Grand Canyon in December

Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Grand Canyon in December

I'm throwing around the idea of going to the mid west with my 15 year old son the week of Christmas. We live in Virginia and the weather in December can be cold and snowy or warm enough that a jacket is all this is required. While we've been to the Grand Canyon in July/August, I'm wondering what the Canyon can offer at this colder time of year - less crowds, bitter cold winds, spectacular views? I'm also considering driving maybe through the Painted Dessert or over to and around Santa Fe. I really haven't decided anything concrete at this point. I'm more concerned with the feasibility of my idea. We can certainly go in the summer, I just want to take advantage of the school holiday and my never-ending need to travel.
Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions etc.
Kim
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:39 PM
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I'm wondering what the Canyon can offer at this colder time of year - less crowds, bitter cold winds, spectacular views?

Smaller crowds, less expensive, same spectacular views ... will likely be very cold at night (teens or 20's), typically sunny and 40's or maybe 50's during the day, except occasionally a Pacific storm will sweep in and you'll get snow. The Canyon with snow is simply beautiful once the storm has passed. In a normal year we might see one or two such storms a month in the winter, though the past few years have been drier with fewer snow storms.

I'm also considering driving maybe through the Painted Dessert or over to and around Santa Fe.

This is fine if the roads are clear of ice, but after storms I-40 can be dangerous for a day or two and it seems to shut down east of Flagstaff a couple of times each winter when conditions are too icy, so try to have flexible plans where you can wait it out a day or two if need be.

I would say 'go for it'

Bill

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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Sounds good to me, Bill. Thanks for the info.
On another note - You know the huts along the road in the Painted Desert with the flag up indicating a local artisan is open for business? Do they go out there during the winter months as well?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:37 PM
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You know the huts along the road in the Painted Desert with the flag up indicating a local artisan is open for business? Do they go out there during the winter months as well?

I'm most familiar with the ones north of Cameron, towards Tuba City ... most are closed in winter but a few occasionally are open on clear, sunny days. There is a Navajo-owned crafts store at Cameron, also a nice trading post at the hotel at Cameron by the bridge (we've bought nice rugs there in the winter at a discount), and a trading post at Tuba City if you're going that way (US 160).

Santa Fe is full of great shops if you end up there.

Bill
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Family did trip to Grand Canyon just before Christmas a few years ago. It was cold at night [low 30's] but just a dusting of snow. We did a short hike into the canyon. DD & I went 1.5 miles down while DH & DS went over 3 miles down. Before we got back to the rim, we had gotten down to shirt-sleeves. The crowds were almost non-existent but the views were breath-taking.

We also did Sedona, Phoenix and Tuscon during that trip.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 03:12 PM
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There are also some great shops in Gallup and one of the best "budget" hotels I have had the opportunity to stay, http://www.elranchohotel.com/.

There is also the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, http://www.indianpueblo.org/, in Albuquerque, which usually has a Christmas market set-up.

You might also consider taking the Grand Canyon Railroad, http://www.thetrain.com/train/, from Williams into the Grand Canyon.

Adios,

Bit

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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 05:15 AM
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Thanks so much to all for your suggestions and web sites. I'm taking notes and looking at air fares now. I've been out west so many times but, it was always during the summer months. This is going to be nice change of pace and a chance to see it all in a completely different way. I'm so looking forward to coming back.
Kim
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Old Nov 28th, 2011, 03:47 AM
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How about somewhere you haven't been that might be a little favorable weather. Maybe Big Bend, Joshua Tree, Saquaro, or Guadalupe/Carlsbad. These aren't as spectacular of a sight, but they do offer a lot. You most likely wouldn't have to worry about snow at any of these(maybe rarely).
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Old Nov 28th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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spiro, this is a 4 year old thread.
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Old Nov 28th, 2011, 07:19 AM
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oops, well the thread right above mine that was deleted was the date I looked at. It was new this morning. lol
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