Help Me Plan a VERY Early Spring Break

Old Oct 17th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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Help Me Plan a VERY Early Spring Break

I need help! My son's spring break is the 2nd week in March and my husband just happens to have a business trip scheduled to Las Vegas that same week... My son and I are going to join him and then branch off and do our own thing.

I thought i had it all planned out, we were going to drive to the Grand Canyon, hike down to Phantom Ranch, spend a couple days and then hike out... PROBLEM... I had no idea how hard it was to get a reservation... and they are booked that entire week.

I have 3 other kids and this will be my first trip with JUST my oldest son... I want to do something REALLY cool... something that he will remember....

Suggestions?
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 08:45 AM
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How old is your son?
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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You could drive to mid-coastal California. Lots of great hiking, lodging, dining, exploring there.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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Reservations at Phantom are booked almost as soon as they are posted. You could still go to Grand Canyon and I'm sure there are reservations available at the top, if not call for cancellations as people make reservations way in advance and then cancel. Hike down half way or so and then back to the top, still very memorable. If you haven't trained for that kind of hike, stop before you feel tired and then hike up. Another thought is to do the trip on the mules if they have availability.

If your son hasn't been to GC, then I would want to spend some time there, but there is plenty you can do as a day trip from Vegas too. Death Valley can be a fun day trip from Vegas and is awesome. Valley of Fire and Red rock Canyon also can be done in a day or less.

Zion would also make a nice overnight trip, also awesome.

He will be sure to remember the trip to all of those places.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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My teens loved the Hoover Dam tour which is an easy day trip. Zion National Park for an overnight. Are you going to see any shows?
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Old Oct 18th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions... My son is 11 and we are both very active... I am thinking that maybe a stay at the south rim and day hikes might be the plan...

I have been looking a Zion as well... i think i need to do a little more research - i want to nail this down in the next couple weeks...

Any additional suggestions are welcomed!
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Old Oct 18th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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Go to Zion. Hike Angels Landing(perhaps better view than the Grand Canyon even). I wouldn't Hike AL if it had snow/ice on it. Go Canyoneering with Zion Adventure Company. I would also suggest hiking The Narrows, but likely to cold and water to high at that time of year.

Another option is Death Valley. A huge park with far more to do in it than you might imagine. A stay for 3 days or so and you begin to appreciate it. Not as stunning as Zion, but still an awesome place and unique in its own way.
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Old Oct 18th, 2013, 07:12 PM
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We did Grand Canyon, Williams, Flagstaff, Meteor Crater, Jerome, Sedona, Sunset Crater Volcano Park and Vegas... all are excellent road trip/ spring break for that age group...
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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What would he consider to be really cool?

Have you looked at hiking down to Havasupai? They might be booked up but you might as well check

Personally I think Death Valley is cooler than Zion because it is more extreme and bizarre.

I don't know that Angel's Landing in Zion would be clear of snow/ice in early March. If you can't do that hike, I'm not sure anything else would fall into the category of cool. Doubtful you'd want to get into the water for the Narrows or any slot canyons at that time of year.

If you do decide to go to Grand Canyon South Rim, there some long day hikes to check into. Hike to Plateau Point (or book a mule ride to there). You could hike down South Kaibab to the Tonto Trail, then go west to Indian Gardens and hike back up on Bright Angel. That's a pretty long day but if you are prepared to do the hike to Phantom, then you should be able to handle that loop.
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Old Oct 20th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Havasupai has availability... checked out the website and it looks awesome... do you think that is a good option? would we stay @ the south rim the night before?
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Old Oct 20th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Hard to say if it's a good option for you, that's really up to you guys. I'd say make the reservations now for your dates and read up on Havasupai, then if you decide it's not for you just cancel your lodging.

The Havasupai aren't known for being super friendly with stellar customer service. Just read some reviews and be prepared for that. It gets great reviews for the scenery, and I think it would be a 'cool' alternative to Phantom Ranch.

Not sure where you would stay the night before, I think it would be good to also visit the South Rim either before or after Havasupai.
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Old Oct 20th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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I am not certain, but I bet you might could still get a mule ride to Phantom with a nights stay. You could certainly call and see, those tend to not fill up as fast. They hold a large percentage of the rooms/beds for the mule riders. Be aware, that this is normally bunk style situation. In other words, you and your son would likely not be sleeping together, you would be in different rooms with multiple people staying in that room. I do think they have 1 cabin that they reserve with mule riders. I am not totally sure about all I said above, be pretty sure I'm right.

I have always wanted to do Havasu Falls. I think a very big part of the experience though would be swimming in the waterfalls. I would think it would be way way to cold at that time of year.

It would be a totally totally different experience than that of the South Rim. If your husband isn't along with you, then I wouldn't go. A lot of the Havasupai really don't want you there. It would be like someone camping on your backyard. I think I would far prefer to camp there over the motel, but that's just me. I know different people think differently, but no way would I let my wife and child(I don't know how old your son is, if he's like an 18 year old then yes)do this by themselves. I would imagine

I hope you looked at Canyoneering with Zion Adventure Co. I haven't been with them, but I have been with a company in Moab a few times, and it is amazing. I would go for the hardest/longest one they offer.

A lot of the really amazing adventures you need to be on the phone at 7AM on the very morning it becomes available(13-6 months out usually), and even then it's a big big gamble. Things like camping with the fireflies in Smokies, Mount Leconte in Smokies, Wild Cave Tours in Carlsbad, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave, Hiking Half Dome, Kayaking Grand Canyon permit, many of the wilderness permits in Yosemite or other parks. Even the regular lodging in Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, etc can be tough if you don't book as soon as it becomes available.

If you wanted to camp at Death Valley, for an experience, you could rent the things you needed from REI in Vegas. I don't think I would do camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon unless you are a pretty seasoned camper/hiker(especially for that time of year).

If you just wanted to do some hiking--Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are both good options too.
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Old Oct 20th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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We did do a trip in the winter once from Vegas that included Death Valley for a few days and then on to Sequoia National Park for a few of days. You could also do something like that.


Finally, I just found this with REI
You could do your Phantom with them. Look at their Phantom Ranch Weekend Getaways. They have some spots in March. They have other option you might want to look at, perhaps something even in Joshua Tree, which isn't that far from Vegas.
http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/namer/namerreg.html
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