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las vegas to grand canyon ... car trip ... why and why not?

las vegas to grand canyon ... car trip ... why and why not?

Old Jan 1st, 2006, 09:47 AM
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las vegas to grand canyon ... car trip ... why and why not?

I am leaving on Jan 7th for a one week trip with my 18 year old daughter to Las Vegas. We really want to see the Grand Canyon as part of this trip. Helicopters don't thrill me and a bus trip thrills me even less. When our airline time changed to 11:50 P.M. departure, I thought it as an even better idea to rent a car in Las Vegas early in the A.M. on Saturday the 14th, see the canyon, and return it to the airport before our late night departure. Bad idea? Good idea?
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 10:12 AM
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If I were you, I would leave on Friday, spend the night at the canyon, enabling you to see a sunrise and sunset, if the weather cooperates. Then drive back to las Vegas on Sat.

It's cold at the Grand Canyon in Jan. We planned a Feb. 2003 trip to Sedona/Grand Canyon/Las Vegas but had to cancel the Grand Canyon because a huge snowstorm hit the area.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I also recommend spending a night near the Canyon in order to see the sunrise and sunset. I've enjoyed all seven of my trips to Las Vegas, but NOTHING there is worth missing a sunrise at the Canyon.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 11:48 AM
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We went to Las Vegas / Grand Canyon the week between Christmas and New Years several years ago.

We stayed a few days in Vegas and then took a very short flight to the Grand Canyon - rented a car there - and stayed a couple of days.

We took an early flight out of the Grand Canyon back to Vegas on the day we were to fly out of Vegas home.

If I were going to do it again, I do the same thing. It worked great for us!
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Thanks to all for the sugestions, I guess I was really hoping for a "great idea ... go for it". I paid for 7 nights at the Alladin, so I would have to forfeit a night and pay for another night at the Grand Canyon. How far of a car ride is it? Also, any "must sees" for my daughter and I?
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 01:12 PM
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On the assumption that the current weather systems dumping rain on LA will retain some moisture as they head inland, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there's serious snow at the Grand Canyon by next week. It's a long drive from LV in any event, and short winter days are also a factor. Add snowy and icy driving conditions into the mix, and, er... I wouldn't.

(The Grand Canyon rims are >7000 ft elevation, BTW.)
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Vegas to the GC is about a 4 1/2 hour drive each way by car. You "can" do it in one day but it makes for a very long day and the drive from Vegas to Williams (where you'll head north) is really BORING, nothing to see once you are past the dam. I would also recommend staying the night if possible. Can you cancel 1 night at the Aladdin?
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 11:11 PM
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I disagree that the drive is boring. It might not be the most exciting but it's not boring IMHO.

You are looking at a 10 hour drive with about 10 hours of daylight at this time of the year. I would check road conditions before heading out! I would also try to cancel at least one night in Vegas to spend at the Grand Canyon.

If you decide that the Grand Canyon is out, you might try Zion National Park in Utah. It's an easy 3 hour drive one way and well worth the trip. Again check weather conditions before leaving.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Utahtea makes a valid point with regards to the limited hours of daylight you'll face. What she doesn't say and what I believe you need to be aware of is that the route to the canyon does not have many towns or service areas along the way including one fifty-seven mile stretch. As a mother with two grown daughters, I would not recommend placing your 18 year old in a situation where car trouble or bad weather could put you at the mercy of strangers along this stretch of highway at night. Having just made the drive last month, I'd suggest spending the night at the canyon or looking for alternative transportation options.

If you've never been to the GC previously, I agree with the posters who recommended staying long enough to view both a sunset and a sunrise. Before making your final decision, you may want to see if there are rimside accommodations available at the Kachina or Thunderbird Lodge, second floor is preferable. www.grandcanyonlodges.com
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Thanks so much for all your input! I forgot about the shortened days (duh) and will probably stay the night or look into the helicopter ride. The weather will also help me decide. Thank you all again!
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