Grand Canyon for seniors

Mar 13th, 2019, 01:16 PM
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Grand Canyon for seniors

Hi, Folks. We are 2 East Coast seniors, around 80, who have never been to the Grand Canyon. We would like to visit it, but no hiking or mule/jeep rides. We thought we would like to fly into Phoenix, drive a rental car to the Grand Canyon, stay 2 nights, and do a driving tour for a day around or in the canyon. Then back to the Phoenix airport. Do you have any pointers? I'll go to a AAA office to see what info they have.
Bryce Canyon seems interesting, but it looks like a 10 hour round trip. Perhaps we could add a few days to the trip and spend 2 nights there also, taking a day to tour that area.
How does this sound?


Last edited by PaulH; Mar 13th, 2019 at 01:54 PM.
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Mar 13th, 2019, 02:04 PM
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Also, to avoid weather extremes, is May or June best?
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Mar 13th, 2019, 03:52 PM
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Is May or June best?

Well, June will definitely be hotter than May for sure. If you stick to the rim which is at 6000' elevation than even July will be ok. July / Aug is monsoon season so more frequent rain storms & flash floods in narrow canyons are more common.

If you have the time then a loop that is
fly into Vegas
fly out of Vegas

is a very common tourist route that you could do in a 1 week trip without feeling rushed.

suggest you request you have this moved to the US forum.

Last edited by J62; Mar 13th, 2019 at 04:06 PM.
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Mar 13th, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Moved to the united States Forum
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Mar 13th, 2019, 08:12 PM
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May would be better for weather and crowds. You cannot drive "in" the Canyon but you can drive along the south rim and see views from several pullouts. Depending on what time you arrive in Phx, you could drive to GC the day you arrive, see the canyon at sunset and sunrise, drive east along the rim, head north on 89 to Page and see Antelope Canyon (highly recommended), spend your second night in Page and go on a flat river float trip on the Colorado river the and also see Glen Canyon dam or take a boat ride to rainbow bridge national monument on Lake Powell. Bryce is also a great option and is not a bad drive from Page.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 04:24 AM
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I would probably plan a loop from Vegas.
Day 1: fly out, pick up rental car, drive towards Hoover dam, spend the night near there,
Day 2: drive to GC, check out the VC and the Bright Angel area, spend the night in the park (el Tovar,Thunderbird,Kachina,B A cabin, Maswick or Yavapai)
Day 3: explore the west side, take the park shuttle from BA to Hermits Rest, get off at the view point and hop on the next bus. Spend the night in the park.
Day 4:exit the park to the east with stops at the view points then north, then NW towards Bryce. Spend the night near/in Bryce or in Kanab if you do not want to drive that far.
Day 5: visit view points along the rim. drive to Zion, visit the VC, take the park shuttle in the valley, spend the night in Zion or Springdale.
Day 6: re visit any areas you missed in Zion, drive to Vegas, fly home or spend the night and fly the next day.

Have a great time.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 14th, 2019, 04:57 AM
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Stay in Park - while there are some Parks you may not miss a lot by staying outside (like Yellowstone), stay at one of lodging options at South Rim. Make a dinner reservation at El Tovar. The food is not outstanding, but it is so historic, with great views. Take the shuttle bus that drives along rim road with multiple stops - hop on/hop off type bus. Very short walk to various vantage points.

Agree to check out Las Vegas flight options. Then you could stop at Hoover Dam, drive through Bryce and/or Zion. No hiking necessary - I am not a hiker and we had a good trip.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 07:18 AM
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Thank you for the advice. We now know what to do. 41 years ago, we retired from the military and headed east from California to put the kids in new schools. We drove by the Grand Canyon, and decided to wait for another chance. Now in our 80's, it's time to do it!
Paul H
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Mar 14th, 2019, 08:41 AM
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If you really want to fly, fly to Albuquerque and rent the car there or take the Amtrak SW Chief from ABQ to either Flagstaff or to Williams. From Williams, you can take the Grand Canyon Railroad north to the south rim.
There are bus tours that leave Flagstaff if you did not want to rent a car there. Albuquerque is a nicer tourist town than Phoenix IMO.
The Amtrak Southwest Chief leaves Chicago every afternoon and arrives in Los Angeles about 45 hours later.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 10:57 AM
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I agree that May is probably going to be the better month, but not too much different, go whenever you can find lodging inside the park.

Either Phoenix or Las Vegas are about the same driving distance to the south rim.

Inside the park for one (or two people who can sleep in a queen bed) I love the historic cabins however Bright Angel tends to sell out far in advance. One of the bonuses of staying there is that you can park nearby. It's almost impossible to find a parking spot at that end of the park. Easier as you move east (eg Yavapaid Geology Museum) and Desert View.

There are two vendors for Grand Canyon lodging now, Xanterra and Delaware North. Yavapai is operated by the later, and often has more availability. Still inside the park, but toward the east end.

Most of the food inside GC is uniformly awful. The pizza bar at Maswick is really the only place I'd go. We will often hit up the McD's inTusuyan if that gives you a clue.

Be sure to read about the park on their website (road construction alerts etc).

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 14th, 2019 at 11:03 AM.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 12:08 PM
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>>Most of the food inside GC is uniformly awful. <<

I had several meals in El Tovar and it was very good (Breakfast X 2, 1 dinner, and bar snacks in the Lounge
janisj is offline  
Mar 14th, 2019, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>Most of the food inside GC is uniformly awful. <<

I had several meals in El Tovar and it was very good (Breakfast X 2, 1 dinner, and bar snacks in the Lounge
2 breakfasts and bar snack plus 1 dinner would be a very small sample.

Like most of the restaurants operated inside the parks by Xanterra it's bland, boring and overpriced.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 04:24 PM
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Four meals would be a bigger sample than most visitors would have. I agree with you that most of the other options inside the Park are meh -- but last time I was there (last October) we stayed 3 nights at Thunderbird and ate at El Tovar those 4 times -- each was absolutely fine, not over priced for the quality and the dinner was really very good. (it wasn't 'a' bar snack it was crab cakes and sandwiches and street tacos and other stuff)
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