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Best way to do the Grand Canyon

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by trifectarich, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    The Mrs. and I have decided to take a trip out west this year to see the Grand Canyon.

    What's the best way to do this? Fly into Vegas? Flagstaff? St. George? Somewhere else? Is the North Rim or South Rim the better way to go? What should we NOT do? How much time to we need to allot in order to do this right? When school is out, are there crowds that make it unbearable? Are there weather concerns from May to September? We're not hikers/campers, so we're not about to pitch a tent and live off berries for three days.

    All advice is welcome.
  2. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Fly into Vegas. Either side is and all day, maybe more, trip. If you do the south/west side, you can catch Hoover Dam, too.

    I went this summer and saw both sides. They're both magnificent, and you can't go wrong. I also had the chance to see the west rim, where the new glass bridge is. It's by Eagle Point, is owned by the Hualapai tribe and is pretty freaking cool. But it costs like 70 bucks to do it. You have to buy a package from the tribe, but you get a good deal for the money. They put you on a bus and ride you to the bridge. You can stay on it as much as you like, but can't take pictures. You get back on the bus and ride to another place, where they serve a meal -- which wasn't bad. You stay there as long as you want, too, and can go to another place and see a tribal dance, of some sort. I didn't do that.

    If you've got the cash, pony up for the donkey ride to the bottom. They're fairly expensive, but very safe and well worth it.

    Make sure you see a sunset, no matter what you do. Way, way cool.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Fly into Vegas? You may as well fly into Albuquerque, because it's about the same distance to drive.

    Fly into Phoenix, which is the closest major airport. Stay in Flagstaff, which will be much cheaper (and nicer, with more dining options) than trying to stay in or near the national park.

    If you're not much into hiking or camping, the Grand Canyon might only be a day trip for you. You'll be bored if you try to spend three days there.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Not sure why everyone is advocating to fly into Vegas, which is 50 miles farther away from the GC than ... Phoenix. (Oops, Cadet beat me to it!)

    Take a cheap Southwest flight into PHX, drive up to Flagstaff and stay there (it's a cool little underrated college town. Good food.)

    Then, you can either drive up to the GC (about a 45-minute drive) or take the really, really cool <a href="http://www.thetrain.com/">Grand Canyon Railway</a> train from Williams up to the GC. It's a little expensive, but everyone I know who's taken it has heartily recommended it.

    I've never been up to the North Rim, so I can only speak for the south side. There are crowds all year long -- we went in December, so there was much snow and freezing temps, but still a good crowd at the main visitor's center and closest two viewpoint spots.

    Take the time to drive a little farther down the road and stop at some of the other viewpoints. No matter where you're at, the views are incredible. And I second that a Grand Canyon sunset is mandatory.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I only said fly into Vegas so he could catch Hoover Dam, too.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    OK, I could see that. It would also be a good option if you wanted to spend some time in Vegas before or after the GC, but realize it's a 4+ hour trip.
  7. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Meh. You're probably right.
  8. joe

    joe Active Member

    Take the rafting trip with the Hualapai. When you're done, they fly you to the rim in a helicopter. My buddy was green in the helicopter because he has a severe fear of heights. I had a great time making fun of him.
  9. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I've only done the South Rim because even though I went in late May, the North Rim hadn't opened for the season yet.

    It's a stunning, truly unbelievable thing to see. I only spent a day there because I was touring through the Southwest, but I'd love to spend a few days there.
  10. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Just thought of something else. See the north rim, then drive into Utah and see Arches, Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Few years ago we hiked to the bottom, camped, hiked back up.
    All I remember is I got blisters is spots where I didn't think a human could get blisters.
    We have nice photographs.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    River Rafting trip through the Canyon:

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