Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Snezana Grcak
Planning a trip to Grand Canyon is child’s play with Shuttle Fare’s awesome team and informative travel itineraries. We’ll help you find the best route from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon, cool places along the way, and beautiful trails inside the national park. You’ll enjoy the smooth drive and all the natural sites on your way to and at your destination. We recommend that you devote two to three days to the trip and check out this guide if you need parking near Hoover Dam. Use all our info and tips to have a wonderful travel experience!
What Route To Take
The distance from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon is approximately 250 miles, and the ride takes 4 hours. You can go north and take the I-15 or use I-40. The mileage is virtually the same, but taking I-40 is slightly faster, and we’ll help you plan your trip to a tee. Here are the driving directions:
- Take US-93 south to Kingman.
- Switch to I-40 going east all the way to Williams.
- In Williams, take Exit 165.
- Turn left onto Historic Route 66 (AZ-64).
- Head north until you reach Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.
If you decide to go for I-15, check out our Las Vegas to Zion itinerary to find all the cool stops north of Vegas.
Where To Stop Along the Way
Our team knows how to make your journey much more fun. We singled out the top places to see and things to do on the way from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon. You’ll find spots for relaxation, outdoor activities, and drinking or dining.
Thanks to its clean water and beaches, this reservoir is one of the best places in the area to take a dip in the Colorado River. It’s also ideal for boating, jet skiing, and exploring. Lake Mohave is open every day, and here are the weekly entrance fees:
- $25 per vehicle;
- $15 per person or cyclist.
Be sure to stop by if you travel during summer or spring; just don’t forget to bring sunblock.
Kingman is placed along the historic Route 66. If you’re interested in local history, vintage cars, or dioramas, don’t miss the Route 66 Museum and the nearby Mohave Museum of History and Arts. Other than that, Kingston doesn’t offer many attractions, but we highly recommend In-N-Out Burger if you’re hungry.
Also, campers who’d like to take a break in a beautiful mountain campground must visit Hualapai Mountain Park Campground. It’s a 20-minute drive southeast of Kingman.
Known as a gateway to Grand Canyon, Williams is also home to the Route 66 Zipline, authentic Americana-style shops, and restaurants. Our recommendation is Sultana Bar, a cool place with the oldest liquor license in the state, good music, and well-made drinks.
It’s only 60 miles from Grand Canyon Village, so you can stay the night here or discover the best accommodation options in the following section.
Kaibab Lake is 4 miles north of Williams, on the way to your destination. It’s a peaceful, quiet area perfect for fishing, bird watching, or picnics. You’ll also enjoy just walking around and soaking up the sun. There’s ample parking, so any driver will easily find a convenient spot near the water.
Where To Stay the Night
Going through Grand Canyon’s places to stay may be time-consuming, so let us help you narrow down your choices.
The most convenient place is right on the rim (find those hotels here) or in Yavapai Lodge, which is a short walk away. The next best option is booking a hotel in the town of Tusayan, which is right outside the park.
Staying in Flagstaff will reduce costs but increase your driving time; the ride to the GC Village takes an hour and a half. If you pick this option, plan to leave early to maximize your time at Grand Canyon. We suggest you be on the highway by 6 AM or earlier if you want to see the sunrise.
Grand Canyon Entrance Fees
Although you can purchase your pass on-site, we recommend getting a digital one in advance here. The list below shows all permit types, which include both the North and South Rim.
|Type of Pass||Weekly Fee|
|Private Vehicle Pass||$35|
Individuals younger than 16 can enter the national park free of charge.
Things To Do at Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Village is right on the South Rim, offering excellent restaurants, bars, and shops. There’s also a large car parking lot with free shuttles running to and from it regularly. During spring breaks and other peak periods, the lot fills up by 10 AM. If it’s full when you arrive, park along the road 10 to 15 minutes from the trailhead.
All the hikes at Grand Canyon National Park are scenic, with astonishing views. Whichever trail you decide to hit, be sure to research it and bring a map, enough water, or appropriate clothes. Here are our favorite places at Grand Canyon:
- Mather Point, placed along the South Rim and near the GC Visitor Center, is known for its magnificent canyon vistas. It’s also popular among visitors due to its proximity to parking lots and the shuttle stop, and it welcomes many tourists during sunsets and sunrises.
- Bright Angel Trail is the most popular among hikers and is excellent for first-timers. Although it’s an easy hike going down, returning is more challenging and requires more time. The trail offers views of massive cliffs but also plant and animal life. Go to the end to reach Plateau Point, which provides stunning sunset vistas.
- South Kaibab Trail goes to Skeleton Point, and it’s a quintessential hike with spectacular views of the canyon and Colorado River. It usually takes at least three hours and is manageable for reasonably fit individuals. The trail starts a 10-minute drive away from the Visitor Center.
- Hermit Trail is also a good option for experienced hikers and a great activity for first-time visitors. If it’s active, use the Hermit Route (Red) Shuttle to reach it, and be sure to allow extra hiking time to get back. This trail is more strenuous than South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails.
- Grand Canyon waterfalls are a must if you’re coming in spring or fall. Although the water is delightful in mid-summer, the hiking conditions are challenging since it’s too hot. There are several, but the most popular ones are Havasu Falls, Navajo Falls, and Mooney Falls.
When Is the Best Time for the Trip?
Traveling to Grand Canyon is always a good idea, but choosing the most suitable time depends on your preferences. For instance, summers are too hot for most visitors. On the other hand, even the most accessible trails can be demanding during winter, so we’d go for spring or fall. These seasons are also perfect if you plan to visit the waterfalls and take a dip.