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ajaxtn Apr 1st, 2005 07:23 PM

Grand Canyon 4th of July
I'm planning a trip to Grand Canyon (South Rim) with my wife and sons ages 16 and 12. Arriving PHX noon July 3 and returning to Scottsdale hotel on July 7, around 3 pm for an additional three days in Phoenix area. A friend suggested that I stay in Flagstaff between July 3-7 because it was centrally located to Canyon, Sedona, and other good sites. My problem is trying to determine the must see and do's in 3 full days, considering the holiday. Not sure what special events occur during the holiday and how this might impact what I can do. Is Flagstaff a good central location to branch out from? With only three full days to cover Canyon and other interesting sites, what would someone suggest for a 3-day itinerary. Not into hiking, rafting, mule ride, but need to make sure kids get a good education of Canyon, surrounding area, and have fun. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

utahtea Apr 1st, 2005 08:29 PM

Staying in Flagstaff will make it hard to see sunrises and sunsets at the Grand Canyon.

Depending on the route, it can take anywhere from an hour and 40 minutes to two hours (one way) to get from the Grand Canyon Village to Flagstaff. If you plan on more than one trip/day there, then going and coming will eat up a lot of your presious time.

I highly recommend either staying at the Grand Canyon or just outside at Tusayan for two nights, but don't spend the 4th of July there. I would either spend it in Phoenix or Sedona.

There are many interesting things to see in the area. Montezuma's Castle National Monument, Sunset Crater, Wupakti National Monument, Walnut Canyon, & Jerome.

Even if you don't hike, seeing the South Rim is an all day...if not two day event. There are many great scenic overlooks from Hermits Rest all the way to Desert View.


cesta Apr 1st, 2005 08:49 PM

agree with utahtea, need two days for the Grand Canyon. Can't help with accomodations much but the 4th will be really packed. Sedona really does it for me, way cool town.

ajaxtn Apr 5th, 2005 06:12 PM

Thanks utahtea/cesta,

Really appreciate your help. Will spend July 3-4 Sedona and 5-7 at Tusayan.


utahtea Apr 5th, 2005 08:02 PM

Sounds like a good plan.


cbr Apr 6th, 2005 07:46 AM

We did the same trip last year. Phoenix/Scottsdale is worth seeing. Your kids will love the Science Museum and the Heard Museum is worth a trip. We drove from Phoenix to The Canyon and the Flagstaff back to Phoenix. Word of warning it is really hot in Phoenix at least 100F as you climb up to the canyon temps rapidly descend especially if you go at night. We got out of the car at night and boy was it cold! This was in June! Also I discovered on the way down what it is like to descend from about 8000 ft above sea level to barely above sea level. The pressure in my head was unbearable, next time I will speak to my doctor about what to do.
It is an amazing part of this country though Enjoy!

kkclub May 2nd, 2005 04:34 PM

I agreed with the comments from all previous posters.
As for educational purpose for your kids, you should really spend at least a nite inside or right outside Grand Canyon in order to spend a whole day in Grand Canyon, especially watching the sunset and definitely join a ranger's tour/walk to learn more about the rocks and/or native indian cultures which will be useful info when you visit other monuments and canyons in the area anyway.
Your friend's suggestion at Flagstaff is perfect since the hotel rates are competitive and you can get cheap and quality accommodation there while stocking up for your next day trip.
Definitely visit the Walnut canyon while you are in Flagstaff. I even found it more interesting and educational than Grand canyon. Don't be afraid of the 'hike' down in this canyon. It's just ~an hour walk but it's hilarious!
Sedona is very very beautiful but it's more for a relaxing, romantic & resort style, not sure if this is what you want. But as for fun & excitement for kids (since they will be seeing a lot of monuments and rocks already), you can also join a jeep tour!! They will love it!
Have fun!

ps. BTW, if I remember correctly, watch out the tips charged at the restaurants at Tusayan. The 15% gratuity may be included in your bill already.

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