How To Save Money When You Visit The Grand Canyon

An aerial view of The Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring places on Earth. Its magnificent natural beauty draws millions of visitors every year from all around the world, making it an incredibly popular tourist destination. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to experience this wonder of the world. With some careful planning and research, you can find ways to make your visit to the Grand Canyon as economical as possible without sacrificing any of its breathtaking views or thrilling activities. 

Book a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

Plan your visit ahead of time

One of the best ways to avoid paying high prices for a Grand Canyon trip is by doing your homework ahead of time. Checking what discounts are available in the area is a proactive way to save. Many hotels, tour companies, and other attractions offer discounts during certain times of the year or have promotional specials that can help lower the overall cost of your trip. 

Familiarize yourself with the area before you go

It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of a new adventure before heading out on a trip. This excitement can result in overlooking some small but powerful ways to save money on your vacation. Familiarizing yourself with the area before you go may seem trivial and unnecessary, however, knowing the area could save you money on transportation as well as provide the opportunity to find more cost-effective activities to fill your vacation itinerary.

North Rim is great during the summer but closed in the winter

Not only should you familiarize yourself with the area surrounding the Grand Canyon but also the Grand Canyon itself. If your trip is planned for the winter months, you may want to take into consideration that the North Rim is closed during the winter season. During the summer, the North Rim offers a more personalized experience with fewer tourists and more luxurious lodging. So, if your intention is to save money while on your trip, the South Rim may be a better option. 

South Rim in the winter

  • Less money: The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is likely to be the more economically attractive choice for those on a budget. Keep in mind that the Grand Canyon is extremely popular, and affordable lodgings in and near the Grand Canyon can sell out months in advance. Do your wallet a huge favor and book your lodgings early to ensure you don’t get caught up in dynamic pricing. You’re also likely to save a buck or two when you visit during the winter.
  • Less crowded: The South Rim not only offers a more cost-effective trip but it is also typically less crowded during the winter months. Yes, it’s colder, but you can experience the Grand Canyon in a unique way without dealing with the crowds. 

Visit during the off-season

Visiting during the off-season is probably the number one way to save money on your trip. Not only are hotels cheaper, but so are flights. Summer is the peak season and is the prime time for businesses to make money. During the off-season, tourist activity tends to wane, and visiting the Grand Canyon becomes more affordable. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, visiting during the off-season could save you a lot of hard-earned money. 

Plan what type of experience you want

Before diving too deeply into the finer details of your trip, you should decide on what type of experience you are going for. You need to ask yourself whether you want to lodge inside or outside the park. If you are not dead set on lodging inside the park, there are plenty of affordable options available. You could opt for staying in a close-by town for cheaper lodging. This also gives you the added benefit of restaurant and shopping options. If you have your heart set on lodging inside the park, you can find occasional sales during off seasons as well as on special occasions. However, you need to be proactive because discounted lodging inside the park books quickly. 

Prepare and plan ahead to save money

It is no secret that you will get better discounts and more affordable options by preparing and planning early. Cheaper options always go more quickly than their more expensive counterparts. Planning and preparing for a trip to visit the Grand Canyon is not a task you want to drag your feet on. 

  • Admission costs – Admission costs to the Grand Canyon range from $20-$35. For those who opt to bicycle or hike their way to the Grand Canyon, the entrance fee is $20 per person. Taking a private vehicle with up to 15 passengers will cost you $35. 
  • Entrance-fee-free day – If you are serious about saving money during your trip, opt to visit the park on one of its fee-free days. During these days, the traditional admission fee is waived, and all visitors can witness the magnificence of the Grand Canyon for free. You can find out when fee-free days are by visiting the fees page on the National Park Service website. 

Try camping for less than $30 a night

If you really want to experience the authenticity of the Grand Canyon, consider camping. You can camp at the Grand Canyon for less than $30 a night. This is a huge way to save some money and embark on an adventure during your trip. You have the option for South Rim and North Rim camping as well as backcountry camping. You’ll experience the Grand Canyon in a unique way and spare your wallet in one fell swoop. 

Travel by bike or foot

Hiking and biking are exceedingly popular ways to experience the Grand Canyon. You can set off on foot or by bike and explore the Grand Canyon Village for free. Opting to explore the Grand Canyon on your own by hiking or biking the trails on your own terms instead of paying for a guided tour is also an economical option. 

Tour in a group

Another way to save money while planning your Grand Canyon vacation is by booking group-rate tours in advance. This will typically get you much better rates than trying to book individual tickets at the last minute. It is especially beneficial if there are several of you traveling together, as most tours provide significant savings when tickets are purchased in large quantities. 

Another benefit of traveling with a group is that you can split the lodging costs. This opens up more options that you may not have considered before, due to the hefty individual cost. Splitting the cost of more expensive lodgings is always a good way to save your bank account some strain.

Luxury van tours

Opting for a guided tour is a great way to gain insider knowledge about this magnificent marvel. Taking a van tour is an excellent way to experience the Grand Canyon and learn something new. Tour guides can provide you with fascinating insights into the geology, history, and cultural significance of the Grand Canyon. Booking a luxury van tour is a fantastic way to experience the Grand Canyon and discover hidden gems you might not have known about without the help of a guided tour.

Book your Grand Canyon tour now

Gray Line offers more than just bus tours. You also have the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon and gain a whole new perspective on this ancient marvel. Helicopter tours are available to experience the Grand Canyon in a unique and exhilarating way. Our fleet of tour transportation is second to none.

An incredible experience on a budget

The Grand Canyon as viewed from Mather Point.

Visiting the Grand Canyon can be an incredible experience, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. By following some simple tips and planning ahead of time, you can enjoy all that this amazing destination has to offer, all while sticking to a budget. With so many economical options available for exploring the Grand Canyon region, you can easily make your dream come true. Just remember that preparation is key!

Get in on the action and check out Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam as well during your trip. They are a great addition to any Grand Canyon vacation. You’ll go home having witnessed three spectacular destinations.

Book a tour of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam