Travel from Europe to Grand Canyon

Feb 19th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Travel from Europe to Grand Canyon

I am from Spain and I am planning a trip with my wife to Arizona in April 2003. I would appreciate if you could help me to plan my travel. The design of the travel I have done is the following:

04/25: Arrive Las Vegas 21:00
04/26: From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
04/27: From Grand Canyon to Monument Valley
04/28: From Monument Valley to Page
04/29: From Page to Bryce and Zion
04/30: From Zion to Las Vegas

I would appreciate any idea reagarding hotels, restaurants and the best way to visit these areas (guided tours, etc.)
Thanks a lot in advance

mvara is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 05:29 AM
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Your itinerary covers A LOT of territory in only five days. If you are planning on driving you may have underestimated travel times. It's a 6 hour trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and at least a 5 hour trip to Monument Valley.

What are you most interested in seeing? Can you provide a little more insight?
obxgirl is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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I've found that friends and relatives from Europe invariably underestimate the vast size of the US since they are naturally used to thinking in terms of a European scale. The size of the area you are talking about is indeed very large.

On the other hand, having never seen it before, sometimes the drives themselves can be of some interest, simply because the area is so different from what you are familiar with.

LordBalfor is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 06:15 AM
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It is quite a lot of driving; another day would make it considerably easier, but if you don't have another day, then go for it.

I might suggest you consider reversing your route, though. On the first driving day, especially if you're jet-lagged (you don't say if you're coming straight from Europe to LV or not) the drive from LV to the Utah parks is much easier than the drive from LV to the Grand Canyon.

You will pay a premium for accommodations actually within the parks you've mentioned, especially the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. But given your timetable I don't know if you have much choice. Otherwise, you'll be wasting precious time just getting from the hotel/motel TO the park, thereby reducing your available time inside the park even further. Start booking now, because your dates are very popular for visiting the red rocks country.
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 06:56 AM
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I'm from Belgium and will travel this area in October.

However, I have been to that part of the US before and I can confirm that distances are huge.

For example, I have decided to allow a whole day to travel from LV to GC. This will allow me to stop here and there to visit.

Of course this means that you have to make some choices => I have decided to miss Zion, Brice and Monument Valley! (LV and GC are only two spots in a 15 days trip from San Francisco to Phoenix!)

Also, if I were you I would stay one full day in LV to rest after your trip and get rid of jetlag. This'll also allow you to enjoy fully this city!
Barthox is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 07:27 AM
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Mvara, welcome! I agree with other posters so far - this trip requires a lot of driving time. Please be aware that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is usually closed at that time of year, also that speed limits in national parks are 45 mph or less.

The itenerary would be a little easier if you could leave out Monument Valley and Page. It would be nice to have 2 nights at the GC, just to soak up the atmosphere, and rest from your trip over here.
travellyn is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Agree with travellyn, I would omit Page most definitely and probably Monument Valley. It's a long drive just to get out and take some photos, because there's really not much else to do there. I would even omit Bryce in order to fully enjoy the other places on your itinerary.
nomopromos is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 11:21 AM
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I've done about the same trip (but in a different order: LV, Zion, Bryce, Page, GC and Mon. Val.) and think you should add a day or two if you can afford it. If the number of days are set I would agree with nomopromos and elimnate Page and Monument Valley. Add time to your stays in Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon.

dweebe is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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We did almost the same trip in seven days with our two teenage sons. We spent 2 nights at Canyon de Chelly and skipped Bryce Canyon. Also we enjoyed the Page/Glen Canyon Dam/Lake Powell segment the least. Yes, it is a hectic pace but the scenery is so spectacular we found the long drives to be very enjoyable. There are only a couple of motel options at Monument Valley - Gouldings and the Holiday Inn in Kayenta and they fill up fast. Gouldings is probably a better choice. Also they are expensive. I would recommend a four wheel drive vehicle like a Ford Explorer. In Las Vegas we stayed at Luxor.There are several motels situated outside of Zion - we stayed at a place with an Irish name like Flanigan's or something like that. You will have a great time.

JoeG is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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I agree with other replies about reversing the order of your trip.

Start out going to Bryce & Zion. These are so wonderful (two of my absolute favourites in the USA) that you may decide to spend more time here.

Then I agree about skipping Page & Monument Valley if you find time is getting short.

Also to BARTHOX heading out in October - don't leave out Bryce & Zion! They are spectacular!!!

Syv is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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Hi there M Vara. I hope you take my comments as constructive because I want you to enjoy your trip.

In general, visitors from Western Europe make 3 mistakes when visiting the American Southwest. First, they underestimate the size of the area.
Second, they underestimate the time required to visit a National Park and learn what the park is all about.
Third, particularly northern Europeans, badly under estimate the burning, searing itensity of the sun at altitudes above 4,000 feet.
In July at 7,500 feet, the rays of the sun will cook you in about 2 hours of steady exposure without protection. And you can become dangerously dehydrated rapidly.

For your trip, you have underestimated the times it will take to travel.
I think you could see a Monument Valley without spending the night. Spend that night of the 27th in Page. Then leave the 28th for a night near Bryce. There are motels in the town of Panguitch and also there are some near the entrance to Bryce.

Bryce is my favorite of all the parks, other than Yellowstone, and I think you will enjoy it too. Leave a little time to enjoy it.
By the way, Bryce is at an elevation of from 8,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. Nights in April can be cool.
bob_brown is offline  
Feb 19th, 2003, 10:54 PM
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I agree, I've been to Zion ten years ago. However, we do not have enough time I'm afraid!

It's my girlfriend first time in the US and we'd like to mix the experiences. Prior to the places I've posted already, we will have been to SF, Big Sur, Gold Country, Yosemite and Death Valley.

While I agree that Zion is one of the most beautiful places I've been to, I'm afraid that it would seem like yet another rocky place after seeing DV, Las Vegas, the drive to GC and GC itself!?!

Now, you're remark make me feel like re-thinking my plans! I first planned to drive from GC down to Phoenix to catch a plane back to Europe, but maybe, I could do as follows : LV - GC - Zion - LV (fly back from there)? I could even forget about Gold Country, which is a detour anyway, and gain one day!

Hum, I'll think about it!
Barthox is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2003, 01:34 AM
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Thanks a lot to everybody.
It is going to be difficult to decide the final road trip. Anyway could you give me any more advice regarding hotels and restaurants in the area ? Specially I would appreciatte any comment on accomodations at Grand Canyon? According to the internet information there are only rooms available at Maswick Lodge and Yavapai Lodge, which one would you take? What about Tusayan?

Thanks again
mvara is offline  
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