Grand Canyon trips with 3 teens

Jan 5th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the great advice....I am listening and taking notes!!

I'm still very ambivalent about giving up the North Rim. I have reservations there for the pioneer cabins on the rim, and I love the idea of being rustic and just enjoying the views and relaxing. If it was just me traveling, it would be no question. However, I'm thinking with the three girls it might be best to skip it and have more time in Las Vegas at the end, or perhaps do more in Page as there seems to be a lot there to do.

I'm so appreciative of all the suggestions. We live in Florida and have never visited the southwest, and this trip is a long-time anticipated one for me

And, yes, I will haul their butts out of bed for a sunrise view! I will pay dearly for it, but oh well...
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:00 PM
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I live in Florida as well though not native.

In 2007 I took "my trip" to the Southwest.

I've since been to Utah three times, Arizona once, Wyoming once, Banff once, California once (Yosemite NP) and expect to be in Montana (Glacier NP) this summer.

So much for "the trip"!!
Myer is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Keep your North Rim. One day in Vegas is plenty for me. You can see a show, have dinner, see the strip, and shop.

Are you girls advenurous? Angels Landing and The Narrow are two of the very best hikes in any National Parks(they both make most top ten dayhike lists). Canyoneering with Zion Adv. Co. would be cool too.

Navajo Loop/Queen Garden in Bryce. Horse rides there get you down into the canyon too.

Be sure and have a meal at the lodges in Zion and Bryce. We really like the Whiptail Grill in Springdale(just outside of Zion)-especially the spaghetti squash enchilada. Don't let the outside of the place scare you. It's in an old gas station. You will want to have a lunch outside Zion Lodge under the big tree. Tons of people gather there for lunch or at least an ice cream snack.

Your going to get a good taste of the area. I can almost guarantee that you will be back for me. It's very addicting.
I would probably be tempted to ride mules at the North or South rim. If you don't ride down, do at least hike down a bit. Perhaps a helicopter fly over on the south rim.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Our photos from Bryce and Zion
link to Arches/Bryce/other Utah from June 2011
Zion October 2009
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 5th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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I love the pictures! Thanks so much for sharing. The girl in the pictures looks to be my daughters age. What was her favorite parts of your trips?
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 02:28 AM
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In the event you want to see more:
Myer is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 03:31 AM
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My daughter is 17 now. I think that Zion was in 08 not 09, so she would have been 13 or 14 there. Angels Landing, Delicate Arch, and Goblin Valley would be her favorites in Utah. She did like The Narrows, but she liked Angels Landing more. She is pretty adventurous though. We have gone canyoneering twice and she really loves that. She and my wife both refuse to ride horses for some reason(they have been on them a couple of times), to at Bryce I just did that by myself. For the last 6 years or so all of our trips have been almost exclusively national parks. Yellowstone is thier favorite and Yosemite is mine. The Utah parks are very very cool though. A visit the the GC is a must as well. It isn't my favorite, but we have rafted a portion of it and I plan on going back for two more visits. I want to hike rim to rim and I also want to hike down to Havasu waterfall part of it(tribal land located in the national park-Havasupi). We have been to GC 3 times, but I haven't been to the North Rim and it is high on my list-an added bonus when I do the rim to rim hike.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 04:49 AM
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Wow, I am so jealous of your travels!! I love your webpage and pictures. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate how you've labeled each picture as to which trail is was taken...very helpful!

I would like to do the Angles Landing hike. How hard and dangerous is it really?
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Yes, wow Meyer on your travel walk photos...outstanding memories of many trips in U. S. and Europe! I will enjoy revisiting these places seen over the years. Do you put on shows or what? But wait, where is Florida, your home!!! We're back from the Keys at Thanksgiving (see report)...much too brief.

As for this trip plan, I am again musing about the teens and what they might enjoy...without any answers of course. Their moods could be so varied, from sulking about even leaving home to loving to hike trails. Most of all this trip must revolve around them I do believe and that might include things like visiting the Hualapais (Peach Springs) en route to LV, maybe some red rock hiking plus the art in Sedona, exploring the old mining town of Jerome, walking in Zion Pk...or maybe (god forbid) hanging out in the Grand Canyon lodge or teen games in some Las Vegas resort! Warning: this is not just a sightseeing trip!
Bill in Boston
Ozarksbill is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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After researching more about Sedona, I'm thinking one night is not enough. So, I am contemplating nixing Las Vegas, and adding one more night in Sedona. It would make it somewhat less expensive in that I can fly in and out of Flagstaff, and rent/return the car in the same location.

Revised itinerary:
Fly into Flagstaff
Sedona 2 nights
South rim 2 nights
North rim 2 nights
Bryce 1 night
Zion 1 night
Page 2 nights
Fly out of Flagstaff

Thoughts? Is it possible to stay two nights in Bryce and see the highlights of Zion in one day? I know that's not ideal, but I don't like the idea of being in any place only one night. If I were to add one more night, should it be Bryce or Zion? I'm thinking Bryce, but not sure.

Another reason I'm considering forgoing Vegas is I have found a resort in Sedona called The Enchantment. It looks awesome!!! But very expensive, so I've got to cut back on the trip elsewhere in order to do that. Anyone have knowledge of the Enchantment?

Thanks again!!
workingonthebucket is offline  
Jan 6th, 2012, 03:25 PM
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I can fly in and out of Flagstaff

I think I'd fly in/out of Phoenix instead of Flagstaff, assuming your Flag flight actually goes to PHX first, then to Flag. It's about 2 easy hours of driving from PHX to Sedona so by the time you wait for the connection and then fly to Flag it's actually faster and, I'm guessing, less expensive. This flight is also on a small regional carrier with limited carry-on luggage options so you'll likely have to gate-check some bags.

Of course on the return trip if you fly from Flagstaff you'll be starting home about 2 1/4 hours earlier than if driving to PHX, but then you'll probably lose most of that with the transfer time at PHX coming back.

Only possible snag is that the rental car/van might be more expensive at PHX (high airport car rental taxes to fund a football stadium, sorry).

Enchantment Resort in Sedona is really nice.
Bill_H is offline  
Jan 7th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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Personally, I think you aren't allowing enough time at Bryce and Zion.

The hike to Angels Landing is fairly strenuous. That said anyone in moderate shape can do it. It's not a super long trail, so that is a plus. I personally don't see all the issues with it being unsafe. There is a long section of it that you are very exposed on both sides. There is a chain to hang on to. Yes, you could fall, and people have. Again, I think it would be very unlikely. I have hiked many other trails that in spots were just as unsafe. None are like this one though because of the exposure on both sides at such close range. I think you are more likely to die in a car wreck in the park than on the trail.
Nixing Vegas sounds good to me.

If at all possible add a night to Bryce and Zion each. If you can just pick one of them, then it depends on the hikes you want to do. For me, I like Angels Landing and The Narrows in Zion. At Bryce I like Navajo Loop/Queens Garden and riding the horses at Peekaboo Loop. You could do all of that in Bryce in a day. Zion you would need 2 days. Plus Zion offers several other very nice hikes too.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 7th, 2012, 05:58 AM
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Another thought on Angels Landing. My daughter was 13 or 14 at the time. My wife stopped at the extreme dropoff section at Scout Lookout. A lot of people stop there and just wait an hour or so while the rest of their party completes the hike.
My daughter is very athletic-placed 4th place in 100 yard dash that year as a 9th grader in the state. However, she has severe scolicis(has since had surgery and is fine-we still hike all the time). So, my point is-- that if she can do it under those circumstances-then I think about anyone should be ok. Just take your time if you need to and have plenty of water. Sit down at the top fot a long time and enjoy it. Bring a snack or something to eat.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 01:00 AM
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Glad you aren't giving up the N. Rim for Las Vegas!

You might consider giving up one of your nights at the N. Rim, then one night at Bryce, spend most of the next day there before driving the 86 miles to Zion and spending two nights in Zion.

utahtea is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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workingthebucket, ozarksbill,

Thank you for your comments. No, I don't put on shows. Photography is a hobby and I built the web site out of interest to figure out how to do it. Also, we direct friends to the site to see the photos of our trips.

As you can see the national parks have only started to appear in the past 4-5 years. That's too bad because as I get older I develop more and more issues.

About Angel's Landing. I was there with my daughter in Sept 2010. We went as far a Scouts Lookout though she wanted to continue herself (she didn't).

Up to Scouts Lookout it's actually very easy as the trail is fairly gentle, wide and smooth (mostly paved and sprinkled with sand).

The only issue is that there is some elevation so if you're not used to it just stop and rest often and drink water.

That part is not dengerous at all. No sharp dropoffs or anything like that.
Myer is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 03:57 AM
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I'm glad you're not giving up the North Rim too.
starrs is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 05:42 AM
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Funny you ask about Florida.

We've been living here since 1993.

We've never been south to the Keys although my wife mentioned it a week or so ago.

We've been to Captiva a couple of times when my daughter and her husband rented a house for a week.

I guess we'll have to try a few places. But the state is just so long!!!
Myer is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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I would second the idea of flying into Phoenix and driving. You'll get to see the saguaro cactus along the way which will make you feel like you are in the west for sure. Though it would be a lot shorter to end in Flagstaff than drive from Page to Phx

1 night at Zion is not enough. I would do 1 night at the North Rim and 2 at Zion.

Bryce is a small park and easily seen in a day (or an afternoon, an overnight and early morning).

Since you will have already seen the south rim, 1 night at the North Rim will be plenty. Be sure though to take the time to drive over to Cape Royal and see the view from there. It is worth it.
InSandy is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Make sure you sleep in Bryce to see a spectacular sunrise at Bryce Point.

I would probably add a night to Zion.

I should qualify hard/easy and easy/strenuous.

Angel's Landing hike to Scouts Lookout is not dangerous. It's an easy hike as far as difficulty is concerned.

However, it's all uphill and you are in some altitude. So, it's somewhat strenuous. Since it's not that high it creeps up on you.

Start early, stop as often as you feel like (the trail is wide so nobody will be held up behind you), drink lot's of water, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use lot's of sunscreen.
Myer is offline  
Jan 11th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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I really do appreciate all the comments...I'm listening! This is a lot to figure out!! It's a good problem though. The flights have been booked, so we're progressing! The best flight deal was for us to fly into and out of Las Vegas. Trip duration is 9 nights.
Our plane lands at 11:18am, so the plan is to head straight to the Hoover Dam. How long will it take us to get there? I've read varying reports. Should I do the extended tour?

From Hoover Dam, drive to Sedona for 2 nights. I've booked the Sedona Real Inn and Suites and Pink Jeep for the Broken Arrow Trail tour. I've also booked the M Diamond Ranch for the horseback ride and cowboy cookout. I'm not sure about that?? It can be canceled. Thoughts/experiences? I'm still trying to decided on hikes, as we will probably only get to do one.

From Sedona, we'll head to south rim for two nights. Booked at the Yavapai Lodge. Not sure what we're doing there...will have to work on that later.

From SR to Page....I'm thinking is the next stop. Want to book 1/2 day flatwater float and see the Anteloupe Canyon.

My big question now is how to do bryce/zion and possible north rim without having to move around so much. I've found a place called the Zion Mountain Ranch which states you can reach all three spots from there. True? Difficult? I still have my reservations on North Rim, so not sure what to do.

Appreciate so much any advice!
workingonthebucket is offline  

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