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Rent car or bus tour Las Vegas to Grand Canyon February?

Rent car or bus tour Las Vegas to Grand Canyon February?

Jan 20th, 2013, 08:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 258
Rent car or bus tour Las Vegas to Grand Canyon February?

Planning on a day trip to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, February 3rd. This will be the only day we have free to do this during a short vacation.

Originally thought to rent a car and drive and stay overnight at the Canyon, but now having second thoughts because we heard that weather conditions may not be great.

Alternative is to book a bus tour for what will be a long day, but as we are flying in from Australia...we're used to long trips!

What do you think?

Any tips for either itinerary? Can anyone recommend a particular bus tour?
lavender is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 02:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,753
My first choice would be to rent a car and go on my own, but you don't need to make a decision yet. You should not have any trouble renting a car or signing up for a bus trip when you are in Vegas

As time gets closer go to www.weather.com and put Williams, AZ into the search box and then choose the 10 day forecast to see if weather is going to be a problem. You might also put Las Vegas into the search box too. As long as it is not snowing when you plan to go you'll be fine.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 04:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If you are not used to driving in snow it's definitely not something I would volunteer to do on vacation if there is a comfortable bus doing the same trip (although I usually avoid bus tours.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,167
My advice: Rent the car. If you can't make it to the South Rim for any reason, go to see Hoover Dam, Lake Meade, Valley of Fire State Park and Mount Charleston including Red Rocks.
If you want to see a National Park where there is no snow you can go to Death Valley.
tomfuller is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
Rent the car, book an overnight stay at the Grand Canyon. If weather conditions are bad, cancel both and take a bus tour if that makes you feel safer.

And when I say bad weather, I mean a winter storm has either just occurred or is about to hit that day. There will be snow on the ground at the canyon but generally roads are good to drive unless there's been a recent storm or significant snowfall.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 130
Rent the car, I have done this twice from Vegas and highly recommend it. Be sure to stop at a grocery or the dreaded Walmart for a small Styrofoam cooler for water, good to have. Leave early in the morning, it is breath taking!
MollyinFL is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
We rented a car and drove from Vegas to the Grand Canyon in December. I would definitely recommend that. Most Vegas hotels offer free valet parking so no expense there. The drive was a very quick and beautiful one. We spent the night literally right on the Canyon's edge at Kachina Lodge. (Call, they get cancellations.) I feel this is the best bang for your buck. It is amazing to be able to look out over the Canyon in the quiet and dark of night, a sky full of stars. You will be able to drive the park at your own pace, pulling over for incredible views wherever you please. On the drive back we stopped at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. I wasn't in awe of the lake, personally, but did enjoy viewing the Dam from the Pat Tillman Bridge.
We spoke to friends that did the bus tour and one couple who also did the helicopter tour,and all said they wished they had been able to spend more time at the Canyon.
ColumbiaSandie is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 09:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 258
Thanks all for your responses.

Usually we would not hesitate to rent a car as we prefer to explore independently.

However,what concerned us most was the prospect of driving in road conditions that we have never driven on before ie ice/ snow ( remembering it will be February 3) while also driving on "the other side of the road".
Still undecided at this stage.

We are considering the Grand Canyon Tour Company's day trip at $79.90 which returns to the strip around 9.30pm. Has anyone done this tour?
lavender is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
Just because it's February 3rd doesn't mean there will be ice/snow on the road. Unless there's just been a major storm, the roads will be clear. Really the biggest chance of seeing any ice/snow on the road would be the last hour of your trip from Williams to the Grand Canyon. Prior to that, you're travelling through the desert or on a major interstate so little chance of any ice/snow unless there's been a recent storm (in the past day or so).

Hwy 64 from Williams to the Grand Canyon is what you'd want to focus on. By then you'd be on the road for 3.5 - 4 hours already so hopefully you'd be acclimated to driving on the other side.

Honestly, likely your biggest challenge is going to be getting out of Las Vegas while driving on the wrong side of the road. The rest is no big deal .... unless there's been a very recent storm.

I live in a cold climate, far colder than the Grand Canyon but our major roads are all typically clear and dry within a couple days following a storm. Occasionally it will take a bit longer to get them completely clear if it's been a massive storm, but a typical snowfall is cleared off and dealt with pretty quickly.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jan 21st, 2013, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 744
Lavendar we drove to the canyon from Vegas in October and as Aussies we found driving on the wrong side of the road fine. The only time we had to really think hard was turning as we turn loosly when we turn right and tight when we turn left. So we had to keep saying.... right and tight, left and loose everytime we turned. It felt strange for a while but we soon settled in to it and driving mostly on highway means its easy. Of course, we didnt have snow or bad weather but the drive really was easy and the highway is good to drive on. We hired a GPS to make sure we didnt get lost and to help us get in and out of Vegas. We even detoured and did a bit of the old Route 66 and stopped for lunch at Seligman on the way and had the best club sandwich we have had. We found the drivers all kept to the right and didnt clog up the lane for others to overtake (unlike over here sometimes)
We stayed overnight at the canyon and watched sunset and sunrise which is quite stunning. Its a view you cant stop looking at at.
Also if you do hire a car and need to buy petrol you have to prepurchase before you fill up and not fill up and then pay like here.

october_fun is offline  
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