Looking for Grand Canyon Tips

Aug 6th, 2009, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Looking for Grand Canyon Tips

I'm visiting the Grand Canyon in September and am looking for tips about which companies to use for helicopter and jeep rides, where to buy Native American crafts, and good places to stay outside of the park. Thanks!
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 09:47 AM
  #2  
 
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Not sure if you're at North or South Rim.

We stayed at the South Rim at the Best Western just outside of the park. It was not too bad.

Best lodging was in the park though. We were able to get a few nights at Thunderbird Lodge.
dontknow is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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For Indian crafts, the Cameron trading post is very good (east exit from the GC), also the Museum of Northern Arizona just north of Flagstaff. There are also many roadside stands set up by natives once you leave the canyon on the east exit and on highway 89 north of Cameron. Also several shops inside the canyon, but I think the Cameron trading post is better.
http://www.musnaz.org/Shops/index.htm
http://www.camerontradingpost.com/

good places to stay outside of the park

Tusayan is the best option, just outside the south entrance, with several nice hotels. Squire Inn Best Western, Holiday Inn Express, some newer ones I haven't stayed at ... also the Cameron Trading Post motel is very good, but a longer drive and with less to do (Tusayan has an IMAX showing a big screen movie of the park which is well-done).

For chopper rides, these are heavily regulated by the park service (limited to certain narrow corridors they are allowed to fly over) and there probably isn't much difference between them.

There are jeep rides that go on the national forest land outside the park, then to more remote overlooks inside the GC, but these are not as spectacular as the main overlooks inside the park that you can drive to yourself or take a free shuttle to, but of course you'll have a lot more solitude. So the GC jeep rides are not particularly popular. Maybe something to skip ... the jeep trips from Sedona are highly rated, if you just want to do some jeeping.
Bill_H is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #4  
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Great, thanks for all of your helpful suggestions Dont and Bill! I'll check out the hotels and skip the jeep tour.
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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I second the opinions on the helicopter and jeep ride. Head to Sedona for the jeep.

Please don't miss the opportunity if you can to walk down Bright Angel Trail - even just a little bit if you are able to. You'll get a totally different view. Just remember, it's much easier going down than back up.

Just be sure to have water and decent shoes. A hat doesn't hurt either but that goes for just hanging out up along the rim.
dontknow is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 11:12 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Dont, I'll make sure to pack my good walking shoes and sun hat!
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Why do you want to stay outside the park? There are nice accomodations in the park and you can easily walk around or use the bus without having to get in the car.

www.nps.gov

Cameron Trading Post is full of cheap Asian-made garbage, in my opinion.
Marginal is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Hi Marginal -

Unfortunately I waited too long to make my reservation and all of the hotels inside the park are full. Thanks for the NPS link and your opinion about the CTP.
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 12:29 PM
  #9  
 
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I'd definitely suggest two things.

Book the Squire Inn Best Western and call 2-3x daily to see last minute cancellations - which is how we ended up in the park as well.

The Squire Inn is so close for not being in the park - just go into the park early to avoid long lines.

I'm with Marginal on Cameron Trading Post. Junk, junk and junk. Why waste time outside the park for that stuff when you can see amazing stuff.

If you're up for it, try the Mule ride down the rim. It's a life changing experience!
dontknow is offline  
Aug 6th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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I would keep trying the lodging in the park to see if anything opens up. It often does. Staying in the park is really much better if at all possible
Vttraveler is online now  
Aug 7th, 2009, 05:22 AM
  #11  
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Thanks DK and VT, I'll keep trying for a cancellation.
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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Hi, Pam,
We recently stayed at a cabin in the North Rim (July 09). It was wonderful, but we ended up canceling 2 nights out of 4 nights becuase my husband got altitude sickness. So some lucky person got our cabin for 2 nights over the July 4 weekend.
Do you plan to stay in North orSouth Rim? The North Rim closes by October, I'm pretty sure.
Where are you in your planning? Emily
EmilyLalley is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 05:46 AM
  #13  
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Hi Emily - I'd like to stay in the South Rim, but there haven't been any cancellations yet, so it looks like I'll be staying at the Best Western Squire Inn instead. I'm looking in to helicopter and boat rides.
PamEwing is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Keep trying on the inside the park lodging, it is great to get up to see sunrise or to see sunset on the rim. I've even scored el Tovar last minute. Most of the raft trips into the canyon start up near Page. There is a smooth water raft trip from there that goes from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees ferry. I think their site is www.rafttheriver.com
emalloy is online now  
Aug 12th, 2009, 06:06 AM
  #15  
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Thanks for the link Emalloy! I'll check it out.
PamEwing is offline  

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