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From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (south rim)

From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (south rim)

Old Feb 24th, 2016, 08:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 72
From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (south rim)

Hi everyone. I posted last year, but due to health issues, have had to change plans drastically. Sorry to ask AGAIN for help, but there it is. I was the one posting for taking people to Vegas and Grand Canyon with disability and heart issues. Now we’re down to only one person going with me, my DH! I tell you, I have planned many trips, but this is really something due to the fact that we planned this trip, paid for most of it (thank GOODNESS for trip insurance), and my DH had to have back surgery and just YESTERDAY got out the hospital. We are going ahead and being optimistic and planning everything anyway since the surgeon’s advice is “You’ll be fine by then! No problem rafting in the Grand Canyon.” HA! It is the easiest possible section, one for toddlers and apparently older people too! Anyway, thank you again for any help. Sorry sorry sorry to say it again, but slightly disabled in body, but not spirit, the limitations are not driving on and on and on (some 70 year heart issues with needing to walk around every so often), and not a lot of super duper hiking (new knee last year). Ok, organ recital is done!

We’ll be arriving in Las Vegas in June. We spend 2 nights in Vegas, then take a side trip to the western part of the Grand Canyon rafting and camping for about 5 days. Yes…again, we should be able to do it, have discussed with rafting company and surgeon, and if not….well there is where the trip insurance comes in since we got a pre-existing condition waiver going on. Anyway, that’s my problem, not yours! After that part we arrive back at Vegas airport around 3 pm on a Sunday.

I have reservations at the GC (El Tovar) for the Monday after the Sunday we get in. Not really sure yet about that Sunday night---where to spend it, etc. That's part of the problem.

We just cannot drive from Vegas all the way to El Tovar starting out at 5 pm on Sunday. Actually, we do have reservations at El Tovar for that Sunday night in addition to the next night (Monday), but I’m going to cancel Sunday’s reservation as soon as I come up with a reasonable plan for how to get to the Grand Canyon from Vegas! Ok, make that YOU guys come up with a plan. I figured the 5 pm departure because we’ll have to get a rental car and go back to the hotel to pick up our additional luggage being stored.
If we leave Vegas around 5 and drive for a couple of hours, that at least would make the next day’s drive to GC south rim that much closer to us. What I read, and what I see on Google Maps are two different things for how long it takes to get from Vegas to GC. After the GC, we would like to drive down to Sedona for 3 nights, and then fly out of Phoenix where, yes I know, we will return the car owing a large penalty. The extra $200-300 car penalty to return at Phoenix is sort of ok with us if that is the way it is. I don’t want to retrace our steps back to Vegas when we could see something different if we fly out of Phoenix. But by all means if you have a great idea, I am open to it.

The other alternative is to get a flight from Vegas to Phoenix on Sunday, spend Sunday night near Phoenix, then set out for the GC from there on Monday morning. And it reads like a way more picturesque drive than from Vegas to GC. What is your opinion? The downside is that then we would have to retrace our steps to get back to Phoenix to fly out (unless you have different ideas) and I was wanting to not retrace so that we could see new and different things, if that is even possible with our limitations.

We don’t have enough time to leave GC and go to Zion and Bryce this time. We have time for 3 nights after the Grand Canyon, which is why I picked driving down to Sedona upon leaving the GC. Or actually Sedona-ish area. I read that other areas actually around Sedona are prettier and not as touristy, so that’s what I was thinking. I thought 3 nights in one place after kind of a hectic pace would be nice and relaxing before flying home. Maybe see some vortex areas, short pretty hikes, Jeep thing that’s ok for bad back people…etc. Just chill.

Keeping in mind that we cannot drive long days, spend one night and then go on and do the same thing the next 3 days, do you all have any other ideas?


Retired1 is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2016, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
It sounds like you have a great trip planned. On your return to Vegas, look for lodging along rt 93 in Boulder City or Henderson before you cross Hoover Dam, it will get you on your way and out of the Vegas traffic. I don't recall any places to stay between the dam and Kingman, AZ there might be but I would not want to drive too far after the raft trip and flying, getting the car which seems to take longer in Vegas than some other places.

You can get to the south rim by heading north from I-40 in Williams or going farther east and heading north on 89 near Flagstaff. Along the 89 route you go by Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument, a Native American ruin which is very interesting. Then you go east on 64 from Cameron which goes along the canyon and has lots of view points to pull off at.

If you decide to fly into Phoenix from Vegas, you can head north to GC the next day, look for lodging on the north side of the city, and I would suggest that you take route 17 north to I-40 to 89 to 64 and to eliminate some repeat routing, then come back to Sedona from the north through Oak Creek Canyon. Between Phoenix and Sedona close to I-17 is Montezuma's Castle, another ruin, also very interesting.

I would price it out both ways. You could do a day less for the car rental by flying to Phoenix and would not have the drop off, but would have the extra airfare and maybe more for lodging. Also evaluate your energy level and your attitude towards driving vs. flying. Do ask the tour company if you fly in/out of McCarran or the airport in North Las Vegas. Some tours do use the North Vegas airport so you would probably need to arrange transportation to McCarran to fly to Phoenix.
emalloy is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2016, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Actually if you go north on 89 to Cameron you go WEST on 64 to go along the rim of GC to GC Village.
emalloy is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2016, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,578
I stayed several times at the Hacienda before it became the Hoover Dam Lodge. http://hooverdamlodge.com/
It is right before the turnoff down to the dam.
Get your rental and head out US 93. When it was the Hacienda,
it had a good all you can eat buffet. You do not have to go through the casino to get to the elevators or to the buffet.
If you've got the money, you could try the helicopter ride from the hill next to the parking lot.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Feb 25th, 2016, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 72
Again, I thank you two. You both replied to me before and that was helpful then, as this is helpful now. You have to be some of the most patient people on the face of the earth!
I will digest these ideas and post an SOS if I need it.
Retired1 is offline  
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