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Grand Canyon solo - advisable?

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Jan 24th, 2012, 03:48 PM
  #1
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Grand Canyon solo - advisable?

I want to experience the Grand Canyon this year however my husband and friends are not interested, so I'm on my own. Does this make sense? Has anyone been there, alone?

Should I consider an "organized tour" if so can you make some suggestions?

Or can anyone help guide a solo trip. I'm not interested in camping out, I would rather stay at a comfortable/beautiful place that offers day trips with guides.

Just trying to complete my bucket list.

Thanks for any help/encouragement you can provide.

Happy trails,
Aranda
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Jan 24th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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It absolutely makes sense. I would suggest you do it on your own and not with a tour. That will give you much more flexibility. At the GC, you definitely do not need a guide. The free shuttles to the viewpoints (most of them) have drivers who give you all the information you need.

So, haw many days are you planning?
Will you be visiting other places? Page, Sedona, etc?
Where will you fly into?
Other interest? Indian ruins, shopping, great scenery, good food?

Figure when you want to go and how long you will spend and we can help you start your planning.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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Go to Grand Canyon, stay in the park, use their free shuttles.

Is Sedona on your list? It's beautiful too.

How many days?
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Jan 24th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Did this a few years ago flew into Sky Harbor carrentals.com did Scottsdale visitsedona.com and El Tovar right on the canyon rim.Had tonnes of fun solo no worries.
El Tovar Hotel Rooms Reservations.
Grand_Canyon_Reservations.resrv.us
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Jan 24th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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If you want to go with a group, elderhostel is now road scholar and they have some that might be interesting, I think they do one that even goes down on a raft.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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check roadscholar.org/n/program/summary.aspx?ID=1%2BLY%2B99&MC=
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Jan 24th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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according to the GC NPS website-they do offer some Ranger-Led hikes. You could also do something with the GC Field Institute. They have single and multi day events.

REI has some multi day events

If you just want to hike a bit down in the canyon or on the rim, you could do that on your own easily.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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I am surprised to learn there are people who don't want to see the Grand Canyon, and I'm glad you are not letting them drag you down with them. Stay at any of the hotels on the rim of the canyon and eat your dinners at El Tovar. You will find plenty to do there.

HTTY
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Jan 24th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Absolutely go by yourself if no one wants to go along. I like spiro's idea of the ranger guided hikes - gives you some structure and extra insight, but then you can go off on your own at other times.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 02:48 AM
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I had a great time on a solo trip to the GC. I did the mule ride down into the canyon and stayed overnight which was fantastic and a nice way to meet other people. You have to book in advance but sometimes they have last minute cancellations. I also stayed two nights on the rim. You will have a great time.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 03:36 AM
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I was there on my own several years ago.

By on my own I mean I was with nobody I knew. I definitely wasn't there alone.

You should never hike by yourself. You should have no trouble meeting people at most trailheads almost anywhere.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 07:19 AM
  #14
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Thank you everyone! Now I don't feel so crazy about going to the Grand Canyon alone.

This I know about my trip:
plan on one week at least, leaving in September/October, didn't plan on visiting any other locations but I am open to suggestions that would work on the way to Grand Canyon, not sure where I would fly into, need suggestions, I'm coming from New York (how would I get from the airport to Grand Canyon, would I have to rent a car? never did that before alone, are there buses?), I'm interested in Indian ruins, waterfalls, hiking, scenery, healthy good food, peace.

I keep thinking of a line in a Jimmy Hendrix song which goes something like: "nobody's going to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to". Seems like the Fodor's nation have been doing that all along. I'm still learning.

Thanks so much! I'm so excited and grateful for your help and time.

Aranda
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Jan 25th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Aranda, I'm so glad you decided to go on your own. Generally the are two places that people fly in to are Phoenix or Las Vegas depending on cost and interest, but if you are not comfortable driving long distances you might want to go into Flagstaff. I would want to have a car and Flagstaff is much closer than either of the others.

There are things to see along the way. From Phoenix you could stop in Sedona for a day or two and visit Montezuma's Castle and Palatki. From Flagstaff you could go to Walnut Canyon and Wupatki. From Vegas you could visit Hoover Dam.

There are bus trips from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon but they seem mostly to be one day including the 5 hour drive each way so If you really want to see the canyon I would not choose that option.

I don't know about busses from Phoenix. If cost is a factor consider the cost of cars as it is generally much higher in Phoenix than Vegas.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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September / October is a great time to visit. We prefer early to mid- October, particularly for Sedona. I would suggest flying into Phoenix. Definitely rent a car, otherwise you will miss a lot of things. Here are some thoughts:

Drive from PHX to Sedona. Depending on how early you arrive, stop at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well on the way.

You will fall in love with Sedona -- the red rock area, not the town. Spend a few days there. Take the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Visit Red Rock Crossing, do the easy Bell Rock hike. Maybe take the Verde Canyon Railroad tour and vizit Tuzigoot National Monument. Spend at least a few days in the Sedona area.

From Sedona, drive up Oak Creek Canyon and take 89 up to the GC east entrance. Get an early start and take the loop road that takes you to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument.

Your first view of the GC will be at Desert View, my favorite first view of the canyon. Along the way to GC Village, stop at several of the viewpoints along the road. Check into your room (book one of the lodges right on the rim -- El Tovar, Kachina, Thunderbird, or Bright Angel. There is a rim trail that you can walk. Head east along it and find someplace to watch the canyon at sunset. Then dinner at El Tovar. Sunrise anyplace along the rim, then take the free shuttle to viewpoints west of the Village, to Hermit's Rest. And also try to hike at least part way down Bright Angel Trail to get a different view of the Canyon.

If possible, stay another night. If not, head back to Sedona for a last night before driving down to Phoenix for a flight home.

Now, if you have more than 5-7 days, there are a lot more suggestions of things to see and do.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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Just saw emalloy's post. I do not suggest flying into Flagstaff. You would have to connect in PHX and allow at least an hour between flights (and have the possibility of a delay). And from Flagstaff, you still have a drive of around 45 minutes to Sedona. The drive from PHX to Sedona is 2 hours, maybe a bit less. So you really don't save any time flying into Flag and potentially spend a lot longer doing that if there are any flight delays.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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I think you can make a great trip from two places:
a) Phoenix to GC and Sedona area
and
b) Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Page and GC.

A week is way too long for GC alone. A day or so on the South Rim and you'll be ready to move on.

If you select my b) option then I would go on the early side of your time window since Bryce in over 8,000 ft in elevation.

It's funny, but of all of these places the Grand Canyon is my least favorite.

As Mike mentioned for Sedona it's the area around the town and not the town. It kept me fairly busy for 3 days. Boynton canyon Vista, Bell Rock, Broken Arrow (I hiked it but many take the Pink Jeep tour), cathedral Rock, Oak Creek.

Bryce Canyon is beautiful and very different from anything anywhere. The spectacular sunrise at Bryce Point is not to be missed. Then hike down into the hoodoos taking Navajo Loop and Queens Garden.

Zion is nothing special other than being beautiful and special. The debate is whether you should stop at Scout's Lookout or "risk life and limb" and to to the end of Angel's Landing. The very simple Riverside Walk hike is one of the scenic anywhere.

Page, AZ. Horseshoe Bend and the famous Antelope Canyon.

You can see my photos of all these places at:
www.travelwalks.com
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Jan 25th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Forgot.

Your husband and friends are not interested.

If you go to some of the other sights mentioned I'll bet you be back again taking them when they see some of the places you've visited.
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Jan 25th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #20
 
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Yes, you will lose some time transferring to Flagstaff, but as a woman alone, I would not want to have to drive through Phoenix and up to either Sedona or Grand Canyon by myself after having flown from NY and dealing with luggage and the rental car people, which is why I offered it as an option.

What ever you do decide, it is a wonderful place to be and I could easily spend several days at Grand Canyon.

I can't imagine why anyone would not want to visit the canyon, but there are folks who only plan vacations for cities. To each his own.
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