Upper Canyon Transportation

Upper Canyon  Transportation; Getting to and from your Upper Canyon Trip

6 or 7 Day Upper Canyon Classic or Paddle Adventures

Hiking Hilltop Grand Canyon Ralph Hopkins

A view of the River from side hike.
Photo by Ralph Hopkins

For all upper Canyon participants, transportation is provided at the beginning of your trip from Flagstaff to the River. Not included in your upper canyon transportation is transportation back from the South Rim after your hike. However, transportation is very easy to arrange and not having a set time you have to be out of the canyon gives you have flexibility to customize the end of your trip. The most convenient way to get from the South Rim back to Flagstaff is to schedule a shuttle with Arizona Shuttle (928-226-8060 or 877-226-8060). For more personalized travel arrangements, try A Friendly Cab (928-226-0106 or 800-853-4445).

BY AIR: If you will be flying to Arizona, the major connecting city is Phoenix. If you fly into Phoenix, you will still need to transport yourself to Flagstaff for the beginning of your trip. One option would be to rent a car or take a bus or van shuttle to Flagstaff (approximately three hours). To read more about shuttle options, see BY SHUTTLE listed below. We recommend that you schedule your shuttle transportation prior to securing your flight. A second option would be to arrange a flight (approximately 45 minutes) from Phoenix to Flagstaff. American Airlines (800-433-7300) serves the Flagstaff area from Phoenix. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is currently undergoing renovations in order to attract more airlines; check their schedule as there may be other airlines flying in and out of Flagstaff in the future. If you fly in/out of the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport and if you are a guest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff, they will provide you with a FREE shuttle to their hotel. To receive this complimentary taxi service, call the front desk when you arrive (928-773-8888).

A less popular option, but yet still a possibility to explore, is to fly in and/out of the Boulder City Airport (30 miles outside of Las Vegas). Operating out of the Boulder City Airport, Scenic Airlines (800-535-4448) offers commuter flights directly to and from the Grand Canyon South Rim Airport. Scenic Airlines will shuttle you from the Las Vegas Airport as long as there is a minimum of three hours between your flights. There are shuttle rides between the South Rim Village and Grand Canyon airport. Inquire at the front desk. If you fly in and/out of the Grand Canyon Airport, be aware that your trip begins in Flagstaff, 75 miles away and that you will still need to arrange transportation all the way to Flagstaff for the beginning of your trip (See BY SHUTTLE).

BY PERSONAL CAR: You may decide to drive your personal vehicle, as your upper canyon transportation choice. Flagstaff is located at the junction of Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 in Northern Arizona. Flagstaff is approximately a 2.5 hour drive north of Phoenix and a 5 hour drive southeast from Las Vegas. Please see Area Map for directions to Flagstaff and Pre and Post Trip Logistics for directions to the hotels. You may leave your car parked in the parking lot at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff for the duration of your trip. You will still need to arrange transportation between the South Rim and Flagstaff at the end of your trip so that you can return to your car. We recommend using one of the shuttles listed in BY SHUTTLE. Some passengers will drive their car up to the South Rim before the trip departure out of Flagstaff so that they have their vehicle in a more convenient location at the end of the trip. This also requires arranging a shuttle from the South Rim back to Flagstaff but puts the shuttle ride at the beginning of the trip rather than the end. If you drive your vehicle to the South Rim before your trip, park entrance fees are $25 per vehicle and subject to change. If you want to leave your vehicle at the South Rim, you may park your car in the backpacker’s long term parking lot located next to the Backcountry Ranger Office. If you drive your vehicle to the South Rim before the trip, please be sure to schedule your shuttle so that you are able to attend the pre-trip orientation meeting back in Flagstaff the night before your trip.

BY RENTAL CAR: A rental car is an option for you if you are trying to arrange upper canyon transportation between Flagstaff and Phoenix. Hertz Rental (800-654-3131) offers car rental pick up/drop off locations at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center and the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport. If you are a guest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff, they will provide you with a FREE shuttle between the Visitor’s Center or the Airport and their hotel. To receive this complimentary service, call the front desk when you arrive (928-773-8888). Arranging a rental car is also convenient at the end of your trip if you shuttle back to Flagstaff. The Arizona Shuttle main office is located at the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center too (right next to Hertz). Please see the Area Map for directions to Flagstaff and Pre and Post Trip Logistics for directions to the hotels. There are currently no rental car businesses located at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

BY SHUTTLE: for the upper canyon transportation, here are two shuttle services with daily shuttles between the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Flagstaff. These shuttles also service the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and require reservations. Be sure to check out shuttle schedules prior to making your plane reservations. If you are a guest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff at the beginning of your trip, the hotel will provide a FREE shuttle between the hotel and the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center or the Flagstaff Airport (two of the main pick-up and drop-off locations for the shuttle services). To receive this service, contact the DoubleTree front desk upon arrival (928-773-8888).

    • Arizona Shuttle provides daily scheduled shuttles between Phoenix, Flagstaff and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (928-226-8060 or 877-226-8060).
    • A Friendly Cab provides customized shuttle service in Central and Northern Arizona areas. Contact online or by phone at 928-226-0106.

BY TAXI:Taxi service between the Flagstaff Airport, the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff and the South Rim is available through the following companies: A Friendly Cab (928-774-4444 or 800-853-4445)) and Sun Taxi and Tours (928-774-7400). The DoubleTree will provide a FREE shuttle service if you are traveling between the Flagstaff Airport, Amtrak Station/Visitor’s Center or Greyhound Bus Station and their hotel. To receive this service, call the DoubleTree  front desk when you arrive (928-773-8888).

BY BUS: Flagstaff is served from downtown Phoenix by Greyhound Bus Lines (928-774-4573). Contact directly for availability, pricing and scheduling. The DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff will provide FREE shuttle service if you are staying there and traveling between the Flagstaff Greyhound Bus Station and the hotel. To receive this service, call the DoubleTree front desk when you arrive (928-773-8888).

BY TRAIN: Amtrak (800-872-7245) provides service to Flagstaff. The DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff provides FREE shuttle service if you are traveling between the Flagstaff Amtrak Station and hotel. To receive this service, call the DoubleTree front desk when you arrive (928-773-8888).Grand Canyon Railway (800-843-8724) has daily service from Williams, Arizona to the Grand Canyon. Please contact them directly for availability, pricing, and scheduling.

Shuttle information is provided to assist you with your travel plans. We do not endorse commercial providers.

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