Help with Vegas - grand canyon - vegas trip

Aug 21st, 2006, 01:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3
Help with Vegas - grand canyon - vegas trip

We are landing in Vegas around 5.30 Pm on a Thursday and flying out of Vegas 11.30 PM of Sunday. Want to cover Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon - think it is a workable plan? What is the best access to the Canyon? Never been there before... oh yes !! We have a 7 year old and a 17-month old travelling with us. Any suggestions will be welcome.

vbee is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 01:21 PM
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The Hoover Dam is enroute to the Grand Canyon BUT the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is 5 hours away from LV. Is this a day trip or are you spending the night near the Canyon?

If it is a day trip you will show up snap a few pictures and head back...a VERY long day with no real relaxation at the Grand Canyon.
saps is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 05:28 PM
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Thanks Saps. Yes, we do plan on staying a night at the Canyon area. You suggest Hoover Dam and South rim ?? What we are thinking is head out of Vegas early on , cover Hoover and reach the South rim by evening, stay the night and do a relaxed Canyon day and head back to Vegas late afternoon - would that work???? Anything else we can catch up enroute?
vbee is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 07:32 PM
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I would make hotel reservations at GC and not chance it without a reservation.
El_Swainer is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 07:48 PM
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Yes that will work. Its been a few years since I've been to the Hoover Dam but if I remember correctly it is about 1.5 hours from Las Vegas. It is then another 3.5 hours to the South Rim.

The South Rim is the more popular rim because it is what is easily accessible from Vegas and Phoenix. I have never been to the North Rim (closed in winter) but it is supposed to be much less crowded. For what you have planned I would leave early am spend some time at the Dam (honestly 1-2 hours is plenty) head to the GC. Reservations are a must. Try to stay actually in the park.

The route is mostly desert beside a few caverns there is not much en route to see.

Have a good trip.
saps is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 09:51 PM
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You can fly to GC and get a bus tour to the south rim, returning to LV in the afternoon:
View of Hoover Dam enroute.
They do have overnight options.

Or, on Thursday, you could drive the 23 miles to Boulder City to stay overnight and get a jump on the trip the next morning.

Or, on Thursday, drive on through to Kingman or Williams for the night. Friday night at GC (try for lodging). Then stop at Hoover Dam on the way back to Las Vegas.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Doesn't sound worth it with the kids unless you have the one night AT the south rim (as in one of the national park rooms there). And you must have reservations for that one night! That way you'd see some of the evening/night and morning lighting in the GC which makes it such a different and better experience than just a few hours in the comparatively blah midday lighting.
maw is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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You will actually have just two days, Friday and Saturday. Driving to GC on Friday with kids will take most of the day. The drive is not scenic after going over Hoover Dam, and you can spend a long time driving over the Dam if traffic is heavy. Between the Dam and half way to Kingman is some pretty serious mountain driving - switch backs and sharp curves. You'll then spend most of Saturday driving back from the GC. I've driven from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon three times for overnight stays, when we were staying 4-7 days in Vegas, and it is tiring even with just adults along. I'd say leave the Grand Canyon for a trip by itself, or add a day or two to your trip. If you don't do the Grand Canyon, drive out to Red Rock Canyon just outside Vegas & have a picnic, visit Spring Mountain Ranch, look at the Indian pictographs, and/or drive up Mount Charleston to get away from the heat, or visit one of the other state parks nearby.
Braunsky is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Vbee - don't read too much into my middleaged weariness with overnight trips to the Grand Canyon. I have done it three times over the past ten years after all. You are probably young enough to do it, thrive & enjoy! Just keep in mind the distances and the time and that you'll spend most of your time in the car driving rather than at the Canyon or in Las Vegas.
Braunsky is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Ahhh, vbee, I feel your pain. I posted a similar message when planning our vacation to Las Vegas/grand canyon this past June. We did the trip in 2 days. We left LV on a Mon. am...well, by the time we all got ready (5 in group included a 4 yr old), loaded up, stopped for water etc, got gas, it was around 11am. We just drove over Hoover Dam, honestly I found just seeing it this way pretty gratifying. You simply can't speed by because of the traffic and steep grade in and out. We continued on and got off the hwy at Kingman, AZ and stopped at the Rt 66 Museum, then ate lunch at diner across the street. I recommend it, cute and tasty. We drove along 66 to where it crosses freeway at Seligman and got back on. We also stopped at the Hackberry general store on 66, and it was chock full of memorabilia, souvenirs; outside are multiple photo ops. A highlight of the trip for us. We headed north for the canyon at Williams and arrived at South rim in time to get oriented and watch the sunset. This was a really enjoyable time of day to be there. I recommend a stroller for the toddler, that way you don't have to stress so much about them "walking off" the rim! As for the older child, just be sure they stick close and stay on the paths...there were several people (adults mainly) who disregarded the signs about staying on the path and were perched on rocks jutting out over the canyon which made me really nervous and glad i didn't have a child old enough to try to do likewise. We stayed in Tusayan, and while I am sure staying in the actual park is nice, this is plenty close enough to be back for sunset the next morning. Three of us in did in fact get up early the next day and drive into the park in time for sunrise. We then spent the rest of the morning exploring and 1 of us did a brief hike, then we ate lunch in the park, bought souvenirs and headed out. We chose to take the road to Flagstaff on the way back and enjoyed some different scenery and Flagstaff itself is a really scenic town. We visited a relative there and ate dinner, then drove back to Las Vegas. It was late when we got back, but I don't remember it being crazy late. We had so much to talk about after all we had seen that it kept us awake and passed the time. All in all, I felt like we saw an awful lot in only two days and am really glad we made the trip. I know there is much more to do at all of those sites, but I didn't feel rushed because we incorporated so much sightseeing into the drive itself. I am sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps.
bethmac is offline  

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