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August 2019
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Grand Canyon South Rim Side Trip

Morning and Evening Views are Earned by Spending the Night

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, approximately 4:15 to either the north or south rim of the canyon.  The south rim is the more common destination, and is what I was thinking of as a side trip from Las Vegas, but the north rim is an interesting alternative which fits right into the Southern Utah itinerary.

If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas is the best the jumping off point for that excursion, as well. The south rim of the Grand Canyon can be visited in a day trip from Las Vegas. However, if you have time, I would strongly recommend spending more time there.  There are a variety of campgrounds, but most require advance reservations, and they fill up very early. 

There are Lots of Different Views of the Canyon, and They Change with Every Passing Minute

We stayed at Ten X Campground in the Kaibab National Forest and Desert View Campground in Grand Canyon National Park during our 2016 trip. 

Route to the Grand Canyon South Entrance and Campgrounds

Ten X Campground is 271 miles (four hours) from Las Vegas and about a 20-minute drive from the canyon itself, but is located at elevation in a pine forest, so is cooler when temperatures are high.  One morning we awoke to a herd of elk passing through the camp. 

Visitor in Our Camp – Tent is Visible in the Background

Keep your food and possessions well protected. We were witnesses to a violent raid on a neighboring campsite by a flock of massive ravens, who consumed all of the food and destroyed a lot of other property to get at it.  One good thing about Ten X is that reservations are not accepted and campsites are not in such high demand as at the park.  We stayed at Ten X our first night at the Canyon, as we arrived late and didn’t want to risk not finding a place.

We then moved to Desert View Campground, about 30 miles (50 minutes) from Ten X and right on the rim of the Canyon.  It’s actually further from the Visitor Center than Ten X, but the whole drive is along the rim of the canyon with viewpoints all along the route. Desert View is also first-come, first-served, but it fills up early, so if you are going directly there from Vegas, you will need to arrive early. The other campgrounds in the park require reservations, which can be made, and may be filled up, a year in advance.

Aliciya and Christina Hiking Down Into the Canyon

We did a day hike down into the canyon. If you do that, make sure you have lots of water with you. Aliciya fell in love with the Canyon and says we will be returning to do the hike through the canyon and up the other side.  That’s a trip you would want to make in the spring or fall.

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