Help with Grand Canyon Trip, 2009

Old Aug 27th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Help with Grand Canyon Trip, 2009

Perhaps someone could help me with planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in July, 2009. My husband and I would be staying, hopefully, at the El Tovar for Friday and Saturday nights.

I would like to know what would be the best way to add on about 3 nights at Yellowstone Park, for our first time there? What route should we travel there? Is it really better to explore the park with a rental car, or are there tours available within the park to show us the beautiful sights to be seen there?

If flying to Grand Canyon from Chicago, which is the closest Airport to fly into? Not sure if we want to rent a car, or just use shuttles, so any advise from those who have done this trip before would be welcomed.

Thank you.
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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tt
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 06:43 PM
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Do you know that Grand Canyon is not at all close to Yellowstone?
If you want to make the journey, the fastest way is to get to Las Vegas and then take I-15 to Idaho Falls, then US 20 to West Yellowstone, it's about 800 miles each way.
Flying nearest large airport is Phoenix, but commuter flights go into Flagstaff. For Yellowstone, closest airport is probably Jackson, WY.
You're going to need a car unless you book a tour from someplace like Phonenix, Flagstaff or Vegas.
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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I don't know how you would tack on 3 nights at Yellowstone. It's so far away, that it doesn't really make sense to include it. If it's important, I suppose you could simply fly to the nearest airport at Yellowstone - Jackson Hole or perhaps Missoula? Yellowstone is a rather large park, and I would think a rental car would be best to see it in a short amount of time.

The two nearest airports for Grand Canyon are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Las Vegas is about a 5 hour drive away. Actually, I take that back - Flagstaff has the nearest airport, and it's only 2 hours to Grand Canyon from there.

If you're staying on the rim, then using the shuttles should be fine to get around. A rental car would give you the most flexibility in getting to the Grand Canyon, and getting to some viewpoints that the shuttle doesn't reach.
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Old Aug 27th, 2008, 11:08 PM
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Princess,

How many days do you have for this trip? If it's only 5 nights, then you should pick one area. Five nights would be a great amount of time to spend going to Yellowstone but it might be a little to long for just the Grand Canyon. If it's only 5 nights and you have your heart set on the Grand Canyon, then I'd add Bryce Canyon National Park for one night and two nights for Zion National Park. If you did this last idea, then I'd fly in and out of Las Vegas and you would need to rent a car.

Utahtea
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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Well, we are planning on staying 2 nights at the Grand Canyon and then about 3 nights somewhere else. Perhaps we would rent a car. Just some good suggestions on sites around the area, really no more than a 3 hr. drive, to get to.
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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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You could also consider going south to Sedona. A beautiful place for a few nights, not far from Phoenix. Lovely drive into Sedona to/from GC, lots to see in the area. Unless you're going with a tour, I can't imagine making this trip without a car. I think trying to cover so much territory and figure out timetables and locations would be maddening for a trip of only a few days. With or without Yellowstone (which I totally agree would be too much to tack on to such a short trip unless you fly betw GC and Yellowstone), you're talking about several hours on the road betw all locations. Whichever way you drive (north side of the canyon to Vegas as Utahtea suggests) or south to Phoenix via Sedona, there are many places to stop in either direction and a car gives you the flexibility to choose what you want to see and for how long.
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