MaxTour logo
MaxTour logo

What's the Cheapest Way to Visit Grand Canyon?

Last Update on June 04, 2023
by Sunny Samaroo
Table of Contents
Primary Item (H2)

If you're traveling on a budget, the Grand Canyon is a must-visit destination that offers awe-inspiring views and natural beauty that will leave you speechless.

Many people assume that visiting this natural wonder of the world must come with a hefty price tag, but that's not necessarily the case. With a little planning and some insider knowledge, you can experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon without breaking the bank.

Here's an extensive look at the cheapest ways to visit the Grand Canyon, from knowing the cheapest time to visit to finding the most affordable accommodations.

View of the Grand Canyon
Believe it or not, amazing views like this don't have to break the bank.

1. Cheapest Month to Visit Grand Canyon

December, January, and February are the cheapest months to visit the Grand Canyon (with the exception of the winter holidays). 

However, temperatures may drop below freezing, snow is common, and some facilities and services within the park may have reduced hours or be temporarily closed. The Grand Canyon North Rim is closed entirely during winter.

If you're looking for a budget-friendly period that still gives you the chance to experience the Grand Canyon at its fullest, visit from March to May or September to November

These months offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices compared to the peak season of summer.

Tip: Regardless of when you plan to visit, book Grand Canyon tours in advance to take advantage of deals and promotions.

Snow at Grand Canyon
Snow is common at the Grand Canyon during the winter.

2. Getting to Grand Canyon Cheaply

If you're traveling from far, flying into Las Vegas may be the most affordable choice. It's a major hub with numerous airlines offering competitive fares. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to reach the Grand Canyon.

Another option is to drive directly to the park if you're within a reasonable distance. Traveling with friends or family can help split the cost of gas and reduce transportation expenses.

Related Reading: Is It Difficult to Drive From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon? 

Once you're at the Grand Canyon National Park, there's one cost you can't avoid: the entry fee. Here are the prices:

  • $35 per private vehicle seating up to 15 people
  • $30 per motorcycle (driver and passenger)
  • $20 per individual person (pedestrian, hiker, or cyclist)

3. Eating at Grand Canyon Cheaply

Eating out at restaurants within the Grand Canyon National Park can quickly eat away at your budget. To save money, pack your own food and drinks for your visit. 

Stock up on snacks, sandwiches, and water before entering the park, and enjoy picnics at the designated areas with stunning views. This way, you can enjoy a leisurely and flexible dining experience while surrounded by nature's grandeur without breaking the bank.

The town of Tusayan, a 15-minute drive or shuttle ride from the park, offers plenty of casual dining and fast food establishments. The prices are definitely tourist prices, but they're quite good compared to the restaurants inside the park.

4. Sleeping at Grand Canyon Cheaply

One of the cheapest ways to experience the Grand Canyon is by camping. The park offers several campgrounds, including Mather Campground and Desert View Campground, and Trailer Village.

At the South Rim, there are 4 campgrounds, and the North Rim has 2.

See more info and book a campsite here:

Campsites sell out quickly, so make sure to make your plans in advance.

You can also look for accommodation in nearby towns like Flagstaff and Williams. These towns often have budget-friendly motels, inns, or vacation rentals that can provide comfortable accommodations at a fraction of the cost of staying within or nearby the park.

Related Reading: Is It Better to Stay Inside the Park in Grand Canyon?

View of Grand Canyon
Staying inside the park is more expensive, but makes it easier to see sunrise at the park.

5. Cheap Tours to Grand Canyon

Tours might instinctively make you think of spending a lot of money but Grand Canyon tours often actually work out cheaper than planning the whole trip yourself

Local tour guides know the ins and outs of the canyon and where to get deals, including on accommodation. When joining a tour, you might also have some of your meals and activities included in the price. 

These tours can help you make the most of your time and money while exploring the vastness and beauty of the Grand Canyon. If coming from Vegas, this tour is consistently one of the cheapest.

6. Free Things to Do at Grand Canyon

There are so many things to do at the Grand Canyon. and many of the park's most spectacular viewpoints are easily accessible and completely free

Head to Mather Point, Yavapai Point, or the Rim Trail to enjoy awe-inspiring panoramic vistas without spending a dime.

Additionally, the park offers a multitude of hiking trails catering to different skill levels. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on adventures like the 15-mile Bright Angel Trail or the South Kaibab Trail for an up-close and personal experience with the canyon's mesmerizing beauty.

If you drive yourself there, you can also tour the Grand Canyon by car. Plenty of scenic points in the canyon are accessible by car. 

If not, you still won't have to worry about getting around the park, since there's a free shuttle service. The shuttle has several routes and connects all the major points within the Grand Canyon National Park.

People at the Grand Canyon
There are so many amazing sights to see at the Grand Canyon, without paying an extra cent.

The Bottom Line

Visiting the Grand Canyon on a budget is more than possible. By following these cost-saving tips, you can experience the breathtaking beauty of this natural wonder while keeping your wallet happy: 

  • Choose the right time to visit
  • Utilize cost-saving transportation options
  • Pack your own food
  • Camping or stay in affordable accommodations
  • Take advantage of tour packages
  • Explore the park's free attractions

With a little planning and an adventurous spirit, you can create lasting memories at the Grand Canyon without emptying your pockets.


Sunny Samaroo

You May Also Like