Grand Canyon from Vegas or Arizona???

Apr 10th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Grand Canyon from Vegas or Arizona???

I'll be in Las Vegas area next fall and am wondering which would be better: to visit the Grand Canyon from Vegas area or if it would be better to fly to Arizona from Vegas and drive up to the Grand Canyon. Does anyone have any recommendations/experience with these options that you could share? This is my first visit to the Grand Canyon and I don't know when I will have another chance. Thanks
SusanE is offline  
Apr 10th, 2009, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another. Pick whichever is easier or cheaper. You can also fly into AZ and out of Vegas if you wish to see both.
J62 is online now  
Apr 12th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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From Las Vegas the drive to the Grand Canyon (south rim) takes about a day each way. Same from Phoenix. The north rim closes in late fall due to altitude and possible snow.

From LV, drive to Kingman (avoid Hoover Dam -- bad traffic problems due to security checks), pick up I-40 and on to Williams, then north to south rim. Takes about 7 hours.

From Phoenix, take I-17 to Flagstaff (or make a detour via Sedona). From Flagstaff, drive northwest to south rim. Takes about 6 hours.
USNR is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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A few years ago (post 9/11) I was in Vegas for a conference in March and we extended to take our 10 & 7 year olds to the Grand Canyon. We rented a car and drove from Vegas with a stop at Hoover Dam. For kids, I think you should definitely fight the traffic (which wasn't that bad compared to traffic we have in Washington DC) to visit Hoover Dam especially if you may never have another opportunity. We did the tour and my kids still talk about it. We left Vegas in the morning but timed it to be at Hoover Dam when the tours started. Did the tour at Hoover and then on to Grand Canyon. From Hoover to the Grand Canyon was a LONG, lonely desert drive. Make sure you have plenty of water, food and gas because you go miles and miles with no where to stop. You will get to the Grand Canyon after dark most likely so you won't be able to see any thing until the next morning. One full day at the Canyon and then back to Vegas is fine, unless you are into hiking a lot.
Hoyas64 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Oh and another thing, once you get to the Grand Canyon park entrance there are very limited dinner options and inside the park the only place to eat without a reservation or a long wait was the cafeteria. If you want a nice sit down dinner at the Grand Canyon make your reservations now.
Hoyas64 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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My experience with sit down dinners at the Grand Canyon is different than Hoya64's.

There are two restaurants right at the rim at the Bright Angel - one is the Arizona room (med range steak house) & the other is more basic fare. I was there at the height of the summer season last year, and once the hordes of day trippers left on the train to Williams about 5pm things quieted down a lot. We were able to simply walk into both of those restaurants. I believe Arizona room takes reservations - the cafe does not.

The high end restaurant at El Tovar definitely requires a reservation. If you have a room reservation you can book much farther in advance than if you don't.

Xanterra is the park lodging concessionaire - you can check their website for hotel rooms. Not sure if they also run the restaurants.

My recommendation is to book a room - any room - inside the park and keep checking if you can get one you prefer more. You can always cancel up to 2-3d before arrival with no penalty.
J62 is online now  
May 26th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Join Date: May 2009
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It's only a 4 1/2-5 hour drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim and the drive is beautiful! You go right over Hoover Dam which is fun and get to see gorgeous desert landscape the whole way. Drive from Vegas!
chrissiwright is offline  
May 26th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
4 hour drive from Phoenix airport to south rim, about 4.5 - 5 hr drive from Vegas ... since you are already in Vegas it makes more sense to drive from there rather than fly to Phoenix or Flagstaff (about 90 minutes from GC).

As far as dining in the GC, there are decent cafeterias at Maswik Lodge and at Yavapai Lodge as well as the restaurants near the rim that J62 mentions. In nearby Tusayan there are several restaurants (the one at the Squire Inn is better than those inside the park), plus fast food places like McDonalds and Taco Bell, etc (some are in the lobby of the IMAX theater).
Bill_H is offline  
May 26th, 2009, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you do not already have your plane tickets, book your flight to Las Vegas, take rental car to GC, then drop off and fly out of Phoenix. Advantages: shorter drive through different terrain, possible to take scenic route through Sedona. Disadvantage: may be higher cost for the one-way car rental (but plane fare for open jaw shouldn't be much different.)
kayd is offline  
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