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Can You Drive From Vegas to the Grand Canyon at Night?

Can You Drive From Vegas to the Grand Canyon at Night?

The Grand Canyon, one of the most remarkable natural wonders, is just a few hours from Las Vegas. Tourists overwhelmed by the bustling city life seek Mother nature’s finesse at the park, which is open 24/7. But when is the best time to visit, and is it okay to drive there at night? 

You can drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon at night if you are accustomed to the route. The connecting highways are dark, with wildlife crossing, so you must drive carefully to avoid hitting one. Even if you don’t know the route well, you can safely arrive at the park with guidance. 

Continue reading this article to learn how to drive to the Grand Canyon at night, and I will also discuss safety tips for a successful trip. 

Why Drive to The Grand Canyon at Night

Visiting the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is an experience that shouldn’t be missed if you have the time. If you’re short on time but still want to visit the canyon, you might consider driving at night so that you can arrive at the Grand Canyon for sunrise.

If you arrive at the Grand Canyon early in the morning, you’ll have all day to fully enjoy the sights before heading back to Las Vegas. It’s a great way to get the most out of a short trip to this natural wonder.

How To Drive to the Grand Canyon at Night

The Grand Canyon tops the destination list for most Vegas visitors seeking a memorable road trip outside the city. However, your schedule may not permit the journey during daylight hours.

Traveling to the Grand Canyon by night is quite safe. You’ll only need to be more careful because it is much darker. There are two rims of the canyon you can reach from Las Vegas fairly easily, the west rim and the south rim.

West Rim

Grand Canyon West is on the way to the South Rim from Las Vegas
The Skywalk at Grand Canyon West is definitely a highlight of this trip.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is quite close to Las Vegas and is the rim most often visited by Las Vegas tourists because it is convenient. Grand Canyon West is located just 127 miles ( 204 kilometers) away and takes a little over two hours to get to from Las Vegas.

Keep in mind that the entrance to Grand Canyon West is only open from 8 am until sunset, so you don’t want to arrive at this entrance too early.

Here’s how to get to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas (google maps):

  • Interstate 15: Take I-15 South from the Las Vegas Strip to Highway 215 East.
  • Highway 215: Take Hwy 215 to Interstate 11 South.
  • Highway 11: Take to Hwy 93.
  • Highway 93: This highway is the main road you will take out of Las Vegas. It runs from Boulder City, Nevada, to Pierce Ferry Rd.
  • Pierce Ferry Rd to E Diamond Bar Rd: Take Pierce Ferry Road all the way to the entrance of Grand Canyon West.

It’s a pretty easy road trip to the West Rim entrance, and if you can time it, so you arrive early in the morning, you’ll have all day to explore.

South Rim

How To Drive to the Grand Canyon at Night
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a great road trip from Las Vegas.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is what most people think of when they talk about a trip to the Grand Canyon, and although Vegas seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere, the south rim is just 280 miles (451 kilometers) away.

It does, however, take a while to get to, and driving while it’s still dark can be a good choice to ensure that you make the most of the daylight hours in the park.

From Las Vegas, these are the major highways you’ll be driving on for the quickest journey to the Grand Canyon South Rim (google maps):

  • Interstate 15: Take I-15 South from the Las Vegas Strip to Highway 215 East.
  • Highway 215: Take Hwy 215 to Interstate 11 South.
  • Highway 11: Take to Hwy 93.
  • Highway 93: This highway is the main road you will take out of Las Vegas. It runs from Boulder City, Nevada, to Kingman, Arizona.
  • Interstate 40: I-40 will be the following major highway on your night trip from Sin City. It connects about nine states from the West to the eastern United States, but you’ll only travel some Arizona miles on it.
  • Highway 64: The road is the final one you’ll spend the least time on after leaving I-40 before you arrive at the South Rim.

You’ll leave Vegas, heading south on highway 93 to Kingman, AZ. Within the first 40 miles (64 kilometers), you’ll have passed through:

  • Paradise, NV
  • Henderson, NV
  • Boulder City, NV

You’ll get to Hoover Dam soon and temporarily bid Nevada farewell as you enter The Grand Canyon state. You may notice more activity in White Hills and Dolan Springs before reaching Kingman 107 miles (172 kilometers) later.

It’ll take you about 1.5 hours to reach Kingman, AZ, so now’s a good time to stretch your legs or allow a partner to take the wheel. Refill at a gas station if necessary, and eat something if you’re hungry.

After your break, head to exit 48, where US-93 meets with other highways, including Interstate 40. Your next destination is Williams, AZ, as you move east on I-40.

In emergencies, you can stop at Seligman, AZ, 73 miles (117 kilometers) ahead, or Ash Fork, just over 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Kingman.

Williams is 113 miles (182 kilometers) from Kingman and should take about 1 hour & 50 minutes plus to arrive.

At Williams, finally, turn left (north) to Route 64 and continue driving to the South Rim. It is 70 miles away, after Kaibab National Forest, so it should take over 1 hour & 20 minutes to get there. Luckily, it may not take so long since there’s less traffic at night.

It’s important to note that you’ve missed many stops because it’s nighttime, which may have made the trip more fun. Regardless, you’ve safely arrived at the destination to enjoy a picturesque sunrise.

The one-way trip should take about 4 hours & 40 minutes, so plan for 10 hours on the road to and from the Grand Canyon at night.

RELATED: How Far Is The Grand Canyon From Las Vegas (North, South & West Rim)

Safety Driving Tips From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon at Night

Safety Driving Tips From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon at Night

Driving long distances in the rural wilderness can be challenging & exhausting, more so at night.

If you’re planning for the 280-mile ride from Vegas to South Rim after sunset, consider the following to remain safe:

Ensure Your Car Lights Are Working

None of the major highways between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon have street lights, which is typical in the desert. It can be pitch-dark at night when the full moon isn’t out. 

Therefore, ensure all your car lights are working well before the trip. If you rented a car for the journey, double-check all the lights before leaving.

Also, try to stay behind other vehicles, if any are on the route while driving, so they can guide you somewhat.

Split the Driving With Others

Owing to the significant distance between both locations, traveling this road trip with companions that can drive is highly advisable.

You can switch with them whenever you get tired (more probable at night) and make the trip in the few hours discussed. The consequences can be severe if you force yourself to keep going when you’re exhausted.

Also, you and other possible drivers should be well-rested before the trip. 

Drive With Caution, Especially After Williams

People regularly spot various wild animals on the route between the park and Vegas, so remain alert throughout the journey.

At US-64 between Williams & the South Rim, elk are almost the size of your car and sometimes encroach on the highway, which is really dark at night. Hitting one will most certainly ruin your road trip.

Fill Your Fuel Tank

It’s safer to get your tank filled before leaving, especially if this will be your first drive to the Grand Canyon. Gas stations aren’t very plentiful along many areas of the route and you don’t want to run out of gas in the desert during the night.

Learn & Obey the Speed Limits

The police can be strict with speed limits on the routes to South Rim, but it’s only for your safety.

The maximum post-speed limit in Arizona is 75 mph, but in US 93 Nevada, you can’t go beyond 70 mph.

Besides, it’s night – going too fast is far riskier in the dark. 

Nevada & Arizona Might Be in Different Time Zones

Nevada & Arizona Might Be in Different Time Zones
For part of the year, Arizona is in a different time zone than Nevada.

One more important thing to keep in mind when driving from Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Grand Canyon in Arizona state is that for part of the year, the two states are in different time zones. During “daylight savings” times of the year (March-November), Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon are in the same time zone.

However, when daylight savings ends in November, all of Arizona (including the Grand Canyon) will be 1 hour ahead of Las Vegas.

Easiest Way to Visit The Grand Canyon From Las Vegas

If you’d like to visit the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, but you don’t want to drive at night, the most relaxing way to get there is with a tour group. Dozens of Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas leave every day.

These tours will get you to the Grand Canyon in the most relaxing way possible. You can ride, take an airplane or even fly in a helicopter. Your choice!

Driving to The Grand Canyon at Night From Vegas – Final Thoughts

You can drive to the Grand Canyon from Vegas at night, but you must drive more cautiously. It is riskier because the highways are dark with wild beasts close to the road.

However, if you follow the safety tips discussed in this article, the night trip will be a breeze.

Wendy Mullennix

My name is Wendy Mullennix. I love travel & travel, in that order :) I'm also a Las Vegas local. I enjoy exploring this crazy city with my hubby and riding fat tire bikes in the desert.

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