Grand Canyon/Las Vegas/Utah - 11 nights

Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:00 AM
  #1  
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Grand Canyon/Las Vegas/Utah - 11 nights

Hello,

I am planning a summer trip to Arizona, Las Vegas and Utah with my teenage son, August 24-September 4.

This is our first visit to the area. There is so many options. I'd appreciate some recommendations. I would like to raft somewhere, just a day or 1/2 day moderate rapids. Otherwise, hiking and taking in the beautiful sites. Would enjoy visiting some sleepy towns off the beaten path. I'm all for packing it in from sun up to sun down! I'm thinking of something like this.

Aug 24 - Grand Canyon
Aug 28 - Hoover Dam - to Las Vegas
Aug 30 - Sept 4 Utah

Thank you so much!
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 11:23 AM
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Aug 24 - Grand Canyon
Aug 28 - Hoover Dam - to Las Vegas
Aug 30 - Sept 4 Utah . . .

Please clarify what you mean by this? Is it Aug 24-27 at the GC, Aug 28-29 Hoover Dam > Vegas, and the rest in Utah? Or are there other bits in between and you are looking for suggestions? Where are you flying in to - Phoenix or Las Vegas?

Do understand that the end of Aug/beginning of Sept can and probably will be EXTREMELY hot in Las Vegas and some of the parks -- like 100 to 120F so running from sun up to sun down is very unlikely. More like Sun up til 10 AM and then again in the evening. You'll want to do your hiking in the early mornings. Most other times you'll want to be in a/c.

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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 01:13 PM
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"Most other times you'll want to be in a/c."

Or a pool. I have to agree that the idea of charging through your days in this part of the country in August is probably unrealistic. Your dates for Vegas saw temps near 110F last year, and it didn't cool down much at night (mid-80s). Grand Canyon Village's daily high was a bit lower but still close to 90F, although overnight into the mid-40s.

You need to look into the rafting soon. My understanding is that things book up early, although 2 seats might be fairly easy to secure.

For any ideas about Utah, we'd need to know what airport you're flying out of.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 04:00 PM
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Update Grand Canyon/Las Vegas/Utah 11 nights

Hello,

Thank you for the replies

Sorry for the confusion on the dates. This is a side trip to an existing road trip visiting family before and after. I've updated the dates and hope they are easier to understand. I hear what you are saying about the heat. Isn't summer family vacation time popular to travel? I have found that popular resorts are already booked up. We can easily split our time and activities in the early am/later pm. Yes to the pool! Thanks for the recommendation.

August 24- Arrive in Grand Canyon area - 4 nights and 3 days
August 28 - Stop at Hoover Dam en-route to Las Vegas - 2 nights
August 30 - Sept 4 Utah National Parks 5 nights
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 06:05 PM
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" Isn't summer family vacation time popular to travel? "

Very popular - at the Grand Canyon - which is likely already nearly full up. And National Parks are popular year round. The south rim of the GC will be booked up but it will definitely be warm during the days.

But for Vegas it is definitely the low LOW season (except on holidays/weekends). In LV rooms that go for $250+ at other times of year can be had for $35-$50 in summer because it is too darned hot even to lay by the pool.

Why not consider skipping Las Vegas and go GC > Byrce Canyon > Zion
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 07:01 PM
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You still didn't answer where you are flying into and renting a car. Are you returning the car where you rented it? Cars rented in Las Vegas tend to be cheaper than those in Phoenix, SLC or anywhere in California.
The pool at the Golden Nugget is shaded and has a water slide through the shark tank. I observed this from my favorite LV buffet upstairs at the Golden Nugget. To get from one end of "The Strip" use "the Deuce" which is a double decker bus. You can get a one ride ticket or a 24 hour pass from a machine near a bus stop.
Be sure to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and not the west end which has the glass walkway extending over the edge.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 07:53 PM
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Where are you coming from and going to afterwards? It might work better to put LV at the end of the trip.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 04:07 AM
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This is just a part of a larger trip that includes stops to visit family before our vacation time. We are driving our own car. Before Grand Canyon we are coming from Albuquerque and after our stops in Utah we will return to Denver. I can reduce Las Vegas to one night and just pass through and add that extra night in either the Grand Canyon or Utah, or some other cool town you can recommend!

Last edited by BearBear; Jan 16th, 2020 at 04:09 AM.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 07:23 AM
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Depending on what time you want to leave the south rim, you could make a stop to see Hoover Dam. You turn off US 93 immediately after exiting the high bridge coming into Nevada. After going through the security checkpoint, drive across the dam back to the second or third parking lot on the Arizona side (free). On the way back out there is a parking lot to take a paved path to the walkway of the bridge.
On the walkway it is marked where the apex of the bridge is and the state line. About 2 miles away, is the Hoover Dam Lodge if you didn't want to spend the night in Las Vegas. Sometimes there is a helicopter tour that takes off from a hill next to the parking lot of the Hoover Dam Lodge.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 08:51 AM
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Based on the itinerary you describe -- I'd think you could eliminate Las Vegas entirely. I would not plan a stop in Vegas merely to see Hoover Dam.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 09:10 AM
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4 nights is a long time at the Grand Canyon. I'd opt to spend more nights in the UT parks. Vegas is a bit of a detour.
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 09:17 AM
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Thank you for the recommendations!
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Old Jan 16th, 2020, 08:07 PM
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Go to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon and go to Bryce, You couldn't pay me to go to Zion in August. gahhh, death by convection oven heat. (and I live in Utah) The other park that is a little cooler is Capitol Reef. But don't go near Arches. Some of Canyonlands is a little higher. Mesa Verde will still be hot but at least it is higher as well--80-90 degrees vs. 105 degrees. And you could also go up to Ouray and Telluride. I honestly would even consider just driving straight up to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons where the weather will be so much better. You just do not want to be in the desert in August.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:15 PM
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What do you plan to do on this trip? If it is just to drive through and look, you could visit Arches and Canyonlands on your trip by. It will be hot and busy, but might give you an idea of places to visit at a cooler time. Do visits early in the day if you want to spend much time outside of the car.
Mesa Verde could be on your route east from there.
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