Grand Canyon Area - What would you do?

Apr 1st, 2007, 07:23 PM
  #1  
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Grand Canyon Area - What would you do?

I need help planning a trip out west - we know we want to fly into and out of Las Vegas, and we want to spend 2 days at the Grand Canyon. Other than that, we don't know how best to use our time. We will be traveling early next April, with our kids who will be 19 and 17.

We know we want to spend one Vegas day at the Red Rock Canyon, and will stop at the Hoover Dam at some point. We have 2 days reserved at Bright Angel Cabins, View Cabins with Fireplace.

We fly in on a Saturday, and return the following Sunday. We are new to travel in this area - my husband and I have been to Vegas and GC, but the kids have never been in this part of the country at all.

What ideas/ suggestions do you have?

Thanks in advance!
verybuckeye is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Just know you can get snow at that time of year. We did. Three days of snow at the GC. Beautiful!
starrsville is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 07:56 PM
  #3  
Ag3046
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Monument Valley, Navajo National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Sedona, Jerome

A standard guidebook would give you driving times and other ideas, too.
 
Apr 1st, 2007, 08:28 PM
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At the GC, I recommend the West Rim drive. Actually, the road extends westward from the Bright Angel cabin area.

When we were there, taking the shuttle bus was mandatory. We would ride to a stop, get out walk a ways along the rim trail to the next stop, then ride a little farther, and get off again. We finally concluded the trip that way -- mixing in riding, walking and viewing.

bob_brown is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for your info. I am glad to learn about the free shuttle buses. We are just beginning to plan our trip - made reservations on 4/1. Thanks!
verybuckeye is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:18 AM
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I would try to incorporate at least one of the following parks; Bryce canyon or Zion Nat.park.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:58 AM
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We've just recently returned from such a trip. Our plan was to take out grown children for a quick overview so they would know what was there and perhaps make plans in the future to return to get a good tour. We flew into Las Vegas, arriving late after our flight was delayed on takeoff by a medical emergency. Rented a minivan so we would have room for all plus luggage, and for the viewing made possible by the window seats for all. (grown children plus significant other, made 6 of us).

We headed out immediately for the Grand Canyon. Being 2 hours behind planned schedule, we didn't feel we had time to stop at Hoover Dam. Arrived at GC well after dark.

The kids wanted to sleep in the next morning so the wife and I found out way to the shuttle stop before daylight and made out way to the South Kaibab trailhead for a short foray into the canyon. Way too short, but nice to see the canyon as the sun rose. We returned to the room near the agreed upon time to find the the kids had been awake when we left and would have gone with us had we knocked on their door. :^(

Spent the day viewing the canyon from the viewpoints along the rim, even took a short walk down the Bright Angel trail to the first tunnel where there were reported to be some petroglyphs (they were there!!) Took tons of pictures. Got back to Yaki Point for sunset pics.

Next morning kids wanted to try the hike down the South Kaibab so we were off again. Then back into the minivan and headed toward the east entrance, stopping only at the Desert View watchtower. Would have liked to stop more but felt short on time and had a long drive ahead of us.

Drove up through Page, AZ to Kanab, UT. Kanab was decision time. If we felt that we had enough daylight left we would go to Bryce Canyon, if not we'd just go to Zion. Yay! it was early yet at Kanab so on to Bryce we went. Only had a couple of hours to spend there (way way too short) but got to see a couple of overlooks before we had to leave. Made our way back by way of Cedar City (don't take this road in March like we did unless you carry tire chains. In a year with normal snowfall this could be a slippery mess) and on to our motel room in Hurricane, UT. Springdale, UT is a more convenient location for Zion, but there is a significant difference in cost for lodging in that 20 miles. Since we needed 3 rooms for 2 nights, we felt that we would save nearly $600 which would go a long way toward another vacation trip. We planned to spend the entire day in Zion and head back to Las Vegas the next day so a more convenient motel in Springdale wouldn't help us much as we would only return to our rooms to sleep. With only one day in Zion, we didn't get to take all the hikes we would have liked, but managed to fit in Canyon Overlook in the morning and Riverwalk and Emerald pools in the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, much warmer than normal and people were out enjoying the park. Since the shuttles weren't running yet, all the parking lots were filling up in the afternoon. We skipped Weeping Rock since there was no place to park to hike, but were lucky enough to find one space open at Emerald Pools. We returned to our motel for the night pretty tired.

The next day we woke early and headed back to Las Vegas. We had enough time to take in Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and to eat at the buffet before we headed back to the airport to catch our plane home.
rm_mn is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #8  
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Thanks so much for the ideas! rm_mn, that sounds like a similar trip to what we're looking at. We want to give the kids an overview of that part of the country, plus see some new things ourselves.

Did it feel like you did too much driving? We are looking at a route that includes 12 or 13 hours of travel time, not including incidental driving between hotel and various sites. The most car time would be 4-5 hours at a stretch.

Thanks for the advice!
verybuckeye is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Of course it felt like too much driving, but we wanted to introduce our kids to the area, not immerse them in it. We only could squeeze in 5 days so it was very rushed, but we all had a good time. Since you will have a little more time, you shouldn't feel nearly as rushed.

The drive from Las Vegas to the GC was mostly through desert. I didn't feel too badly having to drive part of that after dark as I knew there would be plenty of other desert to look at on our trip. Driving from the GC to Bryce would have been a nice day and time for a short hike that same day, but since we didn't have the extra time in our schedule, we rushed that stop and drove on to Hurricane, UT for the night. That definitely made a long day's drive. If we had had time in the schedule to spend the night at Bryce Canyon and part of the next day it would have been better, but our kids had to get back to work so they can pay bills so we rushed the trip.
rm_mn is offline  
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