GOING TO THE GRAND CANYON

Feb 2nd, 2003, 06:01 PM
  #1  
MAX
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GOING TO THE GRAND CANYON

WE'VE NEVER BEEN TO A NATIONAL PARK AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE GRAND CANYON. WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO FLY IN? WHERE SHOULD WE STAY. WE ARE LOW MAINTENACE. WE WNAT TO GO IN EARLY SPRING OR SUMMER..IS THAT AN OK TIME TO GO..DON'T LIKE CROWDS. THANKS
MAX is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2003, 09:04 PM
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Phoenix, AZ is only 230 miles from the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas is 280 miles from the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Early spring before Memorial Day will be the better time if you want to avoid crowds.

Please don't do all caps when you post. It is considered shouting in cyber-space.

Utahtea
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Feb 3rd, 2003, 05:15 AM
  #3  
Syv
 
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(p.s. to Utahtea - Thanks! I didn't know that either about cyberspace "yelling")


Max:

You can often find cheaper flights into Las Vegas, but Phoenix is shorter. You can see Hoover Dam going the Vegas route.

Spring is better than summer. It can get VERY hot, especially if you are planning to hike down into the canyon (well over 100 degrees). Have to be very fit and prepared for this with proper hiking gear. There is a rim trail along the top for us less courageous folk.

Check out all the info on the parks at www.nps.gov/parks.html

You will need to RESERVE NOW for any lodging. You may find some places are already fully booked. Campsites are very nice too in the national parks.

If planning a mule ride down into the canyon, or whitewater or smooth water rafting trips, you may already find yourself too late to reserve - but its worth a try. Mule rides are often booked a year in advance.

Unsure where you are coming from or how long your vacation is.

If you have time and have never been to any national parks, you may also want to consider ---

Fly into/out of Las Vegas, rent a car, and include some southern Utah national parks in your trip, especially ZION and BRYCE. They are two of my favourites (even over the Grand Canyon).

Happy planning!
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Feb 3rd, 2003, 01:45 PM
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Max,

You can also fly into Flagstaff on America West through Phoenix. Flagstaff is about 90 minutes' drive from the South Rim. Flying into Phoenix means a 4-5 hours drive north; flying into Las Vegas is about the same. Lots of car time! As noted earlier, to avoid crowds, don't come in the summer. If you can't get in-park lodging, you can stay right outside the park in Tusayan, or even in Flagstaff (lots of choices), although it can be tiring if you do this several days in a row. You can also stay at the historic Cameron Trading Post, which is 20-30 minutes east of the Canyon's East South Rim entrance.

Have a good trip!
CleoB is offline  
Feb 4th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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MAX,

Here's my $0.02 worth. Fly into Vegas, rent a car, immediately leave Vegas, spend one night in Mesquite, Nevada. (border casino town) Have a big breakfast, leave early AM, drive through parts of Zion, you'll have time to get out of the car and do some hiking if you are so inclined, then drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and stay at Lodge or one of the cabins near it. Go sit in one of the Adirondak chairs on the veranda in front of the lodge, order one of your favorite cocktails (yes they do have waitress service) and enjoy the unobstructed spectacular view of the Grand Canyon until you can't stand it anymore.(this could take a while) The North Rim is far less crowded than the South Rim although it is abit more concentrated. Stay here or in this area for as long as you can, then go back to Vegas for a day or two before departing. My suggestion would be to stay at Luxor - it seems to combine all the weird features of Vegas into one location - plus the rooms and elevators (inclinators) are interesting.

JoeG
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Feb 4th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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Note that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in early Spring due to snow. Check the NPS website for details on probable opening dates.
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Feb 7th, 2003, 04:49 AM
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What is there to do at the Grand Canyon once you have looked at it? Is one full day enough time to visit?
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Feb 7th, 2003, 05:15 AM
  #8  
OliveOyl
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I wouldn't miss hiking at least a portion of the Bright Angel trail for anything in the world. It gives you an entirely different perspective and experience than you could obtain standing on the rim and staring down or out. If you really don't want to hike, then yes, a day will probably do it, but IMHO, you've just missed a chunk of the total experience! It'll be just another "been there done that" rather than an experience that is worth returning for any number of times in a lifetime!

We've been twice and look forward to another trip within the next year. First trip we hiked a couple of hours, second trip we hiked down to Indian Gardens and out(6 hrs?), and hopefully the next one we'll hike to the bottom on Kaibab, camp or stay in Phantom Ranch, then hike out the next day on Bright Angel. It becomes an adventure, rather than a passive experience--not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but the most enjoyable way for us.
 
Feb 7th, 2003, 07:23 AM
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The two best things to do at the Grand Canyon are free and in abundance - learn and relax. I visited for the first time last year, spending 4 days on the North Rim. On the first day, I took a ranger led nature walk. Brief but informative - it provided explanations of geology, ecosystems, and the history of the park and lodge. Subsequent days, I did hikes at different parts of the rim. One day I hiked Cliff Springs Trail - which, as the name suggests, leads to a place where a small spring drips from a crack in an overhead cliff to create a small pool. I sat and watched various birds splashing in the pool while a turkey hawk swooped overhead over the canyon. Eventually a deer came to drink from the pool with me sitting only a few yards away. Another hike was through an area of forest burned several years ago, and which showed how the forest has begun to heal itself - eerie and beautiful in its own way. Both of these trails were easy and well marked.
Another day I drove (luckily had 4 wheel drive vehicle) to a place called Point Sublime. Its about 20 miles out from the Lodge on the North Rim, through meadows, desert, and forest on extremely rough road, to a point that juts out into the canyon, so that you are surrounded on three sides by the most incredible views I have ever experienced. Enjoyed a picninc lunch there too. Saw deer, condors, and a turkey with her brood along the way.

And each evening, I enjoyed a few beers sitting on the stone terrace of the lodge watching as the colors and textures of the canyon changed as the sun moved across the sky. After dinner, again enjoying the views of the canyon, I was in for a different spectacle - stars like I have never seen before. Each night there was a presentation on the terrace explaining the constellations visible.

Upon leaving, I felt relaxed and enlightened, and regretting having to leave so soon. Despite the lack of man made entertainment, I was never bored.
We are privileged to have such an amazing National Park System.

I also spent a day at the South Rim, and my suggestion to the original poster is to go when the North Rim is open. Significantly less crowds and much more of a rustic, isolated atmosphere.
tommy is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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Tommy, you're absolutely right about Point Sublime--it's incredible. One of the few (maybe only) places you can actually see the Colorado from the North Rim. But you definitely need 4WD to get there. The entire North Rim is great: it's cooler, it's greener and it's less crowded. But it's only open from early/mid-May until the first snow in October/early-November.

I also have to second Syv's recommendation to see Zion and Bryce in S. Utah. In fact, that was our trip last year: 3 days in Zion, 4 days in Bryce, and 3 days on the North Rim. All spectacular parks and all are unique to each other, so you'll never think you're seeing the same thing.
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