Canyon Dave Tours has been leading tours of the Grand Canyon for over 15 years. The company is run by Dave “Canyon Dave” Thayer and his wife, Dora. They bring a unique perspective on the Grand Canyon to their tours, as Dave has a master’s degree in geobiology, and Dora has a degree in field biology. As a result, Canyon Dave’s well-regarded “Ultimate Tour” is a highly informative experience. The tour usually stops at several different notable Points along the South Rim, where your friendly guide will give an educational presentation on the surrounding rock formations and local wildlife. For adults, the price of a ticket runs near $150, but there is a special rate available for children.
Canyon Dave Tours to the Grand Canyon
A ticket for Canyon Dave Tours’ Ultimate Tour costs about $150 for adults; children 12 and under cost approximately $100. This price includes your entrance fee to legendary Grand Canyon National Park, several informative handouts/information sheets, an assortment of snacks and beverages, and lunch.
One of the great benefits of Canyon Dave’s Ultimate Tour is that it departs right from your hotel; whether you are staying at the Grand Canyon, or any of several different regional cities like Flagstaff, Tusayan, Valle, and/or Williams, the Ultimate Tour picks you up. Tours begin early in the morning—normally between 7:30am and 9:30am—and typically end around 5:30pm. Although occasionally traffic along the South Rim slows things down and prevents the tour from making every allotted stop, usually the Ultimate Tour stops at Grandview Point, Moran Point, and Lipan Point. At each one of these iconic locations you’ll have plenty of time for photographs, as well as be able to ask your guide any and every question that comes to mind about this breathtaking setting. The lunch that is included as part of your tour ticket takes place at a local restaurant whose menu includes American, Italian, Mexican, and Navajo fare—as well as an on-site gift shop that sells handcrafted Native American items.
Group Ultimate Tour
This special-event tour provides guests with the exact same experience as the Ultimate Tour, only it caters to your specific private group of family and/or friends. This full-day tour can accommodate up to 14 people, and may be customized in a variety of ways.
Things to Know & Insider Tips
- Prime tour season for the Grand Canyon (and its surrounding region) tends to fall between March and October. If you intend to go on a tour with Canyon Dave tours during this time period, you’ll want to book in advance, as tours fill-up pretty quickly.
- While it is never a bad idea to bring your own equipment, Canyon Dave Tours does provide you with a set of binoculars that you can use to get an even better glimpse of various sights along the tour route.
- Canyon Dave Tours is a good choice for families traveling with children, as all during the Ultimate Tour your guide will have at hand a number of children’s books and wildlife picture books. These are perfect tools for making certain your kids are both content and well-informed as you drive from spot to spot along the South Rim.
- Keep in mind that it is customary to tip your tour guide approximately 20%. This cost is not included in the tour-ticket admission price.
Is Canyon Dave Tours for You?
If you are looking for a tour that provides a lot of educational information about the natural history of the Grand Canyon—for example, details on how the Grand Canyon was formed and when, how old its various layers are, the composition of any number of the rocks you’ll encounter along the way, etc.—then Canyon Dave Tours is likely the tour company for you. Its guides are well-informed, and do their best to tailor their informative talks to the interests of their guests. The full-day tour is a long one, with a lot of time spent in the vehicle moving from place to place along the South Rim—but of course the scenery all across the route is spectacular, and Canyon Dave’s tour guides are known for doing a great job of keeping everyone engaged and excited.