If you have a driver's license, it would make more sense to drive to Grand Canyon instead of taking the bus tour. There are park entrance fees. If you're driving, it will cost US$25 for the vehicle regardless of the number of passengers on board. Renting a car in Las Vegas is about US$30 per day. Getting to the south rim takes around 5 hours.
For example, two days of driving would cost you at least US$85 excluding gas. The cheapest bus tour you can find on the Internet is around US$80.
The helicopter tour should be worth the money too, though I didn't try that. You get to see moving ridges, from the heli's point of view. I've seen pretty awesome photos taken from the sky.
It is recommended to spend no more than 2 days in Las Vegas. Grand Canyon, I believe is best seen from the canyon's foot and on foot. There's nothing like trekking to give you a sense of how vast and majestic the canyon is.
Well, I forgot to bring my driver's license and had to book the bus tour. The package included a stop at Hoover Dam before going to Grand Canyon. We were dropped off at the tourist drop off point up the slope. The spot isn't that big and you can only see Hoover dam from that view point. Note that Hoover dam was partly responsible for bringing people to Las Vegas.
It's a slightly hazy day. Notice something's burning at the horizon?
Hordes of tourists. Ho-ga-cha-ga, ho-ga-cha-ga.
There's a warning sign cautioning visitors not to do anything silly, like climbing over the fence.
But some still climbed over, like yours sincerely.
It was the south rim we visited. Here's another benefit of driving yourself. You can choose to not view the grand canyon during the bright sunny afternoon. The best time to take photos is generally during the sunrise and sunset. That way, if you're photographing people, they don't have to squint their eyes.
The resident tourist gift shop, at Bright Angle Lodge, was doing brisk business.
Thought of the day:
Drive if you can. Spend some time to marvel and think about at what see.
All the days in Las Vegas:
Day 2: Welcome To Vegas, Baby
Day 3: Las Vegas, Can Dream Can Do
Day 4: Warehouse Sales, Cheap But You Don't Need Them
Day 5: Don't Overstay In Las Vegas
Day 6: Grand Canyon