When I finally had the chance to visit Las Vegas in the USA earlier this year, I definitely made it my goal to visit one of the great 7 natural wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon. After all, I would NEVER pass up on the chance to witness its immense and magnificent beauty, especially since it is one of the most distinguishable and immense landmarks in the world. (Pink Jeep Tours)
Yet, of course, there was a question of whether I should drive to one of the Grand Canyon’s rims myself or if I should take a tour… However, since I wanted to have a more diverse experience without the hassle of driving by myself, I decided to look for a tour operator. There surely were a LOT of them to choose from, but in the end, I went with the top-rated and multi-awarded road excursion company across the American Southwest: Pink Jeep Tours [website]!
Through their prime ‘Drive, Fly, & Float Adventure Tour‘, you bet that I made the most out of my Grand Canyon experience as I got the chance to enjoy its views by land, by air, and by water.
If you’re more into moving visuals, come and take a peek into the video I made below which summarizes my whole Pink Jeep Tours adventure:
Table of Contents
- 1 About Pink Jeep Tours
- 2 Serviced Locations
- 3 Staff & Pink Vehicles
- 4 Grand Canyon West Rim Tour
- 5 Las Vegas Travel Guide
About Pink Jeep Tours
Pink Jeep Tours [website] of the Pink Adventure Group is the longest-running off-road ‘Premier Adventure Tour Company’ in the USA’s Southwest. Founded in Sedona, Arizona by Don Pratt back in the 1960s, it has since been known as a ‘must do’ adventure tour not only through Sedona’s Red Rock Country but also through the Grand Canyon and the bustling Las Vegas (with over 300,000 guests annually!).
» WHY PINK? The founder first found his penchant for the color pink when he stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki during a trip vacation.
He proceeded to direct his newfound fascination for the dynamic color pink towards his fleet of tour vehicles — and as such, the company’s iconic name was born. Nowadays, Shawn Wendell is operating the company for more than 28 years and he continually abides by this branding.
Now, you might also be thinking: “Why did you choose Pink Jeep Tours?”
Well, I’ll tell you by now that it’s not because of my similar fascination for the color pink (haha). Truth be told, apart from the already mentioned fact that they are a top-rated company in the USA, I chose to experience and support Pink Jeep Tours because of their tried-and-tested expertise, their superb customer service, their dedication to environmental responsibility, as well as their commitment to passenger safety and tour guide expertise!
Besides, as an established brand in the Southwest scene, Pink Jeep Tours even offers a variety of historical and natural expeditions in the following locations that can certainly fit any kind of traveler out there.
SEDONA. This is the founding point of Pink Jeep Tours and it remains to be the company’s headquarters whilst they continue to bring guests to the area’s stunning red rock formations and Native American Culture on a pink Jeep Wrangler.
~ List of Sedona tours: [click]
GRAND CANYON. Pink Jeep Tours in the Grand Canyon depart from Tusayan which is just south of the Grand Canyon National Park’s entrance.
~ List of Grand Canyon tours: [click]
LAS VEGAS. This chapter was opened more than 15 years ago with excursions happening within Las Vegas and departing from Las Vegas. To add, it has been voted as the “Best Ground Tour” for 5 years running by the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association and it is even constantly garnering 5-star reviews from customers. The tours are also not only designed for a small interactive group experience, but they are some sort of a ‘special access’ in itself too — this is because it is one of the few permitted tours in Nevada that has been allowed to travel to remote areas that are typically inaccessible to most.
~ List of Grand Canyon tours: [click]
Staff & Pink Vehicles
STAFF. You’ll be assured to know that ALL tour guides and/or drivers of the Pink Adventure Group are the best in the business given how they have been extensively trained and taught — in fact, they are certified in CPR and First Aid (so you can always have the peace of mind during a journey). So behind that fun, smiling, and friendly faces, you can trust Pink Jeep Tour guides to be as responsible as they can be!
VEHICLES. Pink Jeep Tours have built custom-designed vehicles to ensure sturdiness and safety, without compromising comfort and luxury. Nowadays, they have 2 kinds:
- Pink Adventure Tour Trekker: Designed by Shawn Wendell, this is considered to be the cleanest-burning heavy-duty diesel engine in North America that tours the Grand Canyon, the Death Valley, the Valley of Fire, and the Hoover Dam. Luxurious yet rugged, it is an all-terrain vehicle that is equipped with 10 comfortable reclining leather captain seats, a DVD player with 15-inch TV, emergency kits, road safety equipment, adjustable rear ride suspension (for improved ride quality), and large tinted windows for unparalleled viewing.
- Pink Jeep Wrangler: This is used across most of the excursions in Pink Jeep Tours and it offers great extra passenger room while providing smooth off-road and terrain cruising. And much like the Tour Trekker, this is custom-designed yet rebuilt in order to make it into a prime tour vehicle fit for Pink Jeep Tours’ goals.
Grand Canyon West Rim Tour
The Grand Canyon has 4 different parts:
- South Rim: (~5 hours from Las Vegas, opens year-round) This part is commonly chosen by visitors for its abundance of beautiful views, visitor-friendly services, and family-oriented activities. With tours commonly starting from Tusayan, you will also find a lot of options for lodging, shops, and restaurants.
- North Rim: (~6 hours from Las Vegas, open from Mid-May to mid-October) This part is said to receive only 1/10th of the number of visitors that the South Rim gets, and this might be due to the smaller visitation area that is present in its expanse — to illustrate, if the South Rim has dozens of major viewpoints, the North Rim only has 3; but it does make for an ideal quiet getaway.
- East Rim: (~5 hours from Las Vegas, opens year-round) The East Rim has several highlights such as the Little Colorado River Tribal Park; but the most notable one would be the picturesque Horseshoe Bend which gives its visitors the chance to have their pictures taken from the rim with the Colorado River in the background (a sight that is not possible from the North or South Rim).
- West Rim: (~3 hours from Las Vegas, opens year-round) This is the closest and most accessible portion of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas with notable spots like the Glass SkyWalk, Eagle Point, Guano Point, etc. As such, this is the 2nd most visited location of the 4 rims. It’s helpful to note though that it is located in the Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands so it’s not a part of the National Park — rest assured, it IS a part of the Grand Canyon.
For my particular trip with Pink Jeep Tours, I chose to do their exclusive West Rim Drive, Fly and Float Adventure because I wanted to try and experience the Grand Canyon by car, by helicopter, and by boat (through the Colorado River) via a tour that wouldn’t be too long to take from Las Vegas!
» Tour Details
Price: $475 per person
Duration: 11 hours
Travel Tip: If you’re doing this tour in winter (November to March), remember to dress in layers because the temperatures at the Grand Canyon can change drastically — not to mention that it can get quite windy.
- Free door-to-door hotel pickup and drop-off from Las Vegas
- BBQ lunch with vegetarian options, salad and various side dishes
- Parking and admission fees
- Luxurious Tour Trekker vehicle where everyone can experience riding first class
- Personalized tour with our highly-trained and entertaining adventure guides
- Unlimited complimentary bottled water
- Small tailors groups for a more memorable experience (10 max people)
- No children under 3 are permitted on the tour.
- Skywalk pass is not included in the tour price. Tickets can be purchased on site for $25. (For Skywalk ticket purchasers, cameras and cell phones are not permitted on the Skywalk. These items can be stored onsite in lockers, free of charge, during your Skywalk visit.)
- This tour is not recommended for persons with mobility issues but collapsible wheelchairs are permitted when accompanied by another adult.
My journey (naturally) started from my hotel and it was veeeery easy to spot Pink Jeep Tours’ Tour Trekker due to its brazen color. And as I stepped into the vehicle, I could instantly see why it has been called ‘luxurious yet rugged’: everything was spacious, the seats were oh-so-comfortable, and the windows were surely large enough to give panoramic views of the Nevada landscape.
While I continued to ogle at the car’s features, we went to pick up the other tour participants in their respective hotels (which didn’t take too long because pick-up time was early, hence no nasty traffic). After this, we started to cruise through the desert and our first stop took us to the massive Hoover Dam as we passed by the glittering waters of Lake Mead.
If you’re much like me who doesn’t know much about this dam, let me tell you a bit of trivia. Apparently, this used to be the tallest dam in the world! Today, however, it is lauded as the largest reservoir in the United States by volume when it is full, and its generators continue to provide power not only for Nevada but also for the Arizona and California states.
We took our time here taking photos (as well as buying souvenirs in a nearby shop at the topmost viewing point); so feel free to do the same — the Pink Jeep Tours’ guide will even be more than happy to help you out on your photos.
Once that was done, we continued to make our way to the Grand Canyon so that we can soon embark on our amazing helicopter tour. In the meantime, we just sat back in the trekker and enjoyed the smooth ride whilst we went through the state’s dry terrain — which mind you, contains the unique spike-leafed evergreens which are known for being the fast-growers of the desert: the Joshua Trees.
NOTE: If time permits, your Pink Jeep Tour guide will gladly pass by the Mojave Desert (the driest desert in North America), or even the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam (for great photo ops with a backdrop of the Colorado River’s turquoise waters.)
After our drive, we reached the edge of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim and it was here that I started to get even more excited (then again, who wouldn’t be?). When I got off our trekker, I started to saw glimpses of the natural wonder’s sheer majesty and in a heartbeat, I just couldn’t wait to board our helicopter so that we can get a better view of it all — up high!
Pink Jeep Tours partners with either Sundance Helicopters or Papillon Helicopters for this flying experience and during our particular adventure, we went with the former. To start the process, Sundance each took our weight, made us watch a safety video, and gradually directed us to the take-off area. Thankfully, me and my companion’s combined weight gave us the opportunity to go at the front seats beside the pilot that’s why you can imagine how our excitement was shooting through the roof! (…This wasn’t my first time to ride a helicopter but the thrill and excitement always remain!)
To cut the story short, our luxury Sundance helicopter arrived a few minutes later and after we were strapped securely in our seats, it took us 4,000 feet into the deeper parts of the canyon… and oh boy, it was such a sight!
Everywhere I looked, I saw breathtaking panoramic views that each have their own distinct shape and hues — proof of the wondrous erosion that spanned for about 6 million years through 4 geologic eras.
Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any better — it did. After all, our adventure didn’t stop here.
Our helicopter landed on a spot somewhere beside a section of the Colorado River that was surrounded by towering and picturesque red cliffs.
It was in here that we did the ‘floating‘ part of the Pink Jeep Tours experience and it basically involved an excursion pontoon boat by the Hualapai River Runners. For several minutes, we glided through the mighty Colorado River so that we can get better views up close of the rock formations and lush vegetation. The boat driver slash guide even gave us some interesting bits of info about the place so that was a huge plus.
After the helicopter tour and before the rest of the day’s sightseeing sprees, we made our final stop at Guano Point where our Pink Jeep Tours guide gave us the time to enjoy lunch and the surrounding highlights of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim.
Regarding our meal, it was a legitimate ‘lunch with a view’ affair at Guano Deli that was full of savory dishes of BBQ shredded beef, baked chicken, salads, and more while we admire the dazzling views around us. It was pure bliss!
Guano Point is a strategic place to view dramatic viewpoints of the Grand Canyon West Rim. Below are just some of the many things that we did — and which you can do — in this amazing spot!
View the Eagle Point. From the moment that you step off the bus, you will find this amazing natural red rock formation which seemingly has a figure of an eagle in its middle portion and this is actually considered sacred by the Hualapai Indians. Take your time taking photos here, but take note that there are no railings so you should be careful where you step foot on. Once you’re done, you will find a small Native American Village nearby that has replicas of authentic dwellings from various American Indian Tribes which give you a glimpse of a simpler time when Hualapai, Navajo, Plains, Hopi, Havasupi, and other Indian tribes roamed the lands.
Experience to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Wanna stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon? If your answer is a resounding ‘yes’, then you shouldn’t miss a stopover at the Skywalk. Entrance is at $25 per person which is not included in this Pink Jeep Tours experience’s base price (however, you can arrange it ahead of time). This place was built in 2007 and it’s a daring 10-foot wide horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet out of the West Rim, granting you unobstructed views of the Grand Canyon at 4,000 feet below. Truth be told, this engineering marvel has been profiled by big names like CNN and National Geographic so it’s quite a must-do! Rest assured, this structure can bear the weight of over 747 passenger jets — so no worries there. (NOTE: Cameras are NOT permitted on the Skywalk).
TRIVIA: Back in the 30s, a guano cave (full of accumulated excrement which is a highly effective fertilizer) was discovered and the U.S. Guano Corporation bought the area and constructed a million-worth aerial tramway system to extract the guano from the mine — to what is now known as Guano Point.
Las Vegas Travel Guide
» Getting in to Las Vegas
By air. McCarran International Airport (LAS) is the main international airport in Las Vegas in Nevada. My go-to platform for grabbing the best flight deals is Skyscanner. But of course, it’s always good practice to research first the budget airlines that exist in the country that you’re currently staying in since they could have rock-bottom prices that are not often visible in the above flight search engines.
Aside from driving to Las Vegas city center itself with a rented car from the airport, you can also do it…
- By shuttle bus: If you follow the signs after the baggage claim area on level 1 in McCarran, you will find that there are shuttle bus companies that can get you to any hotel on the Strip for $7.50 (or $9 to downtown). First, check though if your hotel offers free shuttle rides since most of them do (at the zero level in the airport); otherwise, even if you’re not a guest, most of the hotel shuttles allow you to board the bus if there’s still room.
- By public bus: There are 4 bus lines at McCarran airport that are operated by RTC and the city bus service which you can find at the zero level of both terminals 1 and 3. Fares are at $2 for a single ride.
- By taxi: This costs about $18 to $30 (plus tip) to a Strip location or about $35 to downtown or Boulder highway area. (You can also get an Uber).
By car. Through Interstate 15, a lot of Southern Californians make Las Vegas a quick day or weekend trip — so if you can, try to avoid Friday evenings or Sunday afternoons. Nevertheless, the ride is quite scenic with several key spots along the way such as the Mojave Desert. (If you’re coming from the east, you’ll drive through I-40 through Arizona and US-93 in Kingman before ending up at I-15.)
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» Visa for USA
If you’re NOT a citizen of any of the USA’s eligible countries under their Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you are then required to avail of a visa beforehand.
- Check full visa requirements here as per your nationality.
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» Where to Stay (Las Vegas Accommodations)
To search for the best hotel accommodation in Las Vegas at the best prices, I suggest cross-checking hotel prices between Agoda and Booking.com. But if you’re rather interested in renting comfortable houses or apartments, you should search through AirBnB.
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» Cost of Travel in The USA
To give you an idea, you should expect to travel in the USA with an average daily cost of about USD $80~ per person on a budget, or at least $200~ if you want to experience more comfort in activities, tours, hotels, and more. (Values below show low budget to medium budget ranges).
- Hotels: $30 to $100 USD / day
- Food: $18 to $45 USD / day
- Fun: $15 to $45 USD / day
- Transport: $14 to $35 per ride
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» How to Get Around Las Vegas
By foot. If you’re at the Strip, all hotels are very close to one another so you can do this on foot. However, during the summer, it might be a bit too hot so do take note of that.
By private car. There are still some hotels on the Strip that provide free parking for a few hours even if you’re a non-guest; either way, it’s advisable not to drive at length on the Strip during the weekends because traffic can get pretty nasty.
By taxi. It’s relatively cheap to use a taxi from one hotel to another, but take note that due to traffic and certain routes, your fare can go higher. If coming with a large group, you can consider hiring a limousine which you can typically rent for a few hours too (it will be cheaper than taxing multiple taxis together with your friends, and faster too to evade long waits at the taxi queue).
By monorail. Las Vegas has a monorail on the east side of the Strip which stops at the back entrance of hotels. It costs $5 one way, $9 return, and $15 one day pass — however, please do your calculations beforehand because taking a taxi is often more efficient.
By public transportation. There are several buses available for you to choose from, and a common one is RTC which has about 49 bus routes. They have a standard single fare of $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors.If you want to map out your route to get from one place to another, I suggest using Google Maps.
Meanwhile, when you’re mapping out your day-to-day route, just use Google Maps because it will show in detail the fastest connections you can do (by walking, by car, by bus, and by train).
• • •
This was, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience that I would love to do again — and which I would highly recommend that you do whenever you’re in the Las Vegas area! Not only did I get the best views and experiences possible in the Grand Canyon, but I also traveled to and fro there in style and comfort.
With all that said and done, Pink Jeep Tours is the best tour company that you can go for in Sedona, Grand Canyon, or Las Vegas. Remember: no matter if you’re the type of traveler who fancies mild/wild adventures, or budget/luxury escapades, they will always have an experience that’s perfect for you!