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Grand Canyon accommodations and itinerary

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I need more advice for our upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon area. My husband and I are traveling with our 13 y.o. son after dropping our daughter off to start college in Colorado, so we are flying in from Denver. (And yes, I realize we are planning this a bit late, but we did not know her schedule before now!)

First question: We plan to spend August 16 and 17 at the Grand Canyon. I have been able to find 2 possible accommodations: The Yavapai Lodge East (in the Park but 1/4 mile back from the South rim) or the Best Western 1 mile outside. Price is comparable. Should I go with Yavapai b/c it is inside, even though it is not on the rim?

Second question: We are thinking about taking one of the 30-minute helicopters that flies RT from south to north rim. Has anyone done this? Is it worth it?

Third: on Aug. 18th we are planning to drive to Monument Valley; have room at Goulding's Lodge. Ideas on where to go next? We don't have time to see everything... what are the "you can't miss this!" spots? Would prefer not to spend too long each day driving and would prefer to stay away from the places that are sure to be scorchers in mid-August. Have heard Canyon de Chelly is not to be missed? Thoughts?

Thanks so much!


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