If you want to make the most of your Arizona trip, then flying into the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park could be a good idea. By deciding to fly, you will not only be able to save time, but you will also have the greater comfort of travelling by air rather than overland. And saving time getting there means more time on the ground to actually enjoy your Grand Canyon trip!
What is the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park?
The size of the park and its reputation as a tourist attraction have earned it its own state-owned airport. Located in Tusayan and called the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, it is only about 10 miles away from the National Park’s entrance.
Multiple carriers fly to the Grand Canyon National Park Airport, although this airport is mainly used for small airplane tours that frequently give visitors an extensive bird's eye view of the canyon’s natural beauty. The commercial flights that use this airport as their departure site mainly take off from Las Vegas and Boulder City.
If you are coming from or going to another state, you can use another airport for that.
How Close Is Flagstaff Airport to the Grand Canyon?
When going to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff Airport is the closest airport aside from the Grand Canyon National Park. It is a commuter airport that is not connected to big cities.
This means that flying to this airport could be pretty expensive. Flagstaff Airport is about a 90-minute drive away from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, at a distance of just over 84 miles. It is the closest airport to the park that connects passengers straight from the Phoenix-Sky Harbor Airport to the Grand Canyon.
Other Airports in Arizona
Also known as Ernest A. Love Field, the Prescott Municipal Airport is a gateway to the Grand Canyon served by Frontier Airlines, Great Lakes Airlines, and United Airlines. Commercial flights connect passengers to Denver and Los Angeles. It might also be possible to book flights from your airport of origin if you change planes at any hub point, such as the two mentioned above.
Another airport near the Grand Canyon National Park that offers one of the best opportunities to find cheaper flights is the Sky Harbor International Airport. As one of the United States’ biggest commercial airports, it can easily connect travelers between the Grand Canyon and a hundred destinations in four different countries.
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and Spirit are some of the airlines that operate daily scheduled flights to this airport. Once you get there, you can continue your trip by flying to a closer airport or just travel by land.
Slightly further away, the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah – 385 miles from the Grand Canyon – are two other airports you can use to get to the Grand Canyon National Park.
Things to Do When You Get There
Now that you know what the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park is, let’s move on to the reasons why it's definitely worth the trip and share a few more of our top planning tips.
This wonder of nature is astonishingly beautiful. In fact, its scale is so impressive that photos don't do it justice, and it’s almost impossible to describe its beauty unless you experience it for yourself. Here are some of the best things to do when you get to the Grand Canyon:
Enjoy its Beauty
Once you get to Grand Canyon, it’s easy to see the possible activities it offers. But sometimes, the best one can be the simplest – just quietly taking in its beauty. You can just sit near the edge and enjoy the fact that you are there. Of course, don’t forget to bring your camera and capture memories that will last forever.
There are also nice trails you can follow to admire this otherworldly sight from every angle and absorb its breathtaking beauty. Something you definitely don’t want to miss while here is a sunset or sunrise – or both. Watching the sun rise and go down over this stunning landscape is a uniquely mesmerizing show.
Observe the Teeming Wildlife
Wildlife is one of the best things this area has to offer. You may encounter different kinds of animals all around the Grand Canyon, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, coyotes, a large variety of birds and reptiles, and more.
However, while the animals that inhabit the park are beautiful, you should be careful. They are wild and unpredictable, and you should also avoid disturbing them in their natural habitat. To stay safe, don’t go near them. And if you are taking pictures of the wildlife, make sure to leave a great distance between you and the subject.
Experience Different Grand Canyon Activities
There are a lot of great activities to enjoy in the Grand Canyon area. You can follow breathtaking hiking trails - although most of them will require some level of fitness and expertise, so make sure to be well prepared. Some of the trails are perfect for biking, and you can also arrange horse or mule trips if you want to ride them into the canyon. There are also several ranger-led activities you can take.
If you have a bit more money to spend and want to treat yourself to an unforgettable experience, then riding a helicopter over the canyon is a must. This is something that will take your trip to the next level in every way!
Another experience you may enjoy during your visit is riding a train. If you’re looking for something more adventurous and love the water, you may want to consider an excursion on the Colorado River.
Insider's tip: Soaring over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter is truly exhilarating, but note that there are many tours on offer to visitors and not all are created equal. It can be challenging and stressful to decide which provider to entrust with this once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially when your personal safety is involved.
We highly recommend this top-reviewed, certified 45-minute scenic helicopter tour from the South Rim. Departing from Grand Canyon Airport at Tusayan, it will take you on a thrilling ride through many of the Canyon's highlights, including the Kaibab National Forest, the Painted Desert and Desert View Watchtower, Marble Canyon, and the Dragon Corridor. With reliable aircrafts and knowledgeable, friendly pilots, it's our team's favorite.
If you'd like to take in the Grand Canyon from above but have a slightly lower budget, a great alternative is the Discovery Air Tour. This is another bestselling tour of similar duration to the helicopter flight. The difference here is that you will ride on a small airplane instead, taking in scenic views of the Zuni Corridor, Imperial Point, the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, the Kaibab National Forest, and more. At just $159, it's an amazing deal!
Book one of our recommended Grand Canyon aerial tours:
Join Special Events
You will see a variety of special activities organised in and around the Grand Canyon area. There are usually theatrical productions staged during the summer season.
The most exceptional event is the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival, which takes place in September.
Check Out the Visitor Centers and Exhibits
There are different visitor centers and exhibits in the area, although not all are open year-round. The South Rim Visitor Center is normally open during regular business hours, and sometimes has extended hours in peak seasons.
You can also check out the Canyon View Information Plaza near the Canyon rim, where you will be able to find great information about anything you want to know in the area.
Another great place to visit is The Kolb Studio. Here, you can enjoy beautiful art exhibits for free. This building has been restored and is open to the public every day.
Located at the eastern entrance, The Desert View Information Center is another place that stays open year-round. Afterward, you can also head to the Tusayan Museum, where you can get up close and personal with Pueblo Indians who used to inhabit the area.
Relax at a Top Resort
Considering what the Grand Canyon has to offer, it’s not surprising that it has become a popular place for vacationers looking for a resort to relax in.
There are several beautiful resorts in the area where people are able to relax and enjoy an amazing vacation in this incomparable vacation spot. A resort is an outstanding option for people who are looking to make the most of their time in the national park.
Go to Sedona from the Grand Canyon
Another reason the Grand Canyon is a great destination is that Sedona, Arizona is not far away. Sedona is extremely beautiful, with its distinctive vortexes, red rock formations, and exceptional scenery.
Sedona is a very popular destination for tourists, and is easy to reach by plane, car, or - if you choose the fancy option - helicopter. Adding a trip to Sedona to your Grand Canyon adventure gives you the chance to enjoy not only the Grand Canyon, but also the red rocks of Sedona without having to travel far.
Hopefully, this article has been helpful and answered the question, What is the closest airport to Grand Canyon? If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. Make sure to also spread the word by sharing this article on your social media!