View Full Version : anyone live in Phoenix/Flagstaff area?

chris jordan
11-Feb-2004, 11:13
I'm going on a photographing trip to the Grand Canyon for 10 days at the end of March, and rental car cost is ridiculous-- a two-hour drive from Phoenix to the Canyon, a two hour drive back eleven days later, and the car sits at the trail head for the ten days, at a cost of five hundred bucks! Does anyone in the Phoenix/Flagstaff area have any suggestions for how to get from Phoenix to the GC cheaper? Maybe even an extra car I could rent from you?



Gem Singer
11-Feb-2004, 11:54
Hi Chris,

The drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon is more like three, or four hours (including pit stops). Eleven days of rental car fees will probably cost more than $500.

This sounds like a job for Greyhound. As long as you're not going to need a car during your visit to the canyon, the bus would be a good alternative. Car traffic at the canyon is strictly regulated, and parking a car for ten days at a trail head could prove to be a hassle.

Scott Killian
11-Feb-2004, 14:53
Grand Canyon has a heliport. You could try using one of the helicopter tour operators like Papillon that operates out of Phoenix - perhaps they would let you get off at the canyon.

Michael Kadillak
11-Feb-2004, 15:43
How about a shuttle from one of the hotels or a similar venue out of Flagstaff? Also check with places like REI or other local outfitters for accomodations with groups that you may be able to hook up with to make it more palatable than the conventional rental car. I always remember the large busses pulling into the parking lots and unloading at places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier and also the Grand Canyon. Surely one could put up with Bubba and the youngens for a few hours. I remember that the scenery through Sedona was also quite breathtaking and it would be real nice to take some of that in on the way back if you have the chance.

Nothing that cures the woes of winter than putting the details together for a trip to photograph.


Wayne Crider
11-Feb-2004, 16:14
I read this on a "Grand Canyon Shuttle Phoenix" search thru Google.

Shuttle service between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon Village is offered by Open Road Tours (800-766-7117). ..

John Kasaian
11-Feb-2004, 17:40
If you can get from Phoenix to Williams, you could catch the train to the South Rim. The railroad might have some kind of a shuttle to get you to Williams as well.

Lyle Aldridge
12-Feb-2004, 07:05
Chris, Open Road Tours runs a shuttle service with 4-5 runs a day from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and two a day from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon. Wayne has given you their phone number. I think their round trip fare for both legs comes to less than $100.

Also, be prepared for winds like you donít often see in Seattle. I grew up on Puget Sound and lived 3 years in Flagstaff, so I feel competent to compare. What I recall most vividly from Flagstaff were sub-zero temps in February, and March winds that made walking an adventure, and blew bicyclists backward.

Gem Singer
12-Feb-2004, 07:58
Hi, again Chris,

Regarding the train from Williams, I don't believe it runs during the winter months. It may run on weekends on a very limited schedule, however.

It's a lot less crowded at the canyon this time of the year. Also, very beautiful when dusted with snow. You won't be subjected to harsh wintery wind conditions down in the canyon, but be prepared for cold temperatures.

Have a great trip. Wish I was going along.

12-Feb-2004, 16:13

It would not be spring out here in NA if we did not get the top layer of skin on our faces sand blasted off in the spring and fall.

MIke Sherck
19-Feb-2004, 23:36
I just returned from a family vacation which included several days in Flagstaff and a day at the Grand Canyon. We drove out (from Indiana!) so I don't know about transportation between Flagstaff and the canyon other than to note that I seem to remember several brochures at hotels from different companies offering tour services between Flagstaff and Grand Canyon, so I assume that if you can get to Flagstaff it wouldn't be a problem getting to the canyon. Other observations: the drive up 180 to the canyon is photo-worthy in its own right. I've never driven through groves of ash or aspen before and it was interesting. Temperatures at the Grand Canyon last weekend were warm enough that all we needed were light jackets, and that only because of the breeze. The day started out overcast but by early afternoon it cleared off and the rest of the day was sunny. Not crowded at all -- easily parked at all the major overlooks, etc. and had no trouble setting up and using my 4x5 virtually anywhere I wanted. There's an access road along the western edge of the south rim only open Dec through February. Great access to Mojave Point and other overlooks but they are several miles from the start of the oad -- I would not like to have to carry LF gear that far on my back and Mojave Point in particular has more possibilities than I have film left. I actually ran myself out of film that afternoon -- that's never happened before. (I had a dozen holders with me.) We may have been lucky, but it was a great place to be last weekend!