Offering door-to-door service Papillion picks up travelers in the early morning hours from most major Las Vegas hotels and transports them to their terminal where a luxury air conditioned coach awaits. The journey to Grand Canyon National Park takes approximately five hours; however, several notable 20-30 minute stops along the way, including the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge and several spots along the Canyon break the journey into manageable pieces and allow for photos and souvenir shopping. Once at GCNP, travelers enjoy lunch at the National Geographic Center food court (included in their ticket price). Time spent at the Grand Canyon is about two hours and the company offers many additional add-ons such as the Skywalk and a helicopter tour (for additional cost) to help pass the time. The bus ride back to Las Vegas takes another 5 hours, but also includes rest stops.
Major Highlight: The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
Opened in 2010, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, also called the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, is part of U.S. Highway 93 joining Clark County, Nevada with Mohave County, Arizona. Called “America’s Newest Wonder” by USA Today, the bridge boasts several impressive statistics along with its stunning southwest views. It is the second highest bridge of any kind in the United States, and the ranked #14 in the world, sitting a spectacular 840 feet above the Colorado River. In addition, the concrete columns that support this massive arch bridge are the largest of their kind in the world. Nestled between two impressive rock cliffs known as Black Canyon, photo ops from the bridge include the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. In all, the bridge is a fantastic display of not only the majesty of nature, but the power of structural engineering in the 21st century.
Is This the Tour for You?
Papillon’s Grand Canyon South Rim Bus Tour is not for the faint of heart. This is a long day which generally begins around 6am and doesn’t end until near 11pm or later, depending on traffic and other mitigating factors. However, it is also one of the least expensive options Papillon provides and one that includes two of the biggest highlights of the southwest: the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon National Park. Individuals willing to pay more for a helicopter tour once at the Canyon are also in for a real treat as most reviewers identify this as the clear highlight of their trip. Overall, choosing this option from Papillon is best for those budget-conscious individuals with the patience to endure a long day on the road.