October is the time when peak travel to the Grand Canyon transitions to low season, bringing with it cheaper tour prices and thinner crowds. If you've had your eye on a canyon coach trip out of Las Vegas, this is most certainly the time of the year to do it.

October is the time when peak travel to the Grand Canyon transitions to low season, bringing with it cheaper tour prices and thinner crowds. If you've had your eye on a canyon coach trip out of Las Vegas, this is most certainly the time of the year to do it.

"The Grand Canyon gets about 5 million visitors a year," said Keith Kravitz, owner of Grand Canyon Bus Deals, an informational website that assists travelers in getting the right bus trip at the lowest price. "The majority come from May to September. Come outside of that date range and you have the canyon to yourself."

The reduction in the number of tourists means tour operators have to fill seats.

"One way to deal with the slow down is to limit the number of scheduled trips per day," Kravitz noted. "However, that measure alone isn't enough to fill buses to summer levels, so companies lower prices."

Currently, you can get a West Rim bus tour for around $99 and a South Rim trip for about $80. Typically, West Rim coach tours go for around $167 per person and South Rim ones net about $150.

"These are big time price drops," said Kravitz. "You're looking at discounts ranging from 40 to 45 percent. That's a pretty substantial savings."

Canyon bus tours from Las Vegas go to the West Rim and the South Rim. There are no bus connections between the rims. The majority of bus tours are day trips. There are some overnight packages but these are few and far between.

The West Rim is 120 miles from Las Vegas. Drive time is about 2.5 hours. This particular rim offers the most activities, including helicopter rides to the bottom, boat rides on the Colorado River and passes to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

"The West Rim is great if you are limited on time or looking for thrills," said Kravitz. "In fact, it's the only place where you can take a helicopter ride to the bottom."

The South Rim is 277 miles from Las Vegas. The bus ride over is 5.5 hours. Experienced travelers consider this rim the "real" Grand Canyon, and recommend it for its outstanding natural beauty.

"Nearly all the famous pictures of the canyon were taken at the South Rim," noted Kravitz. "It's loaded with spectacular lookouts and historical sites. The ride is long but it's worth it."

En route to the Grand Canyon, all buses pass along Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S. before making a photo stop at Hoover Dam, the engineering marvel that controls the legendary Colorado River.  

"The stop at Hoover is ideal for getting that group or family shot with the Dam," said Kravitz.

Bus tours are all-inclusive and come with free hotel pick up and drop off, lunch (vegetarian available) professional driver/guide and all National Park taxes and fees.

"These coach trips are self-contained," Kravitz said. "You don't have to bring anything but your sense of adventure."

Kravitz recommends that travelers book these bus tours at least a week or two in advance, especially with the upcoming winter holiday season.

"Booking ahead of time serves two purposes," he said. "First, you'll have a larger selection of trips from which to choose. Second, you'll lock in pre-holiday pricing."

He also suggests purchasing seats on the Internet in order to get the best deal.

"Everyone knows that the best prices are on the Internet," said Kravitz. "The problem is finding the legitimately good ones. The answer to that is to purchase direct from the tour operator's website."

For a current list of October 2012 discount bus tours, please visit:

http://www.grandcanyonbusdeals.com/grand-canyon-bus-deals.html