Grany Canyon or Glacier National Park?

Old Jan 18th, 2009, 03:48 AM
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Grany Canyon or Glacier National Park?

We went to Yellowstone in 2006 and fell in love! Now we've decided to visit another national park. We can't decide which to visit next, would you suggest Grand Canyon or Glacier National Park? Or is there another national park that is your favorite?
Thanks!
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 04:04 AM
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They are totally different.The G.Canyon is great to spend up to three days or more if you're a super hiker and want to go down the canyon.The going to the sun road is more diversified.You get lakes,canyon, waterfalls...If you choose for Glacier I would suggest you combine it with the Banff-Jasper road to make a vacation of your dreams.Also the North side of Glacier(Canadian side;Waterton lakes) is worth to spend at least a day.Paul
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 04:48 AM
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I think you would love either one.

What time of year would you be going?

Going to the Sun Road is only open during a short time of the year - basically the summer.

For the Grand Canyon, I believe to really appreciate it, you have to get IN it. And it can get very hot in the summer. The mule rides are an amazing way to see the canyon - but they book up fairly quickly.

My favorite NP is Glacier, followed by Zion.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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We've been to both, and they are very different.

The most exciting trip we have ever taken is the mules down the mountain. It's you and the mule and looking 3000 feet straight down.

We're not hikers, but that also would be a most memorable thing to do. You don't have to go all the way down.

Both had good free ranger tours when we were there. As tovarich says, and in our experience, GNP is more diversified. So it depends on what you want to do, and when.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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First let me begin by apologizing for misspelling of the word GRAND Canyon! I didn't proof read my post. Shame on me!

Thank you for your replies, we had kind of decided on the GNP, but then yesterday on the travel channel, we saw a show about the Grand Canyon, and it looked amazing as well. Our biggest problem is that our 15 year old son with be with us, so that means going either during spring break (in April this year) or early June. How is the Grand Canyon during Thanksgiving week? We are from the east, so we really don't have a clue about the weather in the spring and fall months. I'm a bit afraid of heights, do you still think I could ride the donkey's down the trail? I don't think my husband and I are in good enough shape to do the hike down into the canyon, so if we do decide to go, it would probably be on the donkey's.

Still haven't decided though, GNP sounds so beautiful. We had friends that spent their honeymoon in Banff and they loved it.

This will be a huge expense for us (because of the plane tickets for 3), and staying at least five to six nights, so we just want to make sure we pick the best place for us and at the right time.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 08:19 AM
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I've been to both and they are very different. The Grand Canyon is spectacular. Glacier National Park is beautiful, but if you are going for the glaciers, they are really glacial remnants and you may be disappointed. That said, if you can combine your GNP trip with a visit to Banff and Jasper as tovarich recommends, you will see some incredibly beautiful country.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 08:36 AM
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I love both parks (along with Yosemite and Zion). We visited all 4 last summer and fall.

A few thoughts:

April is one of the best times to visit Grand Canyon. November is good too (and less crowded), but you might encounter some snow. It will be below freezing at night on the rim.

A week is a long time to spend there, even if you are hiking or riding down into the canyon. For most people, 2 or 3 nights there is plenty. (You could spend the additional 3 nights at Zion.)

The ride down into the canyon (on mules, not donkeys) is a highlight for many people, but it is not for everyone. There are weight requirements (200 pound limit), and if you are truly afraid of heights, you might have difficulty. They do their best to talk you out of it before you start down the trail.

Also, it is expensive. An overnight ride with a stay at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon (highly recommended) would be a bit over $1000 for the 3 of you. (That includes your lodging and all meals.) The full-day ride to Plateau Point would be around $460.

Information on the mule rides:

http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/mule-trips-716.html

I actually think Glacier offers a greater diversity of things for you to do and see, but I don't know how much of that will be open and available in early June. I believe the GTTS road (one of the park highlights) often doesn't open until July.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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You have to see the Grand Canyon - I personally prefer the North Rim vs South Rim as less people shopping for souvenirs - June would be a good month - North Rim gets snow and is closed sometime in November - so that option would be gone - and I agree with one of the other Posters - within just a few hours apart you can see Zion, Bryce, all completely different view perspectives - Lake Powell with Antelope Canyon and lake activities and Monument Valley also.

You could easily spend an entire week just within the center of "canyon country".

If you decide to do all the parks in the area - purchase a National Parks Pass or if someone in your group is I think 62 years old they can purchase one for life - at any rate you can save money by buying a National Parks pass good for a year for any National Park (Monument Valley is not considered with this option) and entry into all the others parks are covered -

Enjoy my favorite area the Southwest.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Luv2TravelRU---what a great suggestion! I didn't think of the North Rim because she asked about April or November for the Grand Canyon. But in early June, the North Rim would be open, and it combines well with Zion and the other canyon parks. And it is so beautiful (and peaceful) there.

It will be very hard to get lodging at the Grand Canyon Lodge for this June, but they might get lucky.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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I think early June is too early for Going to the Sun Road to be open. And you can't miss that!

An amazing trip is the southern Utah National Parks. On an April spring break we did Las Vegas-Zion-Bryce-Kanab-Page-Sedona-Phoenix and that was a wonderful trip. Weather was great - this area can get blazingly, uncomfortably hot in the summer.

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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Many ways to do a Grand Canyon trip.
Most people just take a day or spend the night and enjoy some of the viewpoints

Others hike into the canyon, and/or see it from the North and South rims.

Some will visit the GC, then add Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, or Page/Lake Powel area. You could combine one or many of these options.

Another option that we did summer 07 is to raft it. You can go anywhere from 3 -14 days. Rafting it is truly a great experience.

I might also add, that a helicopter tour is a nice way to see a lot of it as well.

As far as Glacier or Grand Canyon, both would be fantastic. Although, glacier is different than Yellowstone, it would be more similar than Grand Canyon. I wouldn't consider going to Glacier until July 1, just to make sure Going to The Sun Road is open. We have been to 17 or 18 National Parks, and don't have a favorite. They are all unique.

As with most National Parks, I always think you get more out of them if you can stay for several days. Really you would want to stay for at least a week at Glacier to even scratch the surface there. There are a few like Hot Springs or Petrified Forest, that you can see in a few hours, but that is not the case for most of them.
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