Grand Canyon

Old Dec 15th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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Grand Canyon

Hello, I could use some help planning a Grand Canyon trip. We are 50's couple from Canada, quite active but not athletes!

I'm not even sure where to start with the Grand Canyon. it is definitely a bucket-list trip, and I have several questions:
Where would we fly to start or end the trip? Las Vegas or Phoenix?
Would a tour be recommended, or perhaps RV rental? I think ideally would be car rental with quaint hotels - I have seen some cabin accommodations available.
How many days and the best sights to see.?
I'm thinking of September this year as a possibility.

This forum was very helpful for our Europe trip last year, so I am looking forward to suggestions.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 03:37 PM
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Las Vegas or Phoenix? . . . either one. Mostly depends on what else you want to see/do. How long are you planning for the trip?

>>Would a tour be recommended>or perhaps RV rental? >I think ideally would be car rental with quaint hotels
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 04:03 PM
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I agree with janisj, stay in the park. Go the the website for Grand Canyon and check out lodging. If they say they are full, make a reservation that can be cancelled without penalty in Tusayan or at the Cameron Trading post. Keep calling the park because people make reservations way ahead and then cancel when they find they can't make the trip.

Check out both airfare and car rental costs for both Vegas and Phoenix. There are lots of other places to visit from either.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 07:24 PM
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> How many days and the best sights to see?

Unless you plan to do some MAJOR hiking; two days, with two nights stay, should be plenty. Spend one day viewing The Canyon from as many overlooks and at as many times as you can. On the second day, walk down one of the trails (Kaibab or Bright Angel) until you START to feel tired or sore, then return. Even if you only hike down for fifteen minutes, you'll experience the place in a way that 90% of visitors fail to do so.

One last thing: be 100% certain that you visit the SOUTH Rim, not the West Rim.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 06:15 AM
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Everyone is giving good advice so far. Rent a car and book a room inside the park: http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/?ut...gn=content_hub

Two nights really is sufficient. How long do you have total for the trip? Are you going anywhere else besides the Grand Canyon?
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 06:25 AM
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If you truly want a bucket list adventure then consider a two week rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.

I've been many places in my life, and that trip is by far the best I've ever taken.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 09:24 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I really didn't have any experience or have even talked to anyone that has gone to the grand canyon, so wasn't sure of north or south, east or west!

Sounds like 2 night stay is enough, staying at one of the lodges in the national park.

I was thinking perhaps flying into Phoenix, drive to Sedona for a day or two, then up to grand canyon.

From there would you suggest going around to the north rim and to Bryce or Zion parks then to Las Vegas to fly home?
is that too much for a week's getaway?
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 11:28 AM
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With only a week and spending a couple days at GC South Rim and a couple in Sedona, don't think you have time for all the other 3 places. I'd probably pick Zion, fairly close drive to LV.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 02:50 PM
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thanks... I was reading another thread and they were spending 2 weeks in an RV going all around the canyon, so perhaps I will spend more time researching the different areas and the distances between. Somehow I think that would be too much.

perhaps a 10 day trip with a mixture of city/canyon would be the best mix. we could take in a sporting event in Phoenix. My hubby is a sports fan, and I believe the NFL and MBL season is going in September.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 05:40 PM
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This map from another poster here has mileages and distances to the main sites might be helpful to you:

http://ohiohickstraveltips.weebly.co...-utah-map.html
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 07:40 PM
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<If you truly want a bucket list adventure then consider a two week rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.>

Agreeing with J62 here - our trip was 10 days and we were helicoptered out about 2 days south of Phantom Ranch. One of our most amazing trips ever.

Depending on when you arrive, and where you stay, you might want to spend 3 nights at the south Rim. I think some hiking is a must - The first time we were at the South Rim, in our salad days, we were able to hike down to Indian Gardens and back in one long day. But even half that distance will be an adventure.

We've been to the Canyon 5 times and it's my absolutely favorite place.

As for another stop, I like Zion and Monument Valley but I love Bryce - it's gorgeous.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 09:23 PM
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mdinbc which I assume ..bc.. is in British Columbia where the splendid Okanagan Valley thrives and its very fine wines. We truly enjoyed our stay there during your wine festival.

J62 &NGail recommend a raft trip. I agree if you have the time. We took a 16-day rafting/hiking combination trip. Basically, there are two modes. One is a normal raft and the other is a huge power boat 'raft' Analogy. Riding a bike or riding a race car down a road. Which gives you a better appreciation of the journey?

Since that takes considerable time, I suggest a Mule RIDE down to Phantom Ranch down Bright Angel Trail. Stay overnight. Next day ride up Kaibab Trail. We still have fond memories of that.

Xanterra books these trips as much as 13 months in advance, and they often fill up about a year ahead of time.
Note: Weight limit is 90.72 kg - total (shoes, false teeth, etc.)

http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/thi...do/mule-trips/

HURRY, make reservation ASAP

Vaga
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 05:45 AM
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If you want to do a trip that involves a drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas, or vice-versa, it is doable in a week. But it is a lot of driving, and you'd have to be comfortable with spending a lot of time in the car versus time on the ground. The problem is that the GC is not very close to a either of those airports. Flagstaff is much closer, but it's harder to get good flights out of Flagstaff. If you want to maximize your time on the ground, Phoenix might be a better choice, which would allow you to easily add Sedona into a South Rim visit. You'll be astounded by the vistas and hiking in both places.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 01:38 PM
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Mule ride gives me vertigo - but then, that's me, not everybody!

Our raft held @ 8-10 people + guides and gear for camping out. I know we had a motor, but almost never used it. The current moved us plenty!
Did need the motor when one of the men went overboard going through a number 7 rapid and we had to maneuver back to him. (I was crouched down, hanging on for dear life.)

I recall seeing kayakers down there. Now THAT'S intrepid!
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 07:09 PM
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NGail has a valid observation.

The trail is along some very steep cliffs. And, as she observed, you will be on top of a swaying mule.

Personally, it made the trip vastly more memorable.

Vaga
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Old Dec 19th, 2016, 10:01 AM
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Thanks everyone! RV - while it sounds like fun, it sounds like a bit more planning, especially if the good campsites fill up early. I would rather have a definite booking rather than have to show up early at a first-come-first-serve site.

Car and hotel from Phoenix sounds like a plan, since you are correct smetz1 that flights from Vancouver to Flagstaff are non-existent!

The mule ride idea would be ok for me but not poor hubby who has a bad back. Walking is ok, but mule ride would be painful.

I will do more research now that I have something to start with!
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Old Dec 19th, 2016, 05:34 PM
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Me, too! Planning to start in Phoenix, to Sedona, to South Rim. Two nights, Phoenix, one Sedona, two South Rim. Been to GC, SR before and did mule full day. Need plan for rest of trip. Bryce, Zion of course. But, Arches, Canyonlsnd, Monument Valley, etc.? We are only able to do very easy hikes, like car overlooks. Need suggestions. We are not restricted in time but could get great scenery overdone. Able to fly home from any airport. Will rent 4w drive car. Also like unusual guided adventures.
Going in middle March. Do we need advance reservations everywhere? Have for GC. Thanks
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Old Dec 20th, 2016, 04:50 PM
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The Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands and Arches can both be explored nicely from short walks from the parking spots to the overlooks . There are hikes to other spots of course and there are jeep tours of both parks and boat rides in Canyonlands. There are no hotels or restaurants in these places, stay in Moab and bring food and water for your time in the parks.
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