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HELP! Tucson to Grand Canyon? Ranches in Tucson?

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HELP! I have just booked an impromptu trip with my 6 year old son and active 72 year old mother for THIS WEEK, flying into Tucson on Thursday and out on Tuesday. That gives us 4 solid days in Arizona.

(1) Is that too short a time to jump in a bus and head to the Grand Canyon? Or rent a car? I understand it would be a 5.5 hour trip, and I just can't decide if the driving time would be worth it - but we have never seen the Grand Canyon and everyone should see the Grand Canyon sometime in their lives --- right? If this makes sense, which bus/tour lines offer 1-3 day trips from Tucson to the Grand Canyon? I can't find any online and would rather ride than drive.

(2) we arrive Thursday evening and need to grab a cheap hotel near the airport or in the city, just a place to sleep the first night. Any suggestions?

(3) another option would be to book a few days at a ranch outside Tucson. I am a horse person, and my son and mom would happily go along and enjoy a ranch setting. Any experience with Tanque Verde Ranch or White Stallion Ranch?

(4) where can I see donkeys or ride donkeys or mules near Tucson?

I have never been to the Southwest, and this trip is looking awesome already! I love the desert and the whole cowboy thing.
Sandy

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