West Rim Grand Canyon from Vegas

Old Aug 12th, 2004, 02:10 PM
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West Rim Grand Canyon from Vegas

We'll be in Vegas for a week and thought we might drive down to the West Rim for a day to see something different. I've read it takes about 2-1/2 hrs. to get there. Is the road paved all the way?

Would this be a wise trip to drive ourselves as we'll have a car. We'd like to drive there possibly October 26, and then pay an Indian Guide for a tour -- can this be done? How much would it cost -- and, do you tip the Indian Guides in addition to the cost?

Lastly, is this a worthwhile trip? We've been to Valley of Fire State Park, Zion, Bryce and even Death Valley for day trips in the past when we've been in Vegas for a week. Looking for something spectacular we can do on our own.

Any suggestions?
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Hi Lois. My husband and I took a tour from Vegas to the West Rim a few years ago. It was spectacular! Now a few Grand Canyon experts will warn you away from the West Rim....not as deep or not as wide. Perhaps not, but it is unbelievably spectacular in it's own right. There are no railings,and few to no other tourists! It is a very worthwhile trip, especially because you can visit the bottom of the canyon and the top in one day without hiking down! The hiking down to the bottom thing isn't for everyone!
I'm not certain if you can drive your personal vehicle down the dirt (and only) road down to the bottom. The West Rim is on the Hualapai Reservation.

I personally would not do the drive myself. You have to travel across a couple hours worth of very deserted desert lands, and I think I would freak if my vehicle broke down along the way. But that's just me...I like adventure, but not that kind. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, something I'm not used to. If you do decide to do it yourself, bring lots of water, food, a flashlight, etc. I don't think a cell phone would work out there, but I don't know for sure.

We've used a particular tour company out of Vegas twice, and we have recommended them several times. If you want more info., let me know and I'll gladly give you their name. (I don't work for them....I've just been impressed by them).

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Just be aware you will be hundreds of miles from the area of the Grand Canyon that you've seen in pictures and heard people rave about. That you see from the South and North Rims, which are visible from each other.

I haven't ever been to the "West Rim" (a name I never heard until recently, and which I suspect is an invention of Vegas tour companies) and am quite ready to believe it is very scenic, worth visiting, and that it is part of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is very long. You can see the Mississppi north of Minneapolis, and it is pretty, but if it is the Mississippi around New Orleans and the Delta that you have in mind when you think of what you want to see, you won't see it in Minnesota. If you think of this as seeing someplace interesting rather than "seeing the Grand Canyon," it will probably be a worthwhile trip. But don't substitute it in your mind for the South or North Rim.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 04:17 PM
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Is the West Rim the same place as where you go to Havasupai Falls? I have a friend who went there and loved it and also saw it on the Travel Channel a couple of times.
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Old Aug 13th, 2004, 03:40 AM
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Maj, I don't think so. The Grand Canyon does go quite a ways beyond the National Park borders, and I think the West Rim borders two reservations, the Hualapai and the ???. The Falls are probably on the other one.

Lois, it is worth mentioning again that there is only one road that goes down to the bottom of the canyon, and it is on the Hualapai Reservation. It's incredible to view the canyon from the top and bottom. If you only have one day dedicated to the canyon from Vegas, you won't be disappointed with the West Rim.

Have fun!
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Old Aug 13th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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BuffaloGirl:

Sounds interesting. What tour group did you use and how costly was it? Sounds a bit remote to drive to on our own.

In doing some reading on the net I read articles that say now that it's a tour from Vegas, there are lots of buses and tour groups going there. I wonder if that has changed since you were there?

If you like, you can write me directly at: [email protected]

Thanks for the advice. Lois
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Old Aug 13th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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I'm sad to hear that there are a lot of buses and tours going to the west rim. When we visited, there were only two private companies allowed on the reservation, therefore keeping it a bit of a secret. There wasn't another soul around when we went. Someone let the cat out of the bag.

We used Action Tours (www.actiontours.com). We also went to Valley of Fire with them a few years ago. They are very good, and the tour guide can answer any question you have about your destination. We lucked out both times in that no one else booked the tour we are on. We basically had a personal tour guide. They aren't cheap. I checked out their site today and if you book online, it's $150 per person. Plus, add on a tip. We didn't see any shows in Vegas when we were there (the 1st time)- I considered this tour to be my show, so I didn't mind paying the price. By the way, the west rim tour of the river and rim is under "scenic tours - tour #9).

I re-read your original post, and realize I didn't pay it enough attention. Driving to the reservation on your own is OK. It's the driving around on the reservation by yourself that would be somewhat scary. As I mentioned earlier, it was a long drive across desert lands to actually get to the canyon and a very long drive down the road to the river. So perhaps your original idea of driving to the reservation and taking a tour with an Indian guide would be more practicle moneywise. And yes, I'm sure tipping your guide would be a good idea.
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