Attractions Destinations

13 Cities Close to Grand Canyon National Park You’ll Love

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on
March 16, 2022

Are you looking for a list of cities close to Grand Canyon National Park to help plan your visit and decide where to stay?

Because of its massive size, there are numerous towns and cities close to Grand Canyon National Park that visitors can use as a base camp, entry point, or as additional places to explore.

Each of these cities is entirely unique and provides various lodging options ranging from roadside hotels to lavish resorts.

Here’s a closer look at the cities and towns near Grand Canyon National Park as well as some great lodging options at each place.

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Check out 13 cities close to Grand Canyon National Park from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Grand Canyon

Visiting the Grand Canyon

As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Grand Canyon National Park welcomes close to 5 million visitors each year!

Due to its iconic natural splendor, it’s no surprise that this is the most common destination found on a United States bucket list!

Most visitors access Grand Canyon National Park from the South Rim which is open year-round and is easily accessed by personal vehicles and/or shuttles.

This is, by far, the most popular entrance point and place for tourists to explore the Grand Canyon as it offers easily accessible trails and a wide range of guided tours and educational programs.

The North Rim is significantly less populated by tourists because it is in a more remote location, has a shorter tourism season, and doesn’t offer near as many lodging options.

Grand Canyon’s North Rim is typically visited by avid hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking to experience the Canyon in solitude.

Grand Canyon Itinerary

For the sake of this article in relation to its overwhelming popularity, most references (unless otherwise noted) are made in relation to visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Here’s a look at our South Rim itinerary, plus tips for visiting there.

At a glance, our must-do recommendations include:

  • Explore the Main Visitor Center
  • Hike the Bright Angel Trail
  • Visit the Hopi House
  • Walk the Trail of Time
  • Visit the National Geographic Visitor Center
  • Ride the free Hermit Road shuttle bus (Red Route)

*Are you looking for additional National Park itineraries for families? Check out our perfect 3-Day Glacier National Park Itinerary!

Phoenix, Arizona, a city close to Grand Canyon National Park.
Phoenix, Arizona

Most Popular Cities Close to Grand Canyon National Park

There are 3 major cities located on the outskirts of Grand Canyon National Park that many tourists use as a starting point to their Grand Canyon vacation.

First, both Phoenix, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV are home to major airports that service multiple different airlines.

Depending on which big-city airport they fly into, many families choose to spend a night or two there in order to experience the cities themselves.

Next, Flagstaff, Arizona is a vibrant, smaller city surrounded by mountains that also features its own airport, as well as an Amtrak station that connects Los Angelos to Chicago (with shuttle service to the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park. 

Here is a quick glimpse (and noted proximities) of these cities that are close to Grand Canyon National Park, as well as the best places to stay.

Additional planning tip: The distances mentioned here have been measured from the city center to the Grand Canyon South Rim Entrance.

1. Phoenix, Arizona

  • Distance: 229 miles
  • Drive time: 3 hours, 34 minutes
  • Population: 1.6 million

Known for its year-round sun and warm temperatures, Phoenix is the closest major city to Grand Canyon National Park.

It also has the biggest airport in the state (Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport) which happens to be the closest major airport to the South Rim.

Phoenix is home to multiple hotels and high-end spa resorts, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf courses, and a vibrant bar and restaurant scene.

Click here for the best deals for Phoenix hotel and lodging options!

Additional planning tip: Our favorite thing to do in this area is to visit the historic Old Town Scottsdale and do the Public Art Walking Tour!

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Distance: 280 miles
  • Drive time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Population: 635,000

Though Las Vegas is typically known for its casinos and world-class entertainment, it is also known by outdoor enthusiasts as being a close day trip away from places like Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and Grand Canyon National Park.

In fact, the second-best option for flying in close to the Grand Canyon is via the Harry Reid International Airport located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Harry Reid airport services multiple airlines, offers dozens of daily flight options, and has many rental car agencies for those needing transportation to Grand Canyon National Park.

Here is a look at some great lodging options in Las Vegas if you choose to stay for a few days.

3. Flagstaff, Arizona

  • Distance: 79 miles
  • Drive time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Population: 73,000

Last, but not least, Flagstaff is the other closest major city near the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff offers multiple hotel chain options and is a great place to stay for a blend of big-city amenities and a walkable downtown district with shops, cafes, and breweries.

Nestled in the mountains, Flagstaff offers a wide range of things to do including downhill skiing and driving around the base of Arizona’s tallest peak, Humphrey’s Peak.

Flagstaff Airport is home to a small commercial airport as well as an Amtrak station that connects Los Angelos and Chicago (offering shuttle service to Grand Canyon National Park).

Check out these hotel options in Flagstaff!

Additional planning tip: If you’re staying with a larger group, I definitely recommend getting a rental home in places like Flagstaff. There are a few differences between Airbnb and VRBO, but both have a great selection of options for house rentals (with mountain views!) in Flagstaff.

A view of Grand Canyon National Park
Resorts on the Rim

Nearby Towns to Grand Canyon National Park

The following towns and cities close to Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim provide additional areas to explore.

We make special note of their distance to the South Rim Entrance, as well as mention the amenities and top-rated lodging options that each one is known for.

You should know that Grand Canyon National Park lodging, both onsite and nearby, becomes completely booked well in advance.

Be sure to make reservations as far ahead as possible.

1. Grand Canyon Village

Distance: Onsite
Drive time: 5 minutes
Population: 2,200

Grand Canyon Village, which is located within the boundaries of the park, is the closest town to the Grand Canyon South Rim.

This historic district has five rim hotels built in the early to mid-1900s that all provide easy access and are within walking distance to the rim.

They include: Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Thunderbird Lodge, Kachina Lodge, and Maswik Lodge, all of which can be reserved here.

This area also has a few restaurants and gift shops, as well as great places to take in the canyon views.

Additional planning tip: The lodges in Grand Canyon Village accept reservations up to 13 months in advance.

2. Tusayan, AZ

Distance: 6 miles
Drive time: 15 minutes
Population: 300

Tusayan is the closest town to the Grand Canyon, located just 6 miles outside the park’s south entrance.

Here, you’ll find the Tuyasan General Store, gift shops, and a few restaurants.

Tusayan is also the nearest place to get gas, as well as is home to the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park.

The best thing to do in Tusayan is to visit the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and IMAX Theater.

The IMAX theater shows the film Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets multiple times throughout the day and provides amazing information and visuals of Grand Canyon National Park.

Here’s a look at the lodgings options in Tusayan with the most popular being The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon.

Additional planning tip: The Grand Canyon Airport in Tuyasan is used for scenic tours and charter flights only.

3. Valle, AZ

Distance: 30 miles
Drive time: 35 minutes
Population: 260

Valle, also known as the Grand Canyon Junction, is located at the intersection of two popular routes leading into the area from Flagstaff and Williams.

While there’s only a single hotel, a couple of gas stations, and very few amenities here, Valle is most known for its camping and glamping options.

Be sure to check out Under Canvas for glamping, and Clear Sky Resort for an unforgettable Sky Dome experience.

Williams, Arizona, a one of the small towns close to Grand Canyon National Park
Williams, Arizona

4. Williams, AZ

Distance: 60 miles
Drive time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Population: 3,200

Located on Historic Route 66, Williams is home to more than six blocks of historic buildings, diners, and shops bursting with memorabilia.

Though Williams, AZ is about 55 miles from the south entrance, there is also a much larger selection of restaurants and hotels than in Tusayan or Grand Canyon Junction.

In addition, the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel is also located here and offers Western entertainment and daily train rides to and from the South Rim.

Williams is a great place to consider staying at or visiting when going to the Grand Canyon!

Here’s a look at the other lodging options found in Williams.

5. Sedona, AZ

Distance: 110 miles
Drive time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Population: 10,500

Located only 2 hours and 15 minutes from Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona, Arizona is an absolutely beautiful vacation destination.

Sedona is home to the most amazing beautiful red rock formations and views, as well as hiking, mountain biking, and up-scale resorts.

Vacationing in and around the Grand Canyon can be easily combined with a day trip or overnight visit to Sedona, and in fact, this is something I highly recommend as the sights here cannot be experienced elsewhere.

Though there are no commercial airlines that fly in and out of Sedona (visitors use Phoenix Sky Harbor instead), the city can accommodate private or charter aircraft.

Here’s a peek at some awesome resort and hotel selections in Sedona!

6. Page, AZ

Distance: 135 miles
Drive time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Population: 7,600

Similar to Sedona, Page, Arizona is a vacation destination in itself.

Page is home to the beautiful and famous Lake Powell, as well as is an excellent base camp for exploring nearby Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and Monument Valley. 

Vacationing here can be easily combined with a short 2-hour drive then a day tour to Grand Canyon National Park.

The best hotel and places to stay in Page, Arizona are linked here.

7. Seligman, AZ

Distance: 102 miles
Drive time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Population: 780

Seligman, located just a little more than 2 and a half hours from Grand Canyon National Park, is another favorite stopping place on Historic Route 66.

A town filled with history, Seligman is home to numerous (funky) gift shops, restaurants, and several small motels.

If you’re thinking of staying in Seligman, check out these Seligman motels.

8. Cameron

Distance: 55 miles
Drive time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Population: 930

Cameron, Arizona is a short 55-miles from Grand Canyon National Park.

A small town with rich history, Cameron is most known for its original Cameron Trading Post that is enjoyed by visitors from around the world.

In addition to a retail store featuring hand-crafted Native American jewelry, rugs, pottery, baskets, and paintings, the Cameron Trading Post also has a hotel, RV Park, convenience store, gas station, and restaurant.

The most famous item on the menu at Cameron Trading Post’s restaurant is the Navajo Taco – it has earned a cult-like following of people who gladly drive hundreds of miles to enjoy this house specialty.

Learn all about the Cameron Trading Post, as well as its restaurant and lodging options here.

9. Jacob Lake

Distance: 175 miles
Drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Population: 1,500

The town of Jacob Lake is known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” because it is the starting point of Route 67, the only paved road leading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The town itself consists of a restaurant, gift shop, bakery, and general store, as well as a gas station, campground, and visitor center run by the U.S. Forest Service.

It is also home to Jacob Lake Inn which is a popular place to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon North Rim.

Jacob Lake Inn has motel rooms, hotel rooms, and rustic cabins for rent.

10. Peach Springs

Distance: 140 miles
Drive time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Population: 1,300

Peach Springs, located in the Hualapai Indian Reservation, is the gateway to the Grand Canyon Skywalk—the glass-bottomed bridge hovering 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor. 

Peach Springs is also home to two historic landmarks: the Historic Peach Springs Trading Post, and John Osterman Shell Station.

Last, Hualapai River Runners located in Peach Springs offers the only 1-day whitewater rafting tours of the Colorado River, as well as 2-day adventures.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Peach Springs, however, is Grand Canyon Caverns which offers cavern tours, traditional hotel rooms, and the option to stay overnight 200 feet underground in the largest dry cavern in the United States.

Check out the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn here!

If you enjoyed reading about the 13 cities close to Grand Canyon National Park, continue your trip planning here:

Arizona

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Travel Tips

*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

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Check out 13 cities close to Grand Canyon National Park from top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
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Hi, I'm Jen - founder of the award-winning travel blog, Travel With A Plan! I help families plan fun & fulfilling family vacations by sharing our exact itineraries and "best things to do" lists to popular US vacation spots. Take the stress out of planning a family vacation by using our detailed destination guides and ultra-convenient packing lists to help you travel better. We'll show you how hassle-free family travel is possible - when you travel with a plan!

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