Best way to see canyon?

Old Jul 1st, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Best way to see canyon?

What is the best way to see the canyon briefly, two days at most, maybe even one- train, jeep or car, hiking tour. Three teens not the most devout hikers, not as interested in outdoors life as I wish, not sure if they would do the mule thing. Anyone done the train route. Finally, is it a pleasure trip or could it actually take you somewhere, for example canyon area to a certain destination? If so, where?
Thanks so much. You guys rule!!
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 12:22 PM
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I assume you are taking about the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Two days and one night isn't a long time. If you are going this summer and don't have mule reservations, I doubt you will be able to take the mule rides.

I would stick with the free shuttles and ride them out to Hermits Rest stopping at all the scenic overlooks. Shuttle buses run often so you can easily get off and on. Since they aren't much into hiking, then maybe just stick to the rim walk.

On the second day drive out towards Desert View and stop at the different view points along the way.

BTW, I've never done the train ride, but I do know that you don't see or have views of the Grand Canyon from the train. With the short time you have, I'd skip the train.

You don't mention where you are coming from and where you are headed. If you are on your way to Bryce or Zion, you pass right by Page, AZ & Lake Powell. The half day float trip on the Colorado River was the highlight of my newphews 2 week trip to the area.

Utahtea


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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 01:22 PM
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The only way to see the Canyon is:
Stand along the rim
Take a mule ride into it
Walk down into it

There are no jeep tours or train rides into the Canyon.
I strongly advise walking at least part of the way into the Canyon on the Bright Angel trail.You can walk down about 1/2 hour and get some amazing views. Even non hiking teens can easily handle this, and it's truly an experience they will never forget.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Having "done" the canyon on foot for many days, have to agree with each of the following posters.

Re: the mule trip, they have to be booked (many) months in advance. The only possibility you have of getting on one is if you're there and check with them first thing in the morning of the trip to see if someone had to cancel at the last minute. I know many people who have done it, and if you can't hike it (which isn't for everyone) that's a good way to REALLY see the canyon. However, it also isn't for everyone, it's a long ride and your kids will either lover you or hate you after this experience.

Highly agree with hiking down a ways. Gives you a much better appreciation of the canyon.

VERY IMPORTANT is when you're going. If it's this summer...one word.....WATER. OK 3 words... WATER WATER WATER, drink it and at least a quart a person even if "you're just taking a short walk".

Best idea might be to go to the visitor center at the south rim and find out what activities are actually available for you.

Last thing, do you have accommodation reservations? Don't go without them if you're in peak time.

Hope I'm not comming across in a negative light, but it's a very busy place and you won't be happy getting there and not having anyplace to sleep.
If there is an option, suggest anywhere actually on the south rim, if not you'll have to stay outside the gates. Only 7 miles, but you'll get better use of your short time by being right there for the whole time you have.

Good luck. Let us know how you make out.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 04:41 PM
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Utahtea,et.al, I will be going from Phoenix to Las Vegas when I am in GC. Southrim vs. Northrim or central. What do you think?
Thanks so much. If you come to NY I would love to help you any time, all of you Fodorites that is.
Ken
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 06:43 PM
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kendu,

I was reading some of your other posts and I thought you mentioned taking this trip next April. If that is the case then the North Rim will still be closed for the winter. Besides to reach the north rim you would have to drive a few switchbacks with drop offs going up Alt 89.

The same for Hwy 89 to Page so I guess Lake Powell and Page are out. It sounds like you have a lot planned for the 6 days so Sedona, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas should be enough to keep you busy!

Utahtea
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 06:49 PM
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1 day mule trip
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 08:10 PM
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In February we took the train ride into the canyon. It was great deal .We booked a deal that was fantastic through AAA. But you can get the same deal for a few dollars more if you are not a member.
We spent the night in Williams Arizona. There is a great 60s soda fountain that you can treat the kids too. On the train, they had an old west show in the morning. The train ride going up had a cowboy that came around singing songs. The train takes you to the canyon; you cannot see the canyon from the train. We booked a bus tour of the canyon upon arriving. The first stop on the bus trip was lunch. We then took the tour of the canyon, after the tour plenty of time to walk the rim. Dinner at the El Tovar is a great experience. (Reservations are required ahead of time. Make them before you leave home.) We stayed overnight. Got up early had breakfast and then went for a short walk into the canyon. (Remember walking into the canyon is hot in the summer. Also hour walk down usually means about an hour to go back up.)
Or y you could take the shuttle around the canyon or another bus tour of the canyon. The train left at about 3:30. Well worth the experience, on the train ride back they had an Indian singing Indian music. We spent the night at Williams.
Check the website.
http://www.thetrain.com/home.cfm
This was our third trip too the south rim we would definitely do it again.
Have a great trip.
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