One of the most epic of all family vacations in the United States is taking a road trip to see the Grand Canyon.
Visiting the Grand Canyon takes you back millions of years when a geological phenomenon occurred, resulting in different types of rocks and rock strata lying side-by-side. The phenomenon is commonly known as the Great Unconformity; however, how it took place and what happened during it remains a mystery!
Every year millions of people make their way to northern Arizona to explore the depths and caverns of the Grand Canyon and solve the mysteries that lie within its caves and crevices.
However, reaching the Grand Canyon National Park requires some driving; no matter how you approach it, there are no big cities adjacent to the Grand Canyon. Will you drive all the way from your home destination or travel by air and complete your journey by road and rental car?
Whether you’re a US resident or traveling to the US from some other country, we have put together some of the best and closest airports to the Grand Canyon for your convenience in planning your Grand Canyon vacation.
There are several airports close to the Grand Canyon in cities that are situated near it, like Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Sedona, and Phoenix. But before you book your flight, you should ask yourself whether you’re visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim or North Rim.
This entirely depends on the time of the year you choose to travel. For instance, you can visit the South and the North Rim if you’re traveling in the summer. However, if your trip is a winter getaway, you will only be able to visit the South Rim due to accessibility.
Here are some of the closest airports to the Grand Canyon, complete with their distance from the Grand Canyon and whether they’re close to the South Rim or the North Rim.
|Airport||Code||Distance and Drive Time to South Rim||Distance and Drive Time to North Rim|
|Grand Canyon National Airport||GCN||8 miles|
4 hours and 3 minutes
|St. George Regional Airport||SGU||273 miles|
4 hours and 43 minutes
|150 miles 2 hours and 45 minutes|
|Flagstaff Pulliam Airport||FLG||90 miles|
1 hour and 34 minutes
|212 miles 3 hours and 40 minutes|
|Prescott Ernest A. Love Field Airport||PRC||118 miles 2 hours and 3 minutes||300 miles 5 hours and 2 minutes|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||PHX||232 miles 3 hours and 42 minutes||354 miles 5 hours and 52 minutes|
|Harry Reid International Airport||LAS||277 miles 4 hours and 14 minutes||271 miles 4 hours and 27 minutes|
|Salt Lake City International Airport||SLC||526 miles 8 hours and 10 minutes||396 miles 6 hours and 20 minutes|
|Sedona Airport||SDX||116 miles 2 hours and 27 minutes||238 miles 4 hours and 35 minutes|
1. Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Arizona
The Grand Canyon National Park Airport is a small airport situated in the town of Tusayan, Arizona.
It is the closest airport to the Grand Canyon, as it is located hardly 8 miles away from the South Rim, and it would take almost 15 minutes to reach the entrance. On the other hand, you will have to take a 4-hour road trip to reach the North Rim.
The state owns the airport, which is usually used for private aircraft tours or charter flights. It does have a schedule for commercial flights, but the frequency is quite low. For instance, there are only a few flights from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, with a sky-high ticket price. However, the duration is only 35 minutes.
If you have a high budget or own a private jet, landing at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport won’t be a big deal. Plus, you’ll find plenty of hotels and restaurants in Tusayan where you can stay during your visit.
We wouldn’t recommend this airport as the best for travelers on a budget or traveling with family as it might get too expensive.
2. St. George Regional Airport, Utah
If you want to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, we would suggest taking a flight to the St. George Regional Airport in Utah as the closest small commercial airport.
The only commercial flights that ever land at this airport are from Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, and occasionally Los Angeles.
The airport is at 2 hours and 45 minutes drive from the North Rim. However, visiting the Grand Canyon via this airport would only be feasible if you’re flying in from Denver or Los Angeles, as the flights are 1 hour 50 minutes and 3 hours 15 minutes long.
But, if you’re coming from Phoenix or Salt Lake City, we suggest coming by car to save money, as the flight duration is hardly 1 hour and 15 minutes from both cities.
3. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, Arizona
If you’re looking for an airport that has frequent flights from other cities, you should choose Flagstaff Pulliam Airport for your trip to the Grand Canyon.
Flagstaff is one of the largest cities near the Grand Canyon; therefore, its regional airport has frequent flights from Denver, Phoenix, and Fort Worth. If you take a flight from Denver, you can reach Flagstaff in around 1 hour and 55 minutes, while it takes just 50 minutes from Phoenix. However, the longest flight is from Fort Worth, which has a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is 90 miles away from the South Rim, and it takes almost 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there by road. If you want to go to the North Rim, it will take almost 3 hours and 40 minutes, as it is 212 miles away.
So, if you want to get to the Grand Canyon without wasting time, the best way is to get a connecting flight from Denver, Phoenix, or Dallas to Flagstaff and then take the train or shuttle to Grand Canyon National Park.
4. Prescott Ernest A. Love Field Airport
Prescott is a city in central Arizona, and due to it being quite close to the Grand Canyon, the Prescott Ernest A. Love Field Airport is a great place to take a flight to for your trip.
Although it does not have many frequent commercial flights, you can get a connecting flight from Kingman, Los Angeles, Page, Moab, and Denver.
If you come via Los Angeles, it will take 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach Prescott, while from Denver, it takes 1 hour and 50 minutes. The flights from Kingman and Page are relatively short and take hardly 42 and 51 minutes, respectively. The longest flight is from Moab, which is 5 hours and 12 minutes long.
From the Prescott Ernest A. Love Field Airport, you can reach the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in around 2.5 hours. However, if you want to visit the North Rim, it’s a 5-hour drive approximately.
5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
If you’re traveling to see the Grand Canyon from outside the US or from other US states, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is by far the best choice. It is the closest major international airport to the South Rim.
It has flights from all around the US and from all over the world. You can get a direct flight to Phoenix from Canada, Mexico, and the UK. But, as Phoenix does not have as many frequent international flights as Las Vegas, you’ll have to get connecting flights from other countries, resulting in increased airfare.
If you’re on a budget, we suggest getting a flight to Las Vegas instead, in case you are traveling from countries with connecting flights.
The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is at a distance of 3 hours and 35 minutes, while the North Rim is at 5 hours and 40 minutes. So, if you’re visiting the Grand Canyon via Phoenix, you’ll have to stay at a place closer to the park.
6. Harry Reid International Airport
Whether you’re visiting the Grand Canyon from inside the US or from another country, getting a flight to the Harry Reid International Airport (formerly McCarran International Airport – LAS) is the best option.
It is one of the biggest airports near the Grand Canyon and caters direct flights worldwide. So, no matter where you’re coming from, you’ll surely get a flight to Las Vegas. As for people traveling from inside the US, you can get the lowest fares.
Another great thing about the Harry Reid Airport is that it is located at a central location from where both the South Rim and the North Rim are easily accessible at 4 hours and 30 minutes drive. However, even though the traveling distance is almost the same, the North Rim is nearest to the airport.
7. Salt Lake City International Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport is one option to get to the Grand Canyon; however, we won’t call it the closest major airport to Grand Canyon. It takes almost 8 hours and 10 minutes to get to the South Rim from here. The North Rim, however, is a bit close at a distance of 6 hours and 15 minutes.
Then why have you mentioned this airport if it takes this long, you ask?
However, if you’re looking forward to the amazing road trip, you can easily get a flight to the Salt Lake City International Airport from all the states in the US, but the fares might be a bit high compared to flights to Phoenix or Las Vegas.
As for international flights, you can get direct flights from Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and France, but they won’t be cheap. You might have a New York stopover from some countries before heading to Salt Lake City.
If you’re on a budget and would rather reach the Grand Canyon as early as possible, you can check out the other airports with cheaper flights and a shorter drive.
This is a great choice, though, if you’re undertaking a complete desert road trip from Salt Lake City to Zion and perhaps Bryce National Parks, then continuing on south from Zion to Arizona. Check out our 9-day Arizona-Utah road trip itinerary for more ideas, including Monument Valley and Navajo tribal country.
8. Sedona Airport
We’ll keep the Sedona Airport for last because even though it is one of the closest airports to the Grand Canyon, it does not have any commercial flights flying in or out.
That’s right! You need a private jet or a charter plane to get to this airport. The Sedona Airport is located on top of a mountain, almost 500 feet above the main city, and is listed as one of the most scenic airports in the US.
Once you reach Sedona Airport, it takes almost 2 hours and 10 minutes to reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon by road. And if you head toward the North Rim, it will take approximately 4.5 hours.
Going via Sedona would be a good choice if you have a private plane and want to visit the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. For people dependent on commercial flights, we suggest taking a flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and visiting Sedona and the Grand Canyon in one trip.
If you’re going to visit the Grand Canyon, the best way is to get a flight to the nearest city and, from there, take a road trip to the Grand Canyon National Park.
However, many of the closest airports to the Grand Canyon do not cater to frequent domestic or international flights. Some airports only have flights from a handful of cities; therefore, you have to resort to getting connecting flights.
Only a couple of large international airports have proper flights from all over the US and other countries.
This article lists eight airports nearest to Grand Canyon National Park, from where you can take a cab, shuttle, or train to the South or North Rim of the park. We hope this information will come in handy on your epic family trip to the Grand Canyon!
- You’ll find our complete family visitor guide to the Grand Canyon here
- Here we compare which is better for a short trip; Grand Canyon West vs South Rim in the National Park
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