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Airports Near Grand Canyon: 5 Closest US and International Options

Airports Near Grand Canyon: 5 Closest US and International Options

Grand Canyon National Park contains one of the most recognizable landscapes on Earth. But how do you reach rural Northern Arizona from where you live? Well, we’re going to show you the 5 best and closest airports near Grand Canyon for both US domestic and international travelers.

We want to get you off to a flying start on your trip to Grand Canyon. So, we will explain everything you need to know about each of the 5 most convenient airports near Grand Canyon South Rim and North Rim, in order from closest to furthest away.

That includes drive times and distances from each airport, plus a list of airports flying into those airports near Grand Canyon. By the end you should know which airport to fly into and out from when you visit the magnificent Grand Canyon.

Let’s fly!

Your Grand Canyon National Park Travel Itinerary

Before we get into the list of best and closest airports to use for visiting Grand Canyon South Rim and Grand Canyon North Rim, it’s important to establish your travel plans.

  • Are you visiting only South Rim?
  • Is this a quick weekend break only?
  • Do you plan to road trip Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks after Grand Canyon?
  • How about ticking off the long list of amazing things to do in Sedona? What about Page, AZ?
  • Are you an international visitor flying in from afar for a 2 or 3 week visit to the US?
  • Will you spend a few days ticking off the best things to do in Las Vegas before or after?

Approximately 90% of all visitors to Grand Canyon only visit South Rim because it is easier to access and is open all year. North Rim can be a pain to reach and it also closes during Winter.

Taking the questions above into account, the best airports for you to use near Grand Canyon could be different depending on your other plans for this upcoming trip.

Need help organizing your visit to Grand Canyon South Rim?

Our popular 30+ page Grand Canyon South Rim Guidebook can help you with planning every aspect of your trip.

Using Different Inbound and Outbound Airports

Stay with that thought process for a minute and remember you can always fly into one airport, then fly out of another.

Here’s an example:

But there are both pros and cons to using different airports for inbound and outbound flights.

The obvious benefits are that you can see more places in one trip without having to go back on yourself to the origin airport. This means a very efficient vacation, with no wasted time.

But you will likely pay more for the convenience and efficiency. Why?

Cost Of Flights

Typically a return flight will cost less than two single trips. However, there are a handful of ways you can test this theory out and if you have flexible dates you can almost always figure out a way to make two singles cheap enough.

We strongly recommend you search for combinations of single trips between your departure airport and all airports listed below. Compare those prices to return flights to each airport. Read our guide to booking cheap flights for tips.

International travelers might want to include Grand Canyon National Park as part of the best USA road trips around the American Southwest. You could do two singles landing in Phoenix and flying out of Salt Lake City or vice versa.

Alternatively, there’s an enormous amount to do near Grand Canyon, so you could just do return flights from your home city to Las Vegas and explore the entire region for a few weeks.

Again, assess all of your options to find the best prices and see if it fits in with your travel plans.

Heading to Las Vegas? Don’t miss our guide featuring the best things to do in Las Vegas both on and off the strip.

Cost Of Rental Cars

Rental cars can cost more for point to point rentals as opposed to round trip rentals. This one depends on how far away you plan to leave the car from its origin and also how popular both pick up and drop off point are.

For instance, the car rental dealer knows the car will be picked up and brought back by another customer due to it being a popular route, therefore the price won’t increase by much.

If the cost is significantly higher for a point to point car rental, it might make or break your decision on best airports to use for visiting Grand Canyon.

Long haul international travelers are likely to be renting cars for longer periods. Doing point to point might be more expensive but you are probably more willing to absorb the cost as this is more of a bucket list trip overall.

Soft light on rock formations in northern arizona

Resources For Planning Your Grand Canyon Visit

1. Flights: When searching for flights from your origin to all of the airports listed below, we recommend you try as many different platforms and search engines as you can.

– Typically, we end up booking all of our flights through Skyscanner flights search engine. We personally find it the easiest search engine to use and it usually pulls up the cheapest prices for flights.

2. Rental Cars: Same again, always shop around to find the best prices. Remember to search for both round trips and point to point if you plan to use different airports.

– We use Rental Cars to book our hire vehicles, simply because it is easy to use, we always get great service and competitive prices. One thing to remember is type of vehicle. If you plan to go off roading anywhere in the desert, get a high clearance 4WD.

3. Hotels: If you plan to stay over at Grand Canyon South Rim, you are going to book either a park lodge on the Rim or a hotel in a town near the Rim.

– Our complete where to stay at Grand Canyon South Rim guide will help you figure out the top rated lodging options.

5 Airports Near Grand Canyon From Closest To Furthest

OK, let’s get stuck into the closest airports to Grand Canyon National Park. We will work from closest to furthest in terms of miles you will have to travel from the airport to reach South Rim.

Chances are you are only planning to go to South Rim, but 1 in 10 of you reading this will be going to North Rim. Therefore, we will include distance to North Rim but we will use South Rim as our distance factor.

The 5 airports we are going to discuss are:

  • Grand Canyon National Park Airport
  • Flagstaff Pulliam Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
  • Salt Lake City International Airport

Grand Canyon is one of the very best US national parks and the overwhelming majority of visitors will use either Phoenix, Las Vegas or Salt Lake City airports.

Why not a closer airport? Well, let’s find out.

Hiking path at sunrise along grand canyon south rim close to the national park airport in Tusayan

1. Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN), Arizona

First up is a tiny little airport located just a few miles South of the entrance to Grand Canyon South Rim. If you have plans to land here, you better be incredibly wealthy or have your own plane!

The aptly named Grand Canyon National Park Airport is in Tusayan. You will find a handful of hotels and restaurants in Tusayan, which makes it a popular place to stay near the park.

This airport is state owned and is mainly used for small aircraft tours or private use. However, there are a very small amount of scheduled commercial services landing here.

Grand Canyon National Park Airport To Grand Canyon

  • South Rim – Grand Canyon National Park Airport is 7 miles from South Rim and just 2 miles from the entrance.
  • North Rim – However, it is a 4 hour drive to reach North Rim via Desert View Road, US-89, US-89A and AZ-67.

Airports Flying Into Grand Canyon National Park Airport

Las Vegas very rarely has scheduled flight direct into this airport. When searching for flights at the time of writing, we could only find one return flight from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Airport. It was operated by Linear Air (private jet) and it cost over $5,000 per person.

So to summarize, flying into Grand Canyon National Park Airport is not a feasible option for 99.9% of us.

Sunrise light bursting from behind hiking path in grand canyon south rim near flagstaff airport

2. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), Arizona

Flagstaff is the closest large city to Grand Canyon South Rim and it does have a regional airport, but it is only served directly with non-stop flights by Denver, Dallas Fort Worth and Phoenix.

The most important thing to know about Flagstaff is that you can take public transport from the city directly to Grand Canyon South Rim.

The train only has 2 daily departures early and late, and it is slow. But the shuttle bus only takes 1h 45m and it is far more convenient.

Back to flights, both Denver and Phoenix into and out of Flagstaff are reasonably priced and frequent. Denver to Flagstaff at a cheap price is probably the best single flight route you can do to visit Grand Canyon South Rim.

Dallas Fort Worth is going to cost a bit more (it’s quite a bit further to fly). However, it is perfectly reasonable and very convenient if you live anywhere near the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

International travelers might want to consider flying into Dallas, Denver or Phoenix and connecting to Flagstaff. This is great for those who don’t want to rent a car upon arrival or who don’t have time to spend a day driving from further afield.

Flagstaff Airport To Grand Canyon

  • South Rim – It is just 90 miles or 1 hour 30 minutes driving time from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport to Grand Canyon South Rim. Take I-40 to Williams, turn onto AZ-64 and follow into the National Park.
  • North Rim – At 212 miles or 3 hours 40 minutes, Flagstaff represents the nearest airport to North Rim. Take US-89, US-89A and AZ-67.

Airports Flying Non-Stop Into Flagstaff Airport

  • Denver – United Airlines
  • Dallas / Fort Worth – American Airlines
  • Phoenix – American Airlines

You might be wondering why you would fly from Phoenix to Flagstaff?

Well it makes sense if you can jump on a flight out of Phoenix, one hour later you’re in Flagstaff, take a shuttle for 1h 45m and you’re at South Rim. Spend a few days and then do the same in reverse.

It’s convenient and you don’t need to drive your own car.

Phoenix Sky Harbor airport is just 4 hours from this view at Grand Canyon south rim deep shadows cast into the canyon with bright light on tops of formations at sunset

3. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Arizona

Phoenix Sky Harbor represents the closest major international airport to Grand Canyon South Rim.

This is going to be the best choice for any domestic US travelers who want to get as close as possible to the national park. If you can pick up a good value ticket, Phoenix is very convenient for South Rim.

It is also going to be a good option for international travelers, although it might not be the very best option.


Well, Phoenix will have fewer international inbound flights than Las Vegas. You also may not be able to fly direct non-stop depending on where you are in the world.

So, yes Phoenix is slightly closer but it might not be the cheapest option.

If you plan to spend a few days hiking in Sedona and the Grand Canyon in the same trip (very highly recommended), then Phoenix is the best airport for you.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Grand Canyon

  • South Rim – At just 233 miles or 3 hours and 35 minutes, Phoenix is the closest major international airport to South Rim. Take I-17 north to Flagstaff, I-40 west to Williams and AZ-64 to South Rim.
  • North Rim – Remember we said North Rim can be a pain to reach? Well, at 355 miles or 5 hours and 40 minutes Phoenix is certainly not the best option for visiting North Rim. Take I-17 to Flagstaff, US-89, US-89A and AZ-67 to North Rim.

Airports Flying Non-Stop Into Phoenix Airport

Includes but not limited to:

Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, WestJet, Frontier Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Mesa Airlines, United, Delta, British Airways and Qatar Airways all fly direct non-stop into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

  • US – All major airports and many minor airports
  • Canada – Most major airports
  • Mexico – Most major airports
  • United Kingdom – London

You can pick up excellent value flights into Phoenix from other parts of the world with connections. If flying from Europe, check for changes in New York City.

Colorado River still and reflecting rocks in northern arizona

4. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), Nevada

Las Vegas need no introduction. But aside from being a tourist magnet, you can use Vegas to your advantage by transiting through here from your home airport to reach Grand Canyon National Park.

Top choice: We think Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is the best airport to use near Grand Canyon.


  • It is only slightly longer to reach South Rim than Phoenix
  • McCarran is by far the nearest major airport to North Rim
  • You can pick up very cheap domestic US flights
  • International visitors have the best chance getting a non-stop flight at a good price

What many people don’t realize is how many awesome things there are to do near Las Vegas. Yes, Grand Canyon is near the top of that list, but you can see more special landscapes nearby if you have time.

Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire State Park, Zion National Park and Kanab Utah are just a few places to check out and consider tagging on to your Grand Canyon vacation if flying through Las Vegas.

By visiting Las Vegas, Zion and Grand Canyon South Rim you would be ticking off three of the top bucket list US vacation spots in one amazing trip.

Las Vegas McCarran Airport to Grand Canyon

  • South Rim – At 277 miles or 4 hours and 15 minutes, McCarran isn’t much further from South Rim than Phoenix. You can drive from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam and then onto South Rim. Take US-93 to I-40 and AZ-64.
  • North Rim – Clocking in at 273 miles or 4 hours 30 minutes, McCarran is the nearest major airport to North Rim. Take I-15 (maybe stop at Valley of Fire), UT-59, AZ-389, US-89A and AZ67 to reach North Rim.

Airports Flying Directly Into Las Vegas Airport

Includes but not limited to:

Allegiant Air, Air Canada, WestJet, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United, Delta, British Airways, Air France, EL AL, Korean Air and Qatar Airways all fly direct non-stop into Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

  • US – All major airports and many minor airports
  • Canada – Most major airports
  • Mexico – Four airports
  • Panama – Panama City
  • Germany – Frankfurt and Munich
  • United Kingdom – London
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
Switchbacks on a hiking trail at South Rim arizona

5. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Utah

You might be wondering why we would include Salt Lake City in a list of closest airports near Grand Canyon because, well, quite frankly it is a full days drive away.

But that is only if you intend to drive straight down to South Rim. One of the most amazing US road trips is the Utah Mighty 5 national parks and it is right above the Grand Canyon as you look at a map.

If you live in the US or abroad and want to spend 10 days or 2 weeks in the American Southwest, coupling Utah’s parks with Grand Canyon is about as good as it gets.

You can fly into SLC, drive to Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon, Kanab, Zion, Bryce Canyon and back to SLC or on to Las Vegas.

Back to flights and you can pick up cheap domestic flights from certain US airports but not all. Just from a quick search on Skyscanner we can see that flights from NYC and Seattle are cheaper to Phoenix and Las Vegas when compared to SLC.

Direct non-stop international flights are limited and also not as cheap as Phoenix or Las Vegas. Again, you may have to transit through New York City or similar.

Salt Lake City Airport to Grand Canyon

  • South Rim – It is a long 526 miles or 8 hours and 10 minutes drive to South Rim from SLC airport but you wouldn’t use this airport if you only intend to do South Rim.
  • North Rim – At 396 miles or 6 hours 15 minutes, it is only 40 miles more to drive from SLC to North Rim than it is to drive from Phoenix.

Airports Flying Directly Into Salt Lake City Airport

Includes but not limited to:

Delta, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, SkyWest Airlines, KLM and Aeromexico all fly direct non-stop into Salt Lake City International Airport.

  • US – All major airports and many minor airports
  • Canada – Calgary
  • Mexico – Five airports
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
  • France – Paris

Bonus Grand Canyon North Rim – St George Regional Airport, Utah

We decided not to include St George Airport in our main list because it is only accessible via Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Denver. There are also very infrequent flights from Los Angeles to St George.

St George could make for a great airport to use if visiting North Rim (2h 45m drive) and flying in from Denver or Los Angeles. But it would have to be a short term trip to offset the costs of hiring a car vs driving your own car.

Phoenix and SLC wouldn’t make much sense with drive times, flight times and associated costs. You’d be better off driving directly from the international airports.

Should You Fly Into Las Vegas, Phoenix Or Flagstaff For Grand Canyon South Rim?

To finish we will offer some insight into the most commonly asked question.

Which is the best airport to use near Grand Canyon? Well, as we mentioned above, we think Las Vegas offers the perfect overall solution.

It has more inbound flights, it is close to both Rims, you can pick up excellent value domestically and you have more options internationally.

The ratio of price to convenience is better than the others and you have a ton of other places to visit between Vegas and the Canyon.

Our advice is to surf the flight engines, write down the best prices you can find on single flights and return flights. Then check car rental engines and do the same.

You will naturally come to a conclusion about which airport to use based on overall cost, your travel plans and convenience.

Need Help Planning A Trip To Grand Canyon South Rim?

Grand Canyon is one of the most visited National Parks in the US and it’s a stunning landscape that will genuinely blow you away.

But we also know how important it is to get your trip off to the best possible start by planning in advance.

We have been lucky enough to visit Grand Canyon South Rim twice, at different times of year and with different goals:

  1. First to sightsee, shoot sunrises and sunsets and see the canyon from every single viewpoint on the Rim.
  2. Second to day hike Rim to River, South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel in one day.

If you are planning a trip to Grand Canyon South Rim and want to know:

  • Where to stay and eat
  • How to get there and use the shuttles
  • The best hikes in the area
  • Which overlooks to visit
  • Where to watch sunrise and sunset

This 30+ page Grand Canyon South Rim Guidebook with 4 example itineraries will tell you all this information plus more so you can plan the perfect trip to Grand Canyon South Rim National Park.

Want more Arizona content? Head over to our Arizona Travel Guides to explore the best of Grand Canyon, Sedona and beyond.

We hope this guide to the closest airports near South Rim and North Rim helps you plan your visit to Grand Canyon National Park!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the airports near Grand Canyon in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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