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Grand Canyon vacation planned: add in Antelope Canyon?

Grand Canyon vacation planned: add in Antelope Canyon?

Old Jan 9th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Grand Canyon vacation planned: add in Antelope Canyon?

We have an Arizona/New Mexico vacation mostly planned out for late July 2010. Right now it looks like this:
Day One: drive, spend night in Albuquerque, NM
Day Two: drive to Grand Canyon
Days Three and Four: enjoy Grand Canyon - hike partway, ranger talk, etc
Day Five: drive to Red River, NM
Days Six and Seven: family reunion in Red River (hiking, rafting, etc - we go here every two years)
Day Eight: drive home
Here's the question: now I'm wondering if we should maybe spend the second night in Page, AZ, and see Antelope Canyon before then going to the GC, using the east entrance. It looks really cool, but are we then going to feel like we don't have enough time in the GC? It would leave us with two nights still at the GC. Your thoughts???
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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You could do that, but you might not get the best light in Antelope Canyon as you'd probably be arriving later in the afternoon. As I recall, it's about six or seven hours from Albuquerque.

Perhaps you could spend your second and third nights at the Grand Canyon. Leave sort of early on day 4 and visit Antelope Canyon, then spend that night in Page.

Lee Ann
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 01:35 PM
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Are you seeing the Grand Canyon from the North or South Rim?

For me, there is so many other things to do around Page, that just going there to see a slot canyon with hordes of other people isn't worth doing. Canyon X looks interesting. Another big attraction there is Rainbow Bridge. Also Horseshoe Bend. And if you really wanted to see something fantastic, you would want to hike "The Wave".

So, I would stick with just the Grand Canyon and save the entire area of Page for another time. However, if you are visiting the Grand Canyon on the North Rim a swing by Antelope Canyon wouldn't be so much "out of your way" than if you are at the South Rim.

There is one operator that does a combo trip to both Canyon X and Antelope. He is the only one with access to X, so you would have it to yourself. The wave only allows 20 people per day to see it, you get a permit 3 months in advance on a lottery system. Rainbow bridge requires a 5 hour cruise to see it.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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I would probably through in Sunset Crater, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, and perhaps Walnut Canyon. They are all directly on your route.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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We're planning to do the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I have only seen it once, briefly, more than 20 years ago, and the rest of the family has never been there.

I was wondering about coming into Page on our second night, seeing Antelope Canyon in the morning, and then heading to the east entrance of GC. Trying to do too much? Unfortunately, we can't add another day or two to the trip.

Thanks for the advice so far. I've never heard of Canyon X or "the Wave". I need to google those right now!
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 04:36 PM
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The Wave sounds great to me too, but you'll have to enter a lottery to get a permit (enter in March for a July permit, I believe). In cooler months, your chances of getting a permit are poor (10% or less; so far, I've failed in my attempts). In July, you probably stand a better chance. There are also a few walk up permits available for the next day's hike, but these too are subject to a lottery; I have no idea what your chances would be.

If you manage to snag a permit, your next decision will be whether to hire a guide. I get the impression it's not that hard to navigate, but that there are precious few landmarks, and it's possible to get lost.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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I have spoken with a local guy here in Oklahoma that has hiked it and have spoken several times with the Land Bureau, very very few people hire a guide. There are actually two "wave area's" very close to each other, a couple of arches very nearby, and a couple of rock teepee formations. You can get GPS coordinates online. The land bureau does give out directions, but it would be easier with GPS. A few people actually can't find "the wave" on thier first attempt. It would be a hot hike in July.

http://www.overlandcanyontours.com/C.../canyon_x.html
here is a link for Canyon X and Antelope Canyon tours
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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I would think 1 full day with a Sunrise and Sunset @ Grand Canyon would be enough. We really enjoyed the helicopter tour on the South Rim. I have done the shortest raft possible(3 days and covered only about 25% of the Canyon- was helicoptered into that one also). I plan on a rim to rim hike sometime in the next 3 or 4 years. Unless you are going to hike, raft, or spend a lot of time doing something, there really isn't that much to do at GC. However, it is a very impressive sight. Go ahead and book your lodging for as many nights as you might think you need, you can always cancel 1 or 2 nights. Getting lodging ASAP should be a top priority. Bright Angel Cabins would be my first choice, El Tovar would be my second. I would eat a meal in El Tovar.

You could easily fit in Antelope, but to me there is just so much more to do there, that it deserves an entire trip to it. It would be kinda liking going to Disneyworld and seeing just Epcot and not seeing Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and MGM. The various places to see there are all different and you would probably enjoy them all. What I have listed is actually just scratching the surface. Lake Powell is a whole other playground and there is a ton of great hiking in the area. Coyotte Buttes has endless hiking(this is where The Wave is located).
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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Hi

There is one more way to try to score a permit to hike the wave.

As an example, say during March, you enter the lottery for July hiking permits. According to the guidelines, only one person in a group is supposed to enter the lottery (you get to choose three desired dates with each entry) , however, many times, each person in a group enters the lottery, each one for the same three dates. This only costs an additional $5 per entry and improves the groups chances (at the expense of people who follow the guidelines).

Then on April 1st the lottery takes place and a number of groups who went the multiple entry route, will win more than one permit. They only need one permit, so they pay the $7 a head charge for one of the permits and let the other one(s) go unclaimed.

They have until noon on the fifteenth of the month (in this example, April) to pay the $7 a head charge. On noon (MST), on the fifteenth of the month (April) the unclaimed July permits are released under the North Coyote Buttes (the Wave) calendar permit system. These released permits will be scooped up fairly quickly, so you have to be online at noon sharp, but it's definitely doable.

Last December 15, at noon, March hiking permits for at least 6 or 7 days became available (maybe it was more, there was definitely a nice selection). As a result, DH and I will be hiking to the Wave in March (our second trip).

That said, July would be very (extremely) hot and there is no shade along the route.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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eveningcrane,
Did you see both "wave areas" and I think it is called Melody Arch?? I haven't hiked "the wave", but it is very high on my list. I have read a ton about it. My thought was to attempt a May or October hike for the best weather. This may prove to be a bad choice as it may be the time when the most others try as well.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Spirobulldog,
Haven't seen the melody arch area, but maybe this time we will roam farther afield. The wave is spectacular. We went in March last time (2 years ago) and the weather was wonderful. We spent the whole day climbing around the formations. We are hoping for a repeat as far as the weather is concerned.

April or early November might also be an option for you, but anyways, if you get shut out in the lottery, remember to try at noon on the following 15th of the month - you may be very pleasantly surprised!

Have you heard of the area called White Pockets in the Paria Wilderness? That's on my list of places to see.

Pamela
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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I have read about it on paria.com. I just searched for photos and it does look very interesting. Buckskin Gulch has always looked interesting as well. Sounds like you better have a 4 wheel drive and one with tires for sand would be even better, as it is a sandy drive for several miles to reach white pocket. I might try "the wave" the weekend before thanksgiving this year. What do you think the weather would be like then???
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 04:39 AM
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Sorry kansasmom, didn't mean to take over your post.

Pamela, check this out
http://www.thewave.info/Maps%20and%20Coordinates.htm
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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It's okay, spirobulldog, it's giving me ideas for future trips. I'm still trying to decide if I should take away part of the GC time to go see Antelope Canyon. It looks neat and the kids would probably think it is really cool, but I don't want to feel rushed at GC.

Too many places to see...too little time!
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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I think you have plenty of time to include Antelope. Frankly, I get bored at GC unless I am hiking or rafting. A person can only look at so many viewpoints, especially kids. With kids, they are much better off on the move, hiking or some sort of activity . The GC is one of my daughters least favorite national parks. She did enjoy the rafting on it though and we plan on hiking rim to rim sometime. Strangely, it is the park I have visit the most(4 times). I just find places like Zion to be more rewarding, a more complete park experience. The one thing that the GC offers that few others can is the jaw-dropping wow on your first glance at it. It will almost bring you to your knees, it is that powerful for me. Crater Lake in Oregon is the only other place that I have ever experienced complete shock and awe. We are going to Yosemite in May and I have a feeling it might be this way as well.
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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Kansas mom,

I don't know where you are in Kansas, but we have discovered some awesome areas in Arkansas. We are in Oklahoma. If you ever need some ideas for a weekend getaway, the Buffalo River is spectacular. Tons of great waterfalls to hike to.
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Old Jan 11th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Hi

I agree with Spirobulldog that three nights and two full days (plus the afternoon of arrival and morning of departure) is a lot of time for the south rim of the GC unless you are going to hike part way down into the canyon (and back up) on one of the days. Hiking down into the canyon in July would be really hot, not my idea of fun at all.

There still seems to be availability at Bright Angel Lodge for late July - this is my favorite place to stay. It is right next to the rim and a good location for trying to spot condors as the descend to roost for the night. The ranger's usually give a late afternoon condor talk just outside of the lodge (and more than once, we have seen condors fly by while listening to the talk)

It is also convenient for picking up the shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest. The shuttle bus makes a number of stops at various scenic overlooks on your way out to Hermit's rest. There is a rim trail which parallels the road / bus route so it is also possible to hike between a couple of these stops / scenic overlooks and then pick up another shuttle bus.

From Bright Angel you can also hike along the rim to the east towards Mather point (a couple of miles)

If you don't enter the GC from the east entrance, you can take the 26 mile scenic drive out to the east entrance (Desert View) and stop at various scenic overlooks. If you come in from the east entrance, then you can stop at a number of these on your way in. And even if you come out I-40 from ABQ, you can still enter the GC from the east entrance without adding too much extra mileage - just take rte 89 north out of Flagstaff to rte 64. I think rte 64 is really a pretty drive - a great way to enter the GC.

And while the vistas are amazing 2 1/2 days of scenic overlooks might be scenic overload.

In Page, there is Horseshoe Bend which gives a really nice viewpoint over the Colorado River and a stop at the Glen Canyon Dam is also worthwhile. Going west via I-40, there is the painted desert and petrified forest. Also in NM, along I-40 is the Acoma Sky Pueblo - which is a great place to visit.

Also, whenever I am traveling I-40 from ABQ to Flagstaff and beyond, I try to stop for a meal at La Posada in Winslow AZ. La Posada was the last Harvey Hotel to be built and was designed by Mary Coulter who designed many of the landmark buildings in the GC.

Well I think this rambled on long enough.

Pamela
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Old Jan 11th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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OP did say they were planning on hiking partway on one of those days at the Grand Canyon.

If you really want to see Antelope Canyon, you have time. Stay overnight either day 2 or 4, doesn't really matter which one and go see it. Sure, there are plenty of other things to do around Page and you may want to add more time there, but the same can be said of most places. Even at the Grand Canyon there is plenty to occupy 2.5 days without spending it all on scenic overlooks - hike to Shoshone Point, check out the Watchtower, go up the fire tower, walk the rim trail, ranger talks, check out the canyon by moonlight (full moon is July 25), see the Tusayan Ruins, etc. And of course, hike to Indian Gardens or Plateau Point if you're up for it.
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Old Jan 11th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Please note that during the summer months, day hikes to Indian Gardens or Plateau Point are not recommended due to extreme heat and the strenuous ascent. Indian Garden is a 9.2 mile round trip with over 3000 ft of elevation change while Plateau Point is a 12.4 mile round trip with a similar elevation change.

More realistic day hikes would be the one and a-half mile rest house (3 miles round trip, 1100 elevation change) on the Bright Angel Trail or Ooh Aah Point (1.8 miles round trip, 800 ft elevation change) or Cedar Ridge (3.0 miles round trip, 1000 ft elevation change) on the South Kaibab trail. There is no water available on the South Kaibab whereas there is water available at the rest house on the Bright Angel. You would still need to carry water with you, but you could refill on the Bright Angel whereas on the South Kaibab you would need to carry enough water for the full hike.

The South Kaibab offers the better views, but there is no shade on the trail, then again, depending on the time of day, the upper portions of the Bright Angel don't really have that much shade, but you can resupply your water.

During the summer months it is also recommended to avoid hiking between 10 am and 4 pm.
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Old Jan 11th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Hiking to the river and back in one day is not recommended as a dayhike in summer. Indian Gardens or Plateau Point are commonly listed as viable alternatives in summer for those who want to hike into the canyon. They allow people to get into the canyon without the truly extreme temps found at lower elevations, and are safe for well-prepared hikers.
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