Las Vegas and Phoenix are the closest major cities to the North and South rims, respectively. You can save money by flying into these cities, but they're too far from the canyon to stay. Flagstaff, Williams, and Tusayan (all in Arizona) and Kanab (in Utah) are better choices for lodging near the Grand Canyon.
Many travelers fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX; tel. 602/273-3300; http://skyharbor.com), 220 miles from the South Rim, or Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS; tel. 702/261-5211; www.mccarran.com), 263 miles from the North Rim. Most major airlines serve both airports, and it's easier to get a direct flight into these than into Flagstaff.
To land closer to the canyon, US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322; www.usairways.com) offers daily jet service ($220 and up for a round-trip) from Phoenix to Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) (tel. 928/556-1234), roughly 80 miles from the park. Closer still is Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN; tel. 928/638-2446) in Tusayan, 5 miles from the park's south entrance.
Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines (tel. 800/634-6801; www.scenic.com) and Grand Canyon Airlines (tel. 866/235-9422; www.grandcanyonairlines.com) offer daily service between Grand Canyon National Park Airport and Boulder City (BLD), Nevada (30 min. south of Las Vegas). The cost for these flights, which often include air tours of the canyon, is about $200 one-way. Vision Air (tel. 800/256-8767; www.visionholidays.com) serves Grand Canyon National Park Airport from North Las Vegas Airport (tel. 702/261-3806).
Major rental-car companies with offices in Arizona and Las Vegas include Avis (tel. 800/331-1212; www.avis.com), Budget (tel. 800/527-0700; www.budget.com), Dollar (tel. 800/800-4000; www.dollar.com), Hertz (tel. 800/654-3131; www.hertz.com), National (tel. 800/227-7368; www.nationalcar.com), and Thrifty (tel. 800/367-2277; www.thrifty.com).
Tip: Many of the Forest Service roads leading to remote areas on the rims are impassable in wet weather. During monsoon season, these roads can become too muddy or slippery to negotiate. In winter, there's no snow removal. People using these roads should be aware that they could be stranded indefinitely by heavy snowfall, rain, or other factors.
Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245 or 928/774-8679 for station information only; www.amtrak.com) regularly stops in downtown Flagstaff, where lodging, rental cars, and connecting bus service are available. You can take the train from Albuquerque to Flagstaff for about $75 one-way (unreserved coach fare). The one-way fare from L.A. to Flagstaff is about $60. Amtrak also serves Williams, where connecting rail service (on the historic, lively Grand Canyon Railway) is available. The one-way fare from L.A. to Williams is also about $60.
Arizona Shuttle (tel. 800/888-2749; www.arizonashuttle.com) provides bus service between both Flagstaff and Williams and Grand Canyon National Park for $35 each way (prices include entry fee and are discounted if booked online).
Cruise America (tel. 800/327-7799; www.cruiseamerica.com) rents RVs nationwide and has offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas. Daily rates range from $70 to $150 (depending on the season) for a 25-foot, C-class motor home, which gets 8 to 10 miles per gallon on a 40-gallon tank. Thirty-foot motor homes go for $10 more per night. There is a 3-day rental minimum, plus a charge of 32¢ per mile. When making reservations at a campground, make sure that your RV meets its regulations; some sites don't allow larger RVs.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.