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Thread: Grand Canyon Logistics

  1. #1

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    Grand Canyon Logistics

    I've lived in CA and AZ for a total of over 30 years and have yet to visit the Grand Canyon.

    But that's going to change next month. Our grand-nephews are going to be visiting from Tokyo and they want to go see it so we're planning to drive up.

    Are there any suggestions re where to stay? I've looked into the hotels in the park and it seems they are pretty well sold out for the time we're planning to go.

    Any recommendations for hotels that are outside the park but not a million miles away?

  2. #2

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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    I've been making quite a few trips there recently, but always plan far enough ahead to stay in the park. This isn't a recommendation based on personal experience, and I have no idea what their March vacancy rates might be, but there are a number of motel choices in Tusayan, a whopping 1.4 miles from the park's south rim entrance station. Easy commute.

  3. #3
    Les
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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    Go North young man, go North....well, at least that's what I'd do. Have you looked at St George or viscinity ? The limitation is that the N. Rim is only open mid May to Mid Oct....and only 10% of elbows to rub in comparison to the S. Rim.

    Les

  4. #4
    Richard Raymond's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    There are a bunch of hotels in Tusayan, AZ just south of the park. National chains and locals. This is probably the best place to look at this time. They have Best Western, Holiday Inn something, Red Feather. All are probably best just as a place to sleep. (St. George is over on the west side of Zion National Park on the 15 and definitely too far away...even for the north rim. Kanab would be closer during the summer for the north side.)
    Ric

  5. #5

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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    Thanks much - the kids will be here from mid-March to March 30 . I looked on the web site and it seems that all but one of the in-park hotels are sold out and the price tag for the one that's open is a bit steep.

  6. #6
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    When I visited the area (during January) I stayed mostly in motels that were priced at ~$26/night single and were readily available. Most rooms that I stayed in were doubles but I was charged the single price. It's cold during January but the atmosphere is clear so you get an expansive view across the canyon. If you go to the south rim, be sure to follow the road (Hermit Road?) that travels along the rim for 20 or so miles. The vista's from lookouts on that road are jewels.

    Thomas

  7. #7

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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    What is it that you want to do at the Grand Canyon?
    On the South Rim---
    You can stand on the rim and look out, do a walk around on a nice path and then hit the tourist shops/cafe.
    You can flightsee (pretty cool really!)
    You can take a mule ride down to the bottom(classic!)
    Or you can hike down and maybe survive the hike back up (or be medivac'ed)
    Or you can take a train ride from Willliams (IIRC you even get "held up" by train robbers, but I could be mistaken)

    The North Rim is less crowded (cause it's a very long drive to get there) and higher in elevation (so it's closed much of the winter)

    You can even raft through it down the Colorado.

    I'd consider your guest's ages and abilities and how much time and money you want to budget and go from there.
    There are deals to be had if you do your homework.
    Just like Yosemite, anyway you choose to visit is going to be an incredibly beautiful experience.
    Have a great trip!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    Thanks John and thanks Thomas

    The "kids" are 2nd year jr high and 1st year college. I don't know where the Grand Canyon idea came from - maybe my wife! She saw it when she came to the US in her 20's and spent 3 months with a group touring the country by Greyhound.

    Anyhow, this trip is primarily to show the kids part of the "American West". I've only seen the canyon from the air so it will be a first for me too.

    Maybe the kids will ride the mules - it would be animal cruelty if I tried it! And I wear a heavy duty leg brace these days so hiking it is probably out. Maybe I can put the 100 pound wife and the kids on mules and then roam around with the camera until they get back.

    I've only seen it from the air so maybe time to go take a look up close.

  9. #9

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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    ...You can flightsee...
    Nooooooo! Please don't!! In my opinion, all but emergency sub-18,000' MSL air operations ought be prohibited over national parks. The throngs of tourists disgorged from buses on the south rim are bad enough.

    In 2011, the National Park Service began a process of tightening overflight rules beyond current restrictions, although its preferred alternative was nowhere near as draconian as mine. Congress thwarted the effort via a transportation funding bill that year. I urge everyone to avoid airtours and thereby work toward a quieter, more natural national park experience. If unable to resist a desire for elevated eyepoints of grand canyon, stroll into the Imax theater in Tusayan. Ridiculous as I find that theater's very existence, patronizing it is preferable to encouraging the airtour operators.

    This post comes to you from someone whose entire life involved aviation, starting with single-engine piston planes and culminating as a Boeing engineer. I love the stuff -- but not over national parks.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Canyon Logistics

    When I was working on the South Rim, my girlfriend and I decided to have a romantic picnic on the rim and we picked a secuded spot (we thought). Ended up it was under where the helicopter sight-seeing tours flew over the rim for that classic close-to-the-ground-now-nothing-below-you thing. Way too distracting.

    As far as riding mules down into the Canyon, they do have a poundage limit.

    If you are lucky, there might be some snow on the South Rim (it is 7000 feet elevation!)
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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