Closest Airport to Grand Canyon: 9 Best Options

Standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people across the US and around the globe. It is one of the seven wonders of the world, after all!

Unless you live in Arizona or one of the neighboring states, your Grand Canyon vacation will begin with a flight to the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park.

Considering the Grand Canyon is 217 miles long and 4 to 18 miles wide, there is more than one good option! And the closest airport for domestic travelers might not be the best airport for international travelers.

Whether you’re embarking on an epic southwestern national parks road trip or a flying visit to the Grand Canyon area, this guide breaks down all the nearby regional and international airports. It will give you all the logistical info you need to choose the best option for your travel plans including drive time, mileage, and points of interest along the route.

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Here we are, approaching the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time. Everyone was a little nervous, especially mom. This was in 2021, thus the masks.

1. Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN) – 7.5 Miles

While technically the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park, this is a super small airport in the town of Tusayan that only serves private planes and those arriving by charter flight. You won’t be able to book a commercial flight via major airlines to Grand Canyon Airport or the nearby Sedona Airport either.

But if you want to take a helicopter tour above the canyon, choosing a tour from this airport is the best choice to enjoy those awe-inspiring scenic flights. Only from above can you witness the true scale of this ancient wonder!

Grand Canyon Airport is south along Route 64 and a short drive to Grand Canyon Village, the South Rim, and Kaibab National Forest.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 15 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to GCN: N/A
entrance sign at Grand Canyon national park airport Pin
FraukeFeind, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) – 89.6 Miles

Flagstaff Airport is also a smaller airport, but it’s the nearest airport to Grand Canyon National Park with commercial flights. This airport receives direct flights from three cities in the United States: Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas.

Flying into Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is also the best choice of commuter airport if you want to take public transport to Grand Canyon National Park. You have two options: the Amtrak train or the Arizona shuttle bus operated by Groome Transportation.

Amtrak: Hop on the Southwest Chief Line which travels between Chicago and Los Angeles. Travel one stop from Flagstaff to Williams and then climb aboard the Grand Canyon Railway straight to the South Rim. There are two daily services.

Shuttle bus: Take a direct shuttle bus from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There are usually three services every day.

Once you’re on the South Rim, you can use the free National Parks Service shuttle to travel to different viewpoints. For a more convenient option, there are 24-hour taxi services along the South Rim too.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 90 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to FLG: American Airlines and United Airlines
View of Flagstaff Airport, from the frontPin
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3. Prescott Regional Airport (PRC) – 113 Miles

Another alternative when searching for the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park is Prescott Regional Airport, also known as the Ernest A. Love Field Airport. You can find direct flights to Prescott Airport from Denver and Los Angeles.

Although it’s a small airport with few commercial flights, you can easily pick up car rentals from Prescott Regional Airport. If you live near Denver or Los Angeles or find a great connecting flight deal, Prescott is a great option!

  • Driving time to South Rim: 2 hours
  • Airlines Flying to PRC: United Airlines
prescott regional airport, Earnest A Love Field signPin
Cityofprescott, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) – 231 Miles

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is the closest major airport to Grand Canyon National Park and it’s also the closest international airport. There are direct, international flights to Phoenix Airport from London in the UK and Frankfurt in Germany.

Dozens of airports around the US offer daily flights to Phoenix including Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, New York City, and many more. This is arguably the best, closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park for domestic travelers.

And that’s not just because of the convenience, but because of all the cool things to see between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. Sedona is just a two-hour drive north of Phoenix en route to Grand Canyon National Park and is a great place to split up your road trip.

There are also tons of car rental companies in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Book in advance because there are usually very few vehicles left for walk-ups and you won’t have much choice!

  • Driving time to South Rim: 3 hours and 35 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to PHX: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Delta, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit, and United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Spirit
birds eye view of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with city of Phoenix behind airportPin
Robert693, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. St. George Regional Airport (SGU) – 275 Miles

Located in Utah just over the border, St. George Regional Airport is the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park if you want to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Salt Lake City, Denver, Dallas, and Phoenix all have direct flights to St. George Airport.

St. George is the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park as well as other amazing national parks in Utah like Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. If you’re somehow able to snag a great flight deal to this airport, you could have an incredible family road trip through some of the most scenic US national parks.

Not to mention the fact that St. George is a destination in and of itself, with some beautiful desert scenery and fantastic resorts.

All the top car rental agencies have branches at the St. George Regional Airport.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 4 hours and 50 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to SGU: American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines
exterior of St. George Regional airport in UtahPin

6. Las Vegas International Airport (LAS)- 278 Miles

Formerly known as the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, the Harry Reid International Airport is the main airport in Las Vegas and one of the busiest airports in the country.

It’s the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park with the best and cheapest flights for international travelers.

There are direct flights to Las Vegas Airport in Nevada from Seoul in South Korea, London in the UK, Tel Aviv in Israel, and dozens of airports throughout North America.

Southwest Airlines flight landing during a storm over the Las Vegas strip at LASPin
Our flight landing as a storm sweeps across the Las Vegas strip at dusk

Las Vegas is also a good choice if you only have enough time in your schedule to fly over the Grand Canyon on a helicopter tour. Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines operates tours from Boulder City which is just outside of Las Vegas. You can witness how the Colorado River wraps around the Horseshoe Bend in the East Rim and see the entire national park in just a few hours!

The Grand Canyon West Rim is also closer to Las Vegas than other airports.

Las Vegas International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are the most popular airports for travelers looking for the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park.

Research flight deals and routes from your local airport to choose the best option. You can’t really go wrong no matter which you pick!

  • Driving time to South Rim: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to LAS: Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, Frontier Airlines and 20+ others
three kids getting a taste of the Las Vegas vibe with slot machines inside the LAS airportPin
Truth be told, LAS does not top my list of “family-friendly” airports…your kids may get to experience some of the Las Vegas local wildlife, which will be a far cry from anything they see in the national parks! But if it’s the most convenient airport for your trip, roll with it!

7. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – 525 Miles

While it’s definitely not the closest international airport to Grand Canyon National Park by any means, don’t rule out flying into Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah.

There are direct flights to Utah from London in the UK, Frankfurt in Germany, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Paris in France. Plus, lots of cities throughout the US, Mexico, and Canada.

Salt Lake City is a great place to venture on a road trip and you can easily rent a car from one of the major rental companies at the airport. Head down through Moab and visit other national parks like Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park before arriving at the cinematic Monument Valley.

You can continue down through Northern Arizona by Lake Powell where you’ll be in the prime position to visit the Grand Canyon East Rim and Grand Canyon North Rim.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 8 hours and 15 minutes
  • Airlines Flying to SLC: AeroMexico, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Eurowings Discover, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, SkyWest, Spirit, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
little boy looking out window at Salt Lake City airport with trusty moose stuffed animal companion next to himPin
Hudson, my youngest waiting for our flight at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) with his trusty companion, Hubert

8. Denver International Airport (DEN) – 698 Miles

Although Denver International Airport offers lots of connecting flights to regional airports near the Grand Canyon, you could also fly into Denver and rent a car from there. If you take a short detour, you can visit the Rocky Mountain National Park as well as Arches, Canyonlands, and Monument Valley in Utah as well as the Grand Canyon National Park.

Denver Airport has direct flights with dozens of US cities as well as major travel hub airports in Canada and Mexico as well as European cities like London in the UK, Reykavík in Iceland, and Dublin in Ireland.

Plus, Denver is a beautiful city to visit in its own right. It offers much more for families to do than Phoenix or Las Vegas which might be worth the longer drive.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 11 hours
  • Airlines Flying to DEN: Delta, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and 20+ others
Denver International Airport at dusk with blue skies and "tipi style"architecturePin

9. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – 1,034 Miles

Dallas/Fort Worth is not the closest airport to the Grand Canyon National Park, but it’s easily the biggest and busiest airport in the United States. There are direct flights to Dallas from over 250 cities in 35 countries, including Australia!

Driving from Dallas Fort Worth to Grand Canyon National Park might seem ridiculous, but not if you’ve already experienced an 18-hour flight from Melbourne. Plus, you could easily complete the drive in two days with some epic detours.

You could visit other national parks like Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, and Saguaro National Park and Petrified Forest in Arizona along the way.

Taking a different route on the drive back to Dallas Fort Worth will make sure this trip to the Grand Canyon National Park is an adventure you won’t easily forget.

  • Driving time to South Rim: 15 hours
  • Airlines Flying to DFW: American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit, and 25+ others
Dallas Texas skyline at duskPin

Closest Airport to Grand Canyon National Park FAQs

Is it better to fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix to go to the Grand Canyon?

Las Vegas and Phoenix are both major airports and great options. Phoenix is the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park out of the two if you want to head to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

However, there are usually cheaper flights to Las Vegas (especially international) as it’s a major travel hub. Las Vegas is the closest airport to the Grand Canyon National Park if you want to visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s also only a little further than Phoenix from the South Rim.

What’s the closest major city to the Grand Canyon?

Phoenix and Las Vegas are the closest major cities to the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff is smaller but closer, and Tusayan is the nearest town to the Grand Canyon Village. These cities are all great options if you’re looking for the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park.

What is the easiest way to get to the Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon South Rim is the best choice for a first-time visit. The easiest and best way to get there is to pick up a rental car from the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park (Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Las Vegas) and drive to the park entrance.

Is Grand Canyon NP at the North Rim, or the South Rim?

Actually, there are national parks at both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon, and the drive between the two is 220 miles! That’s a 4-5 hour drive!

The South Rim has many more lookouts, and is much more popular for tourists.

The North Rim park is only open between early June, and mid-October each year.

family selfie in front of the Grand Canyon NP sign, south rimPin
Hope your family is as excited as ours to visit the Grand Canyon!

Digging Deeper

Looking for more information about Grand Canyon NP, or travel tips for more amazing US national parks? Be sure to check out these articles, too:

Pin this post for later! And if this travel content was helpful to you, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others decide whether they may benefit from what you’ve learned, too!

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About Heather Thibodeau

Heather Thibodeau is the founder and mom behind

She and her husband Dave (AKA Tib) are on a mission to travel to as many US national parks with their three kids in tow as they possibly can, doing their best to keep the little ones out in nature and off of screens in an increasingly digital world.

Heather has earned degrees in biology & chemistry from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies), and holds master's and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from Duke University (Go Blue Devils).

Heather is also the creative force behind The Heathered Nest where she shares her love of all things DIY and home decor.

Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, This Old House,, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and more.

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