tickets range from $350 to $600 round trip for an economy seat, depending on the season and availability.
Search for Flights from LA to Flagstaff
02 of 07
Taking the Train from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon
Amtrak runs a night train service from Union Station to Flagstaff. It leaves LA at around 6 pm and gets into Flagstaff around 5:30 am the nest morning. Tickets are $58 to $139 each direction for a coach seat, depending on how far in advance it's booked, or $206 to $398 each way for a Superliner Roomette, which can accommodate two passengers with fold down berths and meals included. The return train departs Flagstaff at about 10 pm and gets back to LA shortly after 8 am.
03 of 07
Buses from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon
Greyhound offers bus service to Flagstaff for $68 to $89 with buses departing at various times. Some routes require a transfer in Phoenix and some are direct. Buses take between just over 11 hours to almost 13 hours.
04 of 07
Driving from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon - South Rim
If you don't have a car, you can rent a car in Los Angeles to drive to the Grand Canyon. Depending on traffic, you could drive straight there in about 8 hours. Depending on your starting point, you can take Interstate 10 from the West Side or Downtown LA, Interstate 210 from the Valley, or State Route 91 from the southern beach cities or North Orange County. Traveling east, all of those lead to Interstate 15 North toward Las Vegas. In Barstow, exit to Interstate 40 East toward Flagstaff. Before you reach Flagstaff, you'll hit AZ 64 North, which will take you to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Driving from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon - North Rim
Most first time visitors and people short on time visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is much more developed, including numerous lodges and camping options at Grand Canyon village, and it's closer to LA. However, if you've already seen the south rim or you want to escape the crowds, more amenities have been added to the North Rim in recent years including a couple remote lodges with a shuttle to hiking trails.
The route from LA to the North Rim departs LA the same way, but stays on Interstate 15 through Las Vegas and another hour and a half beyond to Washington, UT, where you exit on Route 9 East/State St to UT 59 South, which becomes AZ 389 South. In Fredonia, turn right on AZ 89A South. Turn right on Route AZ 67 South (Grand Canyon Highway) at the Kaibob Plateau Visitor Center, where you'll also find the Jacob Lake Inn and restaurant and the last gas station on the way to the North Rim. The North Rim is not accessible in winter when Route 67 is closed for the season.
06 of 07
3-Day Grand Canyon and Las Vegas Tour from Los Angeles
The 3-Day Grand Canyon and Las Vegas Tour takes you to Las Vegas via luxury coach from Los Angeles. You spend the rest of the first day entertaining yourself in Las Vegas. On the second day, you travel another 4 hours to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where you'll stop at multiple viewpoints to take photos before having a buffet lunch in the Kaibab National Forest on the way back to Las Vegas. You have another morning to explore Las Vegas before heading back to Los Angeles.
07 of 07
2-Day Grand Canyon Tour from Los Angeles
The 2-Day Grand Canyon Tour from LA is a quick luxury coach tour that gives you a half day in Las Vegas and an air tour of the Grand Canyon. You get to see a lot more of the Canyon from the air, but you don't get those selfies from the Rim.